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#420063 - 06/10/09 02:27 PM The "Classical Mess"
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Pretty much everyone in JKD right now is likely aware of the ongoing feud between the OJKD folks, and JKDC group. Terri Tom's recent book is a good example of the OJKD peoples argument: namely that Bruce intended JKD to be made up of three arts, those being:

1. Western boxing
2. Fencing
3. Wing Chun

Despite the obvious questions such as where the hell the kicks came from, and the grappling that they admit Lee had worked into the curriculum towards the end of his life, I think of greater interest, to me at least, is did or did Lee not, intend for JKD to be a constant work in progress? Did he intend on creating a static system, in which, as the OJKD people claim, one's own 'attitude' was what was meant by making JKD your own? Or was it more like Inosanto suggests, where one learns Jun Fan (the core technques that Bruce Lee worked out), but then experiments with it and alters it (sometimes dramatically) in order to make it your own?

Important in this is the concept of the Classical Mess that Lee discusses very often in the Tao of JKD. Am I wrong to think that by claiming that JKD was only ever boxing, fencing and wing chun, that that makes static a thing that was supposed to always change with the times?


--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#420064 - 06/10/09 03:03 PM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: Ames]
MattJ Offline
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I look at the JKD study of Inosanto and Hartsell, and have my answer. I'm not sure that those two (OJKD and JKDC) camps will ever be reconciled - I think one has to take a side. The OJKD argument seems diametrically opposed to Bruce's actual writings, IMHO.
_________________________
"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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#420065 - 06/10/09 03:58 PM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: MattJ]
JKogas Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
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Inosanto/Hartsell, definitely led the way and have the answer; agreed.

If anyone within the JKD community has never sparred or fought all-out, without range restrictions, they cannot "know" JKD. If they only know it from an intellectual point of view, they don't really know it.

Only when one has truly fought does the often cryptic writing of Lee make any real sense. Then not only is it clear, it's simple. Utterly simple.

Burton Richardson makes a great point about this mess saying, if people want "original" JKD, WHICH original JKD do they want? The Seattle phase? The Oakland phase? Or the L.A. phase? Each was different because Lee was constantly evolving (and would have continued to).

Fortunately, guys like Inosanto and Hartsell, two men who were very close to Lee, realize the importance of evolution and growth - while keeping the essence of what JKD truly is, very much "alive".

And there is that word ("alive") again. The whole enchilada is contained within that word. It just has to be understood.

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#420066 - 06/11/09 11:32 AM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: Ames]
ShikataGaNai Offline
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Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
No two people fight exactly the same in any given concept based art, so even if you did rigidly adhere to the boxing, fencing, WC regimen as a core by the time you mixed them and 'made it your own' it could be unrecognizable from someone else who did the same. So both groups are essentially right and need to shut up about it all.
One thing confuses me though - how do you figure Terri Tom's book is indicative of the OJKD mentality? In her (long winded) book about the straight lead, she pretty much dismisses WC (along with Xing Yi and other) punching as wrong, which Lee never really said. Just curious.

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#420067 - 06/11/09 12:44 PM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: ShikataGaNai]
Ames Offline
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Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
edit:sorry this is such a long post! just have a lot to say about this book.

Quote:

One thing confuses me though - how do you figure Terri Tom's book is indicative of the OJKD mentality?




Here's how it seemed to me (I'm writing a review that I'll put up on the forum at some point). If you read the book, you'll note that very little actually goes into the specifics of the straight lead. The rest is occupied by putting the straight lead into its historical context (talking about Dempsey and Nadi), and then uses a lot of physics to 'prove' that the lead is the most efficient punch out there. Of course, that is bogus, because you can show the physics behind any technique, so showing that there is a physics equation does little to 'prove' anything. Then in the 'works cited' section at the end of the book, she uses Bruce Lee's writings to 'prove' Bruce Lee's theories! This wouldn't really strike me as a big deal, if it weren't for the fact that the subtext of the book is very much an attempt to undermine the JKDC camp through thinly veiled attacks and inuendo.

The second to last chapter finally brings to the surface what had been an undercurrent throughout the book. This is where Tom says, (paraphrasing) "JKD is not a mismatch of styles, it is not 27 arts, it is not Kali etc." Basically, this amounts to an outright attack on Inosanto, and Tom is constructing a classic strawman, because I've never once read nor heard in interviews Dan Inosanto say anything like this! In fact, he has been nothing but honest as to Bruce Lee's feelings towards Kali or Muay Thai!

