The presentation of famed Cambodian martial art form Bokator left the audience spellbound at the World Martial Arts Festival in the South Korean city of Chungju earlier this month, as the Kingdom’s six performers secured second spot for their demonstration.
Although the top prize, which went to the team from Uzbekistan, eluded the Cambodian squad they were more than happy to be runners-up.
“More than the prize, we successfully showcased Bokator to the world as the only martial art form which involves both art and combat,” said Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia who witnessed the breathtaking performance at Chengdu’s United Nations Peace Park.
“I am so proud of how well our team performed. Now people all round the world know that Bokator is one of the oldest martial arts, and our case for getting Bokator its due as UNESCO heritage property has been strengthened,” he added.
“What made the presentation so riveting was the ancient music which accompanied the moves. It was almost like recreating the old glory of Angkorian civilization.”
Another major development is also working to the Kingdom’s advantage. The World Martial Arts Union, of which Cambodia is a member, has assumed an advisory role with UNESCO, and it should now be easier for the Bokator federation to lay out their claims for heritage status through the power of the union.