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Video: Ron Meekins, Bando Kukri Master

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by alexs, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. alexs


    Nov 26, 2009
    Sorry, I am not sure if this has been posted already or not.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2010
  2. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    I don't know anything about bando, but this first technique resembles a classic Japanese sword movement. (without the proper footwork)
    The guy in blue added something that resembles the "blood flinging" movement also used by some Japanese sword schools.

    Do I use Japanese budo with my khukuri? You bet, but I don't sell it and I don't call it something else. (and I would teach it right if I did)
    The blade that goes over your arm isn't meant to catch the incoming sword. It's only a shield to protect you as you move inside his cut.
    Timing is everything.
  3. alexs


    Nov 26, 2009

    You seem displeased with what you have seen. That wasn't my intent, so here comes another rant:

    I don't know anything about Bando either, that's why I thought it would be interesting to see. Is it derivative from some Kendo Kata somewhere else? Probably, or perhaps both arts reached the same conclusion from different paths. My favorite metaphor is that "there are many ways to the top of the mountain, but once there, the view is the same." I agree with you that it was funny to see a "Chiburi" for some added flair but much of classic art is now done for flair and even if it had a purpose long ago, it was lost over time. It was Bruce Lee's goal for his art always (except in his movies) to remove the useless and leave only the useful from the traditional art, though to be fair one has to be a real master of the traditional to know the intention behind every little subtle move.

    Most everything humans do nowadays is derivative. Especially martial arts! Heck, if you go to an extreme, one could even simplify things so much as to say everything martial in East Asia started out in Shao Lin and spread out from there. As though as nobody hurt anyone in a fancy way before Bodhidharma!!!

    Is Shorinji Kempo the same as Shao Lin Chuan Fa, and is that in turn the same as Korean Hapkido? Is traditional Ryukyu Karate really just "Chinese Hand," and would Japanese Karate even exist if not for the violent invasion of Okinawa leading eventually to the renaming of the art into "Open Hand" by brainwashed, nationalist Japanese swept up in WW II craze and hating anything Chinese? Would Aikido even exist without the Jujitsu training of Ueshiba or his later trip to China and possible training in the 3 internal Chinese arts, or should we just write if off as derivative and useless? Would Jeet Kune Do exist without the Wing Chun training of Bruce Lee or did he just steal all his moves from Eastern and Western Boxing? Should anyone who ever uses their elbows and knees in a fight pay royalties to Muay Thay, or going even further back to Muay Boran? In fact, should we say the Japanese concepts of Ki and Budo is just derivative of Chinese Chi and Wu thus making them useless because they were renamed and perhaps even taught "improperly"?

    As for the move you are referring to, I agree that you see it both in Kendo/Iaido and in European sword arts too. After all, there are only so many ways to deflect a sword with the upward glance and step into it for the kill with a downwards swing and the variations are minor once you put a kiri-age and kesa-giri somewhere in it (even with the added hit to "kote" right before the finishing blow, which I personally think was useless and unnecessary if not even dangerous, but what do I know?). It is still a great move in every art because it is natural and instinctive even without what a Japanese sword-school would consider "proper" footwork. After all, there is so many "proper" ways as there are religions; are they all right, or are they all wrong; or should we maybe adapt and learn form as many as we can to better ourselves?

    No, being derivative doesn't scare me, what scares me is that in these peaceful times what the "sensei's" and "sifu's" teach hasn't been battle-tested by them in the field and they are just repeating what was said to be effective by their own masters. This perhaps leaves more room nowadays for the skills of a Krav Maga- or a San Soo-trained, battle-scarred soldier or even an MMA fighter who has at least had a chance to see what moves would cost him a match and what would win him a match (I can't even keep a straight face saying that!). There are no copyrights on ideas that can save your life or win you a fight once the "meme" of the technique is out in the public domain, whatever name you put on that meme, and whatever money you make by teaching others survival skills. And if one sucks as a teacher, the students would know it and seek another master. Not to mention that the combat effectiveness of tradional arts has now been almost universally replaced by martial art's benefits for discipline (Shao Lin wushu, and every Japanese art), muscle tone and weight loss (Kendo, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Kick Boxing, Savate), meditation and anger management (Ki-Aikido, Tai Chi, Ba Gua, Chi Gong, Hsing-I), concentration (Iaido), and the list goes on and on.

  4. captlid


    Feb 23, 2002
    Why reinvent the wheel when actual blade arts like escrima and kali already exist?
    That have been proven in battle as recently as the last major world war and are probably still used today for their intended purposes.

