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Bando: Burma's Art of the Boar
Part 2: Animal Forms of Bando

 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Introduction
• Part 2: Animal Forms
• Part 3: Controversy
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• Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts

Bando can be thought of as a unified martial art that includes hand strikes, kicks, and grappling moves. This places bando in a select group of unified arts, but what truly sets bando apart is its modelling of some quite unique animal forms. The following table describes the animal forms of bando and each form's characteristics.

Animal Forms of Bando



Boar courage, rushing, elbowing, kneeing, butting
Bull charging, tackling, power striking
Cobra attacking upper vital points
Deer alertness
Eagle double hand blocking and striking
Monkey agility, confidence
Paddle Bird rapid flight
Panther circling, leaping, tearing
Python crushing, strangling, gripping
Scorpion pinching and seizing nerve centers
Tiger clawing, ripping
Viper attacking lower vital points
source: Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts, by Draeger and Smith

Universal to these animal forms are basic precepts of combat, including an emphasis on footwork to maneuver outside the opponent's arms, much like Enshin karate's moving to the opponent's blind side before striking. As a unified art, bando transitions quickly to grappling after the initial strike--the ability to seize and grapple is retained even when wielding a weapon. For this reason, bando has a reputation for being very effective--it's one of the base styles of the Dog Brothers' Stickgrappling style, for example.

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