Vietnamese-French Nguyen Cong Tot was awarded the title of ‘an international grand master’ of Vietnamese martial arts while he was taking part in the International Festival of Vietnamese Martial Arts in Hanoi from August 9 to 11.
He and his family left Vietnam in 1960 to live in Marseille, France.
With knowledge and time spent training in Vietnamese martial arts in Ho Chi Minh City, he continued to learn karatedo, judo and other martial arts in France.
After mastering many sects of traditional martial arts, in 1970, Tot established a new sect, namely Viet Vu Dao, based on the techniques and principles of Vietnamese martial arts.
Besides training in Viet Vu Dao, the martial artist studied at a law school in France and has been working as a lawyer.
Thanks to his contribution, Viet Vu Dao has become one of the five biggest sects of Vietnamese martial arts in the world, with around 3,000 practitioners in Europe alone.
In France, Viet Vu Dao has 50 clubs with the participation of 1,500 students.
Nowadays, Viet Vu Dao exists in 20 countries around the world, including Brazil, Portugal, India, Australia, Germany, Mali, Armenia and Spain.
Tot said Viet Vu Dao has typical characteristics of Vietnamese culture, tradition and humanity.
Viet Vu Dao mainly trains its learners in techniques for defense, and in case of "having to deploy the techniques," the trainers must maintain both their own safety and minimize danger to the attacker, according to Tot.
With Viet Vu Dao, learners can train themselves in defense with both bare hands and weapons such as sticks, clubs and swords.
“Initially, it was difficult to persuade local authorities in France to register Viet Vu Dao as a new sect of Vietnamese martial arts,” the international grand master said.
“Managing thousands of learners was also not easy during the early days decades ago.”
To honor his contribution, he has been elected as the vice chairman of the World Federation of Vietnamese Martial Arts.