Level 2 - Philosophical Knowledge for Blue Belt

Required for Promotion to Blue Belt I

1. What is point of being a martial artist? Why does a Vovinam disciples practice martial arts?

The point of being a martial artist is to be able to defend oneself against harms.

A Vovinam disciple practices martial arts to have a healthy body, reasonable intelligence, and a noble will to learn, work, protect others, fight for justice, and serve the people.

2. What is the view of a Vovinam disciple regarding the use of martial arts?

Four main points:

  1. Never use martial arts for commercial gain (such as commercial boxing or kickboxing....)
  2. Never try to show off one's ability with others or disciples of other martial arts disciplines.
  3. Only use martial arts for self-defense.
  4. Only use martial arts to protect justice.

3. Under what circumstances, a Vovinam disciple is allowed to use force?

A Vovinam disciple only uses force when one's honor is hurt, life is threatened, and when one should protect justice.

4. Why is a Vovinam disciple not allowed to fight for commercial gain (such as commercial boxing)?

A Vovinam disciple is not allowed to fight for commercial gain because such commercial fights are only one side of martial arts. This will make the disciple have an aggressive will. On the contrary, Vovinam is a philosophical martial art, which wants to make better citizens for society rather than train fighters.

5. What is the difference between a student and a disciple?

A student is one who just starts practicing martial arts. A disciple is one who spends a trial period (usually 6 months), and is allowed to take the joining ceremony, and therefore is considered a member of the Vovinam family.

6. In the extended family of Vovinam, how the disciples treat one another?

Each disciple must love, respect, and help one another. Those attributes are the basics of Vovinam's discipline. Eventually those attributes will create unity among the disciples, glorifying the honor of Vovinam and helping the disciples to become model individuals.

7. How many belt colors does Vovinam have? What is the meaning of each color?

Vovinam has five belt colors: Blue, Black, Yellow, Red, and White.

  • Blue: Represents the color of hope, which means that the disciple begins to enter in the life of a martial artist and to perceive the philosophy of martial arts.
  • Black: Represents the color of water, which means that the understanding of martial arts and its philosophy has started to merge into the body, building a foundation for the character of the Vovinam's disciple.
  • Yellow: Represents the color of earth, which means that the martial arts and its philosophy has permanently become a part of the Vovinam's disciple.
  • Red: Represents the color of fire, which means that the martial arts and its philosophy develop into a torch, which guides the path for the Vovinam's disciple.
  • White: Represents the color of chastity, which means that the disciple's martial arts and its philosophy has reached the absolute level and the disciple has also become the figure of the martial arts discipline of Vovinam.

8. What is the current rank hierarchy of Vovinam?

  1. Self-defense: This level has two ranks, which are Self-defense Viet Vo Dao (light blue belt) and Beginning Viet Vo Dao (dark blue belt). Title: Student.
  2. Blue belt: dark blue belt with yellow stripe(s), three ranks, each rank must have at least 6 months of training. Title: Disciple.
  3. Black belt: black belt, one rank, with at least one year of training. Title: Instructor Assistant.
  4. Yellow belt: yellow belt with red stripe(s), four ranks: with one, two, or three stripes; the last rank has red color with yellow outlining. Each rank must have at least two years of training. Title: Instructor, Senior Instructor, Master Deputy, Master respectively, which are equivalent to the international rank: Black belt first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, and fourth-degree, respectively.
  5. Red belt: red belt with white stripe(s), six ranks, each rank must have at least four years of training, and a thesis in martial arts must be submitted upon promotion examination. Title: First Senior Master, Second Senior Master..., which are equivalent to the international rank: Black-belt fifth-degree, sixth-degree...
  6. White belt: white belt with four color lines: blue, black, yellow, and red; only one rank, time of training is infinite. This is the highest rank reserved only for the Grand Master of Vovinam.

9. Please explain the emblem and flag of Vovinam?

1. Colors:

The emblem and flag of Vovinam has four colors

- Blue: indicates the yin element and represents the sea and the hope.

- Red: indicates the yang element and represents the fire and the invincible will

- Yellow: represents the honor and triumph.

- White: represents chastity and wisdom.

2. Shape:

- Emblem: yellow background, the upper half is of the square shape, the lower half is of the circle shape; which represents the Yin-Yang Philosophy of Vovinam.

- Flag: yellow background, the height equals 3/5 the length, and circle in the center equals 1/3 the height.

- Emblem and Flag: the small blue-red circle represents Yin and Yang. The white circle represents the Dao (or the "way").

10. What is the name, date and place of birth, passing date and place of the late Founder of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao?

The late Founder is Nguyen Loc. He was born on April 8, the year of the Rat (1912) according to the lunar calendar. He was born in the village of Huu Bang, county of Thach That, Son Tay province (suburb of Hanoi today), and passed away on April 4, year of the Rat (1960) in Saigon. His remains are now preserved at the Altar Hall, 31 Su Van Hanh Street, Disctrict 10, Saigon, Vietnam.

11. When did the Founder finish the research of Vovinam?

Where did the first demonstration of Vovinam take place?

The Founder completed the research of Vovinam in 1938. The first demonstration of Vovinam took place at the Great Auditorium of Hanoi in the fall of 1939.

12. Where and when did the first open Vovinam class take place?

The first open Vovinam class took place in the spring of 1940 at the University of Education (Ecole Normal) at the Cua Bac Street, Hanoi.

13. Who is the current Grandmaster of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao? When and where was he born?

The current Grandmaster is Le Sang. He was born in the fall of 1920 in Hanoi.

14. What is the development of Vovinam today?

Today, Vovinam develops strongly in Vietnam and is present in many countries in the world.


translated by Linh Thai - copy edited by Uy Tran.
(Required for Promotion to Blue Belt I) - vovinamus.com