integral vovinam

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Vovinam newly forbidden

Following the directives of Hanoi, the Capital, the martial practice of Vovinam, as well as of the other martial arts, was prohibited after the war in the South, in 1975. It was mainly due to the fact that some federations or clubs leaders did collaborate with the Americans or were simply in the South Vietnamese army during the conflict.

The two Vovinam leaders, Master Le Sang and Master Tran Huy Phong, were sentences to jail right after the end of the war.

Vovinam under Communist rules
Less than one year after the end of the war, some Vovinam instructors and masters were openly showing that they were Communist. Two of them, Nguyen Van Chieu and Nguyen Anh Dung, would be the starting point of the resuming of Vovinam activities in the South. Master Nguyen Van Chieu, 4th dang at that time, showed enormous efforts to convince the authorities to allow Vovinam practice. Then in 1978, then obtained the right to teach Vovinam and opened Vovinam centers.

But the government was controling everything. Master Le Sang and Master Tran Huy Phong were still in prison.

Being ill, master Tran Huy Phong was released from jail for health reasons, in 1981. But he was not free. He was confined at home under strict police control.

As the conditions in prison were very hard, everybody thought Master Le Sang would die in jail. So Master Le Sang himself awarded Master Tran Huy Phong with the title of "Patriarch Master the 3rd".

Master Le Sang was released in 1988, so after 13 years in prison. That gave happiness to many people on the one hand, but raised a problem of the other hand: what to do with the "Patriarch Master the 3rd" title?

I kind of discrepancy started. Some people were thinking Master Tran Huy Phong had to keep it, other people were thinking he should give the title back to Master Le Sang.


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