Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nang Ravuth Spends his Live To Promote Aikido in Cambodia

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Nang Ravuth, 52, was the first Cambodian person to introduce the Japanese Aikido to Cambodia in 2002. Ravuth began his training in Aikido with a veteran Japanese coach in Cambodia in 2002 and he later became the first Aikido coach in Cambodia in 2002.

Currently, Ravuth holds a 2-black belt dans of Aikido from Japan and he is now the President of the Cambodian Aikido Club in Cambodia. Ravuth has received four-black belt dans from Japan including one black belt dan of wrestling and one black belt of Sambo in Cambodia. From 1983 to 1990, he was the Cambodian National Competitor of Wrestling, Judo and Sambo, and he has attended many international competitions of wrestling, Judo and Sambo abroad.

Nang Ravuth was a former painting artist for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts from 1979 to 1990, and a graphic designer for UNESCO in Cambodia from 1992 to 2003.

“I spent almost for my life training and playing the sport in Cambodia. I am now spending from eight to nine hours training nearly 50 kids and adults every weekend in Phnom Penh and Kandal province,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. “I decided to train in the sport in order to improve my health as well as to promote the sport playing and development in Cambodia.”

“I can say that Aikido was born by the cooperation between Japan International Cooperation Assistance (JICA) and the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS),” he said. “I am the first person who brought Aikido and the first joining Aikido in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge’s terror regime but in the past I also heard that Aikido has been trained during the year 1970s.”

Relating to the history of Aikido, Ravuth described that Aikido is a modern martial art which Ueshiba Moribei (183-169) founded through mastering secrets of traditional martial techniques in Japan and deep spiritual training. He said that Aikido doesn’t rank superiority with other people so it has no match. It aims at the training of mind and body by repeating exercises according to the level of each trainee, so many can practice together regardless of age or sex. Repeating practice is not only good for health but also develops an aggressive mind for everything in our daily life.

Ravuth went on to say that now, Aikido is leveled in the world as a new human culture in the 21st Century. He pointed out that since the establishment of the Cambodian Aikido Club in 2002, over 400 Cambodian people have been trained in Aikido and another 150 Cambodians are training regularly every day in Cambodia.

He continued to say that since 2002, the Cambodian Aikido Club has had many trainees demonstrate and attend Aikido seminars in Japan as well as other countries in the region surrounding Cambodia.

Regarding his coaching, Ravuth states that nowadays he has been coaching in about seven different places, some of them international schools in Phnom Penh. He said that with financial support from JICA, he has established the ARK Toul Krasaing Aikido Club in Kandal province. There are now a total of 25 kids training and the training is free of charge.

“With good cooperation from JICA and MoEYS, I strongly hope that Aikido will expand countrywide and we plan to establish more Aikido clubs in Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanouk provinces next year,” he said. “We also plan to expand our sport activities to state school, private schools, and NGOs in Cambodia.”

To promote Aikido in Cambodia, Ravuth said that he will continue to train and coach Aikido for the people in Cambodia until he dies.

According to Nang Ravuth, there are now a total of eight Aikido clubs in Cambodia. The eight Aikido clubs include the Olympic Stadium Aikido Club, the Royal University of Law and Economics’ Aikido Club, Pour un Sourire d’ Enfant’s Aikido Club, Zamam International School’s Aikido Club, ARK Toul Krasaing Aikido Club, Siem Reap Aikido Club, and International School of Phnom Penh’s Aikido Club. ///




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