For over 70 years, GM Van Binh has been involved in the martial arts. Under his guidance, over 70,000 students have been trained in the martial arts of which over 1,500 have attained black belts, and have won championships. The Van Binh tradition in the martial arts, however, goes back 300 years. GM Van Binh’s grandmother joined her uncle as a young lady to fight off the Chinese invaders of

Vietnam, and at the age of 70, she could still defend herself against the street trouble maker French soldiers.

GM Van Binh began his first Cong-Fu (Vietnamese spelling of Kung-Fu) lessons at the age of six under the instruction of his father and his father’s master, GM Cu Ton. In 1947, GM Van Binh’s father was killed by French soldiers, and from this point on, GM Van Binh trained with even more determination, saddened by the realization that had he been more expert in the martial arts, he might have been able to save his father from an untimely death.

At age 16, the future GM Van Binh began his Judo training at age 16 and continued in Saigon after he fled North Vietnam in 1954. During this time, he also started Aikido & Taekwon-Do trainings. He is considered a Taekwon-Do Pioneer in South Vietnam. GM Van Binh went on to be the youngest martial arts instructor in South Vietnam, where the martial arts have an ancient and glorious history.


From 1956-1959 he taught at the many high schools and university before having his own school, Judonam, then Oh Do Kwan. In 1956, he won several Judo regional championships before winning the national title. In 1964, he was on the Vietnam Judo team and fought in the light weight Judo division in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

GM Van Binh was involved in coaching the Vietnamese team in other international championships: Korea, Japan (1967), Hong Kong (1969), Mekong Judo games in Saigon (1973). From 1968 to 1975 he had contributed his life to the service as martial arts instructor officer in the South Vietnamese army.

Upon the fall of Saigon on April th, 1975, GM Van Binh chose to flee the land of his birth and of his ancestors, taking into exile his 75-year old mother, his wife, and their five children.


From 1955 to 1975, GM Van Binh owned two of the world’s largest martial arts centers with an average of 2,000 students training daily under 40 black belt instructors. Arriving in Houston in the summer of 1975, Mr. Mecome, the owner of New Orleans Saints, offered a contract to GM Van Binh to teach martial arts to the football team, applying Judo falls, Aikido evasive moves, and Taekwon-Do speed to give the team an edge over other teams.

GM Van Binh decided not to take the offer but follow his dreams of opening his own martial arts school and continued his passion teaching martial arts to this day. GM Van Binh's dream for his Self Defense Academy is that it serves in building a strong and moral generation both in body and spirit. This is obviously of paramount importance to every parent and citizen who has contemplated educational crisis of our times. A person’s discipline is woe and vexation for all and any who comes in contact with him.

GM Van Binh’s upmost ambition is to pass on the heritage of discipline and peace which he has been so fortunate to have been trained in by his own beloved Teachers and Masters.




Lan Van Binh is the eldest of the Van Binh children, born on January 15, 1963 and is the Chief Instructor at the Van Binh Self Defense Academy. Her training in martial arts began at age of three. By age 14, she was teaching martial arts. In spite of the full time dedication to the martial arts, both as a student and as an instructor, Ms. Lan has managed to attend the University of Houston, and graduated with honor. Her love of martial arts led her to train in Taekwon-Do, Aikido, Judo, and Tai Chi.


  • Chief Instructor

  • 8th degree Unified Martial Arts

  • 6th degree Taekwon-Do

  • 3rd degree Aikido

  • Bachelor of Business Administration

  • Bachelor of Accountancy

  • Started training at 5 years old

  • Over 50 years of training & teaching experience

  • Trains and teaches Taekwon-Do, Aikido, Judo, Tai Chi, Yoga

  • Local & state Taekwon-Do champion 1978-1995

  • Starts teaching at age 14

Hobbies: Yoga, meditation, arts & crafts, reading


Bruce Van Binh, the second and oldest son of Van Binh’s family, born on March 23, 1964. He started training at the age of 9. He has competed in local, state, and national competitions, and has never failed to place. The Van Binh family history in the martial arts is over 300 years old. In keeping with that rich tradition handed down from generation to generation, Bruce’s main objective in life is to work toward building a more peaceful world.

  • Education background: Doctor of Dentistry, UT Dental School

  • Former US Air Force Captain

  • Current profession: Doctor of Dentistry

  • Owner of Gentle Dental

  • Age started training in martial arts: 10

  • Local, State, and National Champions

Other hobbies: Weight lifting


  • Education:
    Bachelor of Accountancy - 1990
    Bachelor of Health Sciences- 1993
    Masters of Physical Therapy- 1995
    Doctor of Physical Therapy- 2019

  • Current Profession:
    Physical Therapy Doctor
    Executive Account Specialist at Allergan Neurosciences

  • Local, State, and National Champions

  • Started training at age 8

  • 4th degree Taekwon-Do

  • 1st degree Aikido

  • Instructor at VBSDA

  • Hobbies: movies, gardening, outdoor activities.

Special interest: Spiritual development


Quoc Van Binh, the fourth child in the Van Binh’s family, was born on September 15, 1967. He graduated from high school in the top eight percent of his class. He joined ROTC while attending University of Houston and went on to Medical School at UTHSC. He was the honor graduate of his Airborne training class at Fort Benning, Georgia and a qualified paratrooper. He was a US Army Captain upon graduate from medical school and served a tour as Brigade Surgeon in Kuwait in 1996. In 1982, he competed in the Cup Intercontinental in Quebec, Canada when he was 15. He was a silver medalist in the breaking technique event.

  • Education:
    Bachelor of Science-1991
    Doctor of Medicine-1995
    Emergency Medicine Diplomat-2006

  • Current Profession:
    Emergency Medicine Physician -Nashville, TN

  • Started training at age 8

  • 3rd degree Black Belt Taekwon-Do

  • Instructor at VBSDA

  • Local, State, and National Champions

  • Hobbies: physical fitness/weight lifting

Special interest: Exotic cars collection


Lee Van Binh is the fifth and youngest of Van Binh children, born on April 1, 1971. He came to America with the family at the fall of South Vietnam at the age of 4 and has been studying martial arts since the age of five. In the Fifth Taekwon-Do World Championship in Greece, he was the youngest competitor of the hundreds who participated and represented their respective countries of 33 in total. In this particular event he was a finalist in the pattern and breaking technique event, and distinguished himself by breaking seven pieces of wood with a side kick.

  • Education background:

    • Bachelor of Architecture 1994

    • Magna Cum Laude

  • Current profession: Architect

  • Age started training in martial arts: 5 years old

  • Local, State, and National Champions

  • Current rank: 5th degree black belt Taekwon-Do

Hobbies: History, conspiracy theories, discovering food, traveling, networking

8702 Beverly Hill Street      Houston, Texas 77063   (713) 782-3939

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