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#135120 - 08/17/04 01:44 PM Interesting "JKD" email read
DragonFire1134 Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1479
Loc: Theodore (mobile), Alabama
I found this to be an interesting read, perhaps you will to.

[QUOTE]Here is where the confusion with the term 'JKD' lies:

I see many martial artists who claim to do JKD who don't have a clue. They have read a little about Jeet Kune Do and Bruce Lee,
found some principles and tactics to incorporate, so now they are
doing JKD, too.

I am really happy they have found something to absorb from Bruce's writings/teachings. Cool. Still, in my head, it's confusing to call this person's system "JKD."

Then we have the majority of Bruce Lee's students -- and the students
of these students. I am one of those -- a student of a student.

Are we practicing JKD -- no, I don't think so. Here's why:

Some of his students remember exactly what Bruce Lee taught them. They pass this on to their students -- for the most part, accurately.

{Don't give up on me -- I really will turn this all into the practical -- eventually.}

But Bruce would be rolling in his grave to see that these guys have stagnated -- they don't progress -- just repeat what they were
taught -- just what Bruce Lee was trying to avoid.

On the other hand, some of his students combined JKD with other arts. They made a blend. This is another group.

It's an interesting blend. In fact, it started my interest in the Filipino arts.
I am still interested in practicing them, and learning how to deal with Arnis, Largo Mano, etc., should I ever have to.

Let's be honest -- do you for one minute think that Bruce Lee would have stood for the arm patting, two hands on the stick (in some styles), or the lack of center-line in many of the hu-baud exercises?

Be brutally honest.

You know exactly what Bruce would have done.

So, these guys aren't doing JKD. But no harm, no foul -- because some of them study under the designation of "Concepts." No need to stay faithful to Bruce -- just employ some of the 'concepts.' I approve of this type of honesty -- unless they truly feel that they are doing what Bruce Lee did.

Let's move on to the penultimate group:

We have a small, and I do mean small, handful of Bruce's students and students of his students, who have continued to progress. These original students might even have a thing or two to discuss with Bruce ---after all, Bruce Lee died in his 30s. His students outlived him by at least 25-30 years.

If they took his ideas, and extended them out, it's logical to assume that they may have found a twist or two, right?

You would assume.

Bravo to these few. They are embodying the idea of Jeet Kune Do --
they aren't static. The style continues on in a dynamic state, correct?

My argument is that what they are doing is great, but it's not JKD -- anymore. It's no longer purely Bruce Lee.

Which brings us back to discussions that have appeared in magazines
and all over the Internet -- did JKD die with Bruce Lee?

My answer: I think we should let go of the term, but not the information
and the principles.

By the way, the last group is a group of folks who use the name with not one bit of understanding of what Bruce Lee was about.
They use the name, because it fattens their wallets and bank accounts.

Nothing more.

That last group doesn't even belong in this discussion.

So, are you ready to turn this discussion to the practical?

I wish I had a name to express what I want to talk about-- a name that didn't confuse --a name that would make sense to all, and yet be more descriptive than just 'progressive martial arts.'

So, I need to move beyond the name. Not hard.

We have just seen that the name 'JKD' doesn't mean much. It doesn't help to define accurately how someone expresses him
or herself in the martial arts.

There are a myriad of "Tips, Tactics, and Techniques" (subtitle of this newsletter) that somehow fall short of the JKD definition.

On the other hand, there are a ton of techniques from other styles that already embody the true principles incorporated or discovered by Bruce Lee. And some techniques only need a little modification, maybe the elimination of a telegraphed motion, to make them "Bruce Lee efficient."

Whether you hail from a classical school and are looking for self improvement, but still want to stay faithful to your style; or if
you practice JKD, JKD Concepts, or some other derivation; or even if you claim to be practicing 'true' Jeet Kune Do, I have the same advice about learning "JKD":

  • 1. Don't get stuck on the name

  • 2. Don't even get stuck on the style. Find 'JKD' from each style.

  • 3. Pick a Bruce Lee principle, like "not playing the other person's game," and then apply it to every piece, each facet, of your style or system.

  • 4. If you do find a principle that is sound, you may have to discard parts or all of your style, to align yourself with your more efficient way of defending yourself.

  • 5. Listen to what the JKD experts are saying, but then use your own powers of observation, to see if they stay true to their words. I know of one teacher who promotes stop kicks and 'broken rhythm,' but he actually has no clue. Watch for yourself -- everything is in rhythm --- yuck!

