View Full Version : Clear this up,please!

Tiny Dragon
05-28-2000, 11:33 AM
I really don't know much about jkd... but i've heard that it is kungfu made 90's style practical... no extra fluff... if that is so, wouldn't it become karate?... japanese style is a lot like kung fu, but its hard and direct, jkd is direct, though I don't know if it's hard... anyhow... please enlighten me... thanx! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
any info on jkd is good... sorry I know I sound quite stupid...

06-14-2000, 07:07 AM
To start with, there is no stupid questions. My understanding of jkd, which admittedly comes only from sparring sessions with jkd stylists and reading the Tao of Jeet Kune Do by, of course, Bruce Lee.

To start with, it is not kung fu "made 90's style", but rather wing chun with much of the formallity and riggedness removed. It is not a "hard" style. Point in fact, by definition, it is not so much a style as a philosophy that, in Bruce Lee's case, as in the case of jkd students, is applied to wing chun. Myself, personally, I have applied it to several styles that I have learned.

If you truely what some solid information on jkd, I strongly suggest the Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee. It was written by the man, himself, and will be actual information, not "preceived" or "revised" versions, like some that I have seen.

Nothingness cannot be defined; the softest thing cannot be snapped.

06-14-2000, 07:36 AM

I could tell you my interpretation of the philosophy of jeet kune do, but this little quote, I feel, sums it up.

"If you want to understand the truth in martial arts, to see any opponent clearly, you must throw away the notion of styles or schools, predjudices, likes and dislikes, and so forth. Then, your mind will cease all conflict and come to rest. In this silence, you will see totally and freshly."
- Bruce Lee, from the Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Think about it and draw your own conclusion.

06-14-2000, 10:53 AM
Tiny Dragon,
That is not a really easy question to answer as each person will have there own definition. Basically, there are several branches of Jeet Kune Do out there. The Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is based on the orginal techniques and methods Bruce Lee taught and incorporates techniques from a number of different styles such as Wing Chun, Savate, Boxing, and fencing to name a few. Jeet Kune Do Concepts was developed after Bruce Lee's death by Dan Inosanto and is basically a more modem form of JKD continuing where Bruce Lee left off, from here such JKD systems as PFS and JKD unlimited were developed further individual experience. Basically the basic idea behind any of the JKD schools is to make the training as alive as possible. There are no forms, no set stances, no stance training everything in JKD is about training as close to reality as possible to evolve with the situation and the environment. JKD itself is more a method of training with different schools teaching there own experiences with JKD. You could take two different JKD schools and both will give you a totally different experience but teaching the same thing. There is alot more to it then what I have written of course. It's about self discovery. Think of cross training as a form of JKD, training in different areas to strengthen where you are weak.-ED

06-14-2000, 11:19 PM
black tsun,
you are half right:
there are no stupid questions...
only stupid people. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

(sorry no offense intended to stupid people.)

06-15-2000, 03:30 AM
You know, there are stupid questions and stupid people, but this isn't one of the cases. Let me clear up the confusion. Visualize a pie graph. In 1/4 of the pie graph, you have grappling and ground fighting things like Hapkido and Judo which are brutal, and fairly useful. Then in another quarter, you have Kickboxing and Karate, which are hard, linear combative forms that uses agression. Then you have Tai Chi, very flowy movements, and very effective. Then in a fourth section, you have Tae Kwon Do, very fast, also linear. Kung Fu is all of that. It isn't just grappling, not just flowly and not just brutal. Unlike many incorrect assumptions, Kung Fu is a chinese term that is used to encompass and describe all forms of the martial arts.

Jeet Kune Do is a combative art that does not use forms that, as you may or may not know, was invented by the late Bruce Lee. ( or in another person's case, a rip off of 'that ancient chinese art' ). It usually promotes physical fitness, muscle build and lots of endurance. It is an "On the Street" sort of style. If you want to relatively quickly learn pretty brutal self defense, Jeet Kune Do is the way to go ( hey it rhymes ).

Yuen Lo

laughing tiger
06-15-2000, 03:38 AM
Yuen Lo, nice post....and I sense a talent in prose coming on? :-)

06-15-2000, 06:49 AM
would I be safe is saying that Jeet Kune Do is kind of a "whatever works" martial art that favors movements from chinese arts?
or is this a gross misrepresentation? and I should be shuttign up now. LOL

"In a fight, there is no second place."

06-16-2000, 12:32 AM
Slater_E, yeah, basically your judgement about Jeet Kun Do is correct. Bruce Lee didn't believe in forms because he thought that they limited our abilities and put limitations on our bodies where they didn't need to be.

One thing you are missing is that he believed that anything goes, as long as it agreed with what you were trying to express -anger, determination, or whatever. People payed him not so much to learn how to defend themselves, but how to, in combative movements, express yourself.

