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Vietnamese Teens Fight Gaming Addiction With Martial Art

In Vietnam, sports have become part of the treatment for a range of youth addictions.

A school in Vietnam has taken in more than 300 teens suffering from depression, as well as addictions to gaming, alcohol and drugs—treating them through the practice of Vovinam, a nearly 90-year-old martial art known for drawing its inspiration from Kung Fu.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the “tough love” live-in school, known as the Research Institute for Vovinam and Sport Development (IVS), now has five campuses and treats kids aged 13-19 with a rigorous schedule of academics, sport practice, and music lessons.

While no official statistics on gaming addiction numbers exist, paediatric psychiatrist Lam Hieu Minh told AFP that he’s seen “a rise” in the number of kids tethered to their phone and computer screens in recent years. He also sees physical activity as an important part of helping struggling teens “get healthy entertainment and meet friends.”

More than 10 million people in Vietnam have smartphones, and online games like League of Legends and Dota are increasingly popular.

Sixteen-year-old An is now a student at IVS but once played League of Legends up to 18 hours a day.

“I practise (Vovinam), exercise, so my health is getting better. Maybe that’s helping my emotions getting better too,” she said.

Read the full article on Vovinam as a treatment tool here: How Vietnamese youth are kicking their gaming addiction with martial art

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