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KFG: Leading the development and promotion of Kun Khmer

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Locals and foreigners practice at the Kingdom Fight Gym. YOUTH MATTERS

The Kingdom Fight Gym (KFG) is making a name for itself as a leading developer and promoter of Kun Khmer in Cambodia.

KFG is part of Youth Matters (YM), a Dutch non-governmental organisation devoted to improving the underprivileged youth in the Kingdom. Another affiliate of YM, KFG Travels, offer tours and activities which allow one to travel and see the highlights of Cambodia, at the same time, improve health and fitness through Kun Khmer practice.

Since its establishment two years ago in Siem Reap province, KFG has been at the forefront of training fighters and making Kun Khmer better known.

Also called Pradal Serey, Kun Khmer is an unarmed combat sport where fighters try to subdue each other using the legs, elbows, arms and other parts of the body. A competitor wins via a knockout, technical knockout or by points. Similar to kickboxing and Muay Thai, the ancient sport is in the midst of a revival after being neglected during the Civil War years.

KFG offers Kun Khmer training camps, which include two 2-hour sessions per day, group classes for kids and adults, private training with experienced coaches (active and retired fighters, local and foreigners. Besides Kun Khmer, it also offers training on Boxfit and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“Well-organised, technique-focused, family-like gym is easily accessible for all levels, from total beginners to professional fighters. Our team is kind, encouraging and supportive, no matter your age, ethnicity, gender or fitness level, you will feel at home, learn and get fit,” said co-founder Kwok Leung Tsang.

Tsang and Mark Van Dongen founded KFG in 2018.

“I would also like to emphasise what makes us different as a foreign- run gym in Cambodia is that, for us, it is not about the fighting, but creating an opportunity and building on the future. We pay our team very fair wages and for the fighters, we don’t take any cut from their fight purse and support them with expenses needed to travel and fight,” he added.

Tsang said they have an entered into a new partnership with REACH, an NGO-run school in Siem Reap. Under the partnership, YM provides free Kun Khmer training at the KFG.

“Cambodian youth are fully supported with housing, meals, English class, Kun Khmer training at KFG and a wide range of courses on hygiene, personal development, gender equality and environmental awareness,” he noted.

The stable of fighters Kingdom Fight Gym has developed and nurtured through the years has become part of almost all local bouts in the Kingdom. In addition, it has also started sending its fighters abroad to compete with their counterparts from other countries.

In February of this year, it went international for the first time by sending veterans Kong Sambo and Khon Sichan to compete in the ‘Home of Martial Arts’ in Singapore.

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