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We Live to Fight

In Bangladesh, people practice different forms of martial arts, including the traditional forms known as “Bangladeshi martial arts”. Initially, during the British period, various Bangladeshi martial arts were originated for the need to protect villagers from Zamindars (landowners), who used to send lathial groups to collect taxes from villagers forcibly. The official journey began after the liberation by founding Bangladesh Judo and Karate Federation in 1972 and Bangladesh Martial Art Confederation in 1997. In modern times, martial arts are practiced mainly for playing sports, learning self-defense, and military training in Bangladesh.

There are many roles of martial arts in Bangladesh. Many martial art clubs provide basic self-defense training to children and girls against sexual harassment in public places. Many children learn martial arts as a form of entertainment. Many male and female martial artists work in the film and drama industries and promote martial art in TV films. There are also some aboriginal communities in Bangladesh that practice different martial arts separately. However, despite the international records, many players and even the clubs often suffer from poor financial conditions for the lack of funding. Also, considered an underground sport, they don’t get enough attention from the media either.

“We live to Fight” is an ongoing project that explores the underlying cultures, lifestyles, history, individual stories, politics and underground fighting scenarios of different martial art communities in Bangladesh.

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