The Python is a military system that was time tested in combat. Combat techniques are designed for their highest effect (casualty / death) with minimal effort in the least amount of time. Only 10 percent of the Python can be applied to martial sports and self-defense use because of its military applications. This is the basis of so much secrecy surrounding these systems and why masters are slow to teach such techniques. These systems, to survive and withstand the test of time in real wartime combat, have much more to them than just kicking and punching alone. Every martial system can be examined by its basic structure elements.
Where did the model for these martial systems originate? The eastern cultures strive for harmony with nature and its great forces. There is no better model for a fighting system than the perfect killing machines found in nature. Animals, like the python, have evolved and adapted to survive for thousands of years. How does man take these behavioral traits and qualities and form a fighting system for humans?
To understand the Python Martial System of Bando, you must deal with its mythological foundation. The myth and symbolism of serpents and other animals play an important role in most cultures in Burma.
The snake or serpent has a long history of myths and cultural perceptions in eastern and western societies. In Christian society, the snake myth is perceived as evil and temptation through the Bible. In some eastern societies, the snake myth symbolizes fertility and renewal of life.
Through these myths, humans project various meanings toward animals and attach certain behaviors. Every country or culture uses animals symbolically to represent different meanings. For example, the wolf myth in American culture symbolizes cleverness, independence, etc.; the American Eagle stands for power, strength, etc.
The Python Martial System has it’s own mythic qualities and symbolism of the giant Burmese Python constrictor snake. When we establish the governing foundation of, and the highest level of meanings of the myths and symbolism of the python snake, we will equal the basic underlying philosophy of this animal system.
Animal systems can be understood on a basic level in these terms: Philosophy, Principles, and Practices. The philosophical foundation is the basic structure or building block of any martial system. Without this there would be no proper principles or practices. The purpose of training animal systems is to understand how that animal adapts to nature and environment and to understand their survival techniques and principles. These behaviors are what humans seek to imitate for a fighting system. Mankind has always lived in harmony with nature as we try to use animals as a reflection of ourselves. The purpose of training Bando is to honor the great animals that we give to the mythic interpretations. The philosophy of the Python System is derived from the laws of nature that govern them in the environment. Laws of limitations, likewise, govern the python. Man’s brain helps him transcend some of these laws of nature, but not all of then.
In the Python System, we are trying to develop knowledge by understanding that every animal system is controlled by a certain set of laws. The python practitioner must find out what are these laws and how appropriate and useful they are to us humans for a martial system. Certain animals are meat eaters and some are vegetarians. The python is basically a meat eater. All meat-eating animals need to develop and have skills and techniques to control or capture their prey. This is where the principles and practices come into play. There is no way a tiger can be taught to be a vegetarian. Its own laws of limitations govern the python. Principles of different animals can be understood by looking at who is their prey and how do they stalk it. The tiger’s weapons are claws, teeth and its weight. The cobra uses its fangs and poison. The bull uses its horns, hoofs, weight and strength. The python uses its striking ability to stun and its great constricting power.
Weapons are the key to an animal’s survival. If the weapons are injured, the animal is doomed to die. The nature of weapons is the essence of all offensive techniques. Without proper weapons, there is no martial system. To excel in the python system, you must strive to advance to the best physical and mental state and get practitioners in top physical condition by the imitations of principles of animals. The python man must study the structure and anatomy of the snake, learn it’s philosophy and characteristics of striking and constricting power. These python practices or drills are the essence of the system not just techniques to be memorized. The weapons must be developed. In the python system a strike has more purpose than just a hit, a stunning blow, or pre-technique, which precedes a grab or wrap. Grabs in the python have three purposes: 1) so the prey cannot escape (e.g. grabbing the limbs, arms, legs, etc.), 2) to develop constriction or asphyxiation (e.g. to the body, neck and mouth), and 3) breaking techniques to cause death.
Humans imitate pythons by responding appropriately to a fighting situation in context to many factors like environment; first of all by choosing amongst the three levels of behavior. These contextual behaviors are applied techniques to produce certain results.