Lee founded the system on July 9, , referring to it as "non-classical", suggesting that it is a formless form of Chinese Kung Fu. Unlike more traditional martial arts , Jeet Kune Do is not fixed or patterned and is a philosophy with guiding ideas. Named for the Wing Chun concept of interception or attacking when one's opponent is about to attack, Jeet Kune Do's practitioners believe in minimal effort with maximum effect and extreme speed. It is referenced in the screenplay of the Warner Brothers film Enter the Dragon , when Lee is asked, "What's your style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting.
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Lee founded the system on July 9, , referring to it as "non-classical", suggesting that it is a formless form of Chinese Kung Fu. Unlike more traditional martial arts , Jeet Kune Do is not fixed or patterned and is a philosophy with guiding ideas. Named for the Wing Chun concept of interception or attacking when one's opponent is about to attack, Jeet Kune Do's practitioners believe in minimal effort with maximum effect and extreme speed.
It is referenced in the screenplay of the Warner Brothers film Enter the Dragon , when Lee is asked, "What's your style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting. Lee believed that kata forms and martial art tournament matches alike like Karate were simply "organised despair". His system was new, and included all possible forms of strikes: attacks to the groin, finger jab to the eye as well as biting.
The name Jeet Kune Do was often said by Lee to be just a name, and he often referred to it as "the art of expressing the human body" in his writings and in interviews.
Through his studies Lee came to believe that other styles had become too rigid and unrealistic. He called martial art competitions of the day "dry land swimming". Not wanting to create another style which would share the limitations that all styles had, he instead described the process which he used to create it:.
I have not invented a "new style," composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from "this" method or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see "ourselves". Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that.
There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity.
Every movement in Jeet Kune Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune Do is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy.
The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits.
He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back. JKD as it has survived since—if one views it "refined" as a product, not a process—is what was left at the time of Lee's death. It is the result of the lifelong martial arts development process he went through.
Lee stated his concept does not add more and more things on top of each other to form a system, but rather selects the best thereof. The metaphor Lee borrowed from Chan Buddhism was of constantly filling a cup with water, and then emptying it, used for describing Lee's philosophy of "casting off what is useless".
The dominant or strongest hand should lead because it would perform a greater percentage of the work. Lee minimized the use of other stances except when circumstances warranted such actions. Although the On-Guard position is a formidable overall stance, it is by no means the only one. Lee acknowledged there were times when other positions should be used. He felt the dynamic property of JKD was what enabled its practitioners to adapt to the constant changes and fluctuations of live combat.
Lee believed that real combat was alive and dynamic. Circumstances in a fight change from millisecond to millisecond. Thus, he believed, pre-arranged patterns and techniques are not even close to adequate in dealing with such a changing situation. As an antidote to this line of thought, Lee once wrote an epitaph which read: 'In memory of a once fluid man, crammed and distorted by the classical mess.
The following are principles that Lee incorporated into Jeet Kune Do. Familiarity with each of the "four ranges of combat", in particular, is thought to be instrumental in becoming a "total" martial artist. JKD believes the best defense is a strong offense, hence the principle of an "intercepting fist". For someone to attack another hand-to-hand, the attacker must approach the target. This provides an opportunity for the attacked person to "intercept" the attacking movement.
The principle of interception may be applied to more than intercepting the actual physical attack; non-verbal cues subtle movements of which opponent may be unaware may also be perceived or "intercepted", and thus used to one's advantage.
The "five ways of attack", categories which help JKD practitioners organize their fighting repertoire, comprise the offensive teachings of JKD. These were modified for unarmed combat and implemented into the JKD framework by Lee to complement the principle of interception. Seen in many of his movie fight scenes such as in the Way of the Dragon vs Chuck Norris , Bruce Lee fought in a side southpaw horse stance.
His jabs and crosses came from his right hand and followed up with a lot of side kicks. Instead of a common check seen in muay thai , Bruce uses an oblique leg kick to block a potential kick. He adopted other defensive concepts found in many other systems such as slipping and rolling from Western boxing and forearm blocks found in Eastern martial arts such as Kung Fu.
