Vovinam is a Vietnamese martial art. It was founded in 1936 by Nguyễn Lộc, but at that time it was silent until 1938. At the same time, he proposed the doctrine of "revolution of the mind" to encourage students to always renew. Vovinam is based on Vietnamese traditional subjects.
Vovinam involves the use of the hands, elbows, legs, knees and weapons such as swords, knives, chisels, claws, fans. Students also learn how to deal with hand-held weapons, counter-attacks, lock-ups, and levers. Amongst Vietnamese martial arts, Vovinam is the largest and most developed in Vietnam with more than 60 schools around the world, including Poland, Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Germany, the United States, Morocco, Norway, Russia, France, Romania, Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Italy, Australia, India, Iran, Spain, Algeria, Taiwan. The Chief of Vovinam Council now is Nguyễn Văn Chiếu.
Vovinam is practiced with and without weapons. It is based on the principle of between hard and soft. It includes training of the body as well as the mind. It uses force and reaction of the opponent. Vovinam also includes hand, elbow, kicks, escape- and levering techniques. Both attack and defense techniques are trained, as well as forms, combat and traditional wrestling. The wide range of techniques include punching, kicking, forms, wrestling, sword, staff, axe, folding fan and others.
Self-defense techniques cover defense against weaponless attacks like choking from behind and defense against attackers armed with knives or swords. Advanced students learn to combine the techniques and defend themselves against armed opponents. Instructors teach traditional weapons like the long stick, short stick, knife, sword and sabre. The weapons thus serve as training devices for reaching optimal control of body and mind.