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#251729 - 05/07/06 07:38 PM What IS Jeet Kune Do
JKogas Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
When its all said and done, JKD is a "process" and not a "product". Its the process of discovery and is NOT a "style" in other words. This process however is not chaotic and does have an general outline.

Before continuing on with this thread, have a look at the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeet_Kune_Do

That's a good place to start this discussion. We can go on from that point. Ultimately, JKD is a personal experience. However, there ARE certain tenets within that philosophy. The website linked to above does a fairly decent job of elaborating on those.

Enjoy!



-John

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#251730 - 05/07/06 09:26 PM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: JKogas]
MattJ Offline
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I am normally somewhat leery of Wikipedia, but the JKD entry was pretty insightful, IMHO. Some good points:

Quote:

Jeet Kune Do advocates that any practitioner be allowed to interpret techniques for themselves, and change them for their own purposes.




This seems very common sense to me, but I have been surprised that many instructors in some "progressive" arts have a very "traditional" view of proper ways to do techniques.

Quote:

The (traditional) schools Lee criticized tend to see their initial conservatism as a safety feature; a legacy of practical experience passed down from generation to generation, said to ensure that their students are thoroughly prepared for advanced martial arts training, skipping nothing and developing intangibles such as good character, patience and discipline. The hierarchy of the traditional schools is said by this reasoning to provide a level playing field for all students by instilling respect and care for one's seniors, peers and juniors, so that everyone, not just the physically gifted, has an opportunity to benefit from the training provided in a martial art school.




I think the directness of JKD training (and by extension modern MMA) does NOT provide a level playing field, in the sense of the traditional schools as mentioned in the article. But should it? I realize that as I write this, I'm not sure what my answer is.

I think it's good for instructors to know that there are other guys out there that can have significant skill without much training in a style. It is also good for beginners to not have a false sense of confidence about their skill level.

Wow. Sorry for rambling. This has actually given me a bit to think about, when I thought my position on JKD was fairly settled.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#251731 - 05/07/06 10:08 PM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: MattJ]
JKogas Offline
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I posted to Wikipedia link simply to provide a starting point. Some of it was right on and other bits of it I am undecided on. I wanted to provide my OWN opinion of what JKD "is" as this thread continued.

It could be said that simplicity is at the heart of what JKD is about. JKD thus could "simply" be defined as the quest for "truth in combat". But does it end there? SHOULD it end there? I definitely believe it is the starting point when searching for the meaning of JKD.

Using simplicity (and decrease) we can say that the most important principles of JKD are:

  • Simplicity (and daily decrease)
  • Aliveness (along with progressive resistance and variable intensity)
  • Adaptability (developing ability over the three ranges of stand-up, clinch and ground fighting)


I believe that those three principles contain EVERY core elemental concept necessary for the personal discovery of JKD (which includes developing and maximizing fighting skill and, personal transformation).

People can argue over semantics and the like. Ultimately however, JKD is about being able to fight and is NOT about politics.

By the way, I titled this thread, What IS JKD, NOT to provide "the answer". I have MY answer, but I'm also curious to hear the opinions of everyone else. Hopefully this will be an enlightening thread.



-John

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#251732 - 05/08/06 01:06 PM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: MattJ]
theoldone Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 172
Quote:



Quote:

The (traditional) schools Lee criticized tend to see their initial conservatism as a safety feature; a legacy of practical experience passed down from generation to generation, said to ensure that their students are thoroughly prepared for advanced martial arts training, skipping nothing and developing intangibles such as good character, patience and discipline. The hierarchy of the traditional schools is said by this reasoning to provide a level playing field for all students by instilling respect and care for one's seniors, peers and juniors, so that everyone, not just the physically gifted, has an opportunity to benefit from the training provided in a martial art school.




I think the directness of JKD training (and by extension modern MMA) does NOT provide a level playing field, in the sense of the traditional schools as mentioned in the article. But should it? I realize that as I write this, I'm not sure what my answer is.




If JKD is not a set system or a specific style, then it should not provide a level playing field because each individual is unique.

If we liken martial arts to a journey, then conceptual JKD is a compass, although not the North Star itself. We're back to that Zen "finger pointing to the moon" thingie. JKD is the finger, while the individual's martial journey, experience and eventual realization of his/her personal "truth in combat" constitute the moon.

"May way is not your way", or something like that.

But observing the way many martial artists (including so-called "masters") behave, they seem to be saying, "My way is not your way. It's the only way. Your way s*cks"

The conceptual view of JKD would seem to encourage each practitioner to approach his/her own martial journey in a way that says, metaphorically speaking, "I must live my own life, my own truth. I must travel my own path, guided by the principles I have found to be speaking the truth to me. I cannot do otherwise. I shall remember my forebears and all those who had come before, and I shall always be grateful to them, but I must find and express my own 'voice', in my own way, and travel my own path".

