Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wanna Fight?!

I've never set foot into a boxing ring, let alone getting near one. So a visit to Paddy's Sports Centre which is also home to the Angkor Youth Boxing Club was a treat. Here's where the Cambodian martial art of Pradal Serey or Khmer boxing is taught and where arms and legs unleash powerful blows. Was I intimidated? Well with people landing punches on bags or bodies all around me, you just pray you're not in anyone's way.

I spoke to the the director of the centre, Paddy Carson about the sport and just how popular Khmer boxing is in the kingdom. While there, Paddy introduced me to one of his trainees whom he said was Singaporean. It turned out to be Malaysian Vincent Ong who works there and takes up twice a week lessons from Paddy as a form of fitness.

Just how different is Pradal Serey from Muay Thai? Well surprise surprise! They're the same thing; just bearing different names, but I'm sure both kingdoms will claim the martial art to be their baby.

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