POST 580 26Nov2022
EXERCISE Turning the globe Ta Huu Xoay Cau -
From VVD to VietChiDao
POST 580 26 November 2022
serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of
FROM VIETVODAO TO VIETCHIDAO
FROM VIETVODAO TO VIETCHIDAO
Fifty Years on The Way (1972-2022)
SITUATION PRIOR TO 1972
The Vietnamese Martial Arts have been introduced in France at the end of the World War I. Since 1884 Vietnam was under the colonization of France, therefore during the World War I and World War II a number of Vietnamese soldiers were sent in Europe to serve in the French army. In fact, among these soldiers there were a certain number of martial artists and at the end of each war some of them chose to stay in France. These Vietnamese martial artists kept secret their martial art practice. Why did they keep secret their practice and teach it only to some of their family members? They followed the tradition of the Vietnamese martial arts which were an integral part of the national defense system and because of this it was the tradition to never teach martial arts to foreigners. In the book of the Commander-in-chief Tran Hung Dao (the winner against the Huns in the XIII century) one can find the following recommendation: To my descendants, I leave herein the most secret knowledge of the martial Art and of the Art of War for defending Vietnam in the thousand years to come. From generation to generation you will cultivate different methods according to the case and you will keep this knowledge secret.
Moreover we know that from 1884 to 1954 Vietnam was under the French occupation and the French police kept tight surveillance on Vietnamese people living in France since the activities of various Vietnamese-underground-anti-French-organizations were a permanent reality. So these Vietnamese martial-art-artists might better keep their profile low. Nevertheless some of them accepted to teach their art to very close friends and of course to their Eurasian children under different styles and names for the circumstance (Indochinese boxing, Vietnamese health gymnastic, Vietnamese wrestling, ju-jitsu, Vietnamese karate, Kung-fu, Vo-ta and so on). In 1954, after the fall of Dien-Bien-Phu, the Indochina War ended and Vietnam was divided in two countries, the North-Vietnam and the South-Vietnam, and the French administration left Vietnam forever.
As time went on, the number of Vietnamese students, scholars, and refugees establishing themselves in France became increasingly large and Vietnamese martial art was taught more openly in France without fear of the police. Some masters founded their own schools and taught to the large public. Some of these masters knew each other but their schools stayed isolated. In fact, what was worrying the most were the absence of formation for future teachers, and in France the lack of organization of the Vietnamese martial arts. However the development of these schools was more or less booming in the 1960s. Certainly each school such as Han-Bai, Thanh-Long, Hoang-Nam, Quan-Ky, Nam-Hai, Minh-Long and so on does have a rich history of their own. Here we just want to mention a special phenomenon: the creation of the Nghia-Long Institute by Master Phan Hoang on the 15th August 1964 at the center UCJG, 153 boulevard de Strasbourg, Le Havre, France. This organization is not simply a school of martial art but moreover it is a Research and Development Institute aiming on the one hand at the advance of knowledge on various fields of martial arts and on the other hand on the training of leading people and supporting the development of Vietnamese martial arts. Its message got the enthusiasm of many Vietnamese students in France and rapidly Nghia-Long Institute gained its strong support from Vietnamese students through several university campuses such as Caen, Paris, Nantes, Montpellier, Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand and Limoges. Later, at the birth of VIETVODAO, Nghia-Long Institute was the organizer of the first meetings in Limoges, 1972, 1973, and supporting VIETVODAO continuously since then as one of the most important school.
THE CREATION OF VIETVODAO
The birth of Vietvodao has its roots in two historic meetings held in Limoges, France, in 1972 and 1973:
The meeting on the weekend of April 2, 1972 which we call
THE CONVENTION OF LIMOGES, and the meeting on the weekend of April 1, 1973 which we call the meeting for the PROCLAMATION OF VIETVODAO.
THE CONVENTION OF LIMOGES.
The Convention of Limoges was held during the Easter weekend, from the 1st to the 2nd of April 1972, on the campus of the University of Limoges. It was organized by Master Phan Hoang with the support of his disciples of the Nghia Long Institute, especially with the great dedication of Phi-Long Petersen and Karen Khiem-Long.
