Coming from a history that covers thousands of years, Bando weapon systems include many types of weapons. Some of these include:
- Stick Weapons: Long staff, short stick, riot baton, pocket stick, cane, oar, etc.
- Edged Weapons: Dha sword, dagger, kukri, spear and miscellaneous edged weapons
- Projectile Weapons: Long bow, short bow, cross bow, slings, thrown objects, etc.
- Flexible Weapons: rope, sash, flexible sticks, wire, chain, etc.
- Firearms: rifle, pistol, shotgun, military weapons, artillery, explosives, etc.
- Poisons: herbs, waste products, irritants, intoxicants, insect toxins, etc.
- Traps: animal traps, camouflage, man traps,
- War Animals: dogs, horses, elephants, birds, etc.
- Improvised Weapons and Tools: weapons in the above categories made from available materials
The ABA does not systematically support skill training with all these weapons. Other organizations offer training and competition in firearms and archery. Private agencies train some animals such as dogs for security and protective use, birds for hunting or communications uses, and horses for transportation. Scouting and hunting organizations offer training in hunting, trapping and outdoor survival. Historical reenactment organizations offer combat-like training in some of these categories.
There are some categories of weapons that are of historical interest only. These include psychological weapons, poisons, psychic weapons, explosive weapons and artillery or siege weapons. Aside from trebuchets built for fun to hurl melons, we do not systematically work in these historical categories.
The ABA Weapons Systems approach is practical. We expect to learn how to use the weapons in real world conditions. We will test our techniques against real targets. We will safely test them against each other. We are more interested in effectiveness than artistic or spiritual value. The origins of our systems come out of war, battle, civilian combat, police work and other real world conditions. We usually practice with the weapon as part of the physical conditioning so that handling it becomes second nature.
ABA weapons’ training requires a more serious attitude by the student. Weapons are dangerous to the student, their partner, and to people and property nearby. Students must increase their precision and accuracy. They must increase their control over the weapon. Weapons give a mechanical and energy advantage to the warrior, but this must be controlled so that the weapon only does what its user intends.
Part of the mission of the ABA is to respect the warriors of the past, to connect with them and to respect the pain and suffering they experienced to achieve their goals in battle and in the struggle for life. Weapons are the tools of combat. To understand combat we work with these weapons to master them as we seek to master ourselves.