BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
Sovan Kiri, 27, is the only Cambodian youngest Karate-Do Coach who has a five-black belt Dan in Cambodia. He has four siblings including two brothers and two sisters and he is the second brother in his family. His father is Master Trainer named Lach Chan Sovan who has a six-black belt Dan and is also veteran coach and President of the Cambodia Karate-Do Federation (CKF).
Kiri started training his Karate-Do skills with his father, Master Trainer Lach Chan Sovann who is the veteran coach in Cambodia since he was seven year olds.
“I began training Karate-Do skills with my father since I was seven year-old. I decided to train Karate-Do with my father because I want to improve my health as well as to become a famous Karate-Do fighter or coach in Cambodia in the future. I am now happy because I have achieved my goal and I have also my own club to train the people in Phnom Penh,” Kiri said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly.
Kiri pointed out that firstly he started training Karate-Do in 1990 in Cambodia and from 2004-2005, he was sent to train Karate-Do in Japan and obtained four-black belt Dan. In 2009, he passed another black belt Dan from Cambodia Karate-Do Federation in Cambodia. He said that his Karate-Do skills included both fighting and showing subjects.
He added that due to his hard work, he recently passed Karate-Do referee and judge certificates from Cambodia Karate-Do Federation in Cambodia.
He continued to say that besides holding these functions above, he is now the Coach Assistant of the National Karate-Do Selection Team in the Cambodia Karater-Do Federation in Cambodia. He is also a Coach of his own club named “Club Chumroeun Cheat” or “National Selection Karate-Do Club” in Phnom Penh.
“My own Karate-Do Club was established in 2002 and my club is located in the National Stadium in Phnom Penh,” he said. “Now, there are a total of 62 trainees including 50 males and 12 females in his club.”
He added: “I am happy as my dream become true and I am now becoming an experienced trainer and have my own Karate-Do club to train people especially children and youths in Cambodia. I think that to promote the sport especially Karate-Do, I will continue to update my Karate-Do training skills and also continue to train people until I am retired.”
Since Sovan Kiri has been training Karate-Do so far, he had been attended many Karate-Do competitions both national and international tournaments. And as results he received many medals from his tournaments inside and outside the country.
Relating to his siblings, Sovan Kiri said that his younger and elder brothers and sisters have also trained Karate-Do with his father. They had obtained at least three-black belt Dan each but they now stopped training because they have other works to do besides Karate-Do training.
Phan Dydalen, 13, who has received training Karate-Do with Sovan Kiri since early 2010 in Phnom Penh, said that Sovan Kiri is the only qualified young and experienced Karate-Do trainer in Phnom Penh.
“I am happy and I am also proud because I have trained Karate-Do with Lok Krou Sovan Kiri who is handsome and has a lot of experiences and abilities in coaching Karate-Do. I hope that with his coaching, I will become a future good trainer like him and will receive a black medal from him,” she told The Southeast Asia Weekly.
She added that Savan Kiri is friendly and gentle but is very strict during his training. He is very kind for all his Karate-Do trainees in the club.
Kim Leng, a yellow-black belt and Karate-Do trainee, said that Lok Kru Sovan Kiri was a qualified and capable coach.
“I have known Lok Kru Sovan Kiri in 2004 when I started training Karate-Do with him in Phnom Penh. He is a strong and capable coach but is very friendly and gentle. I like training with him very much and I wish him all the best of good luck and success in the future,” he said. ///