Am I even close?


Edited by theoldone (05/08/06 01:08 PM)
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#251733 - 05/08/06 02:07 PM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: theoldone]
ShikataGaNai Offline
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Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Yes. JKD is very much about personal expression.

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#251734 - 05/08/06 06:16 PM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: ShikataGaNai]
JKogas Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
JKD is a “roadmap” of a territory. We need to follow it to some degree. Your experience within that territory is yours alone however.

The roadmap of JKD states that we must follow a certain path and to obtain knowledge of the territory (remembering that the map is not the territory).

Looking at the most important concepts (the "roadmap"):

*Simplicity: We have to make things simpler and not more complex. This means cutting through all unnecessary extrapolation and ornamentation. What does this means for us? Several things really. No more chi-sao. No more hubud. No more lop-sao/bong sao switch. No more high-outside reference point trapping. In fact, the only sensitivity drilling that we do anymore is clinch pummeling. Keeping things as simple as we can and stripping away what isn’t needed is a STAPLE of the JKD concept (daily decrease). Less is more, though you do have to keep what is necessary.

*Adaptability: The three core games (stand-up, clinch and ground). The four ranges are still there, but due to “simplifying” everything, we don’t give them “tool specific” names any longer. Kicking and punching ranges are still there, only now we refer to that as “stand-up”. The so-called trapping range is there, only now it’s referred to as the clinch. The ground we refer to as, “GROUND” (oddly enough). It’s not enough just to be a kicker, puncher, in-fighter or grappler. JKD implores that we strive to be ALL of those things (and notice how I did not say “karate guy”, kung-gu guy, Greco-Roman guy or jiu-jitsu guy. JKD is beyond style and sees only “tools”. That is a pretty important distinction, imo).

Having the quality of adaptability means that we can “float in totality”. We’re not limited. We can flow between ranges and “respond like an echo” to our opponent. We can meet whatever attack he may present because there is no unexplored territory for us (not being unfamiliar to any specific ‘line of attack’). We know what punches look like. We know what kicks look like. And underhooks, plumm positions, single legs, double legs, armbars, chokes, leg locks, etc., etc.

*Aliveness: Bruce Lee thought it was critical that we “get into the water” in order to experience swimming. This means, you gotta put the equipment on and fight. That is truly the only way you’re going to learn fighting. This doesn’t mean that you have to kill your partners. There are degrees of this for the sake of training purposes. We refer to this as progressive resistance and variable intensity. Progressive resistance means that you simply work up to higher levels of resistance. If you had never lifted weights before, I wouldn't put 500 pounds on the barbell and tell you to bench-press it. You'd start out light. However, if you never add more resistance than what you started with, you’ll never get stronger. So we must always progressively add.

Aliveness is also about realistic training practices. We need real timing even if we’re not using full power. We also need realistic motion as well. You can’t be standing in one place, flat-footed while practicing. You also need to not pull your punches, even if you’re not using full power. You have to try and hit your man, in the face, etc.

Now what the individual obtains through this practice, bearing in mind the above concepts, can never be taken from him. It is WON through hard work. Blood, sweat and tears. THAT becomes the individual expression of JKD. It’s NOT just taking anything and adding it “willy-nilly”, just to make that clear.



-John

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#251735 - 05/08/06 06:37 PM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: JKogas]
MattJ Offline
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Very nice breakdown, John. I like the weightlifting analogy as well. That is a very good way to put it for people that are not used to that type of training.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#251736 - 05/09/06 03:05 AM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: JKogas]
theoldone Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 172
Wonderful exposition, John. Fighting a guy who has all that down pat would be like fighting shadows AND Mr. Fantastic at the same time.

This is turning out to be very interesting.

--------------

C'mon, you JKD freaks...er, I meant practitioners...out there. Pipe up. There's no right and wrong here. All opinions, insights and viewpoints are welcome.

I/we want to hear from you.
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#251737 - 05/09/06 07:14 AM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: theoldone]
JKogas Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
*crickets chirping*



Such is the life of the JKD forum, particularly when the topic isn't Bruce Lee.



-John

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#251738 - 05/09/06 11:19 AM Re: What IS Jeet Kune Do [Re: JKogas]
theoldone Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 172
Quote:

*crickets chirping*



Is that the customary Zen part of the JKD curriculum? Now, I would definitely classify that as the "sit" range...or maybe the ground range?

Quote:

particularly when the topic isn't Bruce Lee.




How come?
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