Kite fighting or aerial kite battles or combat is a kite flying skill and strategy game. It can be a game between two kite flyers or among any number of kite flyers simultaneously. It's a serious game in many cultures, a game upon which huge amounts of money are bet....but a game nonetheless.
Several cultures in the world value fighter kites and kite fighting as an integral part of the culture itself. China, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are examples of cultures that embrace fighter kiting as the only or primary style of kiting.
In these cultures the kite fighting that takes place is usually focused on the kite flying line rather than the kite itself. The kite flying line in these cultures is typically coated with a powdered glass that has been mixed with a paste. The glass/paste mixture is then coated onto the kite flying line.
Using this glass coated flying line to fly kites allows competitors to use their flying line to cut or saw through their opponent's flying line releasing the opponent's kite. When the kite is 'cut', it signifies a 'win'!
This traditional style of kite fighting is a tradition that started centuries ago and continues today. In fact the line 'cutting' style of kite fighting is the most popular style of kite flying and kite fighting in the world...even today!
The kites used in these kite fighting battles are made of locally available materials; typically bamboo and paper. Bamboo is split and shaped to form the bow of the kite and also shaped to form the spine of the kite. Rice based paste is often used to bond the paper covering, or skin of the kite, to the bamboo frame.
In the USA, kite fighting is approached differently. The typical fighter kite in the USA is made of carbon fiber rods for the bow, bamboo or flat carbon fiber for the spine and polypropylene plastic film for the skin or covering of the kite. Primarily because of the concern about injuries caused from glass coated flying line, USA fighter kiting does NOT use any glass coated flying line during fighter kite battles and/or competitions.
Instead of glass coated kite flying line, in the USA fighter kite flyers and competitors typically use plain cotton or synthetic threads or synthetic fishing line as kite flying line. And rather than 'cutting' the opponent's flying line to show who 'won' the kite fighting battle; in the USA, the competing flyers acknowledge 'touching' of the flying lines as an indication of a 'win'.
This style of kite fighting eliminates the loss or damage of kites during the competitions and also provides much less chance of injuring people with the plain flying line used in these aerial battle games.