Lathi Khela (Bangladeshi Stick Fighting)

Tony Dismukes

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Cool, thanks for sharing. I hadn't seen this art before. I wonder what the reasons for the various stylized elements (like going to the knees) are.
 

gpseymour

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Cool, thanks for sharing. I hadn't seen this art before. I wonder what the reasons for the various stylized elements (like going to the knees) are.
It looked to me like they were going to their knees to protect their legs - reduce the target area to something they could protect.
 

Tez3

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The Bangladeshis are also handy with a willow stick...a cricket bat. They are very, very good!
 

JowGaWolf

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It looked to me like they were going to their knees to protect their legs - reduce the target area to something they could protect.
I thought the same thing. Here I go on my low stance soap box. I'll keep it short. lol. If Person A is lower than Person B, Then Person B's range is reduced. The lower Person A is the shorter Person's B range will be. If Person A is on their knees then there is only one point of attack Person B can go for. Person B has a longer distance to strike Person A. Person A can now attack the legs before Person B can get close enough to attack. You can kind of see this at the 1:49 mark.

If I had to guess the technique isn't so much a "fighting on my knees" from the start type of strategy, but maybe one of, if I find myself in this position then this is how I recover. The stick play reminded me of sword play.


Edit: I went back to see what I can find and it makes more sense in this context of attacking at various heights. I don't like being kicked in the shins so I can imagine steel hitting my shins
 
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Syed01

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Lathi Khela

‘’Lathi Khela’’ is another traditional sport that is played in Bangladesh and West Bengal. It’s a stick fighting sport and the stick wielder is known as a ‘’Lathial’’. The Lathials used to be very popular and performed on various festive occasions like Eid, Puja or Pohela Baishakh, but the popularity of ‘’Lathi Khela’’ has faded drastically in recent years.

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‘’Lathi Khela’’ has a very old history dating back centuries. Troops of lathial were once hired by rich farmers for security purposes and also to impose power on others. The Zaminders used to send these lathial to collect taxes from the peasants. The lathial even featured in anti-British movements during the colonial rule and also during the 1971 liberation war against the “Hanadar Bahini”.

Due to urbanisation, this form of sport has lost its’ popularity, being recognised now only as a rural sport. But up until 1989, an annual lathi khela convention used to be held in Kushtia, but due to loss of popularity and practice, the event now is held only once every 3 years.


Traditional Bangladeshi Sports
 

JowGaWolf

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Ok. Everyone is having way too much fun with the staffs and sticks. So I couldn't resist in checking out what happens "in Da Hood." I figured that there must be some street fights with people using sticks. And all I can say is.
Probably everyone in a village has a good stick to hit someone with.

Just from seeing how may family lives in the Philippines. I can only assume everyone has a good knife to stick someone with and that more than half of the village knows some kind of martial arts
 

JowGaWolf

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Due to urbanisation, this form of sport has lost its’ popularity, being recognised now only as a rural sport. But up until 1989, an annual lathi khela convention used to be held in Kushtia, but due to loss of popularity and practice, the event now is held only once every 3 years.
Hopefully it will last, especially if schools open up outside of the country. People are always interested in "new" martial arts.
 
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Syed01

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Ok. Everyone is having way too much fun with the staffs and sticks. So I couldn't resist in checking out what happens "in Da Hood." I figured that there must be some street fights with people using sticks. And all I can say is.
Probably everyone in a village has a good stick to hit someone with.

Just from seeing how may family lives in the Philippines. I can only assume everyone has a good knife to stick someone with and that more than half of the village knows some kind of martial arts


It's kind of embarrassing to admit but us Bengalis specially from Bangladesh are peaceful havoc loving people. It's really normal to see politically affiliated people fighting with each other by using sticks (long,short, medium size), machetes, small knives, oar etc during election time (specially in rural areas) and not everyone of them are lathi khela practicioners. Specially people living in shoal are known to use lathi/stick because dispute of "who owns what area" always goes on (nowadays it's reducing though). Lathi Khela nowadays is more of a cultural sports for entertainment than an actual widespread recognised fighting art with universal curriculum system. As the old saying in Bengali goes, "jar lathi, tar mati (the one who weilds the stick rules the land)"
 

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peaceful havoc loving people.

That description is epic! We recently spent the day watching England play Bangladesh ( at cricket) the Bangladeshi fans have enormous energy and enthusiasm. No stick or any other type of fights though but just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to spend the day with them. :)
 
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Syed01

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That description is epic! We recently spent the day watching England play Bangladesh ( at cricket) the Bangladeshi fans have enormous energy and enthusiasm. No stick or any other type of fights though but just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to spend the day with them. :)


We lost to India in semi final though. India was cool, however Pak outplayed them in the final (And a huge number of Bangladeshi crowd were having diabolic satisfaction just to see India lost the final lol).
 

JowGaWolf

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It's kind of embarrassing to admit but us Bengalis specially from Bangladesh are peaceful havoc loving people. It's really normal to see politically affiliated people fighting with each other by using sticks (long,short, medium size), machetes, small knives, oar etc during election time (specially in rural areas) and not everyone of them are lathi khela practicioners. Specially people living in shoal are known to use lathi/stick because dispute of "who owns what area" always goes on (nowadays it's reducing though). Lathi Khela nowadays is more of a cultural sports for entertainment than an actual widespread recognised fighting art with universal curriculum system. As the old saying in Bengali goes, "jar lathi, tar mati (the one who weilds the stick rules the land)"
I'm studying how to fight with my Kung Fu weapons, specifically the staff so all of what I saw was very interesting. As for those who don't practice Lathi Khela, think of it as a good thing. I didn't see many of the non Lathi Khela practitioners utilize any pokes which is a good thing. I wouldn't want to be poked in the face with a staff, or in the foot.

I hope Lathi Khela doesn't turn too much into a sport. It would be a shame to lose the combat knowledge of it.


.
 

Langenschwert

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You do see the kneeling in Georgian sword & buckler fencing too. In my experience, it does reduce target, but also maintains reach when striking lower targets. You lose reach when bending over, but not if the whole torso lowers. I don't actually take a knee in sword & buckler, but I do often have my rear knee just a couple of inches off the ground.
 

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