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With all of the recent interest in original Jeet Kune Do, which is good by the way, there is still something that is troubling me! WHY is it so hard for some people to understand what it is? WHY do so many try to make it something different than what the founder, Bruce Lee, laid out for us like a roadmap? WHY is the simple equation, Wing Chun/Boxing/Fencing + Bruce Lee's personal innovations = JEET KUNE DO, so hard for certain people to understand? WHY do some try to leave out part of the equation? WHY do some feel that the very root of our art, Wing Chun Gung Fu, should be left out? WHY try to take the Chinese out of an art with a Chinese name?
There is enough confusion about this art as it is without adding further misdirection! It all goes back to the basic "X is Jeet Kune Do" letter that Bruce Lee composed. In that letter, Bruce Lee himself states clearly that you DO NOT mix other arts with Jeet Kune Do! Jeet Kune Do is Jeet Kune Do! Anything else is NOT! Bruce Lee also stated that Jeet Kune Do consists of (1) Wing Chun Gung Fu, (2) Boxing and (3) Fencing. It's guiding principles are Simplicity, Directness and a Non-Classical attitude in training and fighting.
Yes, that is true. It was a letter to Jerry Poteet, prompted by Jerry asking if he coiuld mix some of the JKD drills with the kenpo karate that he was teaching. As you probably know, many of Bruce Lee's L. A. Chinatown students came to him from Ed Parker's American Kenpo.
I know what you are saying about there being some elements of other arts, but as you said, 90% (or more) came from the three arts mentioned. Bruce Lee's kicking method was influenced by many arts, but was uniquely his own. Most arts teach a chambering of the leg before the kick goes out. Bruce Lee believed that the kick should travel straight from where the foot was to the target in a direct line. The only bend in the knee was the bend necessary to follow that line. The power came from the waist, hips and proper application of footwork and body mechanics. The end result is a faster, more direct, more powerful kick!
Sifu I think I know what got you upset. Was it a recent interview?
Don't know why they are trying to take it out?
Because its all scientific you can't deny the science behind wing chun. Jeet Kune Do is all about the street or self defense. It was with wing chun Burce fought on roof tops. It was with wing chung he defended the right to teach whomever. It was with wing chun he realized he needed to create Jeet Kune Do. Wing chun has and will always be in JKD' roots because of science.
Until people grow three arms or three legs fighting will always be the same
Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation
Not necessarily that! This has been something that has been building up inside of me for a few years now! I have just had it with certain people's approach to what they call Jeet Kune Do! They have turned it into a watered down version of what it should be! Sure, we aim for simplification, but not at the expense of eliminating the very structural foundation of our art! After all, Wing Chun is based on simplicity and directness. It cannot be left out of the equation! As I have said many times before, I REFUSE to allow Jeet Kune Do to become kickboxing with the power side forward! It is so much more than that! I will continue to research ALL approaches to Jeet Kune Do, and I will respect what others believe and what they are doing, but what I teach will remain as it is ... what I feel to be the COMPLETE version of Jeet Kune Do! Jeet Kune Do with the trapping, with the chi sao, with the mook jong training and with the Wing Chun Gung Fu structure as the foundation! That's just the way it is, and the way it will stay! In other words ... HARDCORE JEET KUNE DO!
Hey Sifu,call me crazy, but have you thought of making like a heart felt video blog explaining JKD? There is a definite lack of them. I believe you could actually make a series of them if you want. There is a guy named Choson Ninja (he's one of my friends) but after he gives an explanation of a Martial Technique, he goes into the history and origin, so their is more of an understanding and appreciation.
I believe as good you are at explaining, you could do a series of mini blogs on youtube on what is and what is not JKD. Moreover you can give a VERBAL HISTORY, and have different Sifus (JFJKD OF COURSE) on your show.
Lamar can clarify this but I'm pretty sure that he has already done that... maybe not in youtube or anything like that. But I'm pretty sure it's in his video series.
the problem is that there many many opinions of what JKD is out there. And regardless of whether Lamars opinion is right, wrong or somewhere in between it's very hard to discern who's opinion to believe! Why should we (or should we not) take Lamar's opinion over a 1st Gen? Wading thru the murky waters of JKD is tough!!! Most of us should be happy just to have a good instructor!
