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Banda y Banda is Spanish for “side to side.” As can be seen from the video, this looks deceptively simple. I say “deceptively simple” because many miss out on the subtle details of this technique.

The most common error is not correctly turning over the wrist to accurately cut across the torso. As I demonstrated in the video, blade awareness will often inform your wrist turnover. The same principle applies to the stick concerning blunt force trauma. Proper wrist positioning will ensure maximum impact.

Failing to maintain a clean straight line slice is another common error.  See 0:23 to 0:26 of the video. When using the stick, this will result in a power bleed. Simply put, while you may hit your opponent, maximum power will not be present. The opponent may be able to maneuver to avoid getting hit or cut. Thus, it is vitally important to maintain proper structure while executing the banda y banda movement.

Not mentioned in the video is the importance of moving your center line in conjunction with the weapon hand. Putting your body behind the technique substantially increases the power of the technique. Some force may be present if you cut across only with your arm, instead of your body, but the technique will not be as decisive. In other words, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

The beauty of banda y banda lies in multiple applications. This technique can be used as a defensive counter or as an offensive movement. One can apply it in a low line or high line fashion, offensively or defensively. Defanging the snake is a useful application of this technique. It is deadly in a knife defense or fighting context. Empty hand applications of this concept are plentiful. I chuckle when folks think that this is a tedious technique. “Oh my god, what is this?”  

“It is difficult to realize the true Way just through sword-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things.” – Miyamoto Musashi.

Thus, it behooves you to practice this simple move as much as you can. Do it with both the right and the left hand. See where you can apply it when you play. Over to you, what do you like about banda y banda?

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