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BINH DINH, THE LAND OF MARTIAL ARTS

Traditional Martial Arts of Binh Dinh

Martial arts has long been nurtured in the blood of people in Binh Dinh. This land has born many talented heroic people, including: Nguyen Nhac, Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Lu, Bui Thi Xuan, Vo Van Dung, Tran Quang Dieu. The Land of martial arts of Binh Dinh and Tay Son martial arts has contributed to various victories in the fights for national security and establishment, which has become a very own feature of Binh Dinh:

“Let's come to Binh Dinh to see,

The women performing martial arts”

Photo: T. D. Huy.

Traditional martial arts of  Binh Dinh has become a cultural heritage and a very unique beauty of local people. It has been recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as National Intangible Heritage in 2012.

In Binh Dinh, besides watching performances of professional teams, visitors can tour the real martial arts training of ordinary working class in rural landmarks such as “Thuan Truyen whip, An Thai move” or “An Thai boys, An Vinh girls” (Thuan Truyen is located in Binh Thuan commune, Tay Son, while An Vinh is in Tay Vinh - Tay Son commune and An Thai is in Nhon Phuc - An Nhon commune) or Long Phuoc pagoda (Phuoc Thuan - Tuy Phuoc). These are the cradles of traditional martial arts of Binh Dinh.

 

Visitors can also come to see the demonstrations of  Tay Son martial arts in Quang Trung Museum or other martial art schools such as Phan Tho (Binh Nghi - Tay Son), Hu Gang (Binh Thuan - Tay Son), Ly Xuan Hy (Ice dams - An Nhon), Phi Long Bay (Phuoc Son – Tuy Phuoc), etc... to see in your own eyes the strong and flexible moves, sword performances of boys and girls of Binh Dinh. Once in every twice year, the International festival of Vietnamese traditional martial is held in Binh Dinh.

Photo: Hua Thien.

This event attracts students of Vietnamese martial arts from all countries in the world to come gathering, sharing, performing researches to preserve and develop this traditional martial arts.

TAY SON MARTIAL MUSIC

Tay Son martial music (also called Tay Son batte drum song) is a world famous unique cultural feature and also the pride of the people of  Binh Dinh originated from Tay Son movement in the late eighteenth century.

This type of music is used to stimulate the morale of soldiers during training as well as in combat. Legend has it that Tay Son martial music played an important role in creating speedy marches and brave fights of King Quang Trung against foreign invaders.

Photo: T. D. Huy.

 

A Tay Son martial music performance requires a set of 12 drums symbolizing 12 zodiac animals or 12 months in a year. The drums are set up into 3 rows in size order. This three rows represents the three factors: Thien (Heaven), Đia (Earth), Nhan (People) (i.e. opportunity, weaknesses and strengths, and human will). The drummers will use both hands and elbows, together with 30 cm drum sticks (called "Roi"), performing martial art and the drums at the same time. When he does martial art with his hands, he can hit the 4 drums at once.

A battle drum song shall comprise 3 parts: committing troops to battle, blockading enemy’s city, and victory drumming. The drummers can make you feel the hard falling rain, the deliberate, intensity as well as the excitement of the battle. Today, the Tay Son battle drumming has become a kind of ritual music in the heritage of Vietnam.