Burmese weapons arsenal

destructautomaton

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i have been reading up...watching footage on someof the burmese weapons arts, i was interested in knowing how big are the actual weapons training, i see single sword, double sword, staff...do they have something like the tonfa like thai/cambodia have?...do they have different spears,shields,knife, short stick oranything unusual in theirteaching or training that is very different fromthe thai/cambodia styles?
 

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The way I've learned them, Burmese weapons include sticks of various lengths from the fist stick (a bit longer than your palm is wide) up to a form for two or three people to use a single very long (like 12 or 15 feet) stick.

Blades range from knives as small as a couple of inches to dha, or long swords which are 3 feet, or the Sword of the King which is 4 feet or so...

I've heard stories of a tonfa-like weapon, though that's all I can say on it, just as I've heard stories of armor designed with a hook to trap a blade.
 
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destructautomaton

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Thanks! Is the fist stick like a yawara type of weapon? Any spear work?
 

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The fist stick is similar to the yawara stick. Many of the long stick forms I've been taught can be spear forms, too.
 
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Great, thanks again for the response. I have been looking a lot at the many different single and double swords methods and they very circular and quick. I imagine there are several different systemsof sword work from the looks of it.
 

Jimi

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From what I have seen, the ABA has Dha (Blade) work in both the Khukri to honor Ghurkas and the traditional Burmese sword the Dha.

Though some have been critical of the ABA's use of the Khukri saying it is not what the Burmese use, note that the Khukri is a blade and to translate the word Dha loosely, the Khukri is a blade, just not what the Thaing Federation/Associations consider a Burmese weapon, but a deadly blade none the less.

As I have seen from my Instructor (Saya) the Khukri follows a similar path as the longer curved Dha, just used with more chopping force and it locks into its strikes differently than i have seen the more flowing traditional Dha strikes.

Though i have been ranked to 1st Lvl Black Belt in the ABA over a decade ago, I have seen that not all what the ABA does is considered Thaing by current Myanmar Thaing/Bando groups in Old Burma. Yes my Instructor has visited Myanmar in 1997 regardless of Myanmars government political issues, it was a Thaing/Bando issue to organize the Thaing/Bando systems outside of Old Burma, not a politic issue.

Regardless of others criticizms of the ABA and wether they see its weapons as Thaing/Bando/Banshay as Myanmar recognises, much of the Khukri & Dha work (Though creative by ABA Sayagyis) is based on sound bladed weapons principle. If the Dha, Dhot etc... is sound and the practitioner can make compedent work of it is what matters to many, not purely if it is a true Burmese history lesson.

I have two Burmese Dha in my possesion (gifted by my Saya only for training purposes, they belong to him) as well as a Thai Darb/Krabi i got While in Ayuthya. Krabi Krabong & Banshay arts are like bickering cousins. With the Associations now teaching Krabi Krabong more openly with much more direct relation to the Thai government and history, I would trust these skills to be more traditional than what can be seen within ABA Banshay.

Sayagyi Muang Gyi has been known to embellish, but that does not take away from the sound bladed weapons principles taught within the ABA. Some ABA weapons (specifically the Khukri) are looked at with scrutiny in Myanmar, but if the sound principles are there and it appears to work, that is more important than a weapons form or history.

I have seen many forms added to the ABA curriculum such as the Mandalay Middle Staff Walking Stick form as well as a Walking Stick form developed by my Saya Jon Collins in conjuction w/ Carl Beaman and Dr. Pat Finley as a gift presented to Sayagyi Muang Gyi by Saya Dan Carol years ago and by the current Myanmar Thaing/Bando/Banshay groups would say that though these forms are competent Dhot work, they are not Burmese by history, they were created, upon sound principle, but created none the less.

My Instructor also informed me that the Dhot long staff form the Pilgrim is Burmese (Was told that he discussed this with Sayas in Myanmar)yet the 4 winds, 4 corners and the horsemen forms were not recognised by Myanmar Thaing as Burmeses by history.

This may upset many in the ABA, and I must admitt it is still second hand hear say from even my Instructor, yet if the weapons work is sound it stands on its own wether or not it is Burmese by relation or history. Take what anyone says about Thaing/Bando/Banshay with a grain of salt, even me.

To see a video of the meeting of Jon Collins w/ Thaing Sayagyis in Myanmar in 97 go to youtube and type in Master Saya Jon Collins to see this and a few Banshay forms typical of the ABA as instructed many years ago. JMHO.
 

