Bando Minute

The turn punch

The turn punch is the second punch in our Bando punching drill. When the punch makes contact, the striking hand has turned from palm up to palm down. The part of the fist that should be making contact with the intended target is the knuckle of your index finger, or second best, the pair of […]

The knee-elbow drill – part 2

Shins and forearms are a great way to protect yourself against an attack. This version of the knee elbow drill is done from an N stance, and works on protecting against attacks from three different directions. From a right N stance, there are three pieces: Raise the right knee in front of you, touch the […]

The Knee Elbow drill #1

The knee-elbow drill lets you practice protecting a broad length of the body by creating a barrier formed by the shin and the lower arm, knee and elbow (ideally) touching. Work this slowly so that you can fully shift your weight to one side, rather than keeping your center of gravity between the feet. Practice […]

The Palm Press Drill

Here’s a great isometric exercise to develop your arms and the coordination of motion, called the Palm Press Drill. It is designed to develop speed in hand techniques and especially helps in engaging the triceps. To begin, place your palms together at the center of your chest. Actively press them together so that you create […]

Going slow makes your progress go faster

At our Piedmont Bando class, we follow a number of principles established by Grandmaster Joe Manley.  “Safety First” is something he always emphasizes, and so we aim to keep our students as safe as possible while practicing what’s an inherently risky set of skills.  Another major principle informing the way we teach is to focus […]

The Cross-body Block

If you’ve been practicing the rising block, side block, and down block, the next one to work on is the cross-body block. You’ll find that you like some blocks more than others and that’s OK. (This block is one I tend to use a lot, btw!). Watch below and practice with me!

The down block

The down block is designed to protect against strikes roughly between the lower ribs and the knees. Like the other blocks, one of the key elements is the cover hand. The blocking arm sweeps across the lower body and strikes the attacking weapon with either the bony side of the forearm or with the side […]

The side block

The side block is designed to strike an incoming attack’s weapon aimed at the shoulder level or above. It doesn’t matter if the opponent is using a punch or a kick. In either case the block sweeps across the face and neck. Work with me by watching the video below: When you practice the side […]

The Pivot Step

The Pivot step involves a change in your center of gravity. In the stepping drill, you practice the pivot step via the following transitions: A right N stance (facing “north”) pivots to a left N stance (facing “west”) A left N stance (facing “north”) pivots to a right N stance (facing “east”) A right L […]

Strengthening your base: Working the lower legs

Here’s another simple exercise that will build up your leg strength and stability. It looks simple but you may be surprised at some of the sensations that result. The key to this exercise is to press the lower legs into the floor. When you rise, engage all of your leg muscles by pressing into the […]