Bando Thaing is recognized as a method of armed and unarmed battle and is indigenous to Burma. This combat style of martial arts is an incorporation of Karate-like kicking techniques and striking. Similarly, Bando Thaing makes use of Judo-like swordplay, fighting, throwing techniques and usage of knives, sticks, and spears. The word Thaing means “Self-Protection" and the word Bando means "Way of Self-Protection." Together they combine the art of combat and discipline.
Although there are many different styles of this martial art, a basic pattern of instructions is utilized globally. All parts of the human body are used in withdrawals and attacks outside of an adversary's reach. Grappling and locking techniques are often used as a method of attack. These methods are taught in formal sessions. Some ethnic groups instruct aggressive techniques sparingly, while others openly embrace these combat practices. Training of Bando Thaing involves three different stages that students must complete.
Bando Thaing was introduced post Word War II and the first instructor of the martial art in the United States was Dr. Maung Gyi, who began teaching in 1960. In 1968, Dr. Gyi founded the American Bando Association. Gyi's American influenced teachings differ from the Bando Thaing teachings of other native Burmes, including the following local ethnic groups: the Shan, Nagas, Karen, and Kachins, who have their own method of teaching.
The teachings of the American Bando Association include the descriptions of nine animal characteristics. A student may be compared to an animal whose body and personality show a relationship to the fighting style of a specific animal. This differs from the traditional Bando Thaing teachings, which include more than nine animals. The names of the animals correspond to the various forms of Bando Thaing.