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Bando, as taught in the ABA, is not a purely Burmese art, for a couple of reasons. I'm not going too deep because it's off topic, but the material that forms its core was developed by the Military Athletic Club in Burma, and included instructors/soldiers/veterans from Burma, India, China, and other places. Their practices were influenced somewhat, as well, during the Japanese occupation of Burma. Don't forget, also, that U Ba Than was gathering and preserving material from many parts of Burma, which could lead to different takes on the material. Then, Dr. Gyi's personal influences also included training in Japan, as well as boxing and other activities. On top of that, when he began teaching in the US, he had to comply with policies from the university or other facilities whose gyms he was using, as well as adapt somewhat to the extant martial arts community. And this actually does feed into the weapons... Early on, he was very limited in the weapons he could teach by those same policies.

The forms and the way weapons are taught have also changed over time. The current 4 Winds and 4 Corners forms, for example, have changed at least twice that I know of (one minor set of changes, and one very dramatic set of changes). In fact, the current version of the 4 Winds bears only passing resemblance to what I learned for my black belt test! It's become a much more structured form compared to the first version, and it actually changed or dropped some features that I liked; it's much more like a spear form now than the original. There are also a couple versions of the Horseman/Footsoldier form around -- especially since it got integrated into some Isshin-ryu schools via Don Bohan and Rick Niemara.

Additionally, it's clear when you look at the ABA weapon systems that they were all recorded in a particular systematic way; the principles of sticks are clearly related to swords which are clearly related to the empty hand structures.

Shifting to the unusual weapons -- it's also worth noting that the ABA systems include animal style specific weapons like the Cobra and Bull staffs, different knives, and so on. Often it's particular tactics or an unusual design that complements and works within the principle of the animal. For example, the Bull staff is a very big, very heavy stick, using lots of power, while the Cobra stick is a much smaller, more lively stick using lots more speed to strike small targets.

One caveat I want to add: This is my opinion based on my experience and what I've been told or heard... I could easily have some things twisted up...
 
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blackdiamondcobra

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I just want to address some of the points brought up by Jimi in his post.

I have known Dr. Gyi since the early nineties when he began helping me organize my research into Burmese martial arts. I began training in 1999 directly in Burma and have been there almost every year at various intervals since which is almost 10 years. I began training with Dr. Gyi on and off since the mid nineties.

I have interviewed, trained with and photographed a staggering amount of masters within Burma as well as many diverse systems that i could find.

One needs to understand a bit about Burma and martial arts to understand that the government read: military since the country is a military dictatorship exerts enormous control over the martial arts as well as extreme control over any gathering including lethwae bare knuckle events which I have covered extensively over the years.

My search was always for the oldest remaining masters and systems and I found many within Burma. I have traveled to the extreme north, extreme south and all points in between often defying the military authorities and more than often being harassed, had guns pointed in my face, interrogated, and had innocent people who had nothing to do with anything being followed and harassed after I left.

I have made enormous efforts to always come forward to the military and authorities to explain my efforts with an eye toward a fair evaluation of each situation and often to listen to them ad nauseum as they explained "their position as the only position there is".

The Burmese comprise 68 per cent of the 42 million population, while eight major ethnic groups, and 135 subgroups form much of the rest. I found martial arts are usually some part of each ethnic group which makes for a staggering amount of discovery still untouched and not documented in entirety even by the burmese.

Several researchers as one from Japan and another from France have been doing stand out work but so far there has been limited amount of this type of work in english.

When I looked at the footage of saya jon collins with the burmese group and the comment".Yes my Instructor has visited Myanmar in 1997 regardless of Myanmars government political issues, it was a Thaing/Bando issue to organize the Thaing/Bando systems outside of Old Burma, not a politic issue." I am sure to say it was a political issue if they were organizing anything without government approval. How can they organize something very few have seen even in burma in their entirety. Sorry if i vehemently disagree here.

There is so much diversity how could one see all of that in that tape or even with those masters. The international organizations there are government run, sitting in a room with them is not very inspiring or educational for the most part. I feel any involvement with these groups dont benefit the greater good of the great martial arts masters or Burma itself and amounts to collusion with a military dictatorship which is beyond despicable. And yes I witnessed monks being shot dead on the street way before it became a known practice in the last few years, thrown into the back of truck and carted away as blood seeped out onto the street as it raced away then put under a military curfew by armed kids with M-16s.

The government controls martial arts patterning itself on China and its reinvention and control of martial arts through wu shu, and the repatterning and reinvention of things like the shaolin temple. Burma has created a new template of martial arts and have sought to control and "register" as many martial artist masters as they could.

After filming the kachin exhibition in Myitkhina in the north of burma, i was forced as part of my contract to finally sit down with the miltiary officials in charge of martial arts in burma. I was tracked until i showed up in Yangon for my meeting days later. Having been versed by a high level master in the north, who was worried about me , he awarded me a high ranking burmese martial arts uniform after training and exchanging information. His teacher was one of the high level military men and obviously his immediate intercession halted what could be a very unpleasant situation for me. I am forever indebted to him for his training, honesty and friendship that has withstood the test of time.