To understand the purpose of this convention it should be remembered that at that time there were a number of Vietnamese martial arts masters who practiced, across France and in some European countries, their arts under various names like Vo, Vo Ta, Vo Lam, Thieu-Lam Vo, Thai-Son-Lam, Kung-Fu, Thanh-Long, Han-Bai, Quan-Ky, Indochinese Boxing, Vietnamese Boxing, Vo Viet-Nam etc. So the need to unite in a federation, to determine common objectives and to harmonize technical programs was felt.
This was the purpose of this convention. There were about thirty participants coming under the guidance of their respective masters. Here is the list of the seven founding masters:
Master NGUYEN DAN PHU (60) - Thanh-Long; Montlucon
Master BUI VAN THINH (60) - Massy-Palaiseau
Master NGUYEN TRUNG HOA (59) -Thai-Son-Lam; Saint-Maur les Fossés
Master HOANG NAM (40) - Kung-Fu; Paris
Master PHAN HOANG (36) -Nghia-Long Institute – Limoges
Master TRAN PHUOC TASTEYRE (29) -Han-Bai; Massy Palaiseau
Master PHAM XUAN TONG (25) -Quan-Ky; La Seyne-sur-Mer
The discussions took place on Saturday evening, April 01, 1972 and continued in the morning of Sunday, April 2, 1972. Taking the opportunity of a beautiful weather, the afternoon was spent outdoors, near the Pont du Dognon. One can find an article in the newspaper La Montagne of April 5, 1972 that reported in detail the activities of this historic afternoon. At this meeting we were looking for a name to our new discipline, a name that would unify the different groups. In the article of the newspaper La Montagne the term Kung-Fu was used as a general term meaning martial art, and not as a name of a specific discipline.
The end of that afternoon was pleasantly spent in an Aikido dojo thanks to the courtesy of Professor Jean Claude Beauduffe, a colleague and friend of Master Phan Hoang. In this dojo each master shared with the group some techniques or a quyen of their style. This session was the beginning of the technical crystallization that gave birth to the Training Program of the following year.
At the end of this convention, all the masters unanimously supported the idea of creating a federation to promote a common discipline. In order to make this project a reality Master Phan Hoang was elected to the role of leader to set up the necessary infrastructure. With enthusiasm, before leaving each other, all the participants were committed to meet again the following year.
At the end of this Convention something invisible had solidly cemented the seven Vietnamese masters in a noble mission.
THE PROCLAMATION OF VIETVODAO.
After a busy year with a lot of communications and preparations, the weekend of March 31st to April 1st, 1973 arrived. The masters and participants came to this meeting with the spirit of fighters; they were ready to fight for their noble mission.
Discussions continued in the evening of Saturday on several questions concerning the structure and the future of the new organization. But the most important discussion was the choice of the name of our discipline.
The choice of name
There were several proposals and finally the term VIETVODAO was chosen. In fact the full name, until today, is VIETVODAO QUOC-TE. Quoc-Te means international as opposed to Quoc-Noi meaning inside Vietnam. This term is a clear statement that VIETVODAO is international and at that time operated outside Vietnam.
For France, in Limoges, on April 1st, 1973 the FEDERATION FRANÇAISE DE VIETVODAO was born (registered under the number 7878 at Haute Vienne Prefecture, published in the “Journal Officiel” November 20, 1973). Rapidly VIETVODAO was expanded in other countries such as Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Morocco, and so on.
The Ceremony of Oath
Early on Sunday morning, the masters made an excursion to Mount Gargan, an historic place, about 50km from Limoges, for a session of meditation and reflection. They felt bound together in the Way as well as in life. So in the afternoon, in a rural setting, near the Pont de la Gabie, a touching ceremony of Ket-Nghia took place, "Heaven and Earth being witnesses, we take the Oath of Brotherhood..." By order of age, the seven masters solemnly took the oath; starting with Master NGUYEN DAN PHU who was the eldest and ending with Master PHAM XUAN TONG the youngest.
The Seven Founding Dragons
Each master has a martial art name with the suffix LONG, which means Dragon. The seven founding masters of VIETVODAO constitute the group of “Seven Founding Dragons”. Master Phan Hoang being the Founding President proclaimed the foundation of VIETVODAO and the creation of the first federation of VIETVODAO, other countries will follow later.
