Bangladeshi martial arts

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Bangladesh is home of various martial arts. Boli Khela, Lathi Khela are very popular and historic martial arts in Bangladesh. Other martial arts are mainly hybrid.


The genesis of Bangladeshi martial arts has been attributed to the need for protect villagers from Zamindar. During British period, lathial groups were sent to forcefully collect taxes from villagers. The farmers and youth people also made their lathial group to defend the zamidars lathial group. In the char (shoal) lands, people still take possession of chars through stick fights.[1]

Lathi Khela[edit]

Main article: Lathi Khela

Lathi khela is a traditional martial art of Bangladesh that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks and other weapons. Lathi made by bamboo and other materials. Lathi khela teaches self-defense with sticks. One who specialized himself in wielding lathi and who lived on the martial art came to be known as lathial.[1][2] The Lathial Bahini (group of lathials) performed various acts on the Eid or Puja occasion. Lathi Khela have a remarkable history but the popularity is on the wane now.

Boli Khela[edit]

Main article: Boli Khela

Boli Khela is a traditional form of wrestling in Bangladesh which includes grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. Abdul Jabbar who was a renowned businessman in Chittagong introduced the wrestling competition in the year 1899 to organize the youths against the British rule. Since then the event has been organized every year in Lal Dighi Moidan at Chittagong.[3] Every year new participants get chance to participate in this traditional wrestling. All ages of wrestler are come in Lal Dighi Moidan to participate in the game. Fans of many countries come here to see Boli Khela.[4]


A Bangladesh Rifles Senior Warrant Officer (left in yellow/green outfit) applies hold to a US Marine during training.
Main article: Butthan

Butthan is a Bangladeshi martial art which combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise.[5] Butthan is created in the light of Ancient Asian self-defense systems which is a mixed of Burmese, Chinese and Indian martial arts like Vajra Musti, Burmese Thaing /Bando, Tebetan –Chinese Kenpo, Varma Kalai and other selected strategies.[6]

Modern time[edit]

In modern time, Bangladeshi martial arts are practiced for self-defense and military training. Hand-to-hand combat and weapons practice are important in training Bangladeshi soldiers. It also stresses mental and character development, including the responsible use of force, leadership, and teamwork. Under the Ministry of Defense and Home including tactical and unarmed combat training for Bangladesh military and other special forces.[7] Bangladesh military uses various military martial art combat systems which may incorporate hybrid techniques from several different martial arts and combat sports including boxing, judo, krav maga, karate taekwondo, kung fu, and kick boxing.


  1. ^ a b Lathial, from Banglapedia.
  2. ^ "Regenerating nationwide interest in a Bengali martial art". thedailystar. August 12, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Oli champion in Jobbarer Boli Khela". thefinancialexpress-bd. April 26, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Jabbarer Boli Khela tomorrow". April 24, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "World Butthan Federation". Butthan martial art. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Brief Bio of Dr. MAK Yuree Vajra Muni (Thunder Sage)". Butthan martial art. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "UNARMED COMBAT AND TACTICAL TRAINING FOR MILITARY & LAW ENFORCEMENT". Butthan martial art. Retrieved 12 September 2013.