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| The Jeet Kune Do Emblem|
The Taijitu represents the concepts of yin and yang.
|Also Known As|| JKD|
Jeet Kun Do
Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do
|Country of Origin||USA|
|Parenthood|| Wing Chun|
|Official Website||Bruce Lee Foundation|
Jeet Kune Do (Chinese: 截拳道, Cantonese: Jitkyùndou, Jyutping: Zit6 Kyun4 Dou6, Pinyin: Jiéquándào lit. "Way of the Intercepting Fist," also "Jeet Kun Do," "JKD," or "Jeet Kuen Do") is a hybrid martial arts system and life philosophy founded by world renowned martial artist Bruce Lee in 1967 with direct, non classical and straightforward movements. The system works on the use of different 'tools' for different situations. These situations are broken down into ranges (Kicking, Punching, Trapping and Grappling), with techniques flowing smoothly between them. It is referred to as a "style without style". Unlike more traditional martial arts, Jeet Kune Do is not fixed or patterned, and is a philosophy with guiding thoughts. It was named for the concept of interception, or attacking your opponent while he is about to attack. However the name Jeet Kune Do was often said by Bruce Lee to be just a name. He himself often referred to it as "The art of expressing the human body" in his writings and in interviews. Through his studies Bruce came to see that styles had become too rigid, and unrealistic. He called martial art competitions of the day "Dry land swimming". He believed that combat was spontaneous, and that a martial artist cannot predict it, only react to it, and that a good martial artist should "Be like water" and move fluidly without hesitation.
In 2004, the Bruce Lee Foundation decided to use the name Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do (振藩截拳道) to refer to the martial arts system that Lee founded. "Jun Fan" was Lee's Chinese given name, so the literal translation is "Bruce Lee's Way of the Intercepting Fist."
System and philosophy
Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the name Bruce Lee gave to his combat system and philosophy in 1967. Originally, when Lee began researching various fighting styles, he gave his martial art his own name of Jun Fan Gung Fu. However not wanting to create another style that would share the limitations that all styles have, he instead gave us the process that created it.
Modern Jeet Kune Do philosophy
JKD as it survives today — if one wants to view it "refined" as a product, not a process — is what was left at the time of Bruce Lee's death. It is the result of the life-long martial arts development process Lee went through. Bruce Lee stated that his concept is not an "adding to" of more and more things on top of each other to form a system, but rather, a winnowing out. 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". He also used the sculptor's mentality of beginning with a lump of clay and hacking away at the "unessentials"; the end result was what he considered to be the bare combat essentials, or JKD.
The core concepts of JKD are derived from Wing Chun. This includes such ideas as centerline control, punching with a vertical fist, trapping, and forward pressure. Through his personal research and readings, Lee also incorporated ideas from Boxing and Fencing. Later during the development of Jeet Kune Do, he would expand to include the art for personal development, not just to become a better fighter. To illustrate Lee's views, in a 1971 Black Belt Magazine article, Lee said "Let it be understood once and for all that I have NOT invented a new style, composite or modification. I have in no way set Jeet Kune Do within a distinct form governed by laws that distinguish it from 'this' style or 'that' method. On the contrary, I hope to free my comrades from bondage to styles, patterns and doctrines."
One of the theories of JKD is that a fighter should do whatever is necessary to defend himself, regardless of where the techniques come from. One of Lee's goals in Jeet Kune Do was to break down what he claimed were limiting factors in traditional martial arts training, and seek a fighting thesis which he believed could only be found within the reality of a fight. Jeet Kune Do is currently seen as the genesis of the modern state of hybrid martial arts.
