Thursday, February 4, 2010

Master Sport Trainer Chheang Kim Talks about His Experience

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Hok Chheang Kim, 63, one of the Cambodian sport coaches in Cambodia, provided an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on January 27, describing his sport experience as a sportsman and coach. Chheang Kim was born in Phnom Penh and he has four children, three sons and one daughter.

He is only Cambodian man who has experience in all types of sport playing such as Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Kickboxing, Boxkator, Karatedo, Judo, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Wrestling, Woshu, and Vovinam. All of his children are also trainees of Karatedo, Judo, and Taekwondo and obtained a black belt each from these sports.

“I liked training these sports since I was child and I enjoyed training all sports, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, kickboxing, Boxkator, Karatedo, Judo, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Wrestling, Woshu, and Vovinam,” he said. “I decided to train in all types of these sports because I liked them and I also wanted to become a professional boxer or coach. I am now happy because my dream became true and I am able to work with Cambodian young people in promoting the people’s health as well as sports development in Cambodia.”

The seven black belts Dan of Hapkido, Hok Chheang Kim continued to say that he has trained these sports since 1970s during the Lon Nol’s regime and he later resumed his training in 1979 after he survived from the Khmer Rouge regime. He has also been a Cambodian national coach since 1979.

Chheang Kim said that he obtained a seven black belt Dan of Hapkido from Japan in 2004; four black belt Dan of Judo; three black belts Dan of Taekwondo; and two black belts Dan of Karatedo; and one black belt Dan of wrestling in Cambodia.

“I am also happy to share my working experiences to young generation. I think that to promote the sport as well as improve people’s healthcare, I will try all my best to teach people and continue my teaching until I die,” he said.

Nowadays, Chheang Kim is very busy. He teaches wrestling for the national wrestling team at the National Sport Complex in Phnom Penh and also teaches Hapkido for the students at the PSC center located in Stung Meanchey district, Phnom Penh. He teaches over 500 trainees per day for PSC center and national wrestling in Phnom Penh.

He is now Technical Director of the Cambodian Wrestling Federation; Secretary General of the Khmer Boxkator Federation and Cambodia Vovinam Federation in Cambodia.

Chheang Kim said that since he began his teaching in 1979 over 1,000 trainees so far have come to get training with him. Some of them have become coaches working in cities and provinces across the nation and other trainees got their jobs with Cambodian government ministries, companies and non-governmental organizations.

Relating to the sports development in Cambodia, Chheang Kim said that he himself has been contributed a lot in re-establishing the martial arts in Cambodia after Cambodia was liberated from the Khmer Rouge’s regime in 1979.

In 1984, Chheang Kim established the Cambodia Judo Federation. In 1986, he formed the Cambodia Karatedo Federation and after that he also formed Cambodia Taekwondo Federation; in 1990 he formed the Cambodian Wrestling Federation; in 2000 he established Cambodia Woshu Federation; in 2004 he formed the Khmer Boxkator Federation; and 2008, he prepared the Cambodian Vovinam Federation in Cambodia.

“I have spent a lot of my time and most of my life in re-establishing and working to promote the sport my country and I have contributed to all types of sports in Cambodia,” he said. “I now think that before I am passed way, my goal is to work and push Boxkator which is Khmer traditional boxing to be developed and internationally recognized in the world.”

Chheang Kim went on to say that to conserve all type of sports, he has also written books for Cambodia’s next generations.

Naing Ravuth, one black belt Dan of wrestling and President of the Cambodian Aikido Club, praised Hok Chheang Kim’s hard work and working experiences. He said that Hok Chheang Kim has a lot of sport training experiences and also known many skills of martial arts in Cambodia.

“I have known Lok Krou Chheang Kim since 1980s when I started training wrestling, judo and Sambo at the National Sport Complex in Phnom Penh. He was a very strong man and a hard working person. He is the only Cambodian who has devoted his life to promote sports in Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a telephone interview.

Chov Sotheara, 25, a national wrestler and trainee of Hok Chheang Kim, also praised about her wrestling national coach. She said she began her training for wrestling with Master Hok Chheang Kim at the Cambodian Wrestling Federation in Phnom Penh in 2000 and sine then she now became one of the top ten national wrestlers in Cambodia.

She stated that with the wise guidance and hard coaching of Chheang Kim with her hard work and training, she won a gold medal from the 25th SEA Games in Laos in 2009. She has also won a bronze medal from the SEA Games competition in Vietnam in 2003 and one bronze medal from the SEA Games competition in Philippines in 2005.

“I have known Lok Krou Chheang Kim since 2000 when I started training with him in Phnom Penh. He is a strong and capable coach but is very friendly and gentle. I am very proud to know him and to have been one of his students. I hope he will continue his hard work in teaching Cambodian youths and I wish him all success in future,” she added. /////

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