Tilak Punn
Bando a self-defense martial art from Burma. The earliest meanings of Bando were "self-discipline, self-development, and self-improvement. Later, it came to mean, "self-protection, or self-defense". Bando includes the empty-hands methods and animal forms: eagle, bull, cobra, panther, monkey, and boar. There are a number of schools and styles.

The main branches are:

1. Nan twin thaing (Royal Palace style)

2. Pyompya thaing (School of the ”hard-soft way”)

3. Neganadai thaing (Snake style)

4. Shan thaing, a martial art influenced by Chinese styles (Shan province is close to the Chinese border).

Bando's origins are closely linked to Buddhist temples and their teachings, the temples also traditionally functioned as educational centres. People from India, such as those who preached Buddhism, brought their culture and martial arts to the Himalayas and Southeast Asia. The Chinese whom the Burmese once regarded as kin also influenced Burmese culture. The mix of Chinese and Indian martial arts, particularly the animal styles were what originally gave birth to bando.

Training levels
All bando schools start off by teaching the basic stances and the footholds. This preliminary stage of training lasts for several months and in some cases the first stage may continue for years, depending on the instructor or the style of bando being taught. In the second stage of training, the bando student has to go through a series of blocking and parrying techniques. At the end of this stage, the student is fairly well equipped for defending himself against unarmed attackers, but he cannot be regarded as a full-fledged fighter. The final stage involves the learning of offensive techniques. Before the student learns these techniques, the master makes sure that he will not abuse his knowledge. This cautious attitude towards the learning of the martial arts was probably derived from the Chinese tradition of martial arts instruction. There have been many cases of students abusing their acquired skills to the extent that sometimes the masters are threatened.

Despite the Chinese influences, Bando is credited as a style of armed and unarmed combat native to Burma. It is an assimilation of Karate-like striking and kicking techniques, Judo-like throwing techniques, swordplay and fighting with knives, spears and sticks. There are numerous interpretations of the term Bando, and different linguistic and ethnic groups hold to diverse translations. It is generally interpreted in three ways:

1. "way of discipline"
2. "systems of self-defense"

3. "art of fighting or combat"

Some Bando groups have combined all three translations in one, making it similar to the Japanese term Budo (stop conflict), the Chinese word Wu Shu (war art), or the English terms military arts or martial arts. Some etymologists believe the term Bando derives from Chinese, while others claim Indian or even Tibetan origins. Bando is also called "Thaing."

There are many styles of Bando, but most follow basic instructional patterns. The art emphasizes initial withdrawal followed by an attack outside the opponent's reach. All parts of the body are employed in these attacks, and once the initial technique is delivered, grappling and locking techniques are used. Techniques are learned first through formal exercises in some systems and only later through sparring.

When the Japanese invaded Burma in 1942, they encouraged the practice and proliferation of Bando and influenced it by exchanging techniques from Judo, Jujutsu, and Aikido. After World War II, Bando was furthered through a large number of competitions.

Bando was introduced in the U.S. by Dr. Maung Gyi, a college professor who began teaching the art on April 3, 1960, in Washington, D.C. Later, Bando classes were formally conducted at American University until the fall of 1966. Dr. Gyi organized the American Bando Association on June 15, 1968, at Ohio University. Members present at this initiation ceremony took a blood oath.

The International Bando Association was officially formed on March 9, 1946, by U Ba Than, then director of physical education and athletics for the Union of Burma. The IBA was organized in honor of those servicemen who fought and died in the China-Burma-India theater of World War II.
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1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    I thought his name was U Ba Than Gyi?