When i showed up the training compound, I was asked a million questions about who i was and what i was doing. Specifically they took extreme exception to me interviewing and training with the "old masters" and i stated that was my purpose to document as many of the authentic surviving systems as i did in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand previously. I did it free of any political agenda and worked for cultural preservation. I made it clear as i had under military mandate shared the footage when I had to in an effort to spare my hosts any severe repercussions.

I was told this was unacceptable that if i wanted information, training or interviews I would now be allowed to do this with them and them only(read; being monitored and controlled). They offered me a special training/research visa to come back and to be trained by them and certified by them to teach abroad. They said anyone teaching outside of burma namely dr. gyi and others were frauds and liars.

I asked them to demonstrate why they were frauds and liars since what they were doing was destroying any remnant of the ancient arts that remained and was rewriting things through the military and physical education departments to create a national martial art with a common curriculum to be taught throughout burma through selected masters. I showed footage of obvious burmese "masters" who obviously made up their own systems since they told me they did off it of sound principles and deep understanding yet it passed their criteria when others who were much older did not.

I did train with them, listen to their history, spend time with alot of their high level masters. The teachers had much to give and they did their best to explain. It was a matter of survival for them and they were navigating it as best they could.

Now the main aim of the military and the government, to back up this discussion, is to destroy all distinct ethnic culture and diversity and create a singular monopolized burmese population --thus all distinction of martial arts must go with it.

Indigenous old masters were working opposite of them because they were preserving the older arts and not propagating the new programs and thus any old person who left burma years prior and did partake of this was an enemy of the "new martial arts regime".

Now many old masters took part, some in their late eighties, so they would continue to teach their systems but would also partake and learn the new formats. They would wear the compulsory white and red uniforms and be given appropriate rank. Asked if the government, military or physical education departments did anything for them and the survival of their martial arts--all said they did nothing but ask them to do command performances and follow the program. Nothing else was offered to them.

So if you want to comment about what is currently going on in burma in terms of thiang and lethwae then you need to understand what the military is doing. You dont have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. The military said if i remained with them i would be the highest ranked foreigner and I could maintain control of thiang in the US for them. So an egotist or fool who wants to do that can go over and do that, I am sure they are looking for a gullible fool to join them in their insanity and pass the kool aid to foreign soil for them.

Dr. Gyi's father was head of physical education in a long ago regime and those people are considered the old ways and thus their teaching and ideology to be eradicated. Dr. Gyi being of that line and of that time is also on that list. Dr. Gyi learned the indigenous systems as well his father did his best to document and also progress the systems for future survival. So dr. gyi obviously did add and progress the systems but they remain as was said of sound authentic principles. Dr. Gyi's father in my opinion was looking a bit to the west to order and maintain the old while bringing in aspects of the new. So in order to do that you must have sound understanding and training in the ancient systems. What is current ring muay thai,? The ancient indigenous martial fighting system mixed with westernized principles of rules, gloves, rounds, refs, judging, etc. The west in burma is considered the enemy of the goverments ideology, so they try to steer away from it and use china as a model for their progress. Lethwae has made limited westernized modifications over the last decades including at least one ref, a ring, and some more safety rules. In recent years, they attempted an amateur type of lethwae like san da but it hasnt thus far gone over well( with the audience 3/4 empty usually for it).

Now understand also some systems have enormous chinese influence, others more india, tibetan, mongolian, there is a wild mix there. There were enormous battles with thais and you can see the influence of both on one another. The beauty of the northern lanna systems of thailand certainly benefiting from those battle exchanges. Is there someone who has documented all these diverse systems in burma to say what is true and what is not? I met many of the experts in Burma and many had not documented or even seen various ethnic martial arts or systems as of yet.

My point being even in the footage i see coming from france and "international thaing organization", they have certainly gained access to alot of masters, footage and training but at what expense? I filmed many of the same masters under different context and yes it was hell to find them and document them but I am getting the picture in a different way than them. I dont believe in the government, the phys ed or military departments and I wont work in collusion with them. But I must understand their work and trajectory. I must sometimes ride side by side with them even though i maintain my stance and my opinions which i have voiced to them endlessly.

They now allow me to do my work with a minimal of interference after all these years and often invite me to events and fights. One needs to work with them at times and often to listen to their side of things to get a rounded picture.

I constantly read, see footage and hear opinions of people travel to Burma for a week, a month, six months but they dont seem to grasp the gravity of the entire picture. In the last ten years this has been very clear as I see these old masters die off one by one and the power and ideology of the government slowly overtake and overwrite all that has come before it. Its the same thing that happened to thailand in the last decades, but in less harsh manner, and in the name of the physical education department who is working to preserve cultural heritage, etc. In time, people will not what's what anymore unless people speak out and at least show what is going on.

