The word Butthan (ব্যুত্থান ) meaning “Defense with distinction or awakening”. Butthan is a Bangladeshi martial art and combat sport. It is a system of self-defense and personal development rooted in South Asian heritage. It has been described as the ‘noble art of stopping-fight and enlightenment that produces physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance’. As a combat sport, the martial art is practiced in different parts of the world under the guidance of International Butthan Federation.
The core philosophy of Butthan is called ‘JANAISM”. It is about self-actualization and vision of life and beyond. Janaism is about winning over one self, going beyond personal limit or surpasses the set limit.
Butthan has four pillars like Sports, Self-purification, Well-being and Self-defense. This South Asian Sports based on cooperation, empathy, personal development and positive Motivation.The Butthan practitioners known as Butthanchariyas are also highly influenced by the iconic philosophy of Janaism.
Thereby Butthan emphasizes on the teaching to challenge personal limits rather than challenging someone else inside and even outside the mat. Butthan acts as a vehicle to transform one and awaken the brain and the vision attaining self-knowledge. Constantly through tough training one launches his journey to get rid of his all negative aspects with the sweats and it sets him to the direction of becoming a positive person besides the technical skills in order to attain true freedom.
The system of Butthan has the essence of knowledge and scientific principles of psychology, trigonometry, human anatomy, physiology, logic, human nervous system, Vajra Pran, Siddha medical knowledge blended with selected self-defense methods combining the arts such as Bando, Varma Kalai, Chuan-Fa(Shaolin Boxing) ,Vajra-mushti, and other selected strategies of the ancient Indian, Burmese and Tibetan unarmed and weapons systems.
Butthan gets it’s traditions and rituals from ancient Bangladeshi Roots:
Butthan has many a significant distinctions in its own right. The definite approaches in its attires, weapons, rituals, music etc. are developed in the light of Bangladeshi heritage or traditions. Here we are considering four major aspects, as follows:
- Root in ancient Bangladesh and Asia: Butthan has adopted many of its techniques from traditional Bangladeshi rooted martial art forms such as ‘Lathi Khela’, ‘Sorki khela’ ‘Lori Khela’ , ‘Chora khela’ ’Mollozuddho’ and Dori khela’ . Especially the foot works / techniques called “Pawali’ are taken from Burmese martial art ‘Bando’ and Bangladeshi martial art ‘Lathi khela’. Butthan’s founder Grandmaster Acharya Mak Yuree Vajramunee learnt the techniques travelling different places and villages of Bangladesh. Beside many other grandmasters of Bangladesh and abroad, The renowned Lathi Khela Ustadh Md. Sirajul Haque Chowdhury (The then, activist of All India Lathi Khela Federation) passed his collective knowledge to grandmaster Yuree directly at early age and over the decades of training when grandmaster Yuree mastered the skills well he officially handed over ‘ Ustadh -e – Azam’ title along with written certificate and crest. Bando is a Burmese traditional martial art form and rich with complex body maneuvering and foot work techniques. An internationally known Bando Grandmaster Khing Moung Jyi, (founder president, South and South East Asia, Bando association) officially declared as grandmaster Yuree his successor amongst all his students in the world.
- Attires: Butthan Chariyas use ‘Gamcha’ (a very old traditional piece of particularly check printed cloth) as ‘Mathamora’ (headband) and as ‘Komorbandh’ (as belt or petty). In ancient Bangladesh and also in villages still today ‘Gamcha’ is tied like belt or is tied on head while doing any hard work or at any work where physical labor is involved including Lathi Khela, traditional boat rowing competition ( Nouka Baich) ,folk dance performances etc. Butthanchariyas use different color Gamcha for different ranks as headbands or belt so to display their ranks. The Butthan Uniforms which is called ‘Dhabok’ has adopted it’s ‘J shaped collar design’ from ancient
- Music and other Rituals: The music instruments which is used at Butthan combat sports and at all tournaments are ‘Bashi’, ‘Kashi’, ‘Khonjoni’ ‘dhol’ ‘dhak’ etc. traditional Bangladeshi ancient musical instruments. In Bangladesh, showing respect to the senior citizens, parents or elders are highly practiced. Butthan rituals such as ‘Vakti’ also come from such Bangladeshi traditions. They are practiced during training and tournaments. Having respect and compassion and showing them in everyday words and activities is also an ancient Bangladeshi practice. Butthan Co-completions system’s basic philosophy comes from compassion.
- Heritage from History: All Butthanchariyas practice a special and unique form of meditation called ‘Vajrapran meditation’. The word ‘Vajra’ came from ‘Vajra- Satva’. It is a 3 foot high Buddha idol made out of ‘Astadhatu’ (with an ancient mixture of eight different kinds of metal) found in Bangladesh. This is a unique artifact in whole world where Buddha is in meditation. It is still in Bangladesh at Mainamati Museum.
