Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Cambodians demonstrate their moves during the National Bokator Championship on August 2.
From the Maori warriors of New Zealand to the lion hunters of Cambodia’s Angkorian era, as many as 30 nations will showcase the power and range of the human body at the 11th World Martial Arts Festival in the Korean city of Chungju, which starts today.
Held at the United Nations Peace Park on the site of Korean War and Donglak combat victories, the five-day event has chosen Five Thousand years of Spirit and Martial Arts as its theme this year in a unique gathering of the exponents of all disciplines, some dating back thousands of years.
Among the more exotic presentations will be Cambodia’s Bokator, which is strongly staking its claim for UNESCO recognition. Added attractions include the intriguingly named Chungju Apple marathon and lessons in making wooden swords.
A seven-member Cambodian Bokator team, accompanied by Federation President San Kim Sean, left Phnom Penh yesterday in the express knowledge that UNESCO officials will be ringside to witness their demonstration.
“It is so important that we perform well in Korea so that we can draw the attention of the world to the artistry of Bokator,” said San Kim Sean.
Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, Vath Chamroeun, will fly to Korea from Indonesia, where he attending an SEA Games Sports and Rules committee meeting, in time for today’s inauguration of the event.
The Cambodian team comprises one female performer, Eng Soumala, along with Ouk Pongbopha, Sam Tharoth, Ung Darith, Leng Buntha, Chea Sokkoung and San Angkorreach Van.