when i think of traditional fighter kites, i think of those kites that are indigenous to a particular culture. usually these kites are made of readily available materials in the region of their popularity. usually the frame is made of carefully split pieces of bamboo or cane and the covering or skin is generally made of light weight paper of some sort. the glue used to bond the various parts of the kite is usually a rice based paste.
traditional kites can be very elaborate in design or very simple, it seems to be based on the particular culture where the kite is popular.
the line or string used for the bridle and for flying the kites is usually a medium weight high quality cotton thread.
in many parts of the world what i describe as a 'traditional' fighter kite is often the only style of kite known. and when kite flying is described, it is often a kite line cutting competition that is described.
line cutting is a popular style of competition among many cultures in the world. what they do is coat the plain cotton thread flying line with a mixture of finely powdered glass and a rice based paste. the resultant coated flying line is often called 'manjha'. this manjha with the coating of powdered glass allows the flyers to cut or 'saw' through their opponent's flying line thereby releasing the opponent's kite and at the same time declaring the cutter of the line as the victor in that particular aerial kite battle.
these kite line cutting battles often occur at distances of 300-1,000 meters away from the flyers. this is the length of flying line they often use, which of course makes the challenge even greater. most traditional fighter kite flyers are quite skilled at cutting others' kites from the sky when they are as young as 6 years old. as you can imagine, as they gain more experience, they become masters of the subtle maneuvering required to be consistant winners.
this style of fighter kite flying requires great patience and a very keen degree of eye hand coordination.