View Full Version : Jeet Kuen Do no system?

Leung Wah
12-27-2000, 07:44 PM
I read Bruce Lee book and he say practising one system is no good. You must learn from many systems and take what you like and what's best for you.
Does this mean that Jeet Kune Do is not a system with "forms" and specific drills, but just a mix, of which the practitioner can select what suits him best?
I ask this because I people say "JKD is the best style" and wondered about it. Bruce Lee was against the one style concept, so how they can claim to practise the style Bruce Lee developed (he says himself he did not create a style, but a "training philosophy") ?

12-27-2000, 08:29 PM
Hi Leung Wah,

I agree with your comments. Bruce Lee customized his concepts and application to the individual he taught etc.

A friend of mine let me know about a very interesting chat forum with Joe Lewis and his experience with and training with Bruce Lee.

<A HREF="http://www.cityonfire.com" TARGET="_blank">www.cityonfire.com</A> Checkit out.

You Have The Power

Dave S ;)

12-29-2000, 02:01 PM
There are two factions of JKD's school of thought
One lead by Linda Lee, who view JKD as a Style or system, and another that view it as a simple colletion of philosophies or concepts rather than
a style.

Considerring Bruce was a weak philosopher, most of which he borrowed from Sun Tzu, I wouldn't put much stock in JKD concepts or philosophies.

As a style, the props go to the styles the JKD practioners borrow from.

12-29-2000, 10:58 PM
As a style, the props go to the styles the JKD practitioners borrow from

My sentiments exactly! Call it what it is. If it's Muay Thai , Pentjak Silat, Kali, Mande Muda, Penantuken, Jiu Jitsu, whatever, then that is what it is, not JKD.


Kung Lek
12-30-2000, 12:31 AM
JKD is a method of making ones chosen martial art a useful fighting tool as opposed to "empty".

Bruce lee offered Jun Fan Kung Fu as a foundation for those people who wished to undertake the ingraining of martial arts into themselves.
Jun Fan Kung Fu was comprised of what Bruce had been taught in his classical Kung Fu lessons as well as his experinces with other arts and sports.

JKD was meant to be the refinement of ones martial skills to the point of them being practical and useful at all levels of development.

This is done in many systems anyway when a student has absorbed much of a systems essence.
IE: crawl before you walk, walk before you run.

JKD, imho was meant to be a methodological approach to practical application of knowledge that one already had.
It also examined what really worked at various levels of skill. so beginners can really learn how to throw a jab correctly and quickly as well as crosses and hooks and where power generation comes from and so on.
JKD teaches to take what is useful and leave what is not.
When it says "leave behind that which is not useful" I believe that is concerning the present tense. IE: if you are not limber enough to kick high with force and speed then don't bother with it in practical application until you have learned and know how to do it with proficiency.

Your level of skill is simply put "just that".
This does not mean in any way that you cannot develop more fully as a martial artist and find ways to apply the higher level skills associated with many martial arts. It takes time to learn balance and speed and power generation, but in the meantime you are not 100% helpless either. So use those skills you are strongest with until you have advanced your skill set.

This is very often misinterpreted to mean that some of the more "unusual" techniques found in chinese martial arts are "useless". That is simply not true. These "unusual" techniques are only useless to those who are ignorant of what they are or are physically as of yet unable to do them with any measure of skill.


Kung Lek

12-30-2000, 05:30 AM
I like that Joe Lewis interview. I like the way Lewis applied the ideas Lee had without using any of Lees style. It sounds like Lewis respected Lees ideas on fighting but not his technique. Lee sounds more like a coach rather than a player, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The problem that JKD has is if it's a concept (aka idea) then there shouldn't be any set JKD techniques as it starts to put it in a box. If it's a style then there should be some kind of quasi-official curriculum for the schools to follow. Maybe JKD doesn't really exist since it can't really be defined (see the post on how many styles make up JKD). :D

01-02-2001, 09:32 PM
Here's the problem, as I see it:

On one hand, we have people who are truly devoted to Bruce Lee. On the other, we have people who are just as passionately opposed to him.

Problem is that Bruce Lee was a man, like any other. Okay, not unlike any other. Obviously, he did things that I have not. And for that, I respect him. Others may not. That's their choice.

But when I say he was just a man, what I mean is that he was like us. Can anyone here honestly say that every word they've ever spoken or written, every act they've ever committed, and every impression they've ever conveyed to another has been consistent? I seriously doubt it. People are a bundle of contradictions. We're subject to emotions, judgments from others, and circumstances. We change our thoughts and feelings over time. And we hold views that are, at their very heart, contradictory.

But with public figures, everything they say or do becomes doctrine. It's the nature of the beast. One day, Bruce Lee says "Be water, my friend" and all of a sudden, that's Bruce Lee's doctrine. (And yes, I realize that this is a Daoist ideal, and before you say it, no I don't think that makes Lee a bad philosopher. It's the ability to apply ideas like this that make a good philosopher, not the ability to make up new ones.)

In the end, I don't think it much matters what Bruce said. And what's more, I think he'd agree. Anything written, spoken, or otherwise conveyed is nothing more than an attempt by one person to embody an idea and make it understood by another. And, to my mind, it's an inherently flawed process. There's still a point to it. We still have to make the attempt to share our ideas. It's obviously a powerful drive in human nature. But ultimately, they're just words. They can't ever truly embody the entirety of a person, no matter how much we'd like them to.

We seem to want to think of Bruce Lee's notes as amber within which his style is preserved. Doesn't work that way. He's gone. That's life. We can interpret his ideas. We can emulate his movements. But we can't BE him. So anything we do is instead a personal investigation. And I think that's exactly the way he'd want it.

And even if it isn't, that's exactly the way I want it.