Jeet Kune Do not only advocates the combination of aspects of different styles, it also can change many of those aspects that it adopts to suit the abilities of the practitioner. Additionally, JKD advocates that any practitioner be allowed to interpret techniques for themselves, and change them for their own purposes. For example, Lee almost always chose to put his power hand in the "lead," with his weaker hand back; within this stance he used elements of Boxing, Fencing and Wing Chun. Just like fencing, he labeled this position the "On Guard" position. Lee incorporated this position into his JKD as he felt it provided the best overall mobility. He felt that the dominant or strongest hand should be in the 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 good overall stance, it is by no means the only one. He acknowledged that there were times when other positions should be utilized.
Lee felt the dynamic property of JKD was what enabled its practitioners to adapt to the constant changes and fluctuations of live combat. He believed that these decisions should be done within the context of "real combat" and/or "all out sparring" and that it was only in this environment that a person could actually deem a technique worthy of adoption.
Bruce Lee did not stress the memorization of solo training forms or "Kata", as most traditional styles do in their beginning-level training. He often compared doing forms without an opponent to attempting to learn to swim on dry land. Lee believed that real combat was alive and dynamic. Circumstances in a fight change from millisecond to millisecond, and thus pre-arranged patterns and techniques are not adequate in dealing with such a changing situation. As an anecdote to this thinking, Lee once wrote an epitaph which read: 'In memory of a once fluid man, crammed and distorted by the classical mess.' The "classical mess" in this instance was what Lee thought of classical martial arts.
Bruce Lee's comments and methods were seen as controversial by many in his time, and still are today. Many teachers from traditional schools disagreed with his opinions on these issues.
The notion of cross-training in Jeet Kune Do is similar to the practice of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Many consider Jeet Kune Do to be the precursor of MMA because of its syncretic nature. This is particularly the case with respect to the JKD "Combat Ranges". A JKD student is expected to learn various combat systems within each combat range, and thus to be effective in all of them.
PrinciplesThe following are principles that Bruce Lee incorporated into his Jeet Kune Do. He felt these were universal combat truths that were self evident, and would lead to combat success if followed. Familiarity with each of the "Four ranges of combat", in particular, is thought to be instrumental in becoming a "total" martial artist.
JKD teaches that the best defense is a strong offense, hence the principle of an "intercepting fist". For a person 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 physical attacks. Non-verbal cues (subtle movements that an opponent may be unaware of) may be perceived or "intercepted", and thus be 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. The concepts of "Stop hits & stop kicks", and "Simultaneous parrying & punching", borrowed from Épée Fencing's and Wing Chun's concepts of single fluid motions which attack while defending, comprise the defensive teachings of JKD. These concepts were modified for unarmed combat and implemented into the JKD framework by Lee, to complement the principle of interception.
Be Like Water
Lee believed that martial systems should be as flexible as possible. He often used water as an analogy for describing why flexibility is a desired trait in martial arts. Water is infinitely flexible. It can be seen through, and yet at other times it can obscure things from sight. It can split and go around things, rejoining on the other side, or it can crash through things. It can erode the hardest rocks by gently lapping away at them or it can flow past the tiniest pebble. Lee believed that a martial system should have these attributes. JKD students reject traditional systems of training, fighting styles and the Confucian pedagogy used in traditional kung fu schools because of this lack of flexibility. JKD is claimed to be a dynamic concept that is forever changing, thus being extremely flexible. "Absorb what is useful; Disregard that which is useless" is an often quoted Bruce Lee maxim. JKD students are encouraged to study every form of combat possible. This is believed to expand one's knowledge of other fighting systems; to both add to one's arsenal as well as to know how to defend against such tactics.
Economy of Motion
Jeet Kune Do seeks to waste no time or movement, teaching that the simplest things work best. Economy of motion is the principle by which JKD practitioners achieve:
- Efficiency: An attack which reaches its target in the least amount of time, with maximum force.
- Directness: Doing what comes naturally in a learned way.
- Simplicity: Thinking in an uncomplicated manner; without ornamentation.
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, learned in Wing Chun and Western Boxing. Learned techniques are utilized in JKD to apply these principles to a variety of situations.