I hope this will help to allow people to understand and absorb some of the information people gather in a clearer context.
 
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Fede

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The situation is far worse than what I imagined, and does look like the Chinese one.
I am shocked at how difficult and dangerous it is to do research there and to train, and at how vicious the military are in Burma, trying to control everything without caring about cultural heritage, martial arts included. Shooting monks is insane, especially in a Buddhist country. They clearly have no mercy and no respect for anything other than controling everything and everyone.

They are already selling their version of martial arts to the French, I can't help but thinking about muay boran and the Italian situation with desesais, that's a rewriting and replacing the truth with something else.
But at least old masters and their students are still active in Thailand and things can be countered if they have to like it has already happened, but I don't see the same happening with Burmese martial arts.

Thank you very much for sharing that info and explaining the situation, it's eye-opening to say the least.
 

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Blackdiamondcobra,

I absolutely respect your efforts & research, but my post referencing the fact that Jon visited Burma in 97' was to show how an old student of Muang Gyi has traveled to the source of Thaing/Bando to define that Gyi is not the single resource for Thaing. This is evident in your own research that you are also a source of knowledge of THAING. Gyi gave the U.S. a taste of Thaing and even you have gone to the extents to get to Old Burma yourself.

Your posting this ,

When I looked at the footage of saya jon collins with the burmese group and the comment".Yes my Instructor has visited Myanmar in 1997 regardless of Myanmars government political issues, it was a Thaing/Bando issue to organize the Thaing/Bando systems outside of Old Burma, not a politic issue." I am sure to say it was a political issue if they were organizing anything without government approval. How can they organize something very few have seen even in burma in their entirety. Sorry if i vehemently disagree here.

sounds like a condemnation of Jon Collins presence in Burma, almost as if you were stating that he politicaly stands with MURDERERS OF MONKS, which I am sure is not the case. I believe Jon was there to show Gyi he would follow up on Thaing to have his own experience w/ Thaing within Burma itself.

An old student thumbing his nose at his former teacher maybe, but an ally to Monk Murderers he is not. Nor are you, yet you have spent more time in Old Burma visiting more older Sayas chronocling these systems than Jon had access to.

I hope you understand that I do not wish to be at odds with you, in fact I think it is great that you have these training experiences and it is also sad you witnessed such attrosities as well.

Is my posting and referencing about Jons visit to Burma and my belief he was not trying to make a political statement so offensive to you? It was not meant to be to anyone, nor did I insist that Jons visit makes him a sole authority on Thaing/Bando outside Old burma, yet your retort was quite stern.

Do you feel that Jons visit to Burma was not about Thaing/Bando? Yet your many visits is about your personal preservation of ancient Thaing? I am just trying to understand the scolding tone taken in retort to my opinion and reference to my instructors visit to Burma.

Please forgive my misunderstanding, but it sounded like your opinion is that Jon was wrong to be there. I personally believe the ABA is off the mark with some of what they represent as Thaing/Bando. I believed that Jon going there was to straighten out what Thaing is from within its nation of origin. (Though he himself is sure that his visit would P!$$ off a lot of people, in fact when he informed me of the vids on youtube, he said that it would)

Again just trying to understand, I AM NOT QUESTIONING YOU RESEARCH, just trying to understand why my post seemed to set you off.

PEACE Jimi
 

blackdiamondcobra

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You read into it what i was writing what it is you wished to see and perceive. There was no scolding tone. I think my posts were very clear sighted and well defined. You took exception to one thing without reading the explanations that followed. You are also got way too emotional with the MURDERS OF MONKS thing. But again you are not evidently operating from a balanced position of view and that is directly evident.

I did not condone or condemn anyone's presence in burma because that would be hypercritical of my own presence and training and research there. Like i said and i state again, its hard to be non political even within the martial arts realm in Burma. So you said it was free of political agenda but when you sit in a room with these men you are not going to escape it. To get to the bottom of the true systems and what is real, is a LONG and TIME consuming process and that should be stated by jon as well as you as well as myself.

My retort was based on the fact that one visit will not give you the answers in burma or any other country in terms of validity of the actual systems since in fact the burmese have not documented or recorded all of them as i stated. Nobody so far inside burma has been able to provide with me anything close to that. It has been the outside researchers and professors who have been better able to offer more of a well rounded, well researched and documented picture. So when you say someone sat in a room with these men who were dispensing the "truth", one needs to ask who are they and what "truth" were they dispensing. I have listened to masters go off endlessly on things and truths that have no resemblance to any reality and others eloquently and professionally go through it bit by bit with a well researched and well trained eye.

