File this under the heading of: "My opinions...I could be wrong".

I think that "Original JKD", and whatever else for the most part that has been passed as JKD (JKD Concepts) is fairly dead at this point (with the exception of a few groups who truly get it).

If JKD is a "style", then it's definitely dead. As a style, I've personally outgrown it. In fact, I've outgrown most "styles" in this day an age.

Wasn't JKD about moving beyond stylistic limitations and boundaries? I'd have to say yes to that. If that's the case, then limiting JKD to a "way" is outdated and obsolete.

That doesn't mean that the "Five ways of attack" are obsolete however. It just means that outdated methods of training ARE.

I've trained JKD with several high-ranking individuals dating back to the early 80's. They were ahead of the pack back in those days. A few years later when some of them began working with Rickson Gracie, they were truly on the cutting edge of training. Then I saw a lot of BS. People were saying that only what Lee did between 1967 and 1973 was authentic JKD (nevermind the fact that such a philosophy circumvented every major concept of JKD that Lee had in mind).

Then you had others (JKD "Concept" crowd) who took the "buffet" approach and added everything under the sun into their training, claiming it was an "absorb what is useful" kind of thing. Those folks seemed to forget about the whole notion of "daily decrease" that Lee stressed to his followers. To them, daily INCREASE was more important. Those folks became "technique collectors" while the OJKD guys became "museum curators".

In the mean time, MMA groups began outpacing BOTH schools of thought. As a result, what once was a truly unique, "avant garde" approach to martial arts training, became just another classical, dead (static and unevolving) traditional martial arts practice, no better or worse than anything else.

Again, there are a few groups who get it. Just like everything else, 95% of the rest are just going through the motions. This is exactly why Bruce Lee shut down his schools and trashed the idea of opening a nationwide "chain" of JKD schools -- he knew that it wasn't something that was built for mass consumption.

Of course as with anything else....it ultimately made its way into the masses anyway and was subsequently diluted and bastardized...just as he knew it would be. Such is life.

Lastly, I'm a certified instructor of JKD. Yet when people come to train at my gym, "JKD" is rarely even talked about. The name is hardly ever mentioned. We just train (alive). Many things are covered and street defense is almost always at the forefront. The point is that when instructing, I don't say, "this is a JKD technique and, that is a JKD technique". Why? Because there are no such things. So, if there are no such things as JKD techniques....then is what I'm teaching JKD or just the art of human expression within human combat?

There are NO "styles" in reality. Just different methods of training the same, identical, things.


-John