    Or even better yet, the average nepali in the countryside already uses their khukuri for just about everything...
    Its not that far off skill wise from lop the buffalo head off to lop a human head off! :eek:

    If there's one thing humans have been great at since time memorial is killing each other, in the most efficient manner possible.

    I know that was a training exercise, but what they were doing looked like it will get someone very killed on a dynamic battlefield. Trained in capoeira for about a year. And the two things that our teacher harped on the most was, evasion and timing. The evasion was for ducking blades. Your opponent historically usually had small or big blades in each hand and sometimes inside their toes! :eek:
    We were not taught even one block, only later did the teacher show us take down moves that are similar to jujitsu.. once we mastered moving the hell out of the way that is!!

    If some guy is swinging a 3 foot long razor blade at me [or shooting a rifle], I am not gonna stand there and block him, I am gonna move. Mainly cause I love my body parts too much and would like to keep all my appendages intact, thank you very much. YMMV.

    Ghurkas [and the fillipinos] being jungle and mountain fighters, bet they ambushed the japanese alot. If they didn't ambush, probably stabbed them in the gut or heart first and when the poor sod was doubled over in pain, lopped his head off.... Yes it took me a while to figure out that you can stab someone with a khukuri. :eek: :p
  5. alexs


    Nov 26, 2009
    Wow! Blades on the toes! Never heard of that before; they must have looked like little oddly shaped Kerambits perhaps?

    As for blocking, it seems that different arts deal with it differently. I believe in Karate (and perhaps other external arts in general) blocking is taught and people are injury-prone while training. In Aikido (and other internal arts), deflecting is the name of the game but then your speed and timing that Danny referred to are so important that if you are not relaxed and you will miss your nanosecond window of opportunity. As Bruce Lee said, you have to be at the stage where "you" don't hit, but "it" hits by itself; "it" perhaps referring to your body left on autopilot and muscle memory from all the years of kata so conscious thought is unnecessary and will only slow you down.

    But as far as defending from a blade longer than your own, I believe it is never a great idea to block it or evade it by stepping away from the swing. Instead, I would always try to step into it if the opponent leaves a gap in the swing and close the distance fast to make the opponent's long blade a liability rather than an asset. It is against our nature to get closer to such a scary threat, so being relaxed is crucial to avoid panic. To be able to step in, however, one might need to deflect the swing with your own weapon somewhat at an angle which to the untrained eye might look like a flimsy block, but it isn't a block at all.

  6. Ryan M

    Ryan M

    Aug 18, 2001
    With blades, a static "block" is just about the dumbest thing you can do. Every time I watch a movie swordfight, I constantly go "why doesn't one of these idiots just slide his blade along the other guy's flat the next time he blocks like that, and cut off his fingers?" Especially with lightsabers, which have no guards.

    The best parry will be one which deflects the other guy's blow, and either simultaneously attacks, or leaves you in a position where you can immediately counterattack. Some good historical Western martial arts vids are available from http://www.thearma.org/Videos/TPVideos.htm

    One of the best ones to look at first is JCdemclips.mov, which is about 2/3rds of the way down the page, with the description "Summer '03. Clips of Gary G. & Shane S. assisting John C. in an ad hoc demonstration of some long-sword counter-strikes & half-swording techniques from the source manuals (this is Quicktime) 6mb"
  7. BruiseLeee


    Sep 7, 2001
    I remember a similar technique from my Grenade-fu class for use with those potato masher grenades used in WWII. One blocks the stick with the grenade while simultaneously pulling the pin. I was told it was developed for Adolf's Kamikaze regiment. It's one of those super secret techniques that if I tell anyone I have to blow them up.

  8. gravertom


    Jun 4, 2004
    yeah, the Jedi council never talks about all those poor trainee drop outs with missing fingers! hard to find useful work in the republic with less than your species normal allotment of digits!

    At least they can use rudimentary mind trick skills to beg for food!


  9. captlid


    Feb 23, 2002
    Jogo De Navalha is the term used for it. They used straight blades tied up between their toes. Also machetes [used to chop sugercane on plantations] were used in hand alot.

    They have a dance called maculele.
    Here's two masters going at it with machetes in hand.


    Alot of capoeiras movements are shown, but not followed through, especially how you hold your hands. In brazil it can get pretty rough and still quite martial. They don't teach angola [the useful grappling and take down stuff] with the blades in america unless the student really advances and dedicates themselves to the art. More focused on the acrobatics and dance aspect of it.

