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Bokator or more formally, Labokkatao is a Cambodian martial art that includes weapons techniques. One of the oldest existing fighting systems in Cambodia, oral tradition indicates that bokator or an early form thereof was the close quarter combat system used by the armies before Angkor 1700 years ago. The term bokator translates as "pounding a lion" from the words bok meaning to pound and tor meaning lion. A common misunderstanding is that bokator refers to all Khmer martial arts while in reality it only represents one particular style.
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It uses a diverse array of elbow and knee strikes, shin kicks, submissions and ground fighting.
When fighting, bokator exponents still wear the uniforms of ancient Khmer armies. A krama (scarf) is folded around their waist and blue and red silk cords called sangvar day are tied around the combatants head and biceps. In the past it is said that the cords were enchanted to increase strength, although now they are just ceremonial.
The art contains 341 sets which, like many other Asian martial arts, are based on the study of life in nature. For example there are horse, bird, naga, eagle, and crane styles each containing several techniques.
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