To me the best thing we can do as Teachers and Students of JKD is to clarify what "Version" (for lack of a better term) of JKD we work with.
If you want my opinion, I believe it has to do with exposure. If everytime you google the web or see a seminar commercial (youtube) or see the UFC kind of thing, JKD is branded with IT IS ALL AND EVERYTHING. I mean lets keep it real, Who gets most of the Air Time? To me it appears it is all Inosanto. Moreover, as much as I love the guy, I believe the reason why he added these additional arts and slogans (absorb what is useful) I get the feeling he was tired of living in Bruce's Shadow. He needed differentiation.
As far as the Chinese goes. Man it just seems Americans are Ethnocentric. I quit watching MMA because I PERSONALLY feel that it is biased towards AMERICAN FIGHTERS. I believe we grew up to believe that our ways are superior, and to Market JKD as something CHinese.... Well it just wouldn't work that well. I say this from MY EXPERIENCEs, it is cool the spill Hater Ade on the Eastern Arts.
Lastly, I think people just don't research their stuff. You google JKD and the majority of the returns seems to be "CONCEPT" oriented and the Original is slandered or LIBELED as Obselete, out dated, or too complicated.
Here is a good analogy. Try telling some young bucks (under 18) that the music they listen too (contemporary) sucks, and they will rebuke you. However if you let them listen to some older stuff (I a late 80's Early 90's kid) they might actually believe to you. What am I saying, well if you tell your average 18 year old MMA kid that Chuck Liddell, Andy Silva are over rated and have holes in their game, they might want to fight you. But if you show them some OLD SCHOOL folks who dedicated their lives to something considered "outdated" they will change their minds.
Its all about exposure man. If the only fighter you see is UFC, you really have not opened your eyes. Moreover, I don't people think about Bouncers, Security Gaurds, LEO's, and the people they would see in a "Hard" area. Nah, they are comfy cozy living vicariously through the guy they see on TV and they buy into what they are told.
is part of the problem or rather someone saying they are the only source. Lee taught people differently based uppn their skills and strengths. Yes each learned the core or basics but each was shown a path for them to folow. Just because one may have had more time with Bruce does not mean that he is the end all say all as to what JKD is; and/or where it was headed. This same camp tries to discredit the above statement about each student and backyard student learning differently and getting a piece of the puzzle. I will say that wing chun is not JKD. JKD is the wing chun that Bruce Lee learned and evolved along with elements of boxing and fencing. Key words are evolved and elements. These are routinly left out of the arguements. None of the camps, now three (Concepts, OJKD and Ted Wongs JKD) will agree on what the base and/or the foundations of JKD are.
To me alot of this is nothing more than the way things balance out... A few years ago people were on a WC feeding freezie. they were digging farther and farther back into WC. Pat Strong and his group were on the extreme end of this but many people jumped on the band wagon. After a while groups that did not agree with this approach started to speak out. Ted, based on his experience, saw WC totally phased out. Obviously his view is going to draw a reaction. But other groups spoke up as well. If you talk to the WNG they will freely tell you that certain techniques have been dropped because they don't fit the the JKD Structure. While the WNG still traps... some key elements (like the tan sao for example) have been dropped.
Even if you don't agree with the TW group, do you recognize that Bruce had to drop certain elements of WC? I remember Lamar had shirts that stated "Combat Modified Wing Chun" or "Combat Modified Gung Fu". What did he modify? Sure he added some long range kicking and switched to the power side forward... but what else changed. How did the Chi Sao change? Why does Jessie Glover use so much forward energy? What other changes did he make? What was "non-classical" about the way that he was doing his "Wing Chun". there was a reasons that Bruce moved away from WC (even if you don't think he moved totally out of it). Even if I exclude my training with TW... there are a lot of things that people are teaching today that I do not believe was ever part of JKD.
People say that we need to retrace Bruce's training in order to understand JKD. But who are we to second guess Bruce? Example many people say that the SLT is a key to understanding JKD... but yet it was not part of the Chinatown curriculum.
So I ask you... how much WC is too much? where do you draw the line? How far back in history do you go?
