What is Vietnam’s national sport?

According to popular curiosity, many individuals often wonder about Vietnam’s national sport. Vietnam, a country rich in cultural heritage and diverse traditions, has a fascinating history of sports. In this article, we will delve into the deep-rooted traditions and explore the unique national sport that represents the spirit and identity of Vietnam. Discover the answer to the question, "What is Vietnam’s national sport?" as we uncover the captivating world of Vietnamese sports.

History of sports in Vietnam

Traditional Vietnamese sports

Vietnam has a rich history of traditional sports that dates back centuries. These sports have played a significant role in the cultural and social fabric of the country. Traditional Vietnamese sports are deeply rooted in the daily lives of the people and often reflect their values and traditions.

One prominent traditional sport in Vietnam is Đá cầu, also known as shuttlecock kicking. It involves players using their feet, knees, or other body parts to keep a feathered shuttlecock in the air. This sport requires agility, balance, and precision, making it a popular form of physical exercise and entertainment.

Another traditional sport that holds great cultural significance is Vovinam. Vovinam is a Vietnamese martial art that combines self-defense techniques, graceful movements, and philosophical principles. It emphasizes discipline, respect, and the harmonious balance between body and mind. Vovinam has not only become a popular sport in Vietnam but also gained international recognition.

Influence of colonialism on sports

During the colonial period, Vietnam was under the influence of various foreign powers, including the French. The French colonization had a significant impact on the sports scene in Vietnam. The French introduced sports like football, tennis, and cycling, which quickly gained popularity among the Vietnamese.

Football, in particular, became a beloved sport in Vietnam during the colonial era. The French introduced the sport to the Vietnamese population, and it soon became a national obsession. Today, football is the most popular sport in Vietnam, with a passionate fan base and a strong presence in both local and international competitions.

Introduction of modern sports

With the introduction of modern sports during the colonial period, Vietnam witnessed a shift in its sports culture. The adoption of Western sports brought about new opportunities for Vietnamese athletes to compete internationally and showcase their talent on a global stage.

Over the years, Vietnam has excelled in various modern sports disciplines, including athletics, swimming, boxing, and martial arts. Vietnamese athletes have represented the country in numerous international sporting events, such as the Olympics, Asian Games, and Southeast Asian Games.

The blending of traditional Vietnamese sports with modern sports has created a diverse sports landscape in Vietnam. Today, the country takes pride in its rich sporting heritage, embracing both traditional and modern sports as integral parts of its national identity.

Popular sports in Vietnam

Football (soccer)

Football, also known as soccer, is one of the most popular sports in Vietnam. It has a massive following and a rich history in the country. Vietnamese people are passionate about football and it is played at various levels, from amateur to professional.

The Vietnam national football team has achieved significant success in recent years, making it to the finals of major tournaments such as the AFC Asian Cup. The local football leagues, such as the V.League 1, attract a large number of spectators and have a dedicated fan base.


Badminton is another widely played and popular sport in Vietnam. It is a racquet sport that can be played both indoors and outdoors. Badminton courts can be found in schools, parks, and sports clubs throughout the country.

Vietnamese badminton players have made their mark internationally, participating in prestigious tournaments and earning medals. The sport is not only enjoyed at the competitive level but also as a recreational activity among friends and family.

Table tennis

Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is a popular recreational and competitive sport in Vietnam. It is played both indoors and outdoors, with dedicated facilities available across the country.

Vietnamese table tennis players have excelled on the international stage, winning medals in various tournaments. The sport attracts enthusiasts of all ages, and it is not uncommon to see people playing table tennis in parks or community centers.

In addition to football, badminton, and table tennis, Vietnam also has a diverse range of other popular sports such as martial arts, volleyball, basketball, and swimming. The country’s love for sports is evident in the participation and support it receives from people of all walks of life.

Vietnam’s national sport

Traditional martial arts

Vietnam has a deep-rooted history of traditional martial arts that have been practiced for centuries. These martial arts not only serve as a means of self-defense but also embody the rich cultural heritage of the Vietnamese people. Traditional martial arts in Vietnam are considered an integral part of the nation’s identity and have gained recognition worldwide.

Vovinam – Vietnam’s official martial art

Vovinam, also known as Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, is the official martial art of Vietnam. It was founded in the 1930s by Master Nguyen Loc, with the aim of combining different martial art techniques into a comprehensive system. Vovinam encompasses both armed and unarmed combat techniques, including punches, kicks, throws, joint locks, and weapon skills.

Vovinam has gained popularity not only within Vietnam but also internationally. It is known for its fluid and graceful movements, emphasizing speed, flexibility, and precision. Vovinam practitioners are trained to develop physical strength, mental discipline, and self-confidence.

The Vietnamese government has supported the development and promotion of Vovinam as the national martial art by establishing various training centers and organizing national and international competitions. Vovinam has also been included in international sporting events such as the Southeast Asian Games and the World Martial Arts Games, further solidifying its status as Vietnam’s official martial art.

Other popular martial arts

In addition to Vovinam, Vietnam is home to various other popular martial arts that have a significant following among enthusiasts. Some of these martial arts include:

  1. Binh Dinh Quy Nhon: Originating from the Binh Dinh province, this martial art focuses on hand strikes, kicks, and throws. It incorporates elements of both armed and unarmed combat.

  2. Vo Co Truyen: Vo Co Truyen is a traditional Vietnamese martial art that combines techniques from different styles, including Kung Fu and Tai Chi. It emphasizes fluid movements, breathing techniques, and self-defense skills.

  3. Vietnamese boxing: Also known as Vat, this martial art is a form of boxing unique to Vietnam. It involves striking techniques using fists, elbows, knees, and shins.

  4. Cuong Nhu: Cuong Nhu is a hybrid martial art that combines elements from various disciplines, including Karate, Judo, Aikido, and Wing Chun. It focuses on self-defense, fitness, and personal development.

These martial arts reflect the diversity and richness of Vietnam’s combat traditions. They serve as a testament to the Vietnamese people’s dedication to preserving their heritage and promoting physical fitness and self-discipline. Whether it’s through Vovinam or other traditional martial arts, Vietnam continues to nurture and celebrate its national sport.

According to this article, it is clear that Vietnam’s national sport is đá cầu, also known as Vietnamese footbadminton. This traditional game combines aspects of both soccer and badminton, requiring skill, agility, and teamwork. With a long history and deep cultural significance, đá cầu holds a special place in the hearts of the Vietnamese people. As the national sport, it serves as a symbol of national pride and unity, reflecting the rich sporting heritage of Vietnam.

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