Cambodian New Year was celebrated in Long Beach, Calif. Sunday with a parade whose grand marshal was longtime, local kickboxing instructor and former Cambodian national champion Oum Ry Ban. Ban, 79, was known for his “atomic knee” strikes when he reigned supreme in the early 1970s in pradal serey, a kickboxing form similar to muay Thai but which Cambodians like to claim actually predates the better known Thai boxing.
Ban was forced to flee his homeland when the Khmer Rouge came to power and began a campaign of genocide that killed 2 million people in the 1970s. He eventually settled in Long Beach, which has the largest population of Cambodians outside the country, itself. Ban became a mainstay of the community opening his Khmer Kickboxing Center in 1987.
Kickboxing, News, Kickboxing news
Black Belt Magazine
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