The Cambodian Kun Lbokator Federation has recently become a member of the UNESCO-Listed Martial Arts Promotion Committee, ushering in a new era of opportunities for the promotion of Lbokator on the global stage.

Cambodia’s membership in the committee was confirmed during the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity meeting held from August 17 to 19 in Chungju, South Korea. At the same time, Cambodia took part in the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the World Martial Arts Union and the International Martial Arts Contest 2023.

Kun Lbokator fighters achieved remarkable success by winning numerous medals at the international event. Ou Dara, deputy secretary-general of the federation, led Cambodia’s representation at these events.

“The recognition as a member of the committee is a result of Kun Lbokator’s inclusion on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on November 29, 2022,“ Dara said.

Cambodia now joins the committee alongside Egypt, Turkiye, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, South Korea and Georgia. All these countries had their indigenous martial arts recognised by UNESCO previously.

“In this committee, member nations will exchange experiences and ideas, fostering the growth and revival of traditional martial arts from the UNESCO list,” Dara said, highlighting the importance of cooperation among member countries.

“Being a new member of the committee opens up greater avenues for Kun Lbokator’s global promotion,” he said, emphasising that that this milestone significantly boosts the international prominence of the federation.

During the International Martial Arts Contest 2023, ChheurnVanrith and Run Salith secured silver medals in the weapon duo category. Thuon Narak claimed fourth place in the men’s single weapon event, while Sen Safira secured fourth place in the corresponding women’s category. Pich Ponleu achieved fifth place in the bare hand single male event.

Despite a lower medal count compared to previous years, the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the World Martial Arts Union facilitated discussions on the evolution of traditional martial arts. Dara delivered a detailed overview of Kun Lbokator’s accomplishments and discussed its trajectory with overseas federation members.

He clarified that this year, the federation decided to send newer athletes to gain valuable international exposure, rather than relying on seasoned veterans. This strategic decision aims to nurture their growth and technical proficiency.

In essence, Cambodia’s journey on the global martial arts stage takes a significant leap forward through these recent developments.