Bushi Ban History & Philosophy

Traditional Martial Arts Systems of Pakistan

During the last 4,500 years of history, waves of invaders such as the Sythians, Parthians, Persians, Greeks, Turks, Afghans, Arabs, Kushans and others left indelible impression on the people of the Indus Valley. Combative arts of various invaders were incorporated, formulated and developed into unique blends of rich traditions which included horse riding, archery, lancing, dagger fighting, stick fighting, fist fighting , wrestling and other forms of Martial Arts.
During the Muslim period of Indo Pakistan history, fighting arts flourished. At the court of the Emperor, there were several types of gladiators using different type of weapons including spears, swords, daggers, knives and shields. The Baanaits used long and heavy swords requiring both hands in combat. The Bankulis used curved swords for quick and deadly cuts.


FARI-GADKA is an ancient art of sword fighting which evolved into fencing where wooden sword (gadka) and shield (fari) are used. Indian and Muslim traditions have slightly different arrangements for strikes, thrusts, evasion, shielding, withdrawing, advancing and counter moves. The Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) diligently practiced various forms of sword fighting exercises and regularly fought against his gladiators.
Pata or Puttha is a richly ornamented, double-edged, and flexible gauntlet sword often used by nobles of India and Pakistan. It evolved from the Katar, a type of a large knife used by Baanaits, gladiators of the Emperor. The protective forearm and hand bar inside produce a firm grip for cutting, slashing, and deep penetration. It was often used by the skilled swordsmen for hunting.
The spear (vita) in both missile and non-missile has been used by both Indians and Pakistanis for thousands of years. The Muslims and the Marathas were excellent horsemen. They developed the use of spear (lance) from horseback. The weapon was ten feet long and had a ball on the end for safety during training. The spear as a projectile (vita) was hurled from horseback. Five feet long, the vita has a strong cord of equal length attached to the butt end and secured at the wrist of the hurler. The hurler throws the spear and pulls it back after injuring or missing the enemy.
The staff (lathi) is practiced and used in both India and Pakistan. The Lathi is a cane or bamboo stick weighing between one pound to two pounds and measuring up to five feet in length. The fighters learn the art of stepping, striking, blocking and countering. Lathi bouts are governed by a rigid set of rules regarding protective wear, vital strikes, scoring of points and fouls.
The Fakir stick or club is commonly seen in Pakistan. Moslems, Like Buddhist monks, are forbidden to carry weapons. For self-defense however, their walking stick or sitting stick ( the Fakir’s crutch) serves as a club and sometimes holds a concealed knife. Another self-defense device is known as the Fakir’s horns. It consists of two goat, deer or bull horns joined together facing in opposite directions. It is used for parrying swords, spears and sticks and striking and thrusting. Another weapon is a walking cane (gupti) which conceals a sword or knife.
Gada (mace) is composed of a long slender handle with a heavy iron or stone ball at one end. Formerly it was used in battle to crush the helmet or battle shield. Today, Gada are used to develop strength in the shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers.
The Bundi dagger is a fearsome weapon which is over one and a half feet long. It has a grooved, double-edged blade and a unique supporting grip, which makes it effective in close combat. During the reign of Mogul Emperor Jahangir (1605-1627), dagger training was an integral part of military training. The Emperor’s dagger-armed soldiers crushed several rebellions and defeated the enemies. Highly skilled dagger fighters had also been known to kill lions, tigers and leopards. Presently, dagger training is practiced largely as exercise.
Tiger claw (Bagh Nakh) is a small weapon consisting of several curved metal blades attached to a crossbar. It can be carried in a fist, concealed inside the jacket, waist cloth or turban. It is a lethal weapon which can tear the skin, muscle, ligaments and even break small bones.


