Martial Arts Odyssey: Bokator: The Khmer Martial Art (Parts 1 and 2)

One of the most important episodes of "Martial Arts odyssey": Antonio spent 18 months in Cambodia trying to find even one surviving master of the Cambodian martial art of Bokator.

Watch Part 1  

Watch part 2  

His search eventually lead him to Grand Master San Kim Saen whose story of courage and suffering under the murderous Khmer Rouge regime is an inspirational taleof survival. After the end of the repressive Communist period he risked his life to rebuild the martial art and restore the Khmer heritage.

When Antonio broke the story in Black Belt Magazine it was the first time that Bokator had ever been seen by anyone outside of Cambodia. Antonio went on to study Bokator over the next several years, while coordinating several international documentary film teams and TV shows who helped promote the art throughout the world. Eventually Derek Morris and Antonio Graceffo would be the first foreigners to be awarded the Black Krama. Derek earned his instructor certificate and Black Krama in the entire Bokator system. Antonio earned Black Krama in Bokator fighting.

Khmer people find it important to show the world their art and culture. They also wish to reclaim the name, as Thai martial arts are so much more widely known and practiced in the west.

Antonio asks you to join him on send him an email or a friend request.

Antonio Graceffo is the author of five books, available on He is also the host of the web TV show, "Martial Arts Odyssey." To see Antonio Graceffo’s Burma and martial arts videos, check his YouTube channel brooklynmonk1:  

His book, "The Monk from Brooklyn" and all of his books are available on

Contact him; [email protected]  

Article written by Antonio Graceffo

Antonio Graceffo is an American travel author and adventurer, living in Asia. Antonio immerses himself in the culture of the countries and people he writes about. Antonio speaks Chinese, Khmer, Spanish, Italian, German, French, and some Thai. Now he is learning Korean. He spends his time living with tribes, learning martial arts, fighting, making movies, climbing mountains, learning languages and doing adventure sports.