Khmer Boxing

Description of Khmer Boxing

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Khmer boxing is another name for the unarmed full-contact martial art better known as Pradal Serey where Pradal means "fighting/boxing" and Serey means "free".It may also be referred to as Kun Khmer. It originated from Cambodia and is one of their national sports. There are four types of strikes in Pradal Serey. These are punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes. Clinches are also used in the martial art. Khmer Boxing is well-known for emphasis on using elbow strikes and its kicking tecnhiques that gets its power from hip rotation. The moves have been slightly altered, however, in order to comply with modern rules.

Pradal Serey was originally used for warfare during the history of fighting in Southeast Asia. Yuthakun Khmer Khom, an early form of Pradal Serey was used when waging war. The main enemy of the Khmer empire at that time was Champa, a Vietnam-based kingdom and Siam, now Thailand. Using this martial art along with weapons and war elephants allowed them to dominate and control most of what we now know as Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. However, during the colonial period, Europeans considered these kinds of martial arts to be brutal and barbaric and had them turned into a sport. They included rules like Western boxing such as a ring, gloves and rounds. This lessened injury and violence.

Neak Pradal is the term used to refer to Cambodian boxers. They are often those who compete in the sport in order to earn money for their basic needs. Originally, the pay for the Neak Pradal used to come from the crowd and was dependent on how impressive their efforts are. They could be rewarded by various things such as food, alcohol or cash. While this is still practiced today, competitors get paid per bout. The amount a Neak Pradal can earn depends on experience where new competitors can earn around US$25 per fight while the most popular ones can get even up to US$250 per fight. Some may even earn up to US $1000 or higher for international tournaments.

While the price range would be enough for a person to fight and give it his all, one must also consider health risks. Studies show that 30 kick boxers have sustained serious injuries in the past 5 years. Although most injuries are curable, constant injury may lead to permanent and life-changing negative effects. It is important to be careful so as not to receive the same injury multiple times as well as to be able to have a proper sense of judgement on whether to stop or go on.

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