Its interesting that bruce lee built his body around scaffoling that only he could know what pieces, he Bruce lee knew too take out, this way bruce lee not only invetnted his own personal style in seattle based on a compound triangle where things like emovable elbow principle stayed the same from seattle too la.
In one of bruce lees fighting methods books he bruce lee is using the wooden dummy with the middle arm taken out, my umderstanding is he was concentrating on the high compound traingle, and thats not too say he didnt put it back in, like I was saying about scaffolding.He knew what effects it would have based on build up and break down of his own body intelligence.
JKD in itself is it's own martial art as Bruce Lee left it. JKD is not wing chun. The discussion is not about what Bruce Lee did or did not do at the end of his life. He had already traveled that path. If Bruce Lee didn't need to trap it was because he had already put the countless hours of work in to master it and move on.
This discussion is about those who wish to follow his path in Jeet Kune Do. Do they follow what he did at the end of his life or do they understand what he did through out his life to reach his acme. You can't begin to study mathematics and begin with calculus because that is where you teacher is at in his study. You have to learn and understand the basics then you can disregard what doesn't work after you understand. Trust me I don't think anyone here would choose to trap with an opponent over a one shot straight lead knock out.
As for me I don't care about the fads of what people are saying and doing. I myself have realized a good amount of my knowledge studying things other than JKD. Not to say that the lessons were not with in JKD I just could not see them. But for others who have devoted their life to saving the art I can understand the feelings. Either way the truth will be told when it's time to show and prove. Whether we succeed or fail when life depends on it will tell each one of us if we are doing the right things.
Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation
this is meant to be sarcastically funny....at least, initially.
March 7 2009, 7:04 PM
wait...didnt chuck norris teach bruce lee how to kick high? and jhoon rhee? and didnt dan teach bruce how to use weapons? and didnt joe lewis teach lee how to fight? and didnt gene lebell teach him how to grapple? and didnt..... i have read so many funny things about all these different people and how they supposedly taught bruce lee how to do this and that.
from my readings the main flaw in bruce lee's organization of jkd is the krishnamurti nonsense. i use the term nonsense only because it created confusion in what lee was doing. if you study systems analysis you will see that a system is not a bad thing. it is an organization of ideas and principles. thats all. now, where bruce lee failed was in his interperatation of what a system really is. mind you, he was reacting to the status of traditional systems in his own time. most were closed systems unwilling to adapt to change. but in the systems analysis life cycle there is a crucial element that most traditional martial artists dont recognize. that element is the the feedback element. it is the essential element to the health of a system.
for example, a learning system, such as a martial arts system, should go as follows.....this is the system development life cycle....
1. analyze and document existing system
2. design information and processing information
3. design technology and personnel requirements
4. develop test and validate system
5. implement system
6. evaluate and maintain system
7. new problems or opportunites arise
this is an overview of what a system is according to systems analysis. parts six and seven are where most traditional systems lack. they dont evaluate their own methods to see if they still work. a system, such as karate, developed in okinawa hundreds of years ago, where they only wore sandals or went barefoot, should be examined and updated so that trainees are wearing modern clothing and shoes. this is just an example of what started me realizing that bruce lee, had he thought about this type of information, might have gone on to create a basis for us to learn from, and could have given us an open system which allows for self discovery based upon a solid foundation of training attributes and guidelines for personal growth. this is the type of material i have been working on for the past twenty years myself. this is the basis for how i evaluate different systems of martial art as well. it has helped me to understand jkd more clearly. and thanks to the efforts of many jkd people, such as tim tackett and chris kent books have been written to try to clarify that jkd definitely can be taught as well as experienced. i use these two men only because i am very familiar with the work they have done. im sure that sifu davis has the same philosophy from what i have been reading on here and in his book as well. there is a definite starting place and a definite progression to one's training. those are the things that seem to confuse people. all the freedom philosophy gets most people tangled up in confusion if they dont understand the root of what lee was doing with jkd. the other thing i feel is that most people nowadays read the tao or the commentaries book and dont realize what styles were like back in the sixties. they dont realize the prejiduce between systems that existed. just my two and a half cents.
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