    Maculele in america is demonstrated with sticks [and sometimes machetes by the mestres]. Got to participate in one. That was fun. Guys don't try this with your khukuris! :p


    Here's a group of beginners dancing and at the end of the video a teacher and an advanced student go at it with blades.
    Never asked my teacher why the dancers in brazil wear hula skirts for it!!!
  10. Lion's Roar

    Lion's Roar

    Apr 11, 2004
    Ron Meekins was a great man with a great heart. Uncle Bill and him were friends. Ron was fond of HI Khukuris. He could keep you chuckling with stories for hours. In his younger days, he was much leaner and quite a handful in the ring. He passed away about a year ago.

    He's teaching on a very basic level. Bando maintains itself as a private non-commercial art. We don't sell videos and public displays like you tube have been frowned upon. You typically won't see the advanced aspects of the art online. As far as "teaching it right", I've talked to American Bando vets that have came back from wars from Vietnam to modern day, and they've had a high opinion about the training.

    If you have questions you can email. I don't want to get into a long thread just for curiosity's sake.
  11. alexs


    Nov 26, 2009

    Good info, thank you.
  12. Lion's Roar

    Lion's Roar

    Apr 11, 2004
    You're welcome. :)
  13. captlid


    Feb 23, 2002
    Another thanks. Too bad Ron is not around anymore. :grumpy:

    I do have a question if you can please indulge.
    Is bando a modern art based on the cumulative knowledge of khukuri weilders from before, kind of like shinkendo is a modern art but based on classical japanese swordsmanship.

    And was there historically an actual martial art strictly dedicated to the nepali knife?

    Ok so that's two questions. :p
  14. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    I don't know anything about bando. Never studied it.
    My opinion concerns only what is in the video.
    What is in that video is very poorly executed, obviously misunderstood, kenjutsu.
  15. C.S. Graves

    C.S. Graves

    Jun 13, 2006
    Reminds me of something I read not too long about about Algerians fixing Douk-Douks in their shoes during the French-Algerian war. Geez, it's like some kinds of low-tech James Bond stuff!

    Also recall in India some assassins used a "toe-knuckle-duster" often with a poisoned spike. :eek:
  16. captlid


    Feb 23, 2002
    The guardians of the god Kali also used silk scarves for strangulation. Doesn't leave marks. :D

    Also read about shastar vidiya, think its a sikh martial art based on old indian arts like wrestling and grappling and how they trained the warriors.

    They found out that a goat's neck was the same size as a
    human males, so they trained lopping off heads on goats. Same thing is done in Saudi Arabia today to train the state's executioners.

    Also used close range hunting to get warriors used to the adrenaline of hunting and killing an animate creature.
    Similar to how some guys in america stick wild hogs with bowies for fun.

    Always enjoyed studying how the warriors of the world train. The african arts are interesting. The kopis and sheild was used by Abyssinians [ethiopia] to hook each other over the shield. Also in North west africa hitting with hands is frowned upon. Machetes are used if they want to kill you. Hands are the forces of creation, feet are the forces of destruction.
    If you ever see an african black guy pull a blade at you, run or fight for your life.
  17. Lion's Roar

    Lion's Roar

    Apr 11, 2004
    As I mentioned, please email if you have questions.

    DIJ -quite frankly after you took a swipe at a good friend of mine with much more experience than you at your own art (without thinking or doing your homework), you don't have any credibility with me. Judging anything from that video would be like trying to discern real ninjustu from any of the commericalized neutered versions that have been sold in the last 20 years.
  18. captlid


    Feb 23, 2002
    Couldn't find your email address. Don't know if my membership allows private messages to be sent. Also thought this question can be answered publicly. Talking about technique over the internet is well not really useful..... Best demonstrated in person.
  19. Lion's Roar

    Lion's Roar

    Apr 11, 2004
    My sincere apologies... I just updated the email address on my profile.

    I agree...and I don't think that much is useful over the 'net. You never get the context or intricacies. I make an effort to NOT get on the 'net and talk training for the one simple reason that it's better to actually be training. If I let myself, I'd spend all day on the Internet. I've got kids to play with, a family to love, work to do and training to squeeze in between all that. :)
  20. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    I don't know what you are talking about and it doesn't matter. (Like you said, there are more important things) I know exactly what I am talking about and there are no "degrees of separation" between myself and the source.
    I can discern real ninpo from anything else with my eyes closed. It's as easy as telling the smell of rotten fish from an altoid. Judging the video is also very simple and clear to me.
    There is no gray area. Amateurs block, professionals move.

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