Yuen Lo

06-16-2000, 02:02 PM

Jeet Kune Do is an art that favors "whatever works", but it doesn't necessarily favor Chinese martial techniques. One of the main ideas in our philosophy is to favor nothing, except the things that work for you personally. Bruce Lee detested it when people thought along the lines of "Chinese fighting", "Japanese fighting", etc. To him (and I agree with him), we are all human beings so it doesn't matter one way or another what culture the techniques come from as long as they are beneficial to us. Ultimately, the purpose in JKD is to find your own personal JKD that reflects you as an individual. One of the avenues through which you accomplish this is by crosstraining in different arts so that you're exposed to as many different methods as possible. Only when you've seen all aspects of martial arts can you make a good judgement on which methods work best for you. You must absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add to the formula what is specifically your own. Another important rule of JKD is to be ready and familiar with all ranges and aspects of fighting. Also a very important rule is to be fluid and alive, which is why all methods of training that a JKD man would use are "live" exercises. It all involves moving, shifting and reacting naturally. So there is no training that involves static positions (like horse stance training). We keep moving.

To demonstrate all these ideas, let's say for example that I have training in Jun Fan Gung fu (the original art that Bruce Lee developed from his wing chun and other influences) and thai boxing. Since I personally prefer speed and movement, I emphasize Jun Fan footwork rather than thai footwork. And since I like in-fighting as opposed to distance attacks, I emphasize the thai clinch techniques and Jun Fan close range fighting. But if I ever need to fight from the distance, my thai and Jun Fan tools make me prepared to do so. Now I realize that I do not know any grappling range tactics so in order to adapt to the grappling range effectively, I begin learning Shooto wrestling. Weapons knowledge would of course also be quite useful so once I establish a firm base in my hand to hand skills, I train some kali knife/stick fighting as well. Once I become more accomplished in my training, I will have developed a path of training quite unique to my personal preferences and needs and I glean from my collected knowledge a well rounded style that emphasizes my personal way of applying techniques. This would be an example of one's journey in developing their Jeet Kune Do. It can really be different and unique for everyone. To develop Jeet Kune Do is not an easy task as far as the different martial arts paths are concerned. It requires a lot of independence and self guidance in finding your own path and it requires a lot more hard work to learn different methods well. You shouldn't aim to become a jack of all trades but a master of none. To be able to really learn twice as many methods, you must put in twice the time and effort. Jeet Kune Do also requires one to be adaptable to changing circumstances. This is another reason why the crosstraining is so important. When we get too comfortable in one method of training, we become too accustomed to functioning under specific circumstances. It's really a whole lot to learn and at the end, you really must figure it out for yourself. Those who feel the need to conform and who wait for an instructor to teach everything will have a hard time learning/discovering JKD. Well, that is my analysis of JKD...to reach a deeper understanding of the philosophical aspects it would be a good idea to read The Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Okay I'm done. Sorry to everyone for being so lengthy, but i felt that there were some major misconceptions involving JKD here and I wanted to do my best to help clear it up.


"What? You think you're gonna win with that crane crap??"

-Sensei Silver (Karate Kid III)

06-17-2000, 07:12 PM
Hey, all!

DragonzRage, that's probably the best explaination of JKD I've ever read. Makes plenty of sense to me. I've got a couple questions I've always wanted to ask a JKD'er, just out of curiosity.

One thing I've always noticed is that despite the fact that someone who studies JKD theoretically has the freedom to choose from any and every art under the sun, there are only very few that actually get used, namely boxing, muay thai, kali, and BJJ. Why is that? Is there real consensus that these arts are just plain superior, or is this the beginning of more standardized/dogmatic teaching within the art? I mean, shouldn't there be just as many people who use, I don't know, krav maga, sambo, and fencing or wing chun, catch wrestling, and kendo? I guess my point is that there isn't as much diversity under the JKD umbrella as I would expect.

Another question is more philosophical. If someone only studied one art, and seriously considered it objectively, and decided that it was complete and totally the only art for them, would they be doing JKD? Like if the student of some classical system found it to be 100% of what they needed after analysis, would the act of questioning make it JKD?

Just idle questions. I cross-train in wing chun and judo, so I'm certainly down with the "whatever you need" bent.

TIA for a response!

Reverend Tim

06-18-2000, 12:50 AM
Nice questions ReverendTim. First off, no matter what methods a JKD man uses, he should remain open minded to everything he has not experienced. I can't deny that certain methods are commonly preferred over others, but for whatever reason, those are simply the methods that more people have come to prefer. But there is nothing in JKD that demands the practitioner to focus only on boxing, muay thai, kali and Bjj. I suppose that a great number of JKD people choose these arts simply because the sheer effectiveness and live training demonstrated in these arts truly reflect Bruce Lee's ideas of JKD. Those methods are also the more common and easily accessible ones so it really comes as no surprise that they have a big influence. But there is more diversity than you may think. Fortunately for me, I am able to train in a very well known and reputed academy and all sorts of training methods are available there. Aside from those styles you mentioned, there are also great instructors of Silat, Shooto and even Capoeira at the academy. Shooto (one of my main methods) is in itself an extremely diverse