I discovered JKD over ten years ago, and was amazed by how JKD concepts improved my success in fighting skills. After having trained in Karate with dedication, I began to see "holes" in Karate's approach to combat. Not to undermine Karate as a martial art at all, it certainly is wonderful and I don't believe JKD is something seperate to karate. JKD was able to compliment my Karate in several ways some of which were-
1) Realising that my style was not the ultimate, that other martial arts had plenty to offer as well. To keep an open mind about techniques.
2) That tactical training and strategy in fighting are vital for success, and go much deeper than what many traditional hard styles have to offer.
3)Western boxing has alot to offer for the serious martial artist; feet are great, but hands are the primary weapon alot of the time when it comes to defending ones self.
4) Fighting needs to be responsive not preconceived. Sticking to a predetermined combination for example without being sensitive to what is happening often leads to failure. Being adaptable and responding wisely and with skill to what the opponent is doing, the type of opponent, and looking to control the opponent rather than perform a big attack strength against sstrength, is an example of adapting and using the mind not preset technique.
Having recently returned to the old Karate club I see they have finally taken some of these ideas on, however many techniques are neglected. For example the ability to get inside the larger opponents reach, outmanoveuring them and controlling them, using short strikes such as hooks is very much overlooked, so many karate people find it nearly impossible to gain the advantage over a partner with longer reach, espeially if they know how to use longer reach.
At the moment this is the skill I am working on, outmanoveuring the taller, heavier opponent through keeping them off balance while maintaining a good position my self. It is very challenging and satisfying, nullifying and controlling a larger, perhaps stronger fighter through the right tactics at the Karate club. The scope does seem limitted here though, and I feel it would be necessary to train beyond this club to further enhance the JKD approach.
There are no actual JKD clubs in my area but I think JKD goes beyond that. It is almost like a way of thinking about MA which is always evolving. I hear Arnis has similiar outlooks and is a very adaptable, responsive art. Would anyone recommend Arnis for the JKD fighter? The other options I am trying are Judo which definitely operates well along JKD lines of thinking. I will definitely stick with Judo, really great MA. I think more boxing training would also work well with JKD. Sport Aikido looks interesting- any advice there?
Well kind of a convoluted post but really just an invitation to discuss some of the aspects of JKD I have mentioned. Critique, advice, or additional comments welcomed!!!