Dang Thong Phong
Dang Thong Phong was born in 1935. He started his Martial Arts career from Han Bai Duong (Vietnamese Shaolin Kung-Fu) and Judo. From 1958 he added Aikido and Taekwondo to the list of his favorite activities and he continues to follow his choices up, after almost 60 years.
After receiving his 3rd Dan in 1968 he was promoted to the post of Technical Director of the Thu-Duc Military Academy of Martial Arts and Physical Education. He also received Credentials from O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba that authorized Sensei Phong to organize and expand Aikido training in the land of Vietnam. This is when Aikido Tenshinkai Federation was founded and he’s still there to make Presidential decisions.
Not only that. Dang Thong Phong holds more posts like:
- Technical Director of the Republic of Vietnam’s Military Martial Arts Federation
- General Secretary for Vietnam Judo Federation
- General Secretary for Vietnam Taekwondo Federation
In 1975 South Vietnam felt to the hands of Communism. Phong Sensei was prisoned in re-education camps for being an Officer of Vietnam’s Armed Forces. He spent 3 years there before he made his attempts to escape the country and both times was captured.
Overall, Phong Sensei spent 7 years in prisons and after being released he constantly was trying to leave a country. 17 attempts were without success. A lot of bad stories happened to him in that period of time. In 1986, on his 18th attempt, he finally managed to move to America, where he founded Westminster Aikikai, Tenshinkai Headquarters.
Dang Thong Phong dedicated his life to Martial Arts. He highlights with proud what O-Sensei entrusted him upon. Sensei ruled a lot of seminars in the USA, Vietnam, France and Holland. He was honored to be one of those who dedicated their talents and hard work to make a Vietnam society better.
Sensei was given a responsibility to rebuild Han Bai Duong after nearly 40 years long of discontinued activities in Vietnam.
Dang Thong Phong promotion to 6 Dan was recommended by the Masatake Fujita Shihan in 1997. He also holds 6 Dan in Taekwondo, 5 Dan in Judo.