Thaing Bando-Burmese Arts Information

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sokklab

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Hello,
It is my understanding that there are a number of people on this board who are highly qualified in the Burmese arts, particularly Thaing/ Bando.

I have been doing Thai Arts for a long time. I now have the opportunity to train in Thaing Bando, but I would like to get a hopefully decent overview of the Principles of the Art (s).

I am in touch with an Instructor here in the UK via a third party and gradually gleaning information about it from them. But this is taking a while and I felt that I'd 'gen up' on what to expect whilst I'm waiting.

To me, the Burmese arts are very close to Thai Arts, in that Burmese Boxing (Bama Lethwei) is very like Thai Boxing. My thinking is that Bando is very much like Ling Lom, in that it (Bando) contains Lethwei, the same way that Ling Lom contains Muay(Boran)Thai.

In Bando doesn't the Boar and The Bull Animal(s) represent Lethwei? As each animal represents certain physical, metaphorical etc characteristics?

Also it is my understanding that Thaing just means Self-Protection and that Bando means Way of Self-Protection, are the two the same thing, or are they different arts?

I'd always thought that Thaing was an equivilant term to Pahuyuth, the Thai term meaning 'Multi-Faceted Fighting System' (That contains the weapons arts Krabi Krabong, Fandab, Awud Thai and the Unarmed stuff, Ling Lom and Muay Boran), in that it was an encompassing word for the entire system of practice???

Isn't the main Principle in Bando to go 'Off-Line' Ie avoiding the direct power of any on-coming attack???

Can anybody tell me more? Any information on the Principles and Practice is received gratefully. Thanks in Advance.
 

OULobo

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Hello sokklab,

I'm sorry I didn't answer your initial posting, but I did get your PM. My answer was too long for the PM feature so I decided to post it here. I hope I can help you now. I had read your posting, but I was hoping that you would draw an answer from Saya Phil Dunlap. He is a Thiang Bando practitioner on the east coast and is probly the best person to answer your questions. I haven't had the chance to practice with him, but he is very knowledgable and does show up at MartialTalk on occation.

The reason I say this is because I have practiced the American Bando Association's Bando under Dr. M. Gyi for a few years, and I have found that it is changed significantly from any system of the Karen, Shan, Nagas, Kachins and other local ethnic groups of Burma/Myanmar. Phil's is a little more authentic on the ethnic side. The ABA is a mix of traditional Bando, Lethwei, Gurkha fighting tactics and some American influenced versions of other martial arts.

All that being said, the ABA's Bando still has it's roots in the traditional art and most of the information is still there. I will help as best I can. Consequently, I am no longer an active or practicing member of the ABA as I am currently pursuing my first love, the Filipino and Indonesian martial arts. I am still in contact with many of the instructors, and I plan on restarting my training when the timing is right.

sokklab said:
I have been doing Thai Arts for a long time. I now have the opportunity to train in Thaing Bando, but I would like to get a hopefully decent overview of the Principles of the Art (s).

I am in touch with an Instructor here in the UK via a third party and gradually gleaning information about it from them. But this is taking a while and I felt that I'd 'gen up' on what to expect whilst I'm waiting.

To me, the Burmese arts are very close to Thai Arts, in that Burmese Boxing (Bama Lethwei) is very like Thai Boxing. My thinking is that Bando is very much like Ling Lom, in that it (Bando) contains Lethwei, the same way that Ling Lom contains Muay(Boran)Thai.

Lethwei is very much like Muay Thai in its practice. This is for a very simple reason, proximity. The Burmese (collectively) and the Thais have been quarreling for centuries, and when they are not quarreling they are always up for a little friendly (or not so friendly) competition. As the two societies competed with each other they evolved around and with each other. This is why the systems are so much alike. The are subtle differences like the ethnic tattoos of the Burmese, the prefered techniques, traditional garb, and ceremonies.

sokklab said:
In Bando doesn't the Boar and The Bull Animal(s) represent Lethwei? As each animal represents certain physical, metaphorical etc characteristics?

