180px-Bando2005Bando (Burmese: , pronounced: [bà?dò]) is a defensive unarmed martial art from Myanmar. Bando is sometimes mistakenly used as a generic word for all Burmese martial arts but it is actually just one system, while Burmese fighting systems collectively are referred to as thaing.


Eagle style

As with most Asian martial arts, all bando schools start off by teaching the basic stances and footwork. This preliminary stage of training traditionally lasts for several months, although many instructors today avoid doing so. In the second stage of training, a series of blocking and parrying techniques is taught. Bando prioritises defense over offense so that the student will be able to protect themselves should the need arise. The defensive approach is also meant to discourage aggression and teach students to apply their skills with care. Offensive moves are taught in the third stage. Most of bando’s techniques are taught through forms or aka. Aka are first practiced solo, before the student progresses to partnered sets performed with two or more partners. The final stage is that of applying the techniques in contests, much like free sparring.


Scorpion kick

Bando emphasises defense as the best offense by leaving the initiative to the opponent and relying heavily on counter-maneuvers. Once the threat has been evaluated it is possible to respond with an appropriate counter, so too is destroying the opponent’s weapon. If the adversary’s hand or foot is broken for example, the conflict is effectively ended. Typically, a bando exponent will first withdraw before beginning the counter-strike followed by grappling or locking. The head, shoulder, elbow, knee, and foot are all used for offensive purposes. Close-quarter combat is favoured.

Offensive forms in bando are based on the movements of animals, probably through the influence of animal styles from India and China. The moves and attitude in each pattern are characterised by the animal which they imitate, as shown below. The highest form, as in Indian shastara-vidiya, is the panther which combines all the previous forms.

Reference: Wikipedia Bando