Martial arts and Pencak Silat in Ho Chi Minh

Hi everyone,

I'm Brenden, I am from the United States, and have been living in Saigon for about 2 years now.

I train in Okinawan Go Ju Ryu, but now that I am living in Vietnam I am very eager to learn some of the local martial arts here.  Specifically I am really interested in Pencak Silat but would also be interested in other local styles.

I am looking for a place to train (or a group to train with) that is focused more on tradition and not on competitive sport.  Someone teaching students out of their home would be ideal.  I am excited to learn about the tradition, culture, and philosophy surrounding the art.

So far I have not had much luck finding anywhere big or small that teaches Pencak Silat or any other local styles like Võ thuật Bình Định.  Does anyone know of anywhere that is teaching the local styles.  I would also be interested in meeting someone that you know who might be able to point me in the right direction too.

I am also looking forward to connecting to the local martial arts community in general and would also be interested in meeting people who also practice (maybe we can meet in a park to exchange some skills?).

Thanks a lot in advance!


Hi Brenden,

I'm afraid I don't know of any Pencak-Silat classes here in Saigon, however; it is actually an art that comes from the Philippines and Indonesia / Malaysia, not a traditional art in Vietnam. I have studied this, along with a few other arts (Kali Arnis / Escrima, Kapap and Wing Chun etc.)

The 'traditional art' here is Vovinam, which it appears your Karate background would suit - I do know of one or two places that you could pop along to (one is a lot more kick-boxing based) - other than that, other sports like Taekwondo are obviously very common here and again similar to Karate. If you are more interested in the empty hand techniques, hard and soft elements, also found in 'GoJu Ryu' - maybe Wing Chun (a number of schools here), or Kali Arnis / Silat (as there are quite a few Filipinos living here, you might get lucky) - although, for the latter, I am not aware of any locals or expats teaching these arts (at the moment..) sorry - Good luck in your quest :D


>  'traditional art' here is Vovinam,
> I do know of one or two places that you could pop along to

I will be visiting HCM at the end of March 2018 and would very much like to train in Vovinam.  My primary style is Krav Maga (Israeli MA) but I enjoy trying different styles.

Any recommendations would be helpful.


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