The Cambodian Bokator Federation has been ramping up preparations ahead of the SEA Games where its athletes will compete in the Arnis martial arts competition against fellow martial artists from around Asean.
The impending Manila SEA Games will see the Philippines’ host an Eskrima, Kali, and Arnis competition – a sport which has many similarities to Cambodia’s national martial art of Bokator.
Arnis, also known as Kali and Eskrima, is a martial art that originated in the Philippines and was a demonstration sport when the Philippines hosted the SEA Games in 2005.
The kingdom was represented at August’s Philippine Arnis Goodwill Games and Pre-SEA Games Arnis Tournament, as well as the 2019 Chungju World Martial Arts Masterships in the republic of South Korea.
Federation coaches speaking at yesterday’s press conference to celebrate their success say that the standard of Cambodian Bokator athletes has improved since 2018 and the similarities with Arnis bode well for December.
The Philippines will host the SEA Games between November 30 to December 11.
Like Bokator, there have been campaigns for Arnis to be nominated in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
The resurgence of Bokator in recent years bodes well for the kingdom and is largely thanks to the work of the NOCC and San Kim Sean, renowned as the father of modern Bokator and credited with reviving the art. Cambodia has long pursued the fighting styles’ inclusion on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.