Let me highlight this with one further anecdote. When in front of what i call the masters tribunal of the burmese ma, same thing a room full of masters, they said let me see something that you know. I had just learned a 4 ft stick form from a very old master at the time closing in on 85 years of age. He was one of the pure Burmese thaing masters and an incredible source of knowledge. I did a bit(which wasnt great) and they said to me thats not thaing!! I was like what? I then said i learned it from saya.......I cant tell you the how their faces cracked. They immediately changed the subject. I am sure the old master heard about it afterwards. But it was evident in their cause to discredit any source I learned from in a bid to drive me towards their ideology crumbled in the face of credibility of teacher and system. But again these were masters and like i said hadn't evidently seen every damn stick form in burma to know or at least not that one. But at least now they do and they evidently learned something in return.

Jon, his research or your posts didnt set me off or piss me off, i was questioning his research methods and how he came to his conclusions. I have been there and walked the place up and down. You and him present one side of the picture. I was allowing you access to a wider window. As you can see I am not taking sides, just presenting a well researched view into the world as I came to know it and experience it.

I also felt your critiques against dr. gyis system of teaching was not real thiang as someone would tell you in burma. And i answered why that might be. There is a staggering amount of thiang systems and most might vanish under the current governments scheme to unite them into one or several units much like tae kwon do with the original kwans. So who will know what original Thaing will be in future decades? I hope you and Jon are aware of that. If Jon and yourself were really serious about thaing then this would be the greatest peril to deal with. The government dont want any remnants of the old remaining. Bando itself is a unique amalgamation of things and I think thats where the confusion comes in from many of the students researching the burmese arts from the US. And again another intense and long topic. This is probably where his confusion began. So one needs to be clear what one is researching and asking about especially when crossing cultural lines.

You cant go into these countries without a deeper understanding of how to gain and access knowledge, if you are looking for true thiang or whatever, you have to know how to sort through the sources, the credibility of those sources and balance it against the wide range of masters, researchers and systems you find.

I have no bone to pick either way. I am not defending the ABA(as i am not a member of the ABA or ever have been) or anyone else, i was presenting a wider portrait of the situation at hand. I have trained with specific teachers, specific systems and specific lineages that i personally follow which has little to do with the debate at hand.

What I found thaing to be in the various modalities and how it has survived and changed over the years is not the topic of this conversation. There may be bickering or whatever in thailand but the authentic systems are very well documented and the lines preserved and passed down and the new forms of physical education and the offshoots just vie for control to dominate and overtake the older systems. They create confusion as a strategy to rewrite things to their own agenda.

Secondly, there are many sources of thiang in the US and abroad outside of Burma, so one can access them for their point of view as well. They are not generally well known or teach openly but they are there and can be accessed. Dr. Gyi to my knowledge has never stated he was the single source of burmese martial arts at least not to me or the last remaining bastion of burmese arts. Even if he did, I wouldnt have believed it anyway. So to say he took a trip to burma to define that dr. gyi was not the single source of thiang struck me as odd. I mean people fight like cats and dogs in burma about who is real and what is real. I mean they fight in every country about that, the more successful and commercially viable a system becomes, the worse it gets. You have to take all of this into account. To me that debate is really petty to the larger picture of survival and documenting and more an axe jon seems to be grinding out for himself.

I tell all my teachers, instructors and everyone wherever I go and train and research is that EVERYONE and EVERYTHING is under the microscope. The single most important thing to hold onto is objectivity. I have no axes to grind or agendas to fill anyway. I am not part of any organizations.

If you are going to do research and present information in one dimension and not look at all sides equally and fairly then you are just presenting one side as i pointed out. I amplified that by showing people in the post, the other sides of the equation and how one navigates the quagmire to gain something that in the end is worthwhile.

My research and training is on going so its not an its conclusion or as of yet fully evolved. Chronicling systems and getting to the truth takes time and like i said at the start of this post, one trip will never do it. We see alot of people these days running into cambodia, burma, thailand, laos and doing their hit and run perspectives on this system or that and they are usually hollow, poorly researched and generally egotistically driven and benefit no one but themselves.
 
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jks9199

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Secondly, there are many sources of thiang in the US and abroad outside of Burma, so one can access them for their point of view as well. They are not generally well known or teach openly but they are there and can be accessed. Dr. Gyi to my knowledge has never stated he was the single source of burmese martial arts at least not to me or the last remaining bastion of burmese arts. Even if he did, I wouldnt have believed it anyway. So to say he took a trip to burma to define that dr. gyi was not the single source of thiang struck me as odd. I mean people fight like cats and dogs in burma about who is real and what is real. I mean they fight in every country about that, the more successful and commercially viable a system becomes, the worse it gets. You have to take all of this into account. To me that debate is really petty to the larger picture of survival and documenting and more an axe jon seems to be grinding out for himself.

