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The Mong ethnic group’s martial arts

Bac Viet Martial Arts School was established based on the traditional martial arts of the ethnic groups, particularly the Mong ethnic people in the Northwestern region.

Bac Viet Martial Arts School was established based on the traditional martial arts of the ethnic groups, particularly the Mong ethnic people in the Northwestern region.

 In the past, the Mong’s martial arts was only handed down to sons on the paternal side. However, their martial arts has now been introduced in Hanoi and is drawing much attention from the younger generation.

The appearance of this martial arts in the capital is attributed to Tran Viet Linh who has a great passion for the martial arts. When he saw Giang A Sinh, from the 12th generation of the Giang Family of the Mong in Lao Cai Province, practicing martial arts, he nurtured an idea to popularize and preserve this traditional martial arts.

Although he had a passionate love for this martial arts, Linh found it very difficult to find someone who would teach him. According to the Mong’s martial arts rule that has existed for a long time, only sons on the paternal side were trained. Never before was any one outside the family trained. However, Linh was not discouraged but showed strong determination to learn it. Whenever Giang A Sinh practiced, he tried to get near to learn. Moved by his strong will, Giang A Sinh agreed to accept Linh as his disciple. After a long time spent practicing, Linh came back to Hanoi and established the first Mong martial arts club, called Bac Viet, at the University of Civil Engineering where he is studying. At present, his club has attracted the participation of about 500 people. Most of them are students and children in Hanoi.

The Mong people have small bodies so their martial arts consists of attacking styles with flexible movements. The strength of this martial arts is attacking, using the hands and other techniques of grasping and pinioning the rivals’ arms and joints.

Because the art has many difficult attacking techniques, Linh had to change some movements and wrote them into a curriculum to promote the art in the community. He also wrote a curriculum for females because their strength and bodies are different from men.

Tran Viet Linh said that the guideline of his martial arts school is “Modesty – Righteousness –Intelligence and Courageousness – Tolerance”. For this reason, the martial arts school’s students are taught how to improve their physical strength and behavour. Linh also said that he learned from Giang A Sinh and the Mong martial arts quietness and the way to look towards peacefulness and wake up the senses in each person.

If I had not been introduced to Linh ahead of time, I would not have believed that a 25 year-old student could be the master of a martial arts school. What surprised me most is that although he is very young, Linh thoroughly understands the deepest part of martial arts – they do not contain an exterminatory strength but rather morals with “Truthfulness-Goodness-Beauty”.

Martial arts master Tran Viet Linh (white belt) instructs his students.
A technique on handcuffing.

Performing a dangerous attack.

Sitting in meditation after practicing.

A technique on kicking.

Practising the martial arts at Linh Dam Communal House, Hanoi.

A young master (red belt) of Bac Viet Martial Arts School.



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