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Style descriptions: B.

Some styles of martial arts that begin with the letter B.

Bajitsu (Japan)

The Japanese art of military horsemanship.

Bandesh (India)

Bandesh is an Indian martial art. In keeping with the Hindu belief in the sanctity of human life, it practices using weapons without killing. In Bandesh competition, the winner is the one who takes the weapon from the other.

Bando (Burma)

Bando is a general term meaning "way of discipline" or "system of defense." It refers to those styles of unarmed and armed self-defense developed in Burma that employ striking, kicking, grappling and locking techniques, and throws, plus weapon techniques introduced into the U. S. by Dr. Maung Gi, a college professor in 1960 (Head of the American Bando Association).

Bando is often called Burmese karate, since it comes from the southeast Asian country of Myanmar (formerly Burma). It is also known as thaing, and may contain a subset of weapons skills called banshei. Because of Myanmar's geographical proximity to Thailand, much of Bando's empty hand techniques resemble those of muay-thai kickboxing. The art was also influenced by fighting arts imported from nearby China. Bando emphasizes the use of knives, but it uses foot and hand strikes, throws and joint locks, along with numerous other weapon techniques.

It is an art of quick draw and cut with a sword. The art from which iaijutsu was later derived.

Baujitsu (Japan)

The art of horsemanship practiced by Japanese professional warriors (bushi or samurai) for mounted warfare. It required strict control of the horse's actions on the battlefield. As part of this art, warriors developed their leg strength to enable them to maintain the proper posture for prolonged periods of swift riding and to control the horse with their legs during battle when their arms were occupied with weapons.

Bersilat (Malaysia)

Bersilat "to do fighting" is a Malaysian martial art thought to have been derived from the Indonesian martial art of pentjak-silat in the 15th century. Each school of bersilat has two branches: silat-pulat, which is a dance-like art used for public display, such at festivals; and silat-buah, which is the combat version of the art. Bersilat emphasizes leg techniques, but other types of empty hand combat are used. It is a secretive art that is handed down through families.

Binot (India)

Binot is a rare Indian martial art in which an unarmed person defends against an armed opponent. Some believe it to be the oldest of this type of combat. It is very difficult to learn and dangerous to practice.

Bojitsu (Japan)

Meaning "art of the staff," it is a collective term referring to martial systems employing a bo (long staff, over five feet in length) that developed in Japan, Okinawa, China, and elsewhere. The use of the bo dates to ancient times. In Japan, hardwood was plentiful and even the poorest person could easily arm himself. Since a wood stick is less dangerous to practice with than with a steel blade, wood weapons were used in Japanese feudal military arts schools.

The bo was popular among commoners, priest, and monks (who were denied many weapons). A shorter version of the bo, called a "jo," also became widely practiced. A whole arsenal of poles, staffs, spiked staffs, and long iron clubs were developed. The bo was sometimes tipped in iron and sometimes totally covered by iron. In modern times, its practice is an inherent part of many styles of karate and aikido.

To the traditional samurai armed with a cherished sword, the bo was considered plebeian, a weapon of the commoners, but, because of its effectiveness, it became necessary to understand its use, if for nothing other than for defensive reasons. In Japan, its study focused on techniques useful against an opponent armed with a sword or other weapon. Techniques such as blocking, parrying, striking, tripping, throwing off, off-balancing, striking, and thrusting were often combined into a single movement, the most powerful of which could break a sword or shatter a bone.

The bo has the unique advantage of having two ends, thus each successive technique with one end opens up a possible technique with the other end. The speed of movement of a trained practitioner is impressive. As a wooden weapon, it is comparably safe compared to the sword and other bladed weapons, so it is often used as a substitute for actual bladed weapons during weapons practice.

The founder of one of the most effective and famous schools of bojitsu was Muso Gonnosuke, an expert in the bo who was catapulted into prominence by his loss of a match. Using a bo in a challenge against the two-sword legend Miyamoto Musashi, Gonnosuke lost but was spared his life. Gonnsouke is said to have retreated into seclusion atop Mt. Homan where he underwent years of rigid self-discipline. He meditated, fasted, and underwent ritual purification from which he received divine inspiration. This led to the development of a shorter version of the bo that allowed a quicker response time. He developed his own special techniques, while borrowing from both bo and sword techniques. He then challenged Musashi again, this time defeating the sword legend. Gonnouke named his style shindo-muso ryu and developed a technical curriculum.

The use of the bo is so widespread that virtually every country has its own tradition. In Europe, the long staff was used by peasants during the middle ages. In China, the bo and other weapons were also widely practiced and often incorporated into various kung-fu systems. Okinawa also has systems of bojitsu.

In the Ryukyus of which Okinawa is the largest island, bo patterns are the oldest of martial arts patterns dating back to Matsu Higa, the weapons teacher of Takahara Peinchin. Oral tradition traces bo use of back even further, to the 1400's. After the Japanese (Satsuma clan) occupied Okinawa (1609), although bladed weapons were banned, there is some evidence that the bo was allowed to flourish as a means of civilian defense. Today, in Okinawa the bo and other traditional weapons are taught separately but have been adopted by many karate systems.

Since many movements of traditional Okinawan weapons duplicate or closely parallel techniques from karate, some suggest the unique character and style of karate itself was influenced by these weapons. In researching the techniques used, some authorities have noted the similarity of bo techniques to Japanese spear techniques, something that would support the hypothesis that the Japanese samurai might have encouraged adoption of bo techniques based on other Japanese weapon systems.

Boxe fran├žaise (France)

A French style of boxing where kicks are permitted.

Boxing (Europe)

Boxing is often called the Western martial art, but it is more accurately identified as a martial sport. It probably originated in ancient Greece or Rome, as there is evidence that the Greek pankration competitions included an event similar to boxing. The pugilistic sport then spread to most every Western country, and, in the early 20th century, it became a popular spectator sport.

Boxing techniques have played an important role in the development of modern kickboxing since they are often judged as being more effective than the hand techniques of the Asian martial arts. Boxing techniques are now being added to the curriculum at many schools that teach eclectic martial arts.

Bushidokan (United States)

Bushidokan is an eclectic art of recent origin, founded in the late 1960's by Jim Harrison. It is a combination of Okinawan karate, judo, and some jujutsu, with the emphasis on karate. The karate portion of training is quite like shotokan, definitely Okinawan in ancestry.

Bushidokan is best suited for those interested in effective street self-defense, tournament fighting, and rugged physical conditioning. Beginning students learn seven basic stances, seven basic strikes (six linear, one circular), seven basic blocks (one of which is circular) and seven basic kicks. Many of the self-defense techniques taught incorporate ones not included in the "basic" seven, thus exposing the student to a greater variety of techniques. These include many throws, a few soft (redirecting) blocks, and several wrist/hand locks. Two basic self-defense strategies, a direct counter and an indirect counter, are taught for each type of attack. Sparring is introduced as students progress, but is always optional, and ranges from "no contact" to "full contact."

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