Following his Footsteps
My father Master Nguyen The Hung was the first person to ever introduce me to Vovinam. In Vietnam he was always passionate with his practice in Vovinam even more than his studies, his passion was so strong that he was able to help carry Vovinam into Texas, now he stands as the master of Lo Duc. As a baby he would take me to Vovinam to watch everyone practice and by the time I was able to walk I was kicking and punching in Vovinam.
I didnít know that Vovinam would become such an important part of my life and even now twelve years in Vovinam it continues to help me grow. From the beginning, all my sisters and cousins were in Vovinam and it seemed only natural that I followed. As I grew older I became more involved in Vovinam and was able to expand on my learning. It became more then just a family trend, it was something I really enjoyed.
I loved Vovinam in all ways, it kept me active and through it I met many friends and had many experiences that I can never forget. I especially loved tumbling or rolling, and my father was the source of it all. He was able to teach me things heís never even done before and sometimes it amazes how he does it. He had trained me and has molded me in all ways pushing me pass my limits in my martial arts and in life. Sometimes I felt as if it was too much, I spent all my free time focusing on martial arts and my studies and not on anything else.
There were many times I wanted to quit Vovinam not because I didnít like it but because I started to enjoy many other things and it was hard to balance my time equally. But by then Vovinam wasnít just something I did for fun it became part of me. It made me disciplined, it built my leadership it caused many changes in me that was for the better both physically and mentally. Even though sometimes I didnít want to go to Vovinam and hanging out with friends felt more attractive than exercising and sweating. I would always end up choosing Vovinam. I didnít always understand why it was so important to me but it just always felt right.
As I became more involved in Vovinam, I attended Tet Banquets which kept the culture of Vietnam within me, World Conference helped me to see other parts of the world that were also involved with Vovinam, camping helped me become closer to other schools, Lock-ins helped build the family within Lo Duc, performances gave me strength and even testing helped me with my confidence. All of these experiences helped me grow closer to Vovinam with a passion that wanted to help expand Vovinam not just learn it.
I understood that Vovinam wasnít just for good health, defending us and helping others, it was a guide to help better ourselves in all ways. I am very glad my father had put me into Vovinam; it always made me feel a little special and more confident in school because I had something that made me stand out. It taught me how to live my life through difficulties and different situation. All of these things that were given to me made me want to share it with others.
†I wanted my friends to know about how great it is and I wanted to help improve it to make it grow bigger and stronger. I always had a dream about building a Vovinam gym with all the other schools.† Together as one with the goal to help build Vovinam to its best. The gym would be open to everyone not just to the Vietnamese community but for the good of everyone, there would be equipment that could improve your martial arts and classes that specialize in specific parts of Vovinam. Even though Vovinam in all is still growing each day and sometimes it has its falling moments. I know in the hearts of all its students, Vovinam remains shining as an unforgettable part of their life.
By Linh Nguyen †††††