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Jeet Kune Do is all about maximizing your skill at applying your tools, and developing the skill to intercept! The legs are striking tools just like the hands, only they have more reach, and are naturally stronger. If you think about it from that perspective, the legs are a very practical weapon. Now, keeping that in mind, why just injure the opponent when you can DESTROY the opponent! Using the principle of the longest weapon to nearest target, you can execute a side kick to the upper shin or knee, and possibly break the opponent's leg. You can execute a straight kick, scooping kick or hook kick to the opponent's groin and drop them. All of this can be done without you coming into hand striking range of the opponent, therefore you are relatively safe when executing these strikes. It only makes good sense to do this if you can! I have seen situations where after executing ONE well placed kick, you could just walk away! Over ... done ... finished, just like that! Therefore, the roll of kicking in Jeet Kune Do is just like that of any other tool ... to DESTROY the opponent that stands before you!
It is my opinion that Wing Chun Gung Fu is primarily a hand based art. There is nothing wrong with that, as Wing Chun also has what I feel to be the most effective hand techniques of any martial art. However, taking that into consideration, the Wing Chun practitioner's mindset is to position the opponent so that you can take them out with the hands. Taking out the opponent's foundation structure makes the job easier! However, kicking in Wing Chun is usually closer, and often combined with a hand technique striking simultaneously. Bottom line is this: Do you want to take them out quick, before they ever get into hand striking range, or do you want to let them get closer so you have a better opportunity to finish the fight with your hands! Fortunately, in Jeet Kune Do, BOTH options are abvailable to us!