I have never heard Dr. Gyi state that he is the only source of knowledge regarding Burmese martial arts; if anything, I've heard him state the opposite. He's made no secret of the fact that what he teaches has had to change for various reasons at different times -- and that what he teaches combined the knowledge of various masters in an attempt to preserve the material. Some material that wasn't sufficient to stand alone was combined into similar material; other material was eliminated entirely because it didn't stand up to the test... He's told the story several times of a master who wanted to share a beautiful stick system, which he claimed could beat 10 men. U Ba Than arranged an opportunity... and the guy couldn't back his claims -- so the system wasn't recorded.

I won't go into the topic of Jon Collins because I quite honestly don't have the whole story, and what I do have is hearsay at best. He has a reputation as a skilled practitioner, whatever else, and that's where I'll leave it.

What's really sad is that we are losing knowledge in many countries, like Burma/Myanmar, because of government control and interference. One can only hope that some of these systems are being quietly preserved and shared...
 

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Blackdiamondcobra,

I again say I respect your research and do not wish to be at odds with you. I may very well be too thin skined in relation to your retort, but can you honestly say that both of your retorts are not of a scolding corrective tone?

Please re-read. Anyone who has looked into behavioral sciences could see such a response was PUTTING ME STRAIGHT & CONDEMMING JON. YES, this is my perception, and reading what you posted, I am well within my rights to read into it what I feel from your expressions. LOL.

You made assertions (Paraphrasing of course) that only an egotist or gulible fool would associate with these dispicable government leaders, who was this aimed at if not Jon, Jesus and others?

Your own posts are full of the "been there done that" examples in retort to someones opinion. I do agree that what the Myanmar Govmt does is terrible, but should we not look to them for their take on even say Takraw as Burma/Myanmar plays for a world view of a sport played by Burmese, Thai , Vietnamese etc... alike due to Myanmars Govmt attrosities?

If so Vietnam should not compete on the same court as Myanmar or it be seen as collusion, nor should the US field a team to compete with Myanmar due to its dispicible actions. This is just my opinion and I do not assert it with any authoritative manner.

I never asserted where Jon, myself or anyone else says Gyi claimed to be the sole source of Thaing, just that Jon was showing that Gyi was not a sole source of Thaing in the U.S.

I have respect for the Burmese weapons arsenal, Dho, Dhot & Dha skills are beautiful and powerfull, on that I trust we can agree. My opinion is of no consequence.

I can not believe that how you vehemently disagree here in your posts is you not taking a scolding tone though you deny it. Again THIS IS MY PERCEPTION that is not evidently operating from a balanced position of view and that is directly evident.

I see your points and I stand CORRECTED!
 
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destructautomaton

destructautomaton

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this happens to be a great thread and i learned alot. i dont see any attacks really but good info on both sides. i think on the internet the tone of writing can be read as severe or such when its not.
 

blackdiamondcobra

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JIMI:I again say I respect your research and do not wish to be at odds with you. I may very well be too thin skined in relation to your retort, but can you honestly say that both of your retorts are not of a scolding corrective tone?
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No, they are not. You are indeed thin skinned. You are attacking me emotionally then calling out the mighty behavioural sciences to back yourself up. I am talking very honestly and sincerely on a subject I feel seriously about. What more can I do? Dumb it down for you. It’s a simple process. It’s the internet and tone can be interpretive. As far as respect, taking a moment to read and understand something a bit more deeply is all one asks and its something you are evidently totally incapable of doing. Who here is attacking, spinning things out of control, putting words into someone's mouth, citing my authoritative manner and endless other ********..i mean get real.

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JIMI: Please re-read. Anyone who has looked into behavioral sciences could see such a response was PUTTING ME STRAIGHT & CONDEMMING JON. YES, this is my perception, and reading what you posted, I am well within my rights to read into it what I feel from your expressions. LOL
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I did re-read but I told you previously to carefully re-read the previous posts which you evidently did not. Spinning things around doesn’t help the reality of the situation and LOL!! at the behavioural sciences bit. I did crack up at that. You are acting emotionally as I stated regarding what you “believe” this to be and “interpret” as a slight to your teacher and yourself. You are well within your rights to feel that way and respond in kind. I said it was not and you said it is. Therefore the situation is stalemated and left for the readers to judge and sort their way through. As far as PUTTING YOU STRAIGHT AND COMDEMNING JON, THESE ARE WORDS YOU AGAIN TWISTING AND PUTTING INTO MY MOUTH> please refrain from doing so. I dont take kindly to people putting words into my mouth.
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JIMI:You made assertions (Paraphrasing of course) that only an egotist or gulible fool would associate with these dispicable government leaders, who was this aimed at if not Jon, Jesus and others?
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Again YOU are making assertions (paraphrasing endlessly over and over) and twisting things around to make a point that isn’t there. Again over dramatizing the situation with jon, jesus and others? I mean come on! Are you serious?????????? I will just let the ridiculousness of that pass.
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JIMI: Your own posts are full of the "been there done that" examples in retort to someone’s opinion.
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Again, I have to state my research and mostly my training since my training is paramount and the years it was done to cite it was not conjecture I was drawing from but actual experience. I would assume that would be important to you and others reading it. You can’t go offering your opinions without saying something about how you arrived at them. I don’t know again where you get “the been there done that” but again you are twisting things around to give yourself an argument and sustain this endless diatribe that is going nowhere. I continue my training and learning yearly and its on going, so been there and done that doesn’t fit.