Perhaps the funniest thing about the book are the sections where Tom illustrates her point (that Bruce Lee only ever was influenced by boxing, fencing, WC) with 'film evidence'. This is utterly stupid, if you look at those films you will also see (sometimes in the very next frame) kicking that came from a different source that those three arts, or grappling that came from Gene Lebell or Wally Jay! So if we were to go off 'video evidence' (which btw I don't think is the best way to get a sense of Bruce Lee's actual FIGHTING art) then Tom's thesis is totally disproved, as it becomes increasingly more obvious that Bruce Lee investigated other arts besides the three Tom mentions.

Quote:

In her (long winded) book about the straight lead, she pretty much dismisses WC (along with Xing Yi and other) punching as wrong, which Lee never really said.




Agreed, I've never read Lee outright dismiss WC punches. That being said, of course he did appear to make major modifications to the structure of them, those really drastically changing them to the point where they are a whole different beast, imo. But you are right in that Tom dismisses WC, claiming that at the end of his life Bruce had all but rejected it. Fine. But then why do so many other OJKD folks (say Jerry Poteet for example) teach so much trapping and so much WC? Is is possible that Ted Wong, who had a boxing background prior to studying with Lee, has himself taken what worked best for him, and rejected what did not? Or did Lee teach Wong skills that made sense for his already existing boxing base? Either way, I think it is a flawed argument that Wong is the 'most like Lee,' as, even going off other OJKD folks, Wong teaches a different curriculum! Also, I'd be interested to know where in boxing, fencing, or wing chun, one sees this kick:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5XdkXfvudk

Quote:

so even if you did rigidly adhere to the boxing, fencing, WC regimen as a core by the time you mixed them and 'made it your own' it could be unrecognizable from someone else who did the same.




Possibly. Yes, it would look somewhat different, but the point is that Lee seemed to grasp that what works today may not work tommorow, and that things need to evolve. The OJKD argument suggests that Lee's art should be set in stone, as it is the best one could hope for. Thus, they seem to be engaged in imitation, not making much their own. I've read some who claim that the OJKDer shouldn't train things like BJJ, because it deviates from Bruce Lee's art, and if you had the 'real' JFJKD, you would be able to stop a grappler, no probs.

Quote:

So both groups are essentially right and need to shut up about it all.





I don't totally agree. I think the politics thing is b.s. But at the same time, now there is the 'Bruce Lee Foundation' (which Tom sits on the board of) slinging mud at Inosanto in a very public way. What's funny is the majority of those that practice OJKD actually have their certificates from Inosanto, not BL. So yes, ideally it would be great for everyone to just let things go, and accept people see things differently, in the end the OJKD camp seems to be making a constant assault on the other camps (like JKDC and SBG) in very, very public ways...such as publishing books, regular articles in magazines like Black Belt, etc. Anyway, the politics thing is of little consequence to me. What bothers me is Tom's attempt to belittle and reduce Inosanto's role in JKD, for cheifly (I believe) monatary gain.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#420068 - 06/11/09 03:51 PM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: Ames]
JKogas Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Was Terri Tom ever authorized/certified by Lee to teach JKD? Of course not. Inosanto however was. From my understanding, he was one of three certified by Lee. One, James Lee is no longer living. Taky Kimura is older now and maintains a low profile. So, here is Tom "zooming in from oblivion" to slam Inosanto. Take that for what it's worth.

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#420069 - 06/11/09 05:22 PM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: JKogas]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Totally, John. In the book, she attempts to set up Ted Wong as *the* student of Lee. Of course, it's just a coincidence that that is who she trained under

Talk about rewriting the history books.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#420070 - 06/11/09 08:00 PM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: Ames]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
And no disrespect to Wong, but to my knowledge, only those three men were ever certified by Lee to teach jeet kune do (Taky Kimura, James Lee and Dan Inosanto.) Inosanto has long been the man to carry the torch.


-John

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#420071 - 06/11/09 08:05 PM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: JKogas]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
No, disrespect to Wong at all...I notice that it isn't HIM saying this B.S.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#420072 - 06/12/09 12:24 AM Re: The "Classical Mess" [Re: Ames]
ShikataGaNai Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Quote:

What bothers me is Tom's attempt to belittle and reduce Inosanto's role in JKD, for cheifly (I believe) monatary gain.




Wow. What little respect for Tom I had from reading her book (which I admit I skimmed alot of) I totally just lost, because she's yet another egotistical MAist publicly victimizing an old man - one I've had the good fortune to train under once, too

As for the JFJKD kick link - I think (but don't exactly know) that the particular sidekick made so popular by Lee is a modified WC sidekick. The chambering, leaning back and hip motion came from who-knows-where, but the heel thrust and footwork are exactly like the WC version when it's used with footwork or when closing the distance. You can even cross-step to cover more ground (sure you all know that).

So, do I have it straight - OJKD are all those people who train to move and execute techniques done by Lee, and look as MUCH LIKE HIM as possible while doing it, and JKDC people are like Vunak or Inosanto and are always looking for ways to push the philosophy in new directions?

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