edit:sorry this is such a long post! just have a lot to say about this book.


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.


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:



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.


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.

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