Vovinam makes comeback at SEA Games 31 hinh anh 1The Philippine vovinam fighter Jennel Yn Olsim Dasdas (red) competes with Mala Chanthalacksa of Laos in the women's 55kg. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – SEA Games 31’s vovinam competitions are taking place at the Soc Son Gymnasium on the outskirts of Hanoi from May 18-22, offering the host a good chance to promote its traditional martial art.

Vovinam makes a return to the regional sports event after nine years of absence. It made its debut at SEA Games 26 in Indonesia in 2011. It took place for the second time in the games’ 27th edition in Myanmar in 2013.

According to insiders, the return of vovinam can be seen as a very good opportunity for Vietnam to further popularise vovinam both regionally and internationally, attract more people from many countries to practice the martial arts, thereby making a basis for vovinam to be held more often at the regional sports events.

Vietnam does not place much emphasis on achieving high results in vovinam at SEA Games 31, said Ngo Ba Huy, deputy head of the games’ vovinam organising board, because the most important goal is to introduce and promote this sport.

It represents Vietnam’s martial arts and can take to a larger stage, like continental events, Huy said.

The sport draws some 150 fighters from seven countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Laos, Thailand and host Vietnam, vying for six combat and nine performing events.

Vietnamese fighters scheduled to compete on the first day of competition include Pham Thi Kieu Giang, Nguyen Thi Hien, Nguyen Thi Hoai Nuong, Lam Thi Thuy My, Lam Tri Linh, Le Toan Trung and Tran Tan Lap.

Vovinam is the most popular style of martial art in Vietnam which was founded by Master Nguyen Loc in 1936. It was introduced to the public two years later.

Loc highlighted his so-called ‘revolution of mind’ to trainers, who are asked to always renew themselves and help others.

Vovinam involves the use of different body parts such as hands, elbows, legs and knees. Trainers also learn to use weapons, including swords, knives and fans. They also practise attacking and defensive skills.

Vovinam began to spread in 1970 and has developed in many countries with hundreds of schools in Poland, Belgium, Russia, France, and ASEAN members.

The first world championship was organised in 2009, marking a turning point in its history.

The Games 32 will take place in Cambodia in 2023, and vovinam is expected to be included./.