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)
We Are Beautiful, Temporary Patterns