- Stop Hits & Stop Kicks
This means intercepting an opponent's attack with an attack of your own instead of a simple block. JKD practitioners believe that this is the most difficult defensive skill to develop. This strategy is a feature of some traditional Chinese martial arts, as well as an essential component of European épée fencing. Stop hits & kicks utilize the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into one movement thus minimizing the "time" element.
- Simultaneous Parrying & Punching
When confronting an incoming attack, the attack is parried or deflected and a counter attack is delivered at the same time. Not as advanced as a stop hit but more effective than blocking and counter attacking in sequence. This is also practiced by some Chinese martial arts. Simultaneous parrying & punching utilizes the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into two movements thus minimizing the "time" element and maximizing 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 an attack. Redirection has two advantages: It requires less energy to execute. It utilizes the opponents energy against them by creating an imbalance. Efficiency is also gained in that the opponent has less time to react to the nullification of their attack while having to worry about defending an incoming attack.
- Low Kicks
JKD practitioners believe they should target their kicks to their opponent's shins, knees, thighs, and mid section. These targets are the closest to the foot, provide more stability and are more difficult to defend against. However, as with all other JKD principles nothing is "written in stone". If a target of opportunity presents itself, even a target above the waist, one could take advantage of the situation without feeling hampered by this principle. Maintaining low kicks utilizes the principle of economy of motion by reducing the distance a kick must travel thus minimizing the "time" element. Low kicks are also more difficult to detect and thus guard against.
The four ranges of combat
Jeet Kune Do students train in each of these ranges equally. According to Lee, this range of training serves to differentiate JKD from other martial arts. Lee stated that most but not all traditional martial systems specialize in training at one or two ranges. Bruce Lee's theories have been especially influential and substantiated in the field of Mixed Martial Arts, as the MMA Phases of Combat are essentially the same concept as the JKD combat ranges. As a historical note, the ranges in JKD have evolved over time. Initially the ranges were categorized as short or close, medium, and long range. These terms proved ambiguous and eventually evolved into their more descriptive forms although there may still be others who prefer the three categories.
Five ways of attack
- Simple Angular Attack (SAA)/Simple Direct Attack (SDA).Is a simple motion (Punch or Kick) which moves with no effort to conceal it, directly to the target on the most economical route. It can also be indirect, beginning on one line and ending on another. Such as a punch that starts to the stomach (mid line) and ends on the chin (high line). SAA is an attack that is launched from an unanticipated angle that is achieved by moving in such a way as to create an open line into which to strike.
- Attack By Combinations (ABC). This is using multiple rapid attacks, with volume of attack as a means of overcoming the opponent.
- Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA). Simulating an attack to one part of the opponent's body followed by attacking another part as a means of creating an opening.
- Hand Immobilization Attack (HIA) and its counterpart Foot Immobilization attack, which make use of trapping/parrying to limit the opponent's function with that appendage.
- Attack By Drawing (ABD). The goal when using attack by draw is to "draw" the opponent into a committed attack by baiting him into what looks like an exposed target, then intercepting his/her motion. One can execute a motion that invites a counter, then counter attack them as he takes the bait.
The centerline is an imaginary line drawn vertically along the center of a standing human body; and also refers to the space directly in front of that body. If we draw an isosceles triangle on the floor, for which our body forms the base, and our arms form the equal legs of the triangle, then h (height of the triangle) is that same centerline. The Wing Chun concept is to exploit, control and dominate an opponent's centerline. All attacks, defenses, and footwork are designed to guard your own centerline while entering your opponent's centerline space. Lee incorporated this theory into JKD from Wing Chun.
The three guidelines for centerline are:
- The one who controls the centerline will control the fight.
- Protect and maintain your own centerline while you control and exploit your opponent's.
- Control the centerline by occupying it.
This notion is closely related to maintaining control of the center squares in the strategic game chess. The concept is obviously present in Xiangqi (Chinese chess), where an "X" is drawn on the game board, in front of both players' general and advisors.
