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 for 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]

Lathi khela is a traditional martial art of Bangladesh and India 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]

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]


Butthan is a Bangladeshi martial art and an approved combat Sports included by the National Sports Council (NSC) under Ministry of Youth & Sports, Bangladesh.[5] Butthan is also a system of personal development with the aim to obtain body-mind balance. Its three main pillars are Sports, Self-defense and Well-being. Butthan was founded by Grandmaster Mak Yuree Vajramunee who was selected as one of the top five Superhuman by Discovery channel scientist team. He has many years of training in 40 different martial arts styles.[6] Butthan is created in the light of Ancient South Asian self-defense systems which is influenced by Burmese, Chinese and Indian martial arts like Vajra Musti, Burmese Thaing /Bando, Tebetan –Chinese Kenpo, Varma Kalai and other selected strategies.[7]

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.[8] 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, Banglapedia.
  2. ^ "Regenerating nationwide interest in a Bengali martial art". The Daily Star. August 12, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Oli champion in Jobbarer Boli Khela". The Financial Express. April 26, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Jabbarer Boli Khela tomorrow". The Daily Star. April 24, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "National Sports Council (NSC)". National Sports Council. Retrieved 18 Feb 2013. 
  6. ^ "World Butthan Federation". Butthan martial art. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Brief Bio of Dr. Mak Yuree Vajramunee (Thunder Sage)". Butthan martial art. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "UNARMED COMBAT AND TACTICAL TRAINING FOR MILITARY & LAW ENFORCEMENT". Butthan martial art. Retrieved 12 September 2013.