Country Of Origin: Bangladesh

Bangladeshi martial arts

Bangladeshi martial arts

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Bangladesh is home to various traditional martial arts of which Boli Khela and Lathi Khela are popular and historically significant. Other martial arts are mainly hybrids.



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 forcibly 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

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

Main article: Mokkar Boli Khela

A scence from Jabbarer Boli Khela (The man in the picture is named “Didar boli”, the undefeated champion Boli wrestler of Bangladesh)

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 a chance to participate in this traditional wrestling. Wrestlers of all ages visit Lal Dighi Moidan to participate in the game. Fans of many countries come here to see Boli Khela.[4]


Main article: Butthan

Butthan is a Bangladeshi martial art and an approved combat sport included by the National Sports Council (NSC) under Ministry of Youth & Sports, Bangladesh.[5] Butthan was founded by Superhuman Mak Yuree Vajramunee.[6] It is a system of self-defense and personal development rooted in South Asian heritage.[7][8] As a combat sport, the martial art is practiced in different parts of the world under the International Butthan Federation.[9] It aims to transform the human body through balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual spheres and thereby attaining self-mastery and beyond.[8] Butthan characterizes ‘Co-competition’ system to depict the non-aggressive, cooperation-based path of empowerment.


Lathial, Banglapedia. “Regenerating nationwide interest in a Bengali martial art”. The Daily Star. August 12, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2013. “Oli champion in Jobbarer Boli Khela”. The Financial Express. April 26, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2013. “Jabbarer Boli Khela tomorrow”. The Daily Star. April 24, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. “National Sports Council (NSC)”. National Sports Council. Retrieved 18 Feb 2013. “World Butthan Federation”. Butthan martial art. Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013. “Butthan – The noble art of self-defense and personal development”. Borneo Bulletin. September 3, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2020. “The Thundershin Man: In Conversation with Martial Arts and Security Expert Mak Yuree”. Daily Star (Bangladesh). February 6, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2020. “Seminar on Butthan Combat Sports & Co-competition system held”. United News of Bangladesh. October 13, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2020.

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