I have always been told that the animals of Bando were originally for people whose bodies and personalities matched that of the fighting style of the animal. The Bull and the Boar are styles that lend themselves in technique, physical characteristic and attitude towards the competition ring. In the ABA there are 9 animals, whereas I hear that the traditional system has more.

sokklab said:
Also it is my understanding that Thaing just means Self-Protection and that Bando means Way of Self-Protection, are the two the same thing, or are they different arts?

I'd always thought that Thaing was an equivilant term to Pahuyuth, the Thai term meaning 'Multi-Faceted Fighting System' (That contains the weapons arts Krabi Krabong, Fandab, Awud Thai and the Unarmed stuff, Ling Lom and Muay Boran), in that it was an encompassing word for the entire system of practice????

If I am not mistaken, Thiang is a term for combat and Bando is a term for dicipline. As always the translation of words are never good at conveying the true meaning to a non-native speaker.

sokklab said:
Isn't the main Principle in Bando to go 'Off-Line' Ie avoiding the direct power of any on-coming attack???"

It depends on the style and system, but as in many arts the idea of evasion is always a primary concept.

I hope that this helps some and please feel free to ask anything. If I don't have an answer I will find someone who does.
 
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sokklab

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Thank You for your reply and PM OULobo,

I've seen Phil D's site and the training looks pretty much like what I've been doing for ages.

One last thing if I may? Am I correct in thinking that Thaing Bando is a much 'bigger' system than Lethwei. Bigger in terms of it Contains Lethwei, but also a lot of other stuff that is not found in the Ring Art???

Ie Each Animal has certain characteristics (as refered to), in that example say a snake's techniques would involve either strangulation or attacks to vital points?? That's what I've read about the Characteristics of teh Animals in Bando.

How are these animals trained, are there any 'sets'/ katas etc in Bando practice?

Probably just like Ling Lom, in that it contains Muay Boran Thai, but there's alot more to it. My thinking is that it will be pretty much like this.

The reason I want to be sure, is that when I begin training with these guys, I have to travel considerable distances and it will cost me a pretty penny, so I just want to get a good overview of what 'it' entails, before committing, hence the questions.

Once again, thanks for your help in this matter.
 

OULobo

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sokklab said:
Thank You for your reply and PM OULobo,

One last thing if I may? Am I correct in thinking that Thaing Bando is a much 'bigger' system than Lethwei. Bigger in terms of it Contains Lethwei, but also a lot of other stuff that is not found in the Ring Art???

Ie Each Animal has certain characteristics (as refered to), in that example say a snake's techniques would involve either strangulation or attacks to vital points?? That's what I've read about the Characteristics of teh Animals in Bando.

How are these animals trained, are there any 'sets'/ katas etc in Bando practice?

That's exactly right. The ABA generally uses Lethwei as a gateway to the rest of the art. It proves desire, drive and ability. Other parts of the art include Naban, the animal systems, the master systems, weapons work, combatives, even meditation and Yoga. The animal systems I trained were taught by forms, techniques, attitude and tactics. Each animal has forms, favored techniques, a defining attitude that gives a "style" or "flavor" of fighting, and tactics that are most often employed. Example: a bull will be large and strong; he has a form and certain techniques that mimic the horns of the bull; an attitude of attacking and overpowering by brute strength and stamina; and includes tactics like charges and lateral strikes. Some animal systems even have sub-systems like the three types of cobra or weapons specific to the animal, like the boar stick.
 

blackdiamondcobra

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In Myanmar most people use the term Thaing. Specifically the term Bando and Bando practitioners were found in pockets here and there. I did meet and train with Bando people wherever I could and it seemed I could find them but not as easily as one thinks. There is tremendous diversity within Thaing masters and ethnic groups play a large part of that. Some of directly influenced by the Chinese systems, some more so by India or Tibet, some a direct mixture of several influences. Animal systems dont dominate as maybe they once did but you will see something like a system based on a square or a box system or a circle. Not all of them are redirecting soft systems. Some are hard, brutal and direct. I found that the systems are too vast to confine down to one system or approach.

