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History of Võ Lâm Việt Nam from Another Perspective View

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History of Võ Lâm Việt Nam from Another Perspective View

Post by VietKiem on Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:04 am

Source From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volam_Vietnam

Vo Lam Vietnam Original Kung Fu is an ancient art of self preservation. It was developed by three bhiksus--fully ordained Buddhist monks--from the land of snow, modern day Tibet, over 3,000 years ago. The teachings had been considered a secret martial arts system that was propagated only among priests, monks and kings for centuries within monasteries in what are now the countries of Tibet, Siberia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and China.

It first went public in AD 1460 under the leadership of King Le-Thanh-Ton of the Lê Dynasty. Dissemination of the art was tremendously increased in 1820 when King Gia Long Nguyễn Ánh established two massive martial arts training halls named Anh Doanh and Giao Doung in Huế, Central Vietnam in Thừa Thiên province which served as the new capitol city of Vietnam. Since then, the system has produced thousands of Kung Fu experts, many of them being high ranking officers in the ancient armed forces charged with the duty of defending the territories of modern day Vietnam.

The system's intent is to train people to use human physical force in the most efficient manner and is the only school that is still teaching the Black Gate techniques known as Huyen Mon. The three main aspects of the Black Gate techniques integrate breathing techniques known as Qui Cong with Internal Power known as Noi Cong and vital points striking. Besides being rated as one of the most efficient fighting system in the world, the system holds the record of being one of the safest to train in while still providing dynamic progress. This unique aspect of Vo Lam Vietnam was a direct result of the learning objectives established by the monks that created the system. These objectives included: giving, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, determination, energy, patience, truthfulness, friendliness and equanimity.

Outside of the western world, Vo Lam Vietnam is often referred to as the "Eighteen Fist Form of the Arhats". According to texts compiled by the Mahayana Buddhist community, the original 16 disciples of the Shakyamuni Buddha vowed that as long time remains and as long as space remained, they too would remain to dispel the miseries of the world. The spirit of the original arhats are invoked each time a practitioner repeats one of the eighteen physical form mandalas of Vo Lam Vietnam original kung-fu.

Volam Kung Fu is also considered a "traditional" style owing to its ancient roots. This is characterized by deep, low stances. Critics of the art point out that there are many areas of teaching the do not apply in the real world.

The art is designed to strengthen the body via forms or katas, as well as with breathing exercises. Volam Kung fu is considered a hard style, much similar to Karate or Tae Kwon Do. This is opposed to a soft or circular style like Aikido or Tai Chi.

Repetition of the breathing exercises, usually while the practitioner is in the Horse stance, develops the front thigh muscles as well as upper arms. Weight is added, in the form of copper rings, when the student is advanced enough. Usually around brown belt.

Unlike most martial arts, the student starts training as a yellow belt. This is equivalent to a white belt. Progression of the colors according to level goes as follows: Yellow, Green, Blue, Brown, Black.

Next Levels after black are depicted by a strip for every degree. 1st degree, one stripe, 2nd degree, two strips and so forth.

Generally, the first belt or level is considered the hardest due to the shear volume of things the new student must learn:

Stances which include bow and arrow, the cat stance, kneel stance, crane stance and horse stance.

The first form or kata. Of which There are 8 Main forms. A very trademark property of the Volam Kung Fu Forms is that each of the 2 forms go together. 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and so forth. Basically, what this means, is that two different practitioners can face each other directly and engage in a choreographed mock fight. For example, one student can perform form 1 directly in front of another student whom is simultaneously performing form 2. The result is a series of strikes with matching blocks from both practitioners that looks much like a dance. Not only does this make an impressive display, the simultaneous coop forms gives the student very early familiarity of the type of contact that a physical altercation can have. The synchronous movements with a different person teaches timing, tempo, and execution of techniques while keeping the practice session safe and controlled. This unique property of the art makes Vo Lam Kung Fu very hard to teach and practice fully alone.

The first animal form. Of which there are 5, dragon, snake, tiger, leopard, crane. These animal forms string together, one after the other as the student advances until all 5 animal forms are performed one after another. In effect, this becomes, almost a progressive aerobic exercise; as the animal form lengthens in relation to the knowledge of the student.

Basic striking Techniques which include hand strikes: punching, palm strikes, claw strikes and elbow strikes. And leg strikes: snap front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick, spin kick, back kick, knee, inside crescent kick, and outside crescent kick.

Grappling hand defenses. "What if" situations like: 7 ways to escape a headlock. How to escape a basic grab via joint locks, and hand/body manipulation.

Breathing exercises which include 8 deep breathing progressions as well as the 5 internal power or as stated "Noi Cong".

A student normally takes 18 months to earn his or her way past the first yellow belt. Each other belt color, with the exception of brown belt, usually takes 6–12 months. Most advances in level/color involve:

Learning another form or kata.

Adding another animal to the animal forms.

The Bo Staff Form.

This forms the core of Vo Lam Kung Fu's training. As previously stated, there are 8 total forms, 5 animal forms, and 1 Bo Staff form. This makes a total of 14 forms. The dual forms, or forms performed simultaneously with another student count for another 4 forms; making the total number of basic forms 18.

Bo staff techniques.

More Grappling Hand Defenses.

More Breathing Exercises.

Basic tumbling. Basically a cartwheel, break fall techniques, and a front shoulder roll (which is affectionately termed "the ninja roll."

The testing for level advancement is comprehensive. The student must be able to demonstrate strong familiarity with all previous teachings, techniques, forms and so forth. Actual mastery is never expected of the student, however, the brown belt level and up requires "clean" techniques.

Upon reaching black belt level, the emphasis of training moves in an entirely different direction. A normal practice session then becomes a cursory walkthrough of prior lessons. Afterward, breathing exercises, and "internal power" become the main focus of the student.

The main school in Viet Nam as of this year (2010) information can be viewed at www.volamchanhtong.com; the Grand Master - Founder of Vo Lam Chanh Tong (Ong Sau - Thien Su Doan Tam Anh) died. The current president of the school is Master Nguyen Thanh Nghiem. You can view the first and second kata on www.YouTube.com (search for Me Tong La Han).

VietKiem

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