A former Muay Thai boxer has claimed that he was one of the two fighters demonstrating the Bokator martial art (an ancient battlefield martial art used by ancient Khmer military) seen in a Cambodian social media post promoting the sport, which one of the events in the 2023 SEA Games to be hosted by Cambodia in May.
Characterised by hand to hand combat along with heavy use of weapons, Bokator is one of the oldest existing fighting systems originating in Cambodia.
Panupong Tanjad said in his Facebook post that he is a former Muay Thai boxer and is currently a boxing trainer, with no connection whatsoever with Cambodia.
He said the picture posted on Cambodian social media was taken in an elephant village in Krapho sub-district in Thailand’s the north-eastern province of Surin. The other fighter in the picture is his younger brother.
Panupong’s post, together with the picture, carries a hashtag which reads “do not copy, do not claim, create by yourself…”, apparently in retaliation for the ongoing spat between Thailand and Cambodia over the latter’s dropping of the term “Muay” and use of “Kun Khmer” for the boxing event in the 2023 SEA Games.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the Olympic and Paralympic Committee of the United States accepted the United States Muaythai Federation as a member on January 12th.
The federation, founded in 2016, has changed its name to the USA Muaythai Federation and it is hoped that Muay Thai will be included in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028.