Training approaches and methods in Bando

jks9199

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Based on some exchanges with different folks here, I thought it'd be interesting to discuss differences in how Bando is taught and trained.

For example, I've been training under one of the earliest students of Dr. Gyi here in the US for more than 20 years. His early training was brutal; they trained to fight, several hours a day, 6 days a week. The physical training was daunting -- to say the least -- and then they'd fight. My teacher is a master of ABA Bando's basics. (And has a lot of skill with all of the 9 animal systems, too.)

My early training was repitition. And more repitition. We might drill a single technique for the entire class... until we did some sparring. Over time, the training shifted, and we learned more in-depth elements and pieces of the basics. I still try to keep the emphasis on repitition as I teach today.

But training in the ABA has changed over the years, too. I remember when the Animal systems were rarely taught, and not the major emphasis that they've become over the last several years, for example. I've seen some of the forms change and change and change again... sometimes as a result of different points of emphasis from Dr. Gyi, other times, because someone failed to remember what they were taught. I remember when there was almost no emphasis on rank...
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Interesting Jks9199!
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Bando is one of the few systems that I have had very little contact with. (ie. just a little one on one training with a couple of practitioner's) It does however look from the outside to be a very complete martial system with an emphasis on functionality and weapon or tool usage. Maybe that is just one of the reasons that so many practitioner's appear to be in Law Enforcement or the Military.
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As to training in any system particularly one that has a lot of depth I think you will find as the headmaster/founder/etc grows and ages that the training changes in a variety of ways. Certainly from first hand experiences I noticed how Remy Presas Modern Arnis changed or also training in the Bujinkan under Hatsumi has changed. This can be a change in direction or a slight change in movement due to how they move as they age.

Interesting topic and I look forward to hearing more about Bando!
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jks9199

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Interesting Jks9199!
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Bando is one of the few systems that I have had very little contact with. (ie. just a little one on one training with a couple of practitioner's) It does however look from the outside to be a very complete martial system with an emphasis on functionality and weapon or tool usage. Maybe that is just one of the reasons that so many practitioner's appear to be in Law Enforcement or the Military.
icon6.gif


As to training in any system particularly one that has a lot of depth I think you will find as the headmaster/founder/etc grows and ages that the training changes in a variety of ways. Certainly from first hand experiences I noticed how Remy Presas Modern Arnis changed or also training in the Bujinkan under Hatsumi has changed. This can be a change in direction or a slight change in movement due to how they move as they age.

Interesting topic and I look forward to hearing more about Bando!
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Even now, there's not a lot of emphasis on rank in the ABA. We only have the four belts (white, green, brown & black), and we award the student patch after 6 months to year, depending on the school and student.

ABA Bando is a very complete system; within it's span, we have empty hand approaches for long, medium and short range, weapons including the khukri, daggers and longer swords, sticks ranging from the fist stick (about palm length) up to 8 or 10 foot staff/spear forms, a system of yoga and healing, the nine primary Animals (each a complete art with its own tactics at various ranges and weapons), and the Monk System of non-violent martial arts.

I know Phil Dunlap's Kachin Bando/Thaing is a different take, though it seems to have some significant commonalities, too.

The history of the ABA style is interesting. U Ba Than and other members of the Military Athletic Club managed to convince many masters of various tribal and ethnic systems from around the country of Burma to come together and share their knowledge in order to preserve them. Often, the criteria for inclusion was whether the master could do what he claimed... Dr. Gyi has told the story several times of how one master had a wonderful stick form, and he claimed that he could beat 10 men at once with it. Well... there was nothing to do but go out to the nearest field, and put it to the test. It didn't get included... the guy didn't last very long! Other things got folded into something else, because they were very similar and didn't add anything much.

I'm going on what I've been told for the following. In the 60s and 70s tournament karate scene, Bando men stood out for both their black uniforms and hard, hard fighting. I've been told people would avoid lining up to fight... and even "cheated" by not seeing points. (Don't know; I wasn't there. Though I have personally found that I could be driving someone back with strikes that weren't seen iby judges n tournaments!) Supposedly, Dr. Gyi would hand out black belts to his students at the beginning of the tournament, only to collect them afterwards! I'd love to hear stories "from the outside" from folks around during those days...

Over the years, there have been quite a few LEOs who have found their training in Bando to be useful in the street -- and other Bando practitioners who have found that their training stood them in good stead in the streets or in the military.
 

destructautomaton

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Has bando changed alot of the recent years as well due to dr. gyi going into retirement and turning it over mostly to his senior students?
 
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jks9199

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Interesting question...

Dr. Gyi is still rather active, even though he's nominally retired. He continues to teach Min Zin and the Monk System, as well as a yogic system. And to share his insight, knowledge, and wisdom with us, too, in the Animal Systems and other aspects of Bando. He still has a powerful influence on the ABA, as well.

There has always been a lot of variation in how seperate Bando schools operate, though they all work from a common core. Some schools put their emphasis on kickboxing, others on the free hand system. Some people work more with weapons, and so on. That hasn't changed. Bando, as Dr. Gyi has shared it with us, is such a diverse and wide-ranging system that it's hard to see that changing.
 

destructautomaton

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Thanks for your response, its much appreciated!

I actually took a dr. gyi seminar a couple of years back and it was really amazing, his teaching was so clear, his progressions and his own abilities even at his age where outstanding. I was very impressed. I could see there was alot of good functional stuff in there as well.
 
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jks9199

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Thought I'd bounce this back up... I'd still love to hear from people who remember those early tournament days!
 
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