Alot of Thaing and Bando masters did not teach or engage in Lethwei. Likewise, many of the Lethwei masters were very devoted to Lethwei and Lethwei alone and did not teach anything else. Lethwei remains a bare knuckle art. There are now more international type tournaments several times a year where Lethwei is fought in a full size ring, with one referee, with regulation length hand wraps, and other concessions to make it more internationally palpable. But for the most part alot of fighters still fight in the sand or dirt with the endless last round. Lethwei training is evolving as well with some trainers holding to old style training(similiar to specific old style Thai systems like Muay Chaiya.Muay Khorat) and some doing more modern(similiar to ring muay thai) and some doing a mixture. In regards to Ling Lom, this is a very old art and one more synomous with the psycho-spiritual in terms of facing life and death combat. What I see around now is nothing more than modern day recreation from old texts oddly devoid of the deep psycho-spiritual. The deep roots remain in the Burmese arts especially in the ethnic arts which have remained closed off or rarely visited by outsiders so the parallels remain between the very old systems of Thailand and Burma in these respects. Also what is nice is that alot of very old systems still exist while in Thailand they are vanishing or have vanished.

I found the burmese arts for the most part very distinct in their approaches where as after spending many, many years training and researching the older weapons and muay systems in thailand I thought they would be closer. There are commonalities but there are alot of differences in approaches because of the vast ethnic makeups(these makeups appear in thailand as well with the older Mon schools of weapons training, ayutthia, southern, etc). I cover alot of the bare knuckle material in my upcoming book The Vanishing Flame and the corresponding weapons systems in Art of Kings. Alot of my research is to demystify and put the systems into perspective cross culturally through extensive first hand training and scholarly research.

Sokklab I notice you are from London. There is a Burmese teacher from Myanmar in England right now. Is he the one you are referring to? On the last trip to Myanmar I met some of his burmese friends who were wearing the school t shirt. I will be returning to Yangon shortly and check for contact info. You can contact me as well if you are interested in some of the seminars we hold in NYC with the various masters who visit here, if you can make it over to the US>
 
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sokklab

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blackdiamondcobra said:
I cover alot of the bare knuckle material in my upcoming book The Vanishing Flame and the corresponding weapons systems in Art of Kings. Alot of my research is to demystify and put the systems into perspective cross culturally through extensive first hand training and scholarly research.

Sokklab I notice you are from London. There is a Burmese teacher from Myanmar in England right now. Is he the one you are referring to? On the last trip to Myanmar I met some of his burmese friends who were wearing the school t shirt. I will be returning to Yangon shortly and check for contact info. You can contact me as well if you are interested in some of the seminars we hold in NYC with the various masters who visit here, if you can make it over to the US>
Thanks to OULobo and to you BDC, just the type of info I was after.

With regards to the Thaing teacher, are you referring to Saya Richard Morris? If not could you please let me know who this person is and where they are teaching? Burmese Arts are very very rare here. Any assistance you could give me, would be very much appreciated.

Also do you know of any true Ling Lom teachers etc in Thailand? I have been over to Berlin a couple of times, when funds allow and have been looking into finding Real teachers in Thailand and Burma (Myanmar), I plan to go over, if I can find legitimate teachers etc. Hence doing my research.

On another point. I had heard that you were writing a Book. I will gladly review a copy when it comes out on my site, if you so wish and can perhaps help to promote it. When's it coming out? Publishers?

Hey, i've never been to NYC, my girlfriend's always going on about going....who knows?

Anyways, many thanks for the replies, any more information anybody can give me, it's very much appreciated.
 

OULobo

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sokklab said:
Anyways, many thanks for the replies, any more information anybody can give me, it's very much appreciated.

Always glad to help a seeker of knowledge in any way. If you need more info all you have to do is ask, I'm sure someone will chime in with an answer and welcome to MartialTalk.com.
 

blackdiamondcobra

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Sokklab:
I dont think it was richard. I will check when I get back to Yangon in a few weeks. Is Richard burmese?

The first book will be out hopefully by christmas --it is the first imprint of a new music and film production entity. DVDs for each will follow.

If you are interested in researching and seeing alot of the older material, time is running out. The older masters who hold the keys are dying off and the younger ones are seeing commercial dollars in their eyes and the distortion and mythology is taking effect especially in thailand.

