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The Bokator, the great ancient Khmer martial art
Disappear for long time ago, the fine art would never be heard and known until it is revitalized and taken to be represented. Bokator is nothing new. It is the ancient Khmer martial art, depicted in carving on the wall of Angkor Wat.
Now we will make it live again in Cambodia.” Since 2004 master has been teaching Bokator to the new generation of Khmers. “This is something to make them feel proud,” he said, “Now; they know the power of the Khmer. They know that we are capable to of doing good things, strong thing like our ancestor who built Angkor Wat. In the old day, martial arts were kept secret. During the Pol Pot regime, Khmer Rouge tried to find the martial arts master and killed them. During Vietnam Regime which fallow, learning martial Khmer art was consider illegal. Conversely, Bokator course is opened in Cambodia and start every morning till evening, six days per week.
There are about 10,000 techniques in modern Bokator, divided into forms or series of movements based on animals. The ancient master watched the animals and trees in nature and they saw they each had the way of defending themselves. The learner can be tested and ranked in the form of color Krama. A beginner wears white krama. The instructor wears the black Krama and the grand master wears the gold one. Unlike Khmer Boxing ( Bradal Serei), Bokator is an art like Apsara Dancing of singing. Bokator Students do not use medicine, but they use spirit power. The art is closely tied to the religion.“God made us with two hands comes from Buddha. The right hand comes from Brahma. Buddhism teaches us not to fight.
Therefore, when someone strikes, you block with your left hand and say, ‘Please stop’. If he strikes again, you block with the left hand and say, ‘please stop’. If he does it again you block with the left hand and strike him the right. The right hand comes from Hinduism, so the right can fight,” the master was quick to explain this is the theoretical basis for art.
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