Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - The 7th World Vovinam Championship commenced on November 24 in Ho Chi Minh City, marking a significant event in the martial arts world. This year's championship has attracted over 650 athletes from 35 countries and territories, who will compete for 44 sets of medals in performance and combat categories during the week-long event.
According to Vietnam News Agency, Chairman of the municipal People's Committee, the championship serves as a platform for martial artists from around the world to exchange experiences and gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam, the birthplace of Vovinam. Mai Huu Tin, President of the World Vovinam Federation, noted that among the 70 countries and territories where Vovinam is practiced, 51 are represented in the federation. The federation is committed to promoting the cultural values of Vietnam and Vovinam globally.
Vovinam, recently designated as a national intangible heritage by Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, was founded in Hanoi in 1938 by late master Nguyen Loc. This martial art has been nurtured and developed by generations of masters. The establishment of the World Vovinam Federation in 2008 marked a significant milestone in the martial art's global development, with continental federations in Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Regionally, Vovinam has been featured in several Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) editions, including the 31st Games in Vietnam in 2022 and the upcoming 32nd Games in Cambodia. The sport boasts a following of over 2.5 million martial artists across approximately 70 countries and territories.
In Vietnam, there is a movement to introduce Vovinam across all 63 cities and provinces and integrate it into school curriculums. The Vietnam Vovinam Federation is planning to establish a Vovinam Academy in Ho Chi Minh City, offering training to both Vietnamese and international enthusiasts. Additionally, a dossier for Vovinam is being prepared for submission to UNESCO for recognition as a world intangible heritage.