One of the premises that Bruce Lee incorporated in Jeet Kune Do was "combat realism". He insisted that martial arts techniques should be incorporated based upon their effectiveness in real combat situations. This would differentiate JKD from other systems where there was an emphasis on "flowery technique" as Lee would put it. Lee claimed that flashy "flowery techniques" would arguably "look good" but were often not practical or prove ineffective in street survival and self-defense situations. This premise would also differentiate JKD from other "sport" oriented martial arts systems that where geared towards "tournament" or "point systems". Lee felt that these systems were "artificial" and fooled its practitioners into a false sense of true martial skill. Lee felt that because these systems favored a "sports" approach they incorporated too many rule sets that would ultimately handicap a practitioner in self defense situations. He also felt that this approach to martial arts became a "game of tag" which would lead to bad habits such as pulling punches and other attacks; this would again lead to disastrous consequences in real world situations. Because of this perspective Lee utilized safety gear from various other contact sports to allow him to spar with opponents "full out". This approach to training allowed practitioners to come as close as possible to real combat situations with a high degree of safety. Donn Draeger, world renowned martial arts pioneer, was the first Westerner to bring widespread attention to the often cited “-do” versus “-jutsu” controversy. Historically the "do" or way arts were based on the "jutsu" or technique arts without what was deemed "dangerous techniques". The "do" arts such as Judo were thus seen as a "watered down" version of their "jutsu" counterparts such as Ju-Jutsu, a combat-tested martial art, and thus considered a sport. Lee objected to these "sport" versions of martial arts and instead emphasized combat realism.
Absorbing What is Useful
This is the idea that a martial artist can only learn techniques in their proper context, through a holistic approach. Styles provide more than just techniques: They also offer training methods, theories, and mental attitudes. Learning these factors allows a student to experience a system in what Lee called its "totality". Only through learning a system completely will an artist be able to, "absorb what is useful," and discard the remainder. Real combat training situations allow the student to learn what works, and what doesn't. The critical point of this principle is that the choice of what to keep is based on personal experimentation with various opponents over time. It is not based on how a technique may look or feel, or how precisely the artist can mimic tradition. In the final analysis, if the technique is not beneficial in combat, it is discarded. Lee believed that only the individual could come to understand what worked; based on critical self analysis, and by, "honestly expressing oneself, without lying to oneself."
Although Bruce Lee officially closed his martial arts schools two years before his death, he allowed his curriculum to be taught privately. Since his death, Jeet Kune Do is argued to have split into different groups. Allegedly they are:
- The Original (or Jun Fan) JKD branch, whose proponents include Taky Kimura, Yap Mat, James Lee, Jerry Poteet, and Ted Wong; these groups claim to teach what was believed to be only what was taught by Bruce Lee, and encourage the student to further develop his or her abilities through those teachings. The inherent training principles of this branch are shaped by the static concept of what was "originally taught", just as the training systems of "traditional" martial arts have been taught for centuries and become recognizable as "styles", except it is referred to as a philosophy of "style without style".
- The JKD Concepts branch, whose proponents include Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Larry Hartsell; these groups strive to continue the philosophy of individual self-expression through re-interpretation of combat systems through the lens of Jeet Kune Do, under the concept that it was never meant to be a static art but rather an ongoing evolution, and have incorporated elements from many other martial arts into the main fold of its teachings (most notably, grappling and Kali / Escrima material) based on the individual's personal preferences and physical attributes. The entire JKD "system" can be described through a simple diagram, and the concepts can then be applied to a variety of contexts in a "universal" way.
To understand the branches of JKD it is important to understand the difference between the two "types" or viewpoints of Jeet Kune Do:
- JKD framework This type of JKD provides the guiding principles. Bruce Lee experimented with many styles and techniques to reach these conclusions. To Lee these principles were truisms. The JKD framework is not bound or confined by any styles or systems. This type of JKD is a process.