Offering reality lends the situation the gravity it deserves. It’s evident you could care less about Burma, Burmese martial arts and what is going on. I fully understand that AND you can easily skip over those parts and don’t bother with them if they don’t interest you.

And how else should I answer a thread on the forum? Offer conjecture and falsehoods and fairy tales. I was simply offering my opinion in a debate. The forum allows for skillful debate which what we are doing. You seemed to have launched this into the orbit of something personal and totally derailed a serious subject into a personal matter that you wont let go of.
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JIMI: I do agree that what the Myanmar Govmt does is terrible, but should we not look to them for their take on even say Takraw as Burma/Myanmar plays for a world view of a sport played by Burmese, Thai , Vietnamese etc... alike due to Myanmars Govmt attrosities?

If so Vietnam should not compete on the same court as Myanmar or it be seen as collusion, nor should the US field a team to compete with Myanmar due to its dispicible actions. This is just my opinion and I do not assert it with any authoritative manner.
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Again I don’t really know what you are saying here but once again twisting things with your wording using “authoritative manner” ad nauseum. If you are talking sports, they have an Olympic committee and I worked with some of the western boxing coaches which were instrumental and getting me into areas like the deep southern tip of Burma which were very hard to get into. Burma competes in international competitions, they have an Olympic training compound where we did a lot of training and shot a lot of footage. They have a san da team that competes in China, etc. They compete in a lot of events in Thailand, Singapore and many other countries. Sports usually cross political boundary lines in international competition unless a country is protesting, though I know little about it. Maybe some else can offer some insight into that.

The Burmese government, military and physical education control over martial arts is a bit different since its what they believe is theirs to control and mandate things over.

Like I said I am not condemning anyone to go live, train, do whatever in burma, what needs to be understood is specifically in the martial arts realm, watching closely who and what you are getting involved in, it might not be what you think. I think I made that clear.

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JIMI: I never asserted where Jon, myself or anyone else says Gyi claimed to be the sole source of Thaing, just that Jon was showing that Gyi was not a sole source of Thaing in the U.S.
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Understood and what that had to do with the original purpose of the thread being the Burmese weapons arsenal is beyond me. What baffled me is that you said that jon was showing that Gyi was not a sole source of Thaing in the US and that was what I answered in detail. He never said he was so I didn’t understand the point of the trip and the statement. But again you are not Jon and the bottom line to this we are arguing over a man who is not present and who cannot offer his opinion and experience on his trip and his own experiences and reasons. That is Jon's province and Jon's alone. Without him, this becomes conjecture which might be twisting his experiences.
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JIMI: I have respect for the Burmese weapons arsenal, Dho, Dhot & Dha skills are beautiful and powerfull, on that I trust we can agree. My opinion is of no consequence.
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I never felt you didn’t have respect for the Burmese weapons arsenal. And even if you didn’t, your opinion is of consequence. That’s what we are here for you. To debate and share things. I have listened to what you have to say and answered it as best I could. If you took things personally, out of context, attached tremendous emotional significance to each word then that is your experience with what I wrote. I offered an honest view as best I could. Some people don’t like trust and honesty what can I say. Some do.

I can not believe that how you vehemently disagree here in your posts is you not taking a scolding tone though you deny it. Again THIS IS MY PERCEPTION that is not evidently operating from a balanced position of view and that is directly evident.
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What? A person can’t disagree with YOU? I mean come on. How childish is this statement? A person can vehemently disagree and voice his opinion in a clear-sighted, objective, honest manner that I attempted to do. You keep on with the “authoritative manner” and you want to drive that point home, so that’s your take on it. It has no weight or truth to it. Nothing I can do about that other than to respect that. I stand by the posts. They are true to the reality of my experience and maybe its singular and not shared by many but it’s all I have. I tried to steer clear of any conjecture.
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JIMI: I see your points and I stand CORRECTED!
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There is NOTHING TO CORRECT.

If you take a step back and eventually take an indepth look--- maybe go into burma and come back into this thread someday, you will see it’s a very honest snapshot of a complicated issue and/or issues.

In closing, I just want to say that this thread veered far off course. The idea that Jon was personally drawn in was an unfortunate fact in retrospect since his personal voice, opinions and concerns were not directly from him. I am sure his ideas are probably as colorful as mine and I probably would enjoy his input and experiences.

