Vietnamese man empowers local students with free martial arts lessons


Martial arts can help you lead a healthy lifestyle, but also equip you with important skills to protect yourself and other people. However, not everyone can afford martial arts lessons, and schools don’t normally teach this skill. 

That’s why university student Nguyen Thai Binh has been offering free lessons to fellow underprivileged students for the last 2 years to pass on martial arts skills to those who’re passionate about the sport.


Free Vietnamese traditional martial arts classes for underprivileged students


Saigon free martial arts class-vobinada
Image adapted from: Plo.vn

Binh is a master of the traditional Vietnamese martial art Binh Nam Dao, also known as Vobinada, that originated from Ben Tre – known as the cradle of many Vietnamese martial art forms. He’s also a student at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education

Since 2018, Binh has been running the university’s Vobinada Club where he shares his knowledge and passion about Vietnamese traditional martial arts to his fellow students. The club is situated at the back of the university dorms, and started off with only a few members. 

Aware that most students in his university were not well off, Binh decided to train them for free. Packed with detailed philosophy and lots of routine practice sessions like any other professional martial arts club, Binh’s club made Vobinada grow in popularity among local students. 

Saigon free martial arts class-vobinada
Image adapted from: Plo.vn

Students learn in a progressive manner, starting from basic to advanced classes. There are a total of 4 levels, and students must pass tests to proceed to the next level of difficulty.

Over the past 2 years, over 300 students, both male and female, have joined the club to improve their health and learn self-defense skills. 

Saigon free martial arts class-vobinada
Image adapted from: Plo.vn

Meanwhile, there are also students who joined to learn fitness skills so they can qualify for physically challenging jobs. 

Saigon free martial arts class-vobinada
Image adapted from: Plo.vn

3rd-year student Hao shared how his free lessons with Binh helped him find a part-time job to support his family.
 Saigon free martial arts class-nguyen van hao
Image adapted from: Plo.vn

“I’m an orphan. I have a younger sister who’s now living with my grandmother, so I have to juggle jobs to pay for my sister’s school fees. Receiving free yet quality training here helped me get a martial arts teaching job at a primary school. I earn VND100,000 to VND200,000 (~USD4.31-USD8.63) per class, which helps me a lot in paying for basic life expenses,Hoa said. 


Binh was a victim of domestic abuse


Saigon free martial arts class-nguyen thai binh
Master Nguyen Thai Binh
Image adapted from: Plo.vn

When asked about the reason why he took up this noble cause, Binh became emotional, “I came from a tough background and was a victim of abuse from my stepfather. Luckily, I was adopted by another family and taught martial arts.”

After growing in his skills and confidence through this sport, Binh has harbored the dream of imparting the ideals of martial arts to more people, and to use it for good. “I want to help reduce domestic abuse and school bullying,” he said.


Vietnamese martial arts teacher pays it forward by offering free lessons


Martial arts have a lot of physical and mental benefits. Not only does it help you get into tip-top shape and defend yourself against attackers, but it can also build your confidence.

Since martial arts is a sport that requires immense time, energy, and dedication to master, it’s uplifting to see Binh, a former victim of violence, freely sharing his valuable knowledge and skills with others. 

Also check out:


Cover image adapted from: Plo.vn

Enjoying The Smart Local Vietnam? Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for more stories like this.