First Generation

A modified form of the Bando Discipline was first introduced into America by U Maung Gyi on April 3rd, 1960 in Washington DC. Later in Washington, Bando classes were formally conducted at the American University until the fall of 1966. The American Bando Association was officially organized at the First Bando Initiation Ceremony in the Red Room of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio at 3:00pm on June 15th, 1967.

The following initiates took the Blood Oath of the Bando Brotherhood & Martial Discipline at that time:

[For excerpts from the 1993 Free-Fighting Nationals 25th Anniversary program]

Dr. Maung Gyi Athens, OH
Laszlo Balogh Pennsylvania
Mark Bjishkian Maryland
Lloyd Davis Washington, D.C.
Stephen C. Denty West Virginia
Timothy Fleming Ohio
Gene Freeze Virginia
Charles Gaston Tennessee
Robert W. Hill Tennessee
R. Joe Manley Washington, D.C.
Robert B. Maxwell Washington, D.C.
Mashito Nashida Maryland
James L. Pugh Tennessee
Robert V. Simpson Tennessee
Brice Stolz Ohio
Robert Vanne Maryland
L. Randall Webb Tennessee
Geoffrey Willcher Maryland
Errol Younger Washington, D.C.


These men are the foundation of the American Bando Association. They are a special breed of men – men of discipline, dedication and devotion to the development of the Bando Discipline.

Out of the 18 original initiates, some have passed away and several continue to this day to be part of the American Bando Association and support its’ mission.

In 2009, Mahasayaji M. Gyi promoted 8 of these men to “Grandmaster” status.  Those men are listed below.

Robert Maxwell Geoffrey Willcher
R. Joe Manley Mark Bjishkian
Lloyd Davis Randy Webb
Stephen Denty Timothy Fleming

The American Bando Association is grateful for the many contributions these men have given in establishing the ABA and in continuing to promote the Bando System in the United States.