Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do ("Way of the Intercepting Fist," also "Jeet Kun Do","JKD," or "Jeet Kuen Do") is a hybrid martial arts system and life philosophy founded by world renowned martial artist Bruce Lee in 1967 with direct, non classical and straightforward movements. Jeet Kune Do is primarily an open hand system. The system works on the use of different 'tools' for different situations. These situations are broken down into ranges (Kicking, Punching, Trapping and Grappling), with techniques flowing smoothly between them. Also, it is referred to as a "style without style". Unlike more traditional martial arts, Jeet Kune Do is not fixed or patterned, and is a philosophy with guiding thoughts.
In 2004, the Bruce Lee Foundation decided to use the name Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do to refer to the martial arts system that Lee founded. "Jun Fan" was Lee's Chinese given name, so the literal translation is "Bruce Lee's Way of the Intercepting Fist."
System and philosophy
Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the name Bruce Lee gave to his combat system and philosophy in 1967. Originally, when Lee began researching various fighting styles, he gave his martial art his own name of Jun Fan Gung Fu. However not wanting to create another style that would share the limitations that all styles have, he instead gave us the process that created it.
JKD as it survives today (if one wants to view it "refined" as a product, not a process) is what was left at the time of Bruce Lee's death. It is the result of the life-long martial arts development process Lee went through. Bruce Lee stated that his concept is not an "adding to" of more and more things on top of each other to form a system, but rather, a winnowing out. The metaphor Lee borrowed from Chan Buddhism was of constantly filling a cup with water, and then emptying it, used for describing Lee's philosophy of "casting off what is useless". He also used the sculptor's mentality of beginning with a lump of clay and hacking away at the "unessentials"; the end result was what he considered to be the bare combat essentials, or JKD.
The core concepts of JKD are derived from Wing Chun. This includes such ideas as centerline control, vertical punching, trapping, and forward pressure. Through his personal research and readings, Lee also incorporated ideas from boxing and fencing. Later during the development of Jeet Kune Do, he would expand to include the art for personal development, not just to become a better fighter. To illustrate Lee's views, in a 1971 Black Belt Magazine article, Lee said "Let it be understood once and for all that I have NOT invented a new style, composite or modification. I have in no way set Jeet Kune Do within a distinct form governed by laws that distinguish it from 'this' style or 'that' method. On the contrary, I hope to free my comrades from bondage to styles, patterns and doctrines."
One of the theories of JKD is that a fighter should do whatever is necessary to defend himself, regardless of where the techniques come from. One of Lee's goals in Jeet Kune Do was to break down what he claimed were limiting factors in traditional martial arts training, and seek a fighting thesis which he believed could only be found within the reality of a fight. Jeet Kune Do is currently seen as the genesis of the modern state of hybrid martial arts.
Jeet Kune Do not only advocates the combination of aspects of different styles, it also can change many of those aspects that it adopts to suit the abilities of the practitioner. Additionally, JKD advocates that any practitioner be allowed to interpret techniques for themselves, and change them for their own purposes. For example, Lee almost always chose to put his power hand in the "lead," with his weaker hand back, within this stance he used elements of Boxing, Fencing and Wing Chun. Just like fencing, he labeled this position the "On Guard" position. Lee incorporated this position into his JKD as he felt it provided the best overall mobility. He felt that the dominant or strongest hand should be in the lead because it would perform a greater percentage of the work. Lee minimized the use of other stances except when circumstances warranted such actions. Although the On-Guard position is a good overall stance, it is by no means the only one. He acknowledged that there were times when other positions should be utilized.
Lee felt the dynamic property of JKD was what enabled its practitioners to adapt to the constant changes and fluctuations of live combat. He believed that these decisions should be done within the context of "real combat" and/or "all out sparring" and that it was only in this environment that a person could actually deem a technique worthy of adoption.
Bruce Lee did not stress the memorization of solo training forms or "Kata", as most traditional styles do in their beginning-level training. He often compared doing forms without an opponent to attempting to learn to swim on dry land. Lee believed that real combat was alive and dynamic. Circumstances in a fight change from millisecond to millisecond, and thus pre-arranged patterns and techniques are not adequate in dealing with such a changing situation. As an anecdote to this thinking, Lee once wrote an epitaph which read: 'In memory of a once fluid man, crammed and distorted by the classical mess.' The "classical mess" in this instance was what Lee thought of classical martial arts.
Bruce Lee's comments and methods were seen as controversial by many in his time, and still are today. Many teachers from traditional schools disagreed with his opinions on these issues.
The notion of cross-training in Jeet Kune Do is similar to the practice of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Many consider Jeet Kune Do to be the precursor of MMA because of its syncretic nature. This is particularly the case with respect to the JKD "Combat Ranges". A JKD student is expected to learn various combat systems within each combat range, and thus to be effective in all of them.
- Be like water
Lee believed that martial systems should be as flexible as possible. He often used water as an analogy for describing why flexibility is a desired trait in martial arts. Water is infinitely flexible. It can be seen through, and yet at other times it can obscure things from sight. It can split and go around things, rejoining on the other side, or it can crash through things. It can erode the hardest rocks by gently lapping away at them or it can flow past the tiniest pebble. Lee believed that a martial system should have these attributes. JKD students reject traditional systems of training, fighting styles and the Confucian pedagogy used in traditional kung fu schools because of this lack of flexibility. JKD is claimed to be a dynamic concept that is forever changing, thus being extremely flexible. "Absorb what is useful; Disregard that which is useless" is an often quoted Bruce Lee maxim. JKD students are encouraged to study every form of combat possible. This is believed to expand one's knowledge of other fighting systems; to both add to one's arsenal as well as to know how to defend against such tactics.
- Economy or motion
JKD students are told to waste no time or movement. When it comes to combat JKD practitioners believe the simplest things work best. Economy of motion is the principle by which JKD practitioners achieve "efficiency" describe in the three parts of JKD. Utilizing this principle conserves both energy and time. Energy and time are two crucial components in a physical confrontation that often leads to success if employed efficiently. In combat situations maximizing one's energy is beneficial in maintaining physical activity. Likewise minimizing the time to execute techniques because of traveling less distance is beneficial in that the opponent has less time to react.
- Five ways of attack
1.- Single Angle Attack (SAA)/Single Direct Attack (SDA). Is a single motion (Punch or Kick) which moves with no effort to conceal it, directly to the target on the most economical route. It can also be indirect, beginning on one line and ending on another. Such as a punch that starts to the stomach (mid line) and ends on the chin (high line). SAA is an attack that is launched from an unanticipated angle that is achieved by moving in such a way as to create an open line into which to strike.
2.- Hand Immobilization Attack (HIA) and its counterpart Foot Immobilization attack, which make use of trapping/parrying to limit the opponent's function with that appendage.
3.- Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA). Simulating an attack to one part of the opponent's body followed by attacking another part as a means of creating an opening.
4.- Attack By Combinations (ABC). This is using multiple rapid attacks, with volume of attack as a means of overcoming the opponent.
5.- Attack By Drawing (ABD). The goal when using attack by draw is to "draw" the opponent into a committed attack by baiting him into what looks like an exposed target, then intercepting his/her motion. One can execute a motion that invites a counter, then counter attack them as he takes the bait.
- Three parts of JKD
JKD practitioners believe that techniques should contain the following properties:
1.- Efficiency - An attack that reaches its mark using the maximum amount of energy and applying it to a single point in the least amount of time.
2.- Directness - Doing what comes naturally in a learned way.
3.- Simplicity - Thinking in an uncomplicated manner; without ornamentation.
Last Updated (Friday, 14 January 2011 21:54)