It’s a forum, people and disagree, but long as there is respect and understanding then it can be an effective debate people can learn from.

My purpose was simply to share experience and give people a inside heads up on what is going on so they can successfully navigate it and have a great experience. You don’t go half way around the world to get caught up in a web of nonsense.

If have anything else to PERSONALLY address to me you can save the poor forum members and PM, so the thread can resume into its original heading of burmese weapons arsenal.
 
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Jimi

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I respect your offered insights Blackdiamondcobra, and I see I contributed to the threads derailment from the thread topic Burmese Weapon Arsenal.(Though my too personal feelings are I am not alone in the guilt for that but this is mute)

To that I ask , as the original poster questioned, what insight do you have for a Burmese Banshay equivalent of the Thai Mai Sun Sawk? (Forgive the spelling)

I have not seen such a weapon in my experience w/ ABA Modern Bando Banshay (Not saying anothers experience is not valid nor am i saying that it does not exist, just i have not seen it) and I would be very interested to see more of such a weapon, its name and function etc... This Banshay weapon would absolutely have my attention. Respects Jimi
 

blackdiamondcobra

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Thats a good question! One of my favorite thai weapons is the mae sawk and I tried to learn as many variations as I could from the thai teachers likewise I found several variants and teachers in Cambodia. Some had really sharpened points with different designs.

I only saw one burmese teacher do a direct tonfa form but I felt it was more of japanese origin in the way he used it and probably gleamed directly from a japanese kata. Interestingly enough, I did not run across it again. I was positive I would since it was found in laos, cambodia and thailand. They were all very closely linked in usage and expression, you know strapping them on to the forearms, the use of fast monkey type of stepping, going low to high, broken rhythm, working against the staff, etc.

I would love to see it somewhere in Burma and I have to pay close attention when i am near the rice producing delta since the handles were used in rice production. Maybe the farmers or martial arts masters who were farmers kept it in use.

I did run across the use of hooks like those you move hay with, and other odd variations of tiny shields to cover your fists that had very sharpened edges all around the circumference, small enough to punch directly at the opponent or circle and cut him up with. Interesting spears and spear heads of differing sizes. The Burmese do have a great assortment of swords in many differing sizes, weights and shapes of blade from thin and fast to heavy and powerful. Interesting thing to note about thaing and what i ran into weapons wise was that no everyone covered the same range of weapons, some really focused down extensively and brilliantly on a few and others used a wide assortment with equally amazing skill. I really love the way the way they move the swords. The lanna northern thai sword work has the same beautiful curves and sliding motions and of course from the battles in close proximity there was obviously some crossbreeding.

But an excellent question. I wonder if anyone else who traveled through burma or who is teaching burmese arts has seen it or uses it actively in their teaching curriculum. I am curious if it is going to be close in usage to the other three countries.
 

jks9199

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The forearm shield/hook was described to me as being developed/designed as a defense against swords... but I don't know if it was ever taught here.
 

Jimi

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Seeing a Mae Sawk (Again forgive spelling please) cousin weapon in Cambodia, that is so cool. My own sensitivity aside, that is very (Explilative deleted - lol) cool, and thanks for responding when it was me who simply re-asserted the original posters question.

I imagine that when Burma took Ayuthya, its best weapons were likely at the forefront of the engagment. Do you think it possible that a cousin to the Mae Sun Sawk weapon was used in the Battle for Ayuthya? Or do you feel that War Elephants and the Spear and Dha were more previlent? (This question is directed at what weapons the Burmese used, and I can only hazard a guess that the people in the Thai capital would have used everything at their disposal including any available Mae Sawk or other weapons to defend their city.)

An honest question Blackdiamondcobra, please let us continue a more productive discussion. Thanks

PEACE JIMI
 

hugojkd

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Great discussion everyone, thank you.

I've a lurker for a while now, & blackdiamondcobra's posted raised a question I've always had re: Burmese weaponry how it relates to empty handed arts. Although this may be a bit off topic, it's something I've always had a question about.

You always hear about the empty hand/weapons relationship in Filipino systems, & there seems to be a strong connection between Muay Boran & Karbi Krabong. On the "Krabi Krabon: The Buddhai Sawan Path" DVD, there's even footage of children practicing Muay Boran.

There seems to be so little information & so much confusion on Burmese MA in general. Burmese arts seem so mysterious, yet you see the effectiveness & efficiency of Lethaway fighters, you see the effect Dr. Gyi had on the martial arts world. I'd love to learn more.

My guess is this is a fairly involved topic, but if blackdiamondcobra, jks9199, or anyone else has any insight I'd appreciate it.

Thanks again, appreciate the discussion.

Hugo
 

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