Nguyen Manh Hung
During the last 10 years, Assistant professor, Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung has been considered by many media agencies in the country, especially his childhood of misfortune and misery, with a number of works that he has published related to the history and culture such as the United States of America and China, Vietnam, Japan in the world of Han (le Monde Sinise – the language of Vandersmesch) – which he called the world of Han Nom. But we have really got very little information about his “unprofessional” and “hidden” field. It is the field of physical activity through a number of sports disciplines, and especially martial arts. Because of this, we call him “the researcher of martial arts” instead of calling him a master of martial arts as he had been awarded internationally.
He was born in Bien Hoa – Dong Nai, and his degree and academic title are Associate professor, PhD. He is the founder and head of Hong Bang University International. The educational field thinks of him as a pioneer in opening the system without formal training – this is the system of private training – in Vietnam since 1986 at the Philological Faculty – Consolidated University (now University of Social Sciences and Humanities). Originally he was a student of University of Law, Faculty of Letters, from the years 1963 – 1968 in Saigon. In 1965, he graduated from West Saigon Sports Club (Cercle Sportif Saigonnais) as an instructor of western sword by teacher (maître d’arme) Vatin – French (1954 World Champion) training. The same year, he was a director of Gia Long dojo (69 bis Gia Long – District 1), where the national martial arts training occurred, during the years 1964 to 1970, but today many people have become masters of many international countries in Europe, Africa, the United States of America, … the main office of dojo located next to Gia Long Palace in Saigon (now the General Library of Science in HCM City). It was a campus of the Faculty of Letters of University of Saigon and a temporary shelter and performed by Trinh Cong Son and Khanh Ly to develop the kind of music called Trinh Cong Son music (music that featured emerging public place called anti-war music). The area also had an Association of young artists, Nguon song, Du ca … especially the development programs for students CPS funded by the U.S.. Dojo Gia Long (of the manufactured home park) it was established, and has focused on a number of martial arts: Fencing, Judo, Taekwondo, Vo co truyen (traditional martial arts), Vovinam – Viet vo dao… He once met master of Vovinam Le Sang when he was from Hoa Lu to visit him, as well as talking many times with other famous martial arts teachers in Saigon when they visited his dojo. Now some of the former teachers are very famous. At that time, he invited master Pham Loi as a director in charge of the dojo. Master Pham Loi returned to Vietnam from France; he got the fourth dan of black belt of Judo and master Huynh Van Chiem, a physician, who was then the official instructor, a student of Master Pham Loi.
Around the year 1965, he won the championship of sword (saber) of students of the South Vietnam and he defeated a U.S. citizen who won the European silver medal. After that, he was brought into the sights to be nominated to join the international competition but it was difficult on the exit problem. Also in this time, he was a national athlete of Saigon, professor of sword (South Vietnam) with an official salary. He was also a student of the Binh Dinh martial arts and many other ones since his childhood in Saigon. In this period, martial arts movements developed throughout the South, and many dojos (martial arts clubs) were built. Especially, martial arts were permitted to be taught in schools. In addition, he was an instructor of physical fitness (body building – culture physique esthétique) at Phan Dinh Phung Stadium – the forerunner of the movement “Kien cang”. He was one in the next generation after athlete Nguyen Cong An (the world’s best athlete two times in the years 1954 to 1960 in France and Europe, and was invited by President Ngo Dinh Diem to come back to Vietnam). Athlete Nguyen Cong An returned to France after training the 2nd generation with the dream “Muscles the first”, the work of Pham Van Tuoi which created the movement of health in the youth of Saigon with the famous sentence “Wearing clothes you are handsome, without clothes you are the bones”.
… continue in part 2 …
BAN TU THU