Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Master leaves l’bokator venue




Master leaves l’bokator venue

Gold-krama-wearing Bokator grandmaster San Kimsean.
Gold-krama-wearing Bokator grandmaster San Kimsean. Yeun Ponlork

Master leaves l’bokator venue

Less than a month after opening, a Siem Reap restaurant and club showcasing the Cambodian martial art of l’bokator has dismissed its most visible partner.

Grandmaster San Kimsean, the founder of the Bokator Academy and the Bokator Federation, is no longer involved in the club, citing a dispute with the owner over the pay provided to fighters.

At a grand opening event on May 18, featuring l’bokator performances and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Kimsean told The Post the venue would be a place to give fighters opportunities to earn money while also spreading knowledge of the sport. Since then, however, he said that disagreements arose over their pay, while a manager at the restaurant accuses Kimsean of recruiting unqualified fighters for matches.

According to the manager, Pich Veasna, there will still be l’bokator matches at the venue on Saturdays.

“The fighters he brought were inexperienced and could not give us good matches. We could not sell the ticket to the customer to see such matches,” Veasna said.

Kimsean said that he brought fighters to his academy to train intensively for one month.

“They are young and inexperienced, but we are training them to be skilled,” he said, adding that most professional fighters in the country have left to work in other countries. “On the inauguration day, there were only two matches, but I brought quite good fighters. In the next competition, the fighters were young and inexperienced and the restaurant was not happy with the matches. How could we turn them into the pros in just one month?”

Because the owner was unhappy with the quality of the fighting, Kimsean said, he planned to only pay fighters half of their normal fee if the matches were unsatisfactory.

“They [the restaurant] told me if the fighters could not deliver a good match, their pay will be half deducted . . . The restaurant was the one to decide which match is good or bad,” he said. “We did not see eye to eye.”

Club manager Veasna, however, contended that the fighters were paid fairly. “He brought only 15 fighters from Phnom Penh and other clubs, which was not enough, and the matches are always fought by the same faces,” he said. “We paid them in full, but what he did could embarrass us.”

 

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: antibiotics cause more deaths

    Increased antibiotics use in combating the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming

  • Children in poverty said to rise by 86M

    The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children warned that if urgent measures are not taken, the number of children living in poverty across low- and middle-income countries could increase by 86 million, a 15 per cent jump, by the end of the year. In

  • PM slams HRW ‘double standards’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has chided Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia director Brad Adams for keeping quiet over protest crackdowns in the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Addressing reporters while inspecting infrastructure development in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday,

  • Four more UN troops infected by Covid virus

    Four more Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers in Mali have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Cambodian UN peacekeepers to 10. National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War deputy director-general and spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Tuesday

  • Huge tracks of undocumented land a concern for registration officials

    Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith expressed concern that land registration plans for residents scheduled to be completed by late 2021 could not be achieved because 80 per cent of the land had not been registered. Land dispute issues are a major factor that poses a

  • Bank robber of $6M asks to be released

    An accused bank robber who admitted to stealing $6 million has asked the Supreme Court to release him temporarily because he had returned the money. In a court hearing on Tuesday Chan Simuntha, 39, told the judge that on January 18, his wife Teang Vathanaknearyroth told him that