Federations in the world
Vovinam is not a style where absolute unity reigns in the countries where it is taught. Some countries have several national Vovinam groups within the same country. These groups do not get along and do not collaborate with each other.
At the international level, Vovinam is also divided into several organizations or groups. None of them should be criticized in particular because they all do an excellent job in spreading the Vovinam style.
The only negative point is that they can't understand (or don't want to accept) that if they all joined together we would be stronger and have a more serious image as a martial art in the world.
But the problem, which has been going on since the early 1970s, is much more complicated than it seems: it involves political tensions, resentments caused by the Vietnam War and its tragic political, social and human consequences for the Vietnamese people, and it is likely that these problems of disunity will continue for a long time.
The most important international organizations are, listed in order of preference:
- The European Vovinam Movement (EVM), which was founded in 1984 by Master Trang Phuc Duoc and was recognized by Master Patriarch Lê Sáng in 1993. This international grouping has 5 member countries and strictly follows the To Duong teaching program. They do not hold official competitions.
- The Intercontinental Vovinam Federation, founded in 1996 by Patrick Levet as the Intercontinental Vovinam Association (IVVDA), which had 30 member countries. It then asked its member countries to join the World Vovinam Federation (WVVF) gradually from 2009.
- The World Federation of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, whose concept dates back to 1997 in Europe (from the will of the late Master Tran Huy Phong), and whose most charismatic leader is Master Tran Nguyen Dao, a character who has contributed much to the development of Vovinam in the world. This federation is the one that has the most Vietnamese Masters members outside Vietnam.
- The International Vovinam Federation (IVF) which was created in Vietnam in 2008 with a majority of countries of the Intercontinental (IVVDA). But this International Vovinam Federation did not live long and was dissolved to form another entity (see next paragraph).
- The World Vovinam Federation (WVVF) which succeeded the one mentioned above in 2009. It has the support of the Vietnamese Olympic Committee. It has started an expansion of Vovinam in Asia with great ministerial support and has significant financial budgets.
But there are other federations or groupings that exist (in Europe, Africa, Asia, etc.)