The day after the birth of VIETVODAO, we were confronted with the immense task of organization and on the outside we were ready to fight on all fronts to win our right to existence.
THE SEVEN FOUNDING MASTERS
Master NGUYEN DAN PHU (60) - Thanh-Long; Montluçon
Master BUI VAN THINH (60) – Massy-Palaiseau
Master NGUYEN TRUNG HOA (59) –Thai-Son-Lam; Saint-Maur les Fossés
Master HOANG NAM (40) – Kung-Fu; Paris
Master PHAN HOANG (36) - Nghia-Long – Limoges
Master TRAN PHUOC TASTEYRE (29) –Han-Bai; Massy Palaiseau
Master PHAM XUAN TONG (25)–Quan-Ky; La Seyne-sur-Mer
During a period of two years after this creation, several other masters joined the group:
Master NGUYEN TIEN,
Master TRAN MINH LONG,
Master TRAN HUU HA,
Master TRUONG VAN MANH
Master NGUYEN NGOC MY.
This year (2022) we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the birth of VIETVODAO. Master Phan Hoang, the Founding-President, the one who initiated the Convention of Limoges 50 years ago, wish to remind all of us of the greatness of VIETVODAO and to glorify the Masters and many disciples who, by ideal, helped to build our ART.
By continuing the road that is expanding at every moment towards the future, towards new generations of masters, Master Phan Hoang does not forget his brothers in martial art.
Official recognition of the French government
Finally, after five years of strenuous struggle, the VIETVODAO obtained the official recognition of the French government by an “Agrément” dated 31 March 1978 from the Secrétariat d’Etat à la Jeunesse et aux Sports.
Today Master Phan Hoang would like to say to all: 'Do not forget that we are fighters for a noble cause, and a fighter is never afraid of fighting. BE STRONG, BE HELPFUL.'
THE INTERNATIONAL WAY
His mission in France on a good track, in 1981 Maître Phan Hoang handed the direction of the FEDERATION FRANÇAISE DE VIETVODAO to a new elected president, Master Gérard NGUYEN. He could thus devote his efforts to the international development of Vietvodao.
In January 1983, he went on a world tour for a year. There would be much to report on this almost legendary journey in both martial arts and spirituality but the important point to remember here is that Master Phan Hoang made a profound revision of the concept of Martial Art. He came to the conclusion that, on the one hand, we should keep Vietvodao as a classical martial art, keeping faithful to the contribution of the Seven Founding Masters, and on the other hand, we might open new perspectives leading to the creation of new disciplines.
A NEW HORIZON
In January 1984, Master Phan Hoang finally left France to settle in Montreal, Canada. As a university professor holding a high position in the field of research he was pushed even deeper to explore different horizons of the 'martial arts phenomenon'. From the state of reflection he entered into action by creating at different times several disciplines rooted in Vietvodao but moving towards new horizons: VIETCHIDAO, VOVIET, VIETTAICHI, VIETKHIPHAP, VIETCHIKIEM, VIETCHIBONG, VIETCHILUC, and CHIVAT. These disciplines share the bedrock of Vietvodao but aim at different missions.
THE WAY OF VIETCHIDAO.
VIETCHIDAO (Việt-Chí-Đạo) is a soft-martial-art, a dynamic body-and-mind discipline. It is a crystallization of best techniques from the disciplines founded by Master Phan Hoang with the following characteristics.
MISSION STATEMENT. Inspiring a better life through dynamic physical exercises and practical applications of positive thinking; helping people grow stronger and happier by practicing Vietchidao
VISION. To the next generation, Vietchidao will be the best response to the need of an excellent educational martial art aiming to train a new kind of martial artists being Strong, Useful, and Happy.
TEACHING AND LEARNING STRATEGIES. Vietchidao embraces a series of approaches including Student Centered and Collaborative Learning. Teaching is not simply transferring knowledge but implies inspiring and guiding the learners on the way to discovery. Motivation, Creativity, and Research are present at the center of Vietchidao practice. The application of the concept Student Centered helps consider the specific needs of students and better adapt the learning process to the audience. This method enables lifelong learning and independent problem-solving. In addition to this concept, Vietchidao also encourage teachers and learners to apply the Collaborative Learning method which is using groups to enhance learning through working together and exchange knowledge via networks. In Vietchidao both teaching and learning are conducted under the dynamic ambience thanks to various Vietchi-exercises and forms (quyen) which carry so many applications to the success of the learner in life.
