Naban

Naban

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Naban is a term for the various grappling martial arts of Myanmar. Techniques include joint locks, strikes to pressure points, and choke holds. Any part of the opponent’s body is a legal target.

Naban is a Burmese unarmed grappling/wrestling/ground fighting art and is derived from Indian wrestling. It looks at the ground as a place the fight could go because of gravity, so be prepared, and not as a place to take the fight. It is all about control, enough control to stay out of harms way. They use submissions, biting, gouging, strikes, or whatever is handy. 

Naban is a cousin of similar wrestling arts found in places like Cambodia and Tibet. It was originally based on old Indian styles of wrestling like Malla-yuddha. It became popular in rural areas where it was often performed at festivals alongside Lethwei (Burmese boxing). Today, Naban’s practice is kept up mostly by the tribes of Myanmar. The Chin, Kachin and Karen have a reputation for their skilled wrestlers.

They will usually use the striking or fouling tactics to start and either finish them this way or use it to set your opponent set up for a submission. One of the main aspects they teach is the neutralization of bad positions. 

They teach the ability to stop a person from finishing you when they are in the dominant position. They believe if you can stop the other guy from hurting you, you won’t lose. Each dominant position will have a correlating neutralization and you learn to escape. Palm strikes and kicks with the sole of the foot are allowed in Naban competitions.

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