There are nine major animals systems in the Bando system and eight out of the nine animal systems represent animals or reptiles that live solely on the ground. The ancient Bando Eagle system is the only Bando Animal System representing a bird of prey where the sky is its domain.
The Eagle system is driven by three unique attributes that set it apart from the other systems.
1. Wings – which give it the swift and agile abilities for flight or fight;
2. Talons – which give it the gripping power to kill and carry its prey.
3. Beak – which allows it to cut or tear its food for survival.
The Eagle is an excellent symbol of nature with strong qualities of being courageous, swift, and agile. An Eagle practitioner, in their attempt to emulate this regal animal, must also possess similar abilities of unrelenting, continuous, agile, fast movements through defensive stepping, covering, and blocking techniques. The Eagle practitioner learns the art of breaking the balance of their opponent as well as deflection of their weapons for counter attack. The Eagle practitioner also strives to capture the disposition, or psychology of the animal; its qualities of pride, courage, honor, and aloofness. Similarly, practitioners of the Eagle system although varied much like the Eagles themselves are typically of smaller physical stature than the practitioners of the Tiger, Python and most certainly the bull systems and must employ different tactics to defend against, control and incapacitate an opponent. The combination of these specific attributes and weaknesses dictate the philosophy of the Eagle system.
Compared to other predatory animals the body of the Eagle is relatively small. It cannot rely on its body size alone to overwhelm its prey and to defend from attack. It must leverage its attributes of sight, speed, flight and wingspan to survive. In representing the magnificent span of its wings the Eagle system commands an authority of accuracy and proper distancing whereby long to medium range attacks and two-handed blocks and strikes are controlled through the use of footwork and body movement.
Defensively, footwork and body movement are combined with two-handed blocks and parries to safely move into position from where counter strikes can be made. Stepping in the Eagle system is done to support the need for middle to long-range offense and defense. It is very difficult for the Eagle to deliver its long-range weapons in close combat. Therefore, proper stepping is essential for the success in maintaining these ranges. The body position of the Eagle student is usually square with body agility for leaning, twisting and turning during offensive and defensive postures. Body turns, leans and sways are done to evade or deflect strikes and holds or to generate power for wing strikes.
Offensively, striving to imitate this bird of prey, the practitioner uses their limbs as the Eagles’ wings, fingers as the Eagles’ talons and hands woven together to represent the Eagles’ beak. The wings (palms and forearms) are used to stun, parry, trap or strike, the talons (fingers) are used to hold, crush or grab and the beak (clasped hands) is used to pierce, tear or rip. Two-handed strikes are used to confuse and to strike deep into target areas. Targets are small vital areas, those that will quickly incapacitate and opponent so as to neutralize a threat quickly before harm can come to ones self.
The hand movements in the Eagle system involve full circle, half circle or straight patterns to emulate the wings of the bird with blocking, striking, or trapping. More than 90% of the movements are made with two hands to block, strike or trap. Both hands are used simultaneously or alternately when blocking, trapping or striking.
An Eagle has very acute vision and its targets must be precise and accurate. The major target areas are the high (eyes, throat and face), middle (spine, kidneys and solar plexus), and low targets (groin, inside thigh and instep/toes). The Eagle practitioner will often attack two or more targets simultaneously. Just as an Eagle will coordinate his speed and timing of flight with eyesight and grabbing so must the Eagle system practitioner learn to coordinate the use of their legs and arms while stepping, spinning or sweeping. The Eagle student soon learns that just as an Eagle misses his target on the first attack not all techniques will be effective in one attempt. Therefore, there are numerous secondary attacks built into every attack. If the initial attempt was unsuccessful an immediate secondary shot will then be thrown. In many instances a feint is made first to distract or deceive the opponent with the secondary intended as a follow-up or finishing blow. The expansive limbs of the Eagle are used to be an effective deceptive move in fighting. One might feign with one hand and then strike with the other hand; or feint with the foot and then strike with the hands; or feint with the hands and kick or sweep with the foot.
As with all of the Bando Animal systems, training in the Bando Eagle system requires diligent practice and dedication through a variety of drills and exercises. Many of these drills are done for conditioning and strengthening of the weapons, drills for coordination and balance through stepping and stances, drills for proper breath for striking, drills for speed and sight for accuracy and timing, and drills for offense and defensive tactics. The Bando Eagle system includes an extensive curriculum of techniques and principles and takes years to master.