Ling lom, pahuyuth and other topics i have written on ad nauseum and will cover them in my book.

You can send me your email for some upcoming events both here in NY and in thailand, burma and cambodia.
 
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sokklab

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blackdiamondcobra said:
Sokklab:
I dont think it was richard. I will check when I get back to Yangon in a few weeks. Is Richard burmese?

The first book will be out hopefully by christmas --it is the first imprint of a new music and film production entity. DVDs for each will follow.

If you are interested in researching and seeing alot of the older material, time is running out. The older masters who hold the keys are dying off and the younger ones are seeing commercial dollars in their eyes and the distortion and mythology is taking effect especially in thailand.

Ling lom, pahuyuth and other topics i have written on ad nauseum and will cover them in my book.

You can send me your email for some upcoming events both here in NY and in thailand, burma and cambodia.
Please do check the Thaing teacher in the UK, on my behalf. I'd very much appreciate it. I look forward to seeing your book etc and will send you my email address in order to get more info about up-coming events. Thanks alot for your help.

Oh and I don't know if Richard is Burmese or not, at this point, I haven't met him. I know that he goes regularly back and forth to Burma and is going again in September.

Oh BTW-Where can I find your writings on these subjects, are you refering to Articles that you have written in Magazines, websites etc.
 

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Hi Lobo,

If I may stray slightly, The art of the, Gatka, Sikh of Punjab. Very hard to find information on it that gives details, would you know, if Thaing Bando is close or ???

I have read with interest and talked to a few, India (non Sikh) that say it is very covert and taught to only the devout.

I saw some of the weaponry and was just curious. The "Gatka" which is the stick, with a hand guard is interesting. I have a feeling it is very much related to the stick arts since they have been practicing it since the 15th century and earlier. Some writings I have read talks about thousands of years. Probably an earlier art when, Alexander the great, fought the Punjab?

Regards, Gary
 

OULobo

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I am woefully uneducated in Gatka. All I know is that it is an Indian art, related to the Sikh. As for a relation to Thaing-Bando, I doubt that they are much alike. Again my background is more in the ABA form of Bando, not the Thiang popularized in the US by Phil Dunlap. The reason I would doubt their liknesses is that while they are relatively close in proximity, they are worlds apart in culture. The amount of ethnic groups that divide the areas of India and the areas of Burma are vast, and so I would think that, even barring the development of each art within its local, if the art was transfered across this distance before the time of machine assisted travel, the chance that the art would remain intact or recognizable would be slim. Just my opinion though.
 
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Infrazael

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So Burmese Boxing (Thaing) is influenced by animals as well? Very interesting, because animal forms play a large part in many Kung-Fu styles.
 

Bammx2

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Hey OUlobo,


I was just wondering,out of curiosity,have you ever met or trained with jose' connors?
He's in Huber Heights,just outside of Dayton.
He's also one of Dr.Gyi's pupils.
I trained Kali with jose' quite exstensiveley. He also got my interest slightly piqued in Bando.

Just wondering...
 

OULobo

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Bammx2 said:
Hey OUlobo,


I was just wondering,out of curiosity,have you ever met or trained with jose' connors?
He's in Huber Heights,just outside of Dayton.
He's also one of Dr.Gyi's pupils.
I trained Kali with jose' quite exstensiveley. He also got my interest slightly piqued in Bando.

Just wondering...

Yes. I know Jose. I train rather extensively with his sister school, Jeff Brown. Jose and Jeff are BBs in Bando and can definitly teach you quite a bit.
 

tradrockrat

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Infrazael said:
So Burmese Boxing (Thaing) is influenced by animals as well? Very interesting, because animal forms play a large part in many Kung-Fu styles.
All of Bando is influenced by animals. As previously stated, there are 9 primary animal styles in the ABA, thought there are numerous "minor" animal styles that are more along the lines of skill sets rather than complete systems.

The Boar system is connected very strongly to Thiang. Think knees, elbows, infighting, and sustained locks (fighting in a phone booth).

the other 8 animal systems are:
Cobra
Viper
Python
Bull
Tiger
Panther
Eagle
and Scorpion
 
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