Historically, there were numerous systems of armed and unarmed fighting systems in India and Pakistan. It was the Indian Buddhist monk, Boddhidharma, who established the famed Shaolin Temple in China and developed elaborate physical exercises for Chinese monks. These included ritualized systems of breathing, yogic postures, unarmed defensive movements which later evolved into what is presently know as Chinese Kung Fu.
Mukkey Bazi (fist fighting) has existed in India and Pakistan for centuries. Fights to the death were not uncommon. The boxers trained like wrestlers, but in addition, they practiced gloveless punching against hard objects such as wood, rocks, stones, or steel. Their fists became so strong and hard that they could break bricks, concrete blocks, wooden beams, large bamboos and coconuts. With the introduction of western boxing and the prohibition of Mukkey Bazi because it was too dangerous, it is rarely practiced anymore.
Binot is an ancient form of weaponless fighting, a self-defense system that employed striking and grappling techniques. Against both armed and unarmed assailants. Binot techniques are similar to Japanese Judo, Jiu Jitsu, and Karate. Another type of self-defense system is known as Bandesh. It is an ancient form of fighting against an armed assailant without killing him.
Kushti is a form of wrestling, self-defense and public entertainment which was widely practiced in India and Pakistan. Records of Kushti bouts can be traced back 4,000 years. In ancient and feudal times, wrestling matches were sometimes fought to the death. Over the centuries, Kushti was modified to become a sport. Four different styles of wrestling evolved over time. The Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata (400 B.C.) described 1. Hanumanti style using throwing, flipping, and tripping techniques, 2. Jamvanti style employing grappling and joint locking, 3. Jarasandji stressing body locks, joint locks, head locks, and limb breaking holds, and 4. Bhimsni featuring body slams and body drops using brute force.
For centuries, these four schools dominated wrestling in Indo-Pakistan, until the 17th century Mogul Emperor Aurangreb sponsored and outsider Ustad Nurruddin Pahalwan. Ustad became the father of modern Indo-Pakistani wrestling, developing three schools – Nurweala, Kotewala, and Kallowala. The sport of wrestling flourished with hundreds of schools throughout India and Pakistan where more than 100,000 wrestlers trained and competed in local, regional and national tournaments sponsored by the Emperor. Foreign wrestlers from Turkey and Persia battled the best of Indian and Muslim wrestlers. At the time Indian wrestlers dominated the art, but there were also a few great Muslim champions.
The first of the great Muslim wrestlers was the powerful Sadika, who became the champion of India in 1840. He killed an ass with a single blow to its head. In different arenas throughout India, he defeated opponents who were champions of their regions. From then on, Muslim wrestlers have dominated the art. Following Sadika came such great wrestlers as Ramzi, Baghi, Rath, Butta, and Alia. Maharajahs of different states established large stables of wrestlers and sponsored challenges and matches.
The rules for Indo-Pakistani wrestling are fairly flexible. The bouts take place on raked earth, with no penalty for going outside. A bout runs about an hour without rest or until one wrestler is immobilized. Head locks, neck locks, arm locks, and leg locks are permitted, but striking and kicking are not. Many wrestlers became internationally famous. Three brothers, Ghulam, Kaloo and Rahamani competed against the champions of Europe. Ghulam was the best of the three. The next wrestling great was Ghulam Mohammad, popularly called Gama. By the age of 19, he had beaten everyone who faced dhim. In 1910, he went to London, one of the major wrestling centers of the world, to challenge the best of Greco-Roman wrestling and free-style wrestling. He soundly defeated the best of Europe and America.
What made Indo-Pakistani wrestlers so devastating? Their physical structures and weights were big, averaging more than 250 pounds. They trained 10-12 hours a day under strict supervision by the best coaches of the time. They were highly disciplined, dedicated and committed to their respective schools.
Wrestling was not restricted to the professionals. Many children, young and mature men, educated and cultured citizens, and even women participated in training and competition. The best woman wrestler of all time was Hamida Banu, who had over 300 matches, only three of them with other women. In recent years, wrestling, as a national sport, has declined dramatically. The government of Pakistan and private business organizations have implemented several programs to restore this ancient art.

The Philosophy of the Bushi Ban System


The Bushi Ban logo symbolizes the philosophy and the principles of the system.

Olive Leaves are seen as the universal symbol for peace.
The Circular Shape of the logo represents the world and a never-ending process of learning and development, and of a never-ending bond.
Lines in the circle are to indicate the different regions, nations, races and religions of the world.
The Green Color indicates love and respect for nature and the environment.
The Blue Color represents the water which signifies the dynamic flow of coordinated techniques of the system.
The Red Color indicates fire, energy, and a drive to learn and excel.
The Gold Color represents the valued element of the earth, wealth and richness of knowledge, and skills of the arts.
The Two Persons Bowing implies the importance of showing respect for each other within the system, and the practitioner of other Martial Arts systems.
The Black Belt specifies the diligent practice and understanding of the principles and philosophies of Martial Arts.
The Knot on the belt denotes the special bond between instructor and student.
The Ends of the belt are not connected. This shows that the student is always open to learn and that quest for knowledge is a never-ending journey.
Right Tip of the belt signifies the receiving of training and knowledge.
Left Tip of the belt indicates giving and sharing of knowledge.
Hanging Down ends of the belt tips implies humility in the quest for knowledge.
The Flowing Belt into the olive leaves of peace denotes that the martial artist avoids violence and aggression. Instead, he or she searches for peaceful methods for resolving conflict.


The goal of the Bushi Ban System is to develop sound body, mind, and spirit for all practitioners.

Physical development includes health and fitness, strength and stamina, speed and power, flexibility and reflexes, and balance and coordination, which are to be achieved through disciplined training. Efficient defensive and offensive techniques, in both empty-hand and weapon-hand used in sparring and form performance are the goals of physical development within the Bushi Ban System. Mental development includes improving attention and focus, concentration and observation, retention and recall ability, developing an open mind in search of knowledge, understanding the concepts and principles of the Martial Arts, ability to study the environment, situation and the opponent, analyzing options and creating feasible and appropriate response patterns are the goals of mental development within the Bushi Ban System. Spiritual development includes self-control and self-discipline, self-respect and respect for others, manners, courtesy and etiquette, motivation and will to excel, a competitive spirit, a belief and faith in the power of one’s self, and the attainment of inner harmony and peace are the goals of spiritual development within the Bushi Ban System.