The Bando Weapons Systems division is one of the units of the American Bando Association. Weapons systems techniques are generally built on the basic movements and postures developed in the empty hand systems of Bando. The weapons systems come from military, temple and civilian sources. Through their tumultuous history the various civilizations in the China – Burma – India area have had to deal with military conquest, fighting against bandits, defense against wild animals, police actions, guarding of convoys of Buddhist and other pilgrims traveling between India and China through Burma and other challenges that required tools to extend the capabilities of individual fighters. Weapons are the tools of combat.
In ABA schools across the country, the Weapons System supports training in Dhot (stick weapons) and Dha (edged weapons). Typically the stick systems are introduced at green belt level (about two years). Edged weapons are introduced with the kukri at brown belt (about three years). New weapons are added in each rank as the student progresses. Dagger and sword systems are usually introduced above black belt rank (about five years). Although other weapons categories are part of our tradition, as detailed below, these are the primary systems covered and required to earn rank in Bando.
The Weapons Systems division provides:
- Standardized descriptions of specific weapon systems
- Clinics in specific weapons systems
- Practice weapons recommendations
- National Bando Weapons Tournament
- Certification of Achievement in specific weapons
- Evaluation of weapon systems knowledge and competence toward promotion in Bando
- Historical information on weapons systems
- Shared information on sources to purchase weapons
- Competition in weapons under systems of rules for safety so that practitioners can test their skills.
Weapons systems are supported with:
- Knowledge of the composition, construction, maintenance and repair of weapons
- Instruction in the techniques of using weapons
- Sparring with weapons under safe rules
- Hitting of training targets with weapons
- Learning the formal routines that contain the knowledge of weapons systems
- Documenting weapon systems
- Learning of the history and development of weapons and the contexts of their use
- Understanding the science of the weapon and its use
- Connecting with the spirit of the weapon and of the warriors who have used the weapons in battle