BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
Chan Chean, 38, is the only Cambodian female Judo coach who received the 3rd Dan Black Belt of Judo in Cambodia. She was born in 1972 in Phnom Penh and she has seven siblings with three brothers and four sisters. She is the fourth daughter who received Judo training in her family.
The Khmer female Judo Chan Chean is married with one son and one daughter. Her husband, Lach Vuthy, 42, and all of their children are trainees of the Judo coach. Vuthy obtained a fourth Dan black belt and he teaches the national Judo team with his wife at the National Stadium Complex in Phnom Penh.
Chean received the Third- Level Dan Black Belt from the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan in 2006 and currently the trainer and coach of the national Judo team of Cambodia, She started her training with a veteran Judo coach in Phnom Penh in 1983.
“I like to receive training in all the sports especially Karateo Habkido, Judo and Khmer traditional boxing but Judo is the one that I preferred because it is a gentle sport for me.
I am now happy because my dream has become true and I am able to train Cambodian and foreign students and promote the people’s health and sport in Cambodia,” she said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on April 23.
Chean started training for Judo since childhood. She decided to study Judo because she wanted to improve her health as well as for protection of herself and to become a professional Judo boxer or Judo coach in Cambodia.
“I decided to study Judo because I wanted to improve my health; to protect myself from any kind of violence; to become a professional Judo boxer or Judo coach in Cambodia,” she said. “I think that to promote and develop the sports especially Judo in Cambodia, I will continue to study and train more young people until I am retired.”
She stated that she started coaching Judo in Phnom Penh in 2003 and until today she has been training over 100 Cambodians and foreign students in Cambodia.
Nowadays, Chean is very busy as she teaches of over 100 trainees per day for Cambodian Judo Federation (CJF) and other private schools in Phnom Penh. She has competed in many nationwide Judo competitions and international Judo competitions and she won one bronze medal form SEA Games competition in 1997 in Indonesia, and also won another silver medal from the international Judo Championships in Vietnam in 2003.
She said that currently, besides coaching her trainees in Cambodia she has also been serving as an international Judo referee of the International Judo Federation Continental Referee in Bangkok, Thailand. She stated that she attended the International Judo Federation Continental Referee competition in Bangkok in Thailand and gained an IJF Continental Referee Certification in 2005.
“I want to gain the four-level Dan of Judo in the future. To achieve my goal I am now training very hard every day in order to prepare for my Judo competitions and to pass another black Judo Dan from the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan in future. I hope that with my well preparation and hard training, I will win the fourth-Level Dan of Judo in Japan in the near future,” she said.
She stated that in order to improve her Judo skills, she plans to continue her own training and attend Judo competitions in Japan so she can compete with foreign fighters and gain the four-level Dan in the future. She added that to promote and develop the Judo sport in Cambodia, she will continue to train and coaching the Cambodian people until she is retired.
Lach Vuthy, a fourth-level black Dan of Judo, a National Judo Team Coach, and Chan Chean’s husband, has appreciated with Chan Chean’s hard works and capacity. He said that Chan Chean is the only Cambodian female qualified Judo Coach who has received a Third Dan Black Belt of Judo from the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo in Japan.
“I am very pleased and honored that I have a good wife in this life. Chean is not only the Khmer female Third Dan Black Belt of Judo in Cambodia and is a good Judo coach but she is the very good wife of mine and the very good mother of two children. As her husband, I will support her and encourage her to train Judo and to attend the Judo competitions in Japan in order to gain the fourth-Dan Black in the future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a telephone interview.
He added that Chan Chean is his own Judo consultation and is the only female qualified and experienced Judo coach for the Cambodian Judo Federation in Cambodia.