Other Major Differences:
Psychophysical development and beyond:
Butthan more precisely emphasizes to develop four spectrums of human faculties like physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. It aims to transform the human body and mind through balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual spheres and thereby attaining self-mastery.
b) Pioneering Co-Competition system:
Butthan is not merely a combat sports but through its distinctive co-competition system it is the world’s first sport to introduce such sort in the world. Butthan characterizes co-competition system to depict the non-aggressive, cooperation-based path of empowerment. Butthan Co-Competition system is the pioneer indicating new direction to compete rewarding the sense of values which is based on cooperation, empathy, nobility and dealing challenges encouraging True Sense of Humanity & true Warrior ship.
Such Competitive sport develops multiple life skills which really helps them to grow positive as they progress through school and into adult life. There are 8 steps of Butthan Co-competition.
Transformations through mind training:
Butthan transforms lives through mind training through Vajrapran (A Mindful exercise & Meditation system, also practiced by Butthanchariyas) Mind training. It is considered being a powerful healing system which also increases immunity, fitness, internal peace, focus and life-force.
Butthan inspires acquiring inner strength, alertness through a conscious patterned exercise to embrace the bliss of spiritual power. It’s a total science based system which bridges the amazing powers of human body, mind, emotion and spirit in order to achieve self-awareness, self-discovery and in depth wisdom.
Through this transformation one practitioner earns tool of excellence which brings a distinctive benefit to his life.
d) Inspirational Teaching:
Butthan inspires to take challenges and achieve goals and beyond. Beside personal development it inspires and teaches to help others as well to reach further. In the step ‘Arpan’ a Co-competitor passes his suggestion on the other co-competitor what is his strength and weakness thus helping even the opponent on MAT in developing OTHER. Butthan does not emphasize in attaining points, trophies, medals etc. by exhibition of skills and performances on the mat rather it’s teachings focuses on the personal development while assisting others to excel at the same time. Apart from physical techniques, the disciplinarian, philosophical, ethical expressionistic and meditative aspects of Butthan Martial Arts are vital features for one’s development.
Indian Sub-Continent was famous for nourishing psychophysical exercises, science, advanced education system, astronomy, mathematics etc. even before 5000 years from now which is found to be the oldest in history of mankind. They were the first in discovering many wonderful concepts such as the number ZERO, chase game, astronomy, meditation etc.
The Pashupati seal was found as the world’s oldest evidence of body-mind training in the archeological site of Mohenjo-Daro. The systematic form of martial art was first developed in ancient India.
In Bangladesh, at the famous archeological sites of ‘Sompur Mahavihara of Paharpur’ and ‘Kantajew Temple in Dinajpur’ different terracotta tiles are found on walls where there are evidences of weapon training and martial art in ancient Bangladesh as well.
South Indian monk Bodhi dharma traveled from Kancheepuram to Shaolin Temple in 520 AD. The systematic forms of self-defenses were later nourished at Shaolin Monastery. Bodhi dharma introduced rich psycho-physical training to the Shaolin monks which was vital in strengthening the internal and external organs. However, over the centuries the Indus valley civilization lost its heritage as the thriving ground for Martial arts.
Over the centuries due to lack of proper patronization and constant manipulation by the foreign invaders stopped the growth of martial art and other psychophysical practices in this sub-continent. Besides, political and religious doldrums also destroyed many of the temples, practice Bihar, manuals, scripts etc. Colonial influences also hampered the survival of the traditional training systems. In the passage of time people stopped going in Guru-Grihos to learn it and this wonderful arts got faded in the pages of the history.
Apart from extreme physical training and approach in macular and bone conditioning Butthan emphasizes mindfulness training and conscious use of mind to activate the physical movement, thereby maximizing the efficiency and delivery of power which is known as Mon-Chala.
The practice of the martial art produces physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance through a process of inculcating self-discipline and pragmatic restructuring of personal habits known as Vaz-Sodhon.
Butthan also uniquely stages a memory test as a part of the tournament rules to ensure the quality of participants’ mental and physical powers equally which is called Jhalak Khela.
Butthan is not merely a game but empowers a life and beyond.
Butthan empowers mind and body
The Combat System of Butthan develops psychophysical capability for defending oneself effectively in unpredictable and dangerous situations without being unnerved. The strength of mind controls the strength of body. This control of the mind enables oneself to stand up to the challenges in life and disciplines one’s mind and body. Mind is the ultimate tool for the life therefore if the citizens specially the young generation can be empowered in the path of Self-mastery amazing things can be achieved for themselves and as well as the society. A happy body leads to a happy mind and a happy life indeed. Here my quotation may throw the light on the subject concern.
