L’bokator master Ke Som On, 80, at his house in Kampong Chhnang province’s Rolea Ba’ier district. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

An Ancient Martial Art, Transformed by Time, War, Seeks Return to Prominence

A small number of remaining old masters are fighting to preserve Cambodian martial arts l’bokator after surviving the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. Through their passion, the martial art is slowly regaining its popularity — with some of its ritualistic and violent traditions transformed as they are passed onto younger generations.