  • 6. If a move continuously gets you in trouble, you have to modify it or drop it. No fair hanging onto favorites, just because.

  • 7. Learn how to 'deal with' the techniques you have eliminated. After all, you eliminated them because the lacked. If they lack, then you should have no problem taking someone out quickly and efficiently who tries the inferior move on you, right? (Even if you don't high kick, you still have to know how to deal with one.)

We could keep talking, but you get the point.

A lot of what is purported to be JKD isn't.

And techniques don't have to 'display' the JKD label stamped on them, to embody the teachings of Bruce Lee.[/QUOTE]

Sorry if I bored you with this.

#135121 - 08/21/04 12:23 AM Re: Interesting "JKD" email read
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I thought it was a great read.

#135122 - 08/22/04 10:32 PM Re: Interesting "JKD" email read

Ditto. [IMG][/IMG]

#135123 - 10/13/04 05:47 PM Re: Interesting "JKD" email read

sums up my feelings on the subject pretty well.

#135124 - 10/13/04 10:58 PM Re: Interesting "JKD" email read

wow... slightly cunfusing and redundant, but the auther has many, acute, and accurate points. I do agree that many people fall short of the JKD title... But to say that the poeple who take techniques from multiple forms of martial arts arn't practicing JKD is Ludacrous. That is what JKD is... it is learning what you can and intergrating it into your style, and making it work for you.

#135125 - 10/14/04 12:33 PM Re: Interesting "JKD" email read

I like the comment. In fact I wrote just about the same thing back in the 1980's and more recently in a 2002 article for Black Belt called the "Four Faces of Jun Fan". The four faces represent the four most popular interpretations of JKD.
Remember that Bruce did not tell anyone exactly what he meant by JKD. He officially named no person to carry on his art ( he did not expect to die). So no one can honestly point the finger at others and say "you are wrong and I am right". We have to do the best we can to follow the information left by Bruce Lee.
There is of coures the Inosanoto inspired "Concepts" group. When you grasp a concept you understand "the general idea", not necessarily the exact information, but an idea about how to perform. Using no art as art becomes moving from kali to Thai to silat to wing chun etc. According to the Tao when you are bound by an art you have traded in your JKD freedom for the security of a limited art. It's scarry to be free. Most of us would prefer knowing that others think the way we do. The concept says "I am never really one art but can be many". Thus I am not bound by a single art. But in essence that argument is used to cover up the fact that one simply moves from one set of limitations ( an art) to another set of limitations. JKD must be free. I must, again according to the Tao, free myself from the carrier of the truth. Therefore to be JKD I cannot simply flow from art to art.
When I have written this in magazine articles I have been generally
"demonized" by members of the concepts group. Been called a fake and a fraud by no less than Paula. I have no interest in teaching JKD.

A second "face" is represented by the "original" guys. They try to recreate Bruce's exact movements. Change is not a good word for this group. Yet they seem to be the more honest. They are simply in pursuit of the skills taught and performed by Bruce Lee.
The third group I called JKD strategies. These individuals, including this writer, attempt to understand and apply Bruce's wisdom/philosophy regarding the act of gaining liberation from the bondage imposed by fixed styles. We use no art because when you apply JKD theory to any art you loose the art. Take a technique from wing chun, then forget the requirements of wing chun. A trap is simply a trap. It is

A fourth "face" is identified by those who do not fully understand the philosophy and simply put arts together. This group can be called "eclectic JKD". A TKD instructor, for example who knows to add judo and boxing to cover three ranges has a grasp of the JKD concept. The eclectic JKD practitioner typically has no linage or interaction with other JKD practitioners but attempts to apply the JKD philosophy learned from tapes, books etc.

By far the smallest group is represented by the JKD philosophers followed by the original stylists. JKD concepts is much more popular than either the philosophy or the original art. Finally there are far more JKD enthusiasts worldwide that fit in to the eclectic JKD catergory.
Keep training.

Jerry Beasley

#135126 - 10/14/04 03:45 PM Re: Interesting "JKD" email read

Your were kind to reply to one of my previous posts. I wanted to say thanks again. One of the things you mentioned was subtle, I think others might have missed it. You said " If you want to be JKD.......", as opposed to "If you want to do JKD....".
One small word does change things doesn't it.


#135127 - 10/15/04 11:18 AM Re: Interesting "JKD" email read

You are very perceptive. JKD is a state of mind in which actions speak more clearly than words.



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