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Vietnamese martial arts are influenced by efforts to defend the country from foreign threats and also by the people whom Vietnam conquered (Champa). The most influential in the country's martial arts is China with its thousand-year occupation of Vietnam. But through thousands of years of internal, civil strife: dynastic changes (dynasties), foreign conquests, warlordism and guerrilla tactics, the Vietnamese martial artists used what they learned from their neighbors and evolved a unique form of martial arts.
The martial arts were used by Vietnamese kings to train their troops and to defend the country against enemies. In addition to the army, family clans and Buddhist temples cultivated a variety of styles to defend themselves in national disputes.

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