EXERCISES. Vietchidao is very rich in Exercises, they are the foundation of this art and they train learners from all levels with various subjects: Stance training, Posture training, Hand techniques, Leg techniques, Moving techniques, Breathing methods, Endurance training, and so on.
Among the basic exercises we can cite, for example: Five Methods of Breathing, Five Stances, Bao Moc, Ho Diep Cong, Da Dong Co, Dai Truong, Tuoi Dao, Tam Niem Chieu, Equinox, Manh Ho Dang Son, Thach Ban, Thang Moc Muc, Dai Bang Kinh Thien.
FORMS QUYEN . In Vietchidao the study of quyen is the most attractive in many aspects, from physical harmonious evolution that express the high power of action and the exceptional beauty of movements to the deep meaning of each story or strategy conveyed in each quyen. Each quyen is a great lesson leading to the achievement of the Way. Among the popular quyen we can cite, for example: Bai Di Xa, Dai Lao, Dai Hoang, Ha Chi, Trong Dong, Khai Mon, Loi Ho, Than Ho, Chi Ba, Sinh Lo, Ky Lo, Song Diep, Ngoc Dinh, Than Xa, Bat Dieu, Van Ly.
Each quyen is a treasure of knowledge and action. Depending on the background of the performer each quyen can be studied under the guideline of Internal Training and External Development. Each quyen can be performed under the “hard way” of action or by the “soft way” of inner-power.
Regarding the study of quyen one important point to remember is the permanent pursuit of RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT for both learners and teachers because Vietchidao is an educational martial art.
EDUCATIONAL MARTIAL-ART. Vietchidao considers the study of martial-art under the view of Education, a way for personal growth. This concept brings martial-art to a new horizon, far beyond the fighting purpose or the practice of a sport. This change of objectives opens up Vietchidao to a large scope of study: Using the knowledge and skills discovered from martial art to serve the personal growth and happiness of the learner. In Vietchidao studying martial art is no longer for the sake of martial art performance but for the quest of personal happiness, health, and success in life. A simple stance such as the Horse Stance (Trung Binh Tan) can be studied under several aspects; the aim will be concentrated on the physical balance of the body, the related stability, the spirit of courage, and the strategic thinking of this stance: “Keeping thousand things in harmony; winning by skillfulness and patience”
HIGH MORAL STANDARDS. The practice of Vietchidao implies leading life of virtues. Dignity, Benevolence, Self-confidence, Resilience, Courage, Rectitude, Honesty, Trustworthiness, Generosity are nine guiding virtues in Vietchidao.
MOTTO of Vietchidao: Be Strong, Be Useful
SLOGAN of Vietchidao: Be Best
ORGANIZATION. Administration and management are under the Vietchi Institute. Teaching documents, training organization, teachers’ activities, Black-belt College are with Vietchi Teachers School. Numerous websites are currently active and Vietchi Post is published four times a year.
Today a new generation of Masters, Teachers, and Black Belts educated and trained by Grand Master Phan Hoang continues to grow. In our large family, everyone from beginner to advanced disciples must have their place to contribute to the progress of all. The Vietchi Institute has already published a dozen of books and more books and videos will come to consolidate our collection.
Looking back, and looking forward I can tell you that the creation of Vietvodao in Limoges, 1972, is a great contribution to the good of society. Vietvodao will certainly continue to expand successfully and I am very proud of the contribution of all masters, black-belts, and students. We know how to protect our legacy and how to adapt ourselves to the change of the world today.
Regarding Vietchidao, the sister of Vietvodao, the road is widely open ahead with new challenges waiting. We have more than enough Exercises, Quyen, and Technical materials to respond to any needs for the development at all levels. However the main challenge nowadays is the use of technology to reach our targets. We need help to bring information about the precious value of Vietchidao to those who are leading people in many countries in the world. I am optimist for the future.
Master Phan Hoang
Canada, Ontario, March 2022.
(On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of VIETVODAO .
Charles Phan Hoang)
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