View Full Version : "Aikido master still teaching after 50 years"

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07-21-2008, 11:12 AM
Posted 2008-07-21 10:12:21 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/dang-aikido-vietnam-2097868-years-martial

Here is an article entitled "Aikido master still teaching after 50 years" (http://www.ocregister.com/articles/dang-aikido-vietnam-2097868-years-martial) which highlights Dang Thong Phong sensei of Tenshinkai Aikido (Westminster Aikikai) in Westminster, CA. The article describes his efforts to have Vietnam recognized by the Aikikai Foundation, his and his brother Dang Throng Tri's experiences in aikido, and the anniversaries he is celebrating this weekend -- 50 years of aikido in Vietnam (introduced to the country by his brother), 40 years since the founding of the first aikido association in Vietnam, and 20 years of teaching in Westminster himself.

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07-21-2008, 07:26 PM
Teaching for fifty years or more is pure passion and dedication to aikido!

Nafis Zahir
07-21-2008, 11:46 PM
I hope that I'll still be training after 50 years!

07-22-2008, 05:03 AM
Very excellent article. Thank you for posting it.

An excellent teacher of an excellent style. The man is as understated off the mat as he is powerful on it.

07-23-2008, 10:07 PM
If I read that right, he hasn't been teaching for 50 years - I think the headline is a tad sensational. Even so, teaching for 40 years is quite an achievement in itself and there should have been no need for the sensationalist spin.

But what got me was not that he had been teaching for that long, but that despite the claim that Ueshiba himself conferred a sandan ranking, a personal commission and a dojo name, Vietnam remains unrecognized by Hombu to this day.

Chuck Clark
07-24-2008, 01:01 AM
I hope that I'll still be training after 50 years!

"Don't Quit... and Don't Die." Time passes quicker than you think. :eek:


07-24-2008, 09:58 AM
Vietnam remains unrecognized by Hombu to this day.
It is my understanding that the original recognition of Aikido in Vietnam by the Aikikai Hombu was directly to Phong Sensei and the International Tenshinkai Aikido Federation with the sponsorship and support of the Secretary General Fujita Sensei. There has been some troubles in communication and contact since Phong Sensei immigrated to the United States, but great efforts and progress was being made to maintain or reestablish that affiliation. It has been difficult due to the political climate in Vietnam. If you would like, I can forward your concerns directly to Phong Sensei for clarification and comment.

BTW, IMHO, I have found most of the claims about Phong Sensei were understatements. He has great respect in the Aikido community.

07-25-2008, 05:00 PM
2nded. He is a great teacher, always have a good time when I'm there. He always have a welcoming attitude. He is very nice and calm, yet a powerful teacher. Whenever I'm there I usually forget about my problems and have fun and always feel at home.

Scott Howard
08-11-2008, 05:54 PM
Ignatius , you are a bit mis informed........

The name Tenshinkai was in fact given to Sensei Phong and the Vietnamese people....as i have seen the document myself

Vietnam is recognized by Hombu Dojo...and they have been sending delegations there for many years now....begining with Nakazono Sensei and Tamura Sensei in the 1960s..........much thru the efforts of Sensei Phong , Masatake Fujita Shihan as welll as others.Aikido has continiued.........Viet Nam is not yet a member of the IAF....but again Viet Nam is still a communist government....and activities like Aikido are under the sports administry in Viet Nam.....and much is still about money.

We are hopefull that Viet Nam will one day be IAF Members

I guess if you have not visited Viet Nam before you may not understand how things work there.......but thru the efforts of Phong Sensei and others in Viet Nam.....Aikido has flourished and grown much over the last 15 years.

Sensei Phong is a true leader and remarkable in his efforts to promote Aikido both here and in Viet Nam.

Sensei Phong and his Brother Tri Dang who passed away many years ago now....are forever immortalized Martial Artist in Viet Nam

08-11-2008, 07:13 PM
Um... no... I'm only echoing what the article said:

But even as he honors the past, Dang's heart strains to complete unfinished work: helping Vietnam's aikido organizations gain recognition from the world headquarters, the Zaidan Hojin Aikikai Foundation, based in Tokyo.
By 1986, when Dang fled to the United States, the Tokyo-based aikido group no longer recognized Vietnam as part of its association.
The Vietnamese aikido federation is still not recognized – as it was 40 years ago – by the world headquarters.

But thanks for clarifying anyway... perhaps you would like to contact the author of the article and tell them their facts are inaccurate.

08-12-2008, 08:18 PM
i have seen the document myself
Osu Scott,

Long time no train together. Hope you and yours are safe, healthy, and happy.

Rei, Domo.

08-12-2008, 08:20 PM
perhaps you would like to contact the author of the article and tell them their facts are inaccurate.
Excellent idea.
Consider it done.

08-12-2008, 10:33 PM
I meant that in earnest Lynn... if it ain't right, then it needs to be set right.

08-13-2008, 11:38 AM
I meant that in earnest Lynn... if it ain't right, then it needs to be set right.
Taken as such.
I sent an e-mail to the author.