- JKD Personal Systems This type of JKD utilizes the JKD framework along with any techniques from any other style or system to construct a "personal system". This approach utilizes a "building blocks" manner in which to construct a personalized system that is especially tailored to an individual. Lee believed that only an individual could determine for themselves what the usefulness of any technique should be. This type of JKD is thus a product.
Lee believed that this freedom of adoption was a distinguishing property from traditional martial arts.
There are many who confuse the JKD Framework with a JKD Personal System (IE. Bruce Lee's personal JKD) thinking them to be one and the same. The system that Bruce Lee personally expressed was his own personal JKD; tailored for himself. Before he could do this, however, he needed to first develop the "JKD Framework" process. Many of the systems that Bruce Lee studied were not to develop his "Personal JKD" but rather was used to gather the "principles" for incorporation in the JKD Framework approach. The uniqueness of JKD to Lee is that it was a "process" not a "product" and thus not a "style" but a system, concept, or approach. Traditional martial arts styles are essentially a product that is given to a student with little provision for change. These traditional styles are usually fixed and not tailored for individuals. Bruce Lee claimed there were inherent problems with this approach and established a "Process" based system rather than a fixed style which a student could then utilize to make a "tailored" or "Personal" product of their own. To use an analogy; traditional martial arts give students fish to eat (a product). Lee believed that a martial art should just teach the student to fish (a process) and gain the food directly.
The two branches of JKD differ in what should be incorporated or offered within the "JKD Framework". The Original (or Jun Fan) JKD branch believes that the original principles before Bruce Lee died are all that is needed for the construction of personalized systems. The JKD Concepts branch believe that there are further principles that can be added to construct personalized systems. The value of each Branch can be determined by individual practitioners based on whatever merits they deem important.
Original JKD is further divided into two points of view. OJKD and JFJKD both hold Wing Chun, Western Boxing and Fencing as the cornerstones on Bruce's JKD.
- OJKD follows all Bruce's training from early Jun Fan Gung Fu (Seattle period) and focuses on trapping with Wing Chun influence.
- Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is a signature version of JKD as Bruce taught privately to Ted Wong. This is a later time period and practices a greater emphasis on elusiveness and simplified trapping unique to Bruce's later approach to combat. The focus is with Wing Chun, Western Boxing, and Fencing.
Bruce Lee studied the martial arts style of Wing Chun and was a student of Yip Man in Hong Kong. Later, he learned other arts as well as the sports of western boxing and European fencing. The term Jeet Kune Do occurred in 1968 while Dan Inosanto and Bruce Lee were driving around in his car. The conversation involved European fencing and Lee commented that; "the most efficient means of countering in fencing was the stop-hit...When the opponent attacks, you intercept his move with a thrust or hit of your own.." Lee then said "We should call our method the 'stop-hitting fist style;, or the 'intercepting fist style". Dan Inosanto then said; "What would that be in Chinese?", in which Lee replied "That would be Jeet Kune Do".
A relevant video source of Bruce Lee discussing his Jeet Kune Do appeared in the first episode of the television series Longstreet. The first episode was aptly titled "The Way of the Intercepting Fist". The episode was written specifically for Lee by his friend and long time supporter Stirling Silliphant.
|The usefulness of a cup is its emptiness.
– Be prepared to accept new knowledge and not be hindered or biased by old knowledge. This quote originates from the Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism.
|Using no way as way.
– Don't have preconceived notions about anything. This statement is embedded in the Jeet Kune Do logo. It was also used by Bruce Lee often to describe JKD.
|Having no limitation as limitation.
– Don't be confined by anything, achieve true freedom. This statement is embedded in the Jeet Kune Do logo.
|From form to formless and from finite to infinite.
– Don't be confined by limitations and forms. By not having specific form all forms can be included.
|The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.