‘’A heavy iron ball cannot be carried in a fragile paper bag. You must strengthen both your body and mind to achieve balance, to enjoy the grace of life happily with significance’’
Butthan eliminates jealousy and encourage brotherhood in and outside the Mat.
Major Combat Sports grew from the blessings of different traditional Martial Art forms. The Warriors code was the best examples of Honor, Respect and Ultimate spirit of a Warrior. Great Martial Art Masters were the Great Leaders, Great Warriors and Great Souls with superior excellence and true sense of moral values. Today we all mostly experience the absence of exercising the noble qualities of the Warriors in true sense. Also there is not enough presence of actual traits of sportsmanship or brotherhood in the Competitive scenarios instead we can see the hatred, jealousy, envy and enmity against each other. We see aiming at the wining the medal the practitioners going to great extend crossing the even decent line of basic manners. Sometimes we see even Coaches, Team Mates, Friends, Managers shouts from the side line to encourage the competitors (some time even in indecent approach) to subdue , to ensure wining over their counter parts at any cost hardly considering the ethical issues or bypassing the human best practices. Most cases winging over the other has become most important besides the main theme of sportsmanship and few ends up engaging themselves to level of personal enmity.
With due respect to all, my purpose was to eliminate this mentality of jealousy from martial art and instill brotherhood ship, empathy, sense of co-operation through Co-Competition system.
Revival of lost heritage
Under the flag of Butthan, the revival of long two thousand and five hundred years South Asian heritage of Martial Art is taking place and establishing as the mainstream Martial Art suitable for different age groups and geographical diversity. Butthan is an attachment of great value to the time-honored long traditional self-defense methods and updating most advanced research and development of science relevant to this great Martial Art.
Inspires human life:
As a whole my purpose is to inspire human life to be strong physically, mentally emotionally, spiritually thus going forward towards a prosperous, wise and noble state of life rather than being weak and idle which brings nothing other than treachery, inferior complex and low self-esteem. Butthan teaches one to be geared with Incredibly motivated to attain the goals often seems impossible to achieve but same time it creates the light for the others to get Inspired to reach the golden lines of life. Butthan’s invincible spirit fires the inner power to unleash the hidden potentials also. The Janaism directs the doctrine to take life beyond common interest to go for higher cause of life, contribute others and take a meaningful journey by choice. Janaism also plays vital role in shaping one’s perception besides self-actualization and living in present. My personal quotation speaks about handling the limitations that comes along our journey…… Therefore Vajramunee always says
“I break BATS not to demonstrate
The power of my kick
But to break the limits of the challenge
We set for ourselves”
Butthan from generation to generation:
Since 1981 almost three generation people in Bangladesh is practicing Butthan in different districts. At the beginning of 1990s, Butthan spread across Bangladesh with the formation of training camps in different districts of the country.
Millions of followers and practitioners are there now in Bangladesh.
Butthan activists and practitioners can be found in reality in all 64 districts of our country. Bangladesh Ansar &VDP took a 3 years Butthan project to train around 12,000 men and women selected from 64 districts both from village and cities. It was a 6 week long residential course starting from 2015 to 2017.
Since then Butthanchariyas are there in every district all over Bangladesh. Cadet College Governing body introduced Butthan compulsorily in all Cadet Colleges of Bangladesh in 1994. Since then, Butthan was also adopted by different security, intelligence and law-enforcement agencies in Bangladesh, such as Special Security Force, National Security Intelligence, Army, Police, RAB, Cost Guard, Border guards, school of military intelligence, Ansar, VDP, Riot Police , Navy, United Nations Peace Keeping Force as a way to train their law enforcement personnel also.
Though the Butthan sports form came into being to general people recent years but actually Butthan original school of martial arts was one of the few oldest martial art skills providing institutions in the country.
Bangladeshi people have taken Butthan pretty well. Many a Bangladeshi parents brings their kids to the Butthan schools with the notion to enrich their lives through training. The number of the followers is increasing day by day in significant numbers.
Today Butthan is being promoted globally in different countries. Recently government of Brunei Darussalam officially declared Butthan as nationally practiced sports in that country.
Global Community Services of Butthan and IBUF:
International Butthan Federation (IBUF) constantly kept the activities in the different continents through appointing personnel from different countries as our country representatives/directors to accelerate the functions of our federation as well. Many enthusiasts and organizers came forward to successfully set up IBUF events, seminars, demonstrations and competitions to promote Butthan in the respective region and counties.
Besides promotion of Butthan, International Butthan Federation has also contributed and participated globally in different social welfare movements such as Anti-drug movement, woman empowerment, blood donation, tree plantation, youth motivation etc. To know more about IBUF and it’s activities follow www.ibufhq.org