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Oakland JKD is a mystery

December 31 2017 at 7:41 PM
JKD54  (Login JKD54)


Response to Re: Oakland group - BL was actively hiding his methods

 
Thanks JKD Respecto. You're right, a lot of people forget about James Lee's contributions to the development of JKD, and that it originated in Oakland. But also, that Bruce had been going down to Oakland to visit James Lee since about 1962 (possibly before that). Bruce was trying to get more speed and power into his Wing Chun techniques. James Lee had developed his power to a high degree, and Bruce was fascinated by that. In the early 1960s, Seattle was a sleepy little city without much of a martial arts community. Bruce's main concern then was working on being able to someday beat his Wing Chun seniors in Hong Kong. He figured that in order to be able to beat his seniors he needed an 'edge' or 'work around' and was always experimenting with and incorporating techniques from other Chinese styles like Choy Li Fut, Hung Gar, Crane, etc. His goal back then seemed to center around creating a modified hybrid form of Wing Chun that was theoretically unbeatable.

When he went back to Hong Kong in 1963, Bruce was still trying to learn the more advanced aspects of Wing Chun. However, as he told Jesse Glover (and Doug Palmer), the senior instructors (including Ip Man) were holding back some things. Even when Bruce visited Hong Kong again in 1965, he was still trying to squeeze the last bit of Wing Chun knowledge out of Wong Shun Leung, Hawkins Cheung, and Ip Man. But he could never get them to reveal all they knew, and it drove Bruce nuts, which made him experiment even more.

After the fight with Wong Jack Man in November 1964, Bruce realized that no matter how good he was in Wing Chun, or how good he could get, there would always still be problems and situations that Wing Chun was simply not designed to overcome. Bruce realized he needed to transcend the limitations of not only Wing Chun, but all Chinese martial arts. He needed to rethink the whole idea of fighting from the ground up. That's when Bruce immediately took up boxing and doing bag work, according to Leo Fong.

So yes it definitely makes sense that there would be an emphasis on boxing fundamentals in Oakland JKD -- while still retaining trapping. Oakland is not only where JKD was born, but it also represents the bridge between Bruce's modified Wing Chun and the later advanced JKD concepts that only he himself understood.

 
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  • Re: Oakland JKD is a mystery - Badger Johnson on Jan 1, 2018, 8:22 PM
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  • Question for JKD54... - TopCrusader on Jan 4, 2018, 1:53 AM
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