Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) borders India, China and Thailand. As a result, it possesses a rich martial arts heritage. As with the fabled Shaolin Temple of China, Buddhist monks from India introduced martial arts into Myanmar a thousand years ago.
Later, Chinese styles filtered their way south, merging with earlier influences to form the martial body of knowledge collectively known as Thaing. Thaing includes both unarmed arts, of which Bando is the most widely known, as well as arts of the sword, staff, spear and short sticks, Banshay. Other unarmed arts include Naban or Burmese wrestling, Lethwei or Burmese kick boxing and Thaing Byaung Byan originated from Shan State.
Bando Philosophy "No system is completely unique. No system is completely independent from external and internal influences. Every system evolves over time by integration, modification and restructuring, resulting in what we then call "uniqueness." Overtime, this unique system will also change."
[His Holiness the Venerable Amarapura Sayadaw, 1910]
Lord Mountbatten, then the High Commissioner of His Majesty's Imperial and Colonial Forces in Asia, attended one of the club's tournaments in 1937, and after seeing the bouts, he made his historic remark, "Beautifully brutal art...I'm happy they are on our side."
General Orde Wingate called the members of this private military club, "Bando Bastards."