The American Bando Association
The Bando martial arts systems, while containing traditional fighting techniques common to most styles, also includes techniques aimed at healing, health maintenance, and non violent defense. These included the practice of internal energy systems, meditations, and evasive, non violent martial techniques. The Monk System, Min Zin training, moving meditations, still meditations, yoga, and massage exercises are the yin aspects of Bando training. These important training components are rooted in the ancient traditions of Eastern Philosophy, and the model of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is through balanced practice and understanding of these concepts that the Bando practitioner develops a higher level of power, and moves beyond the realm of martial sports and on to the path of the true warrior.
Bando training is divided into three main areas of emphasis: Hurting, Healing, and Harmonizing.
When a person begins Martial Training, the hurting systems are the prime focus. The student learns basic techniques to deal with conflict. Bando ethics teaches the student to only use their training to defend themselves, their family, or their country. The student and teacher must share a responsibility of cultivating the Body, Mind AND Spirit of the individual, in order to ensure that the student becomes a person of Honor and Respect, who will always use the skills and gifts of The Bando System responsibly and wisely. It is at this intermediate point of training that the student must look inward to his or her own spirit in order to gain understanding of the motivations of anger, revenge and fear. These are the enemies from within. They must be faced and overcome. This period of introspection will guide the student to the true path of the Warrior. It is the path that unites Body, Mind and Spirit through the systems of Hurting, Healing and Harmonizing. This unity is what distinguishes the well rounded martial artist from mere street fighters and thugs.
The path of the Warrior is one of Dedication and Honor. It is a path that protects peace through strength. When a fighter is simply a fighter, who embraces only the yang, there is no balance, no higher purpose, no meaning, and no growth. It is through the study of the yin side of the arts that the dignity of the warrior spirit evolves.
The Manual of The Bando Discipline, by U Ba Than(Gyi) defines three major styles of Bando training. Hard Style, Middle Style, and Soft Style. Hard Style refers to rugged combat training. Middle style is similar to classic Karate training, and Soft style is
“often referred to as the Unity of Body, Mind and Spirit. The movements and drills of the Soft Style Bando are above fighting, above combat training and above defensive systems. Soft Style Bando tones and develops the harmony of the body and mind, the mind and the spirit, and the spirit and the body. Low deep breathing, slow soft movements and point concentration are examples of Soft Style Bando exercises designed to cultivate the harmony of body, mind and spirit. This is no doubt the highest style of the Bando Discipline.”