In this post I discuss “banda y banda”, a common move in Filipino Martial Arts.

(1) Banda y Banda

“Banda y banda” is a Spanish term meaning “side to side.” This refers to a side to side motion in the form of strikes or slashes.

The above video shows a demonstration of the basic version of banda y banda (side to side) style of striking that is prevalent in Modern Arnis. This is taught along with other “traditionals” such as rompida, figure 8, and reverse figure 8. With some minor variations, I usually teach these traditionals in the same manner depicted in the above video.

As an introduction, I teach them off the block, check, counter drill as it’s an easy move to teach and learn. Emphasis is placed on using the core to execute the banda y banda.

A fair number of videos on YouTube depict banda y banda, whether empty hand or cane, being demonstrated in a one step technique format.

Empty hand applications of banda y banda abound in Filipino Martial Arts. A good example is the gunting/scissors technique.

(2) Banda y Banda in Tapi Tapi.

Surprisingly, I’ve not been able to find a Modern Arnis video that depicts the use of banda y banda in the context of tapi tapi. For that reason, the video of Master of Tapi Tapi Chuck Gauss is revealing.

As one can see, Master Chuck uses banda y banda to devastating effect, cutting underneath me in this video.

As a lightning quick move, this adds a whole dimension to tapi tapi and is extremely difficult to counter. In addition to being used as a strike, it can also be used to manipulate your opponent into a desired position for the kill shot. A whole world of possibilities open up when banda y banda is used in this manner. Try it!

(3) Banda y Banda Solo Training

There are a number of ways to practice banda y banda on your own.

  • Practice the cane anyos both right and left handed. Banda y banda is sprinkled throughout some of the anyos. See if you can spot them.
  • Practice banda y banda with a heavy cane or a chi ishi (Okinawan training tool).
  • Practice with one cane in each hand.
  • Practice with one sword in each hand.
  • Practice striking against a heavy bag or a tire.

Chi Ishi – a handy Okinawan strength training tool.

There are other variations that you can probably come up with. Can you tell us your solo banda y banda variations?

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