Differences in JKD

I Just thought I'd throw this rant up and see what sticks. This thread is not only about the differences in JKD (Original or Extra-crispy) but in methods of instruction, coaching and training. I just thought I would give my experiences as an instructor to point out some of the stranger things I've seen over time. Everyone is welcome to chime in.


Many times, I've had people coming into my gym who were obviously "looking" for JKD and didn't "see" it. What I mean is, they were looking for guys standing around flat-footed, doing dead patterns of either chi-sao or reference point trapping. And here we were, moving around up on our toes, slipping, bobing, weaving, punching, covering, crashing, tying-up, etc.

Its like they were thinking, "Oh...all this...'sport' stuff...there's no JKD in here." Some would leave because they didn't find jkd. That was perfectly ok with me because I won't compromise what I do.

But it's just strange. I've been asked about trapping, chi, internal energy, chakras, etc. People really want to believe. Whatever, we just trained.

It has occured to me that without fail, nearly everyone who wandered in looking for JKD (trapping, OJKD, etc) wanted to learn a "deadly style" without having to SWEAT or without having to spar, which is absurd.

People can be really weird when it comes to martial arts. Where else would you find people who want to be "str33t l3th@l" without breaking a sweat? Then as soon as you even IMPLY that sparring is done, they break OUT into a sweat and fall apart faster than a two-dollar suitcase. Yet.....they want "JKD".

Lee would roll over in his grave.

You put hands on people and they seriously get bent out of shape. Clinch?! Forget about it. But, what about "trapping". Look, trapping in the classical sense will flat get your block knocked off. However, trapping works if you have a wrestling base.

Chi sao? Can you say, "arm drag"? But tell them you do hand-fighting and pummeling instead of chi sao and they disappear. Strange. People want to learn an 'art', but they don't necessarily want to learn how to 'fight'. Yet Lee saw JKD as being about a "return to the original freedom".

Tell THAT to people though and it goes right over their heads. I think this is because most see only what they want to see and ignore the rest (especially the parts about aliveness, daily decrease, fixed patterns, etc).

If you have had any strange experiences, share them here. Likewise, state what you feel have been positive experiences.