Lee's nimble and agile skipping-like footwork is seen in his movies. This technique was adopted from Muhammad Ali's footwork in his boxing stance. The footwork also has its influences from fencing. Lee felt that the straight lead was the most integral part of Jeet Kune Do punching, saying, "The leading straight punch is the backbone of all punching in Jeet Kune Do. It is believed that the straight lead should always be held loosely with a slight motion, as this adds to its speed and makes it more difficult to see and block.
The strike is believed to be not only the fastest punch in JKD, but also the most accurate. The speed is attributed to the fact that the fist is held out slightly making it closer to the target and its accuracy is gained from the punch being thrown straight forward from one's centerline. The lead should be held and thrown loosely and easily, tightening only upon impact, adding to one's punch. The punch can be thrown from multiple angles and levels. Lee believed that explosive attacks, without telegraphing signs of intent, were most effective.
He argued that the attacks should catch the opponent off-guard, throwing them off balance and leaving them unable to defend against subsequent attacks. Lee wanted no wind-up movements or "get ready poses" to prelude any JKD attacks. He explained that any twitches or slight movements before striking should be avoided as they will give the opponent signs or hints as to what is being planned and then they will be able to strike first while one is preparing an attack.
Consequently, non-telegraphed movement is believed to be an essential part of Jeet Kune Do philosophy. Lee emphasized that every situation, in fighting or in everyday life, is varied. To obtain victory, therefore, it is believed essential not to be rigid, but to be fluid and adaptable to any situation. Lee compared it to being like water, saying "Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water.
If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend. One should know when to speed up or slow down, when to expand and when to contract, and when to remain flowing and when to crash. It is the awareness that both life and fighting can be shapeless and ever changing that allows one to be able to adapt to those changes instantaneously and bring forth the appropriate solution.
Lee did not believe in styles and felt that every person and situation is different and not everyone fits into a mold; one must remain flexible in order to obtain new knowledge and victory in both life and combat. It is believed that one must never become stagnant in the mind or method, always evolving and moving towards improving oneself. Jeet Kune Do seeks to be economical in time and movement, teaching that the simplest things work best, as in Wing Chun.
Economy of motion is the principle by which JKD practitioners achieve:. This is meant to help a practitioner conserve both energy and time, two crucial components in a physical confrontation.
Maximized force seeks to end the battle quickly due to the amount of damage inflicted upon the opponent. Rapidity aims to reach the target before the opponent can react, which is half-beat faster timing, as taught in Wing Chun and Western boxing. Therefore, attack him on his preparation of attack. To reach me, you must move to me. Your attack offers me an opportunity to intercept you.
TV show. It is for this concept Jeet Kune Do is named. JKD practitioners believe that this is the most difficult defensive skill to develop. Stop hits and kicks utilize the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into one movement, thus minimizing the "time" element. When confronting an incoming attack, the attack is parried or deflected, and a counterattack is delivered simultaneously. This is not as advanced as a stop hit but more effective than blocking and counterattacking in sequence.
Practiced in some Chinese martial arts such as Wing Chun, it is also known in Krav Maga as "bursting". Simultaneous parrying and punching utilizes the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into one movement, thus minimizing the "time" element and maximising the "energy" element. Efficiency is gained by utilizing a parry rather than a block.
By definition a "block" stops an attack, whereas a parry merely re-directs it. Redirection has two advantages, it requires less energy to execute and utilizes an opponent's energy against him by creating an imbalance. Efficiency is gained in that an opponent has less time to react to an incoming attack, since he is still withdrawing from his attack. JKD practitioners believe they should direct their kicks, as in Wing Chun, to their opponent's shins, knees , thighs , and midsection.
Jeet Kune Do
Tao of Jeet Kune Do is a book expressing Bruce Lee 's martial arts philosophy and viewpoints, published posthumously after Bruce Lee's death in The project for this book began in when Bruce Lee suffered a back injury during one of his practice sessions. During this time he could not train in martial arts. He was ordered by his doctors to wear a back brace for 6 months in order to recover from his injury.
Martial Arts Books