Vietnam took the lead at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Vovinam Championships in Cambodia over the weekend, with nine gold and 10 silver medals.

Vovinam is a Vietnamese martial art and is popular in over 35 countries and territories around the world, with hundreds of thousands of followers. National Vovinam federations have been established in many countries, including France , Spain , Italy , Romania , Australia , the US , Switzerland , Germany and Morocco .

Indonesia is in second with five golds and five silvers, while hosts Cambodia are third with three gold, five silver and one bronze medal.

The pre-SEA Games tournament, which is also the first event ever organised by the SEA Vovinam Federation and the Cambodia Olympics Committee, has attracted 63 martial artists from Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Before the event started, an annual meeting of SEA Vovinam Federation took place in Cambodia and the federation's executive board decided that the regional event would be held every two years. The 2012 event will be held in Vietnam .

A SEA Vovinam Festival will be held in Bali , Indonesia on November 17 this year.

Vovinam, founded by late Hanoian Nguyen Loc, is practised with and without weapons, based on the principle of "hard and soft". Leveraging the opponent's own force and reaction, Vovinam has a wide range of techniques including punching, kicking, and wrestling.

In an effort to promote the martial art globally, Vovinam was an official sport at the third Asian Indoor Games in Viet Nam two years ago. /.