Saya Mike Jolley

Personal History

Saya Mike started his studies in the Martial Arts in 1971 under the instruction of Randy Webb in the Burmese art of Bando. He continued his studies 3 years later with John Taylor, receiving his Black Belt in Kempo in 1976, followed by his 1st level Black Belt in Bando in 1977. Winning 2 national Bando titles in 1976 and 1977, Mike took up teaching Bando. While teaching Bando, Mike became a student of Master Bob Hill, a 5th level Bando Black Belt himself, in the art of Snow Tiger.

Teaching Experience

In the 90s, Mikes Bando teams won 24 individual national titles and 2 National team titles. In 2009 Mike started studying Gracie Jiu Jitsu with Alan Baker of AMAC. Currently a Blue Belt, The teacher becomes the student. Mike is currently a Personal Trainer with the Rush Fitness Complex and Head Instructor of Cleveland Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Mike is married to April, with children, Emily, Erica, Whitney, and Brice.

Saya Mike Jolley And AMAC:

Sifu Alan started training with Saya Mike in the early to mid 80s in the Burmese Bando System and the Snow Tiger System. Alan has maintained a training relationship with Saya Mike until now. Alan is still actively training with Saya Mike in his Progressive Burmese Combative Systems Association. Saya Mike’s influence reaches the Filipino Kali and Jeet Kune Do Programs here at the school.



- - Mike Jolley

Burmese Bando


Bando pronounced bàɴdò, is a defensive style of thaing focusing on animal-based techniques. The earliest meanings of the word were self-discipline, self-development and self-improvement. Later, it came to mean self-protection or self-defense. Bando is sometimes mistakenly used as a generic word for all Burmese martial arts but it is actually just one system.

As with most Asian martial arts, all bando schools start off by teaching the basic stances and footwork. This preliminary stage of training lasts for several months and in some cases the first stage may continue for years, depending on the instructor or the style. In the second stage of training, a series of blocking and parrying techniques is taught. Bando prioritises defense over offense so that the student will be able to protect themselves, should the need arise. The third stage involves the learning of offensive techniques. Most of bando's techniques are taught through forms or aka which may be performed solo or with a partner.

Forms and techniques in bando are based on the movements of animals, probably through the influence of animal styles from India and China. Such routines include the boar, bull, cobra, leopard (or panther), monkey, python, scorpion, tiger, deer, paddy bird, and viper. The moves in each pattern are characterised by the animal which they imitate. Thus the python form includes crushing, strangling and gripping moves, the tiger form involves clawing and ripping, the viper form stresses flexibility while the deer form develops alertness. Some masters teach the black panther style as a combination of all the other animal forms.

Bando generally leaves the initiative to the opponent and relies heavily on countering maneuvers. When a bando exponent is attacked, they first withdraw and then begin the counter-attack. "Middle-style bando" is perceptive/responsive. Once the threat has been evaluated it is possible to respond with an appropriate counter, so too is destroying the opponent's weapon. If the adversary's hand or foot is broken for example, the conflict is effectively ended. Bando practitioners generally aim for the body but the head, shoulder, elbow, knee, and foot are all used for offensive purposes.