– This is actually a Zen or Chán maxim which means to "be in the moment" and not be distracted by your own thought process. The Zen quote is: "If you seek it, you will not find it". The "Western" counterpart to this is the term "Being in the Zone."
|If people say Jeet Kune Do is different from "this" or from "that," then let the name of Jeet Kune Do be wiped out, for that is what it is, just a name. Please don't fuss over it.
– Don't get hung up on labels and parameters. JKD is alive and therefore always changing; JKD embodies all and no style simultaneously, thus cannot be compared.
|To reach me, you must move to me. Your attack offers me an opportunity to intercept you.
– Lee explaining the principle of interception to Duke Paige from the television show Longstreet.
|Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash! Be water, my friend. Find the path of least resistance|
– Lee explaining the principle of being like water in a Hong Kong television interview.
|Duke Paige: What is this thing you do? Li Tsing (Bruce Lee): In Cantonese, Jeet Kune Do - the way of the intercepting fist.
– From the "Longstreet" television show pilot.
Mortal KombatIt is used by Johnny Cage as his secondary fighting style in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
It is also used by Blaze as his secondary fighting style in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance because of him only having fighting styles from other characters, but he keeps it in Unchained, where no other character uses it.
As a tribute to Bruce Lee, Liu Kang has it in Mortal Kombat: Deception, Mortal Kombat: Unchained, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and Mortal Kombat (2011) a fighting style based upon Jeet Kune Do, but called Jun Fan, as Lee's chinese name.
Liu Kang uses actual Jeet Kune Do in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks as his quick fighting style.
- ↑ Bishop, James. Bruce Lee: Dynamic Becoming. Carrollton, TX: Promethean, 2004. Print.
- ↑ Liberate Yourself from Classical Karate." Black Belt Magazine 9.9 (1971): 24. Print.
- ↑ Hochheim, W. Hoch. "The Maze of Jeet Kune Do." Black Belt Magazine 33.1 (1995): 110. Print.
- ↑ Lee, Linda. Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Burbank, CA: Ohara Publications, 1975. Print.
- ↑ http://www.jkd-la.com/principles.html
- ↑ Inosanto, Dan, and Alan Sutton. Jeet Kune Do: the Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee. Los Angeles: Know Now Pub., 1980. Print.
- ↑ Inosanto, Dan, and Alan Sutton. Jeet Kune Do: the Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee. Los Angeles: Know Now Pub., 1980. Print.
- ↑ Lee, Linda. Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Santa Clarita, CA: Ohara Publications, 1975. Print.
- ↑ Lee, Linda. Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Santa Clarita, CA: Ohara Publications, 1975. Print.
- ↑ Lee, Linda. Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Santa Clarita, CA: Ohara Publications, 1975. Print.
- ↑ Bruce Lee appearing on Longstreet Video clip of Lee discussing 'The Way of the Intercepting Fist'
- ↑ Interview in Enter The Dragon - 2 Disc Special Edition DVD Disc 2 extras
- The Bruce Lee Foundation
- JKD Unlimited
- JKD France
- Jun Fan - Jeet Kune Do Academy (NL) The Jun Fan - Jeet Kune Do & Ving Tsun Academy in the Netherlands
- Associação Brasileira de Jeet Kune Do - Bruce Lee's Method Brazilian Jeet Kune Do Association
- Bruce Lee discusses the 'Jeet Kune Do' Punch
- Bruce Lee Web Website in Spanish about Bruce Lee and Jeet Kune Do.
- Jeet Kune Do Discussion Forum Discuss Jeet Kune Do with experts worldwide.
- The JKD Brotherhood Jeet Kune Do discussion forum featuring actual students of Bruce Lee.
- Jeet Kune Do Nederland For any information about Jeet Kune Do in the Netherlands
- Chi Kung Tao / Kulelkavido Founder of Yuksel Yilmaz from Turkey; Turkish Fight System, fundamentally Jeet Kune Do
- Jeet Kune Do Survival Solutions
- Jeet Kune Do Bruce Lee For any information about Jeet Kune Do in the UK
- The JKD Nexus
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