Youth of the week: Khun Yok Seang

Youth of the week: Khun Yok Seang

Like many of our readers, Khun Yok Seang is busy studying and helping support her family from dawn to dusk, and continues to work hours after the sun goes down. But, unlike most of her peers, she spends her weekend kicking butt.

The 16 year-old, who splits her time between classes at the Australia Education Centre (ACE) and Baktouk High School in Phnom Penh during the day, and selling clothes at her family’s stall or O’Russei Market in the evening, lets it rip on the weekends. She has already gained recognition as one of Cambodia’s top young Bokator fighters.

The fighting style, which dates back more than 1,000 years to the Angkorian warriors, has been practised by men throughout Cambodia’s history. But it has only recently caught on among young woman at places like Pannasastra University of Cambodia, where Khun Yok Seang got her start.

Now a member of the Reach Prek Bokator Club, she trains for four hours a week and she recently received a gold and silver medal at the 2010 Cambodian National Bokator Championships.

Before becoming a champ, Khun Yok Seang had already fallen in love with the sport that her brother suggested she learn to protect herself while walking alone. She said she stuck with it for the chance to learn about Cambodia’s culture, protect herself and most importantly be a healthier person.

Khun Yok Seang said she is a fairly good student when it comes to academics, but she is seemingly prodigal when it comes to Bokator; taking only 11 months to train before gaining her title as Cambodia’s top young female fighter.

“The first week of learning Bokator was tough, but after nearly one year of practicing, I am feeling good” she said. “You have to remember everything in the lessons, otherwise you will get lost.”

In Bokator, the top fighters wear a black scarf. While Khun Yok Seang still has years of practise and many more scarves to obtain (there are six in all) before she reaches the pinnacle of the sport, she is optimistic about her future as an athlete. “I will train and train until I reach the Krama Khmau (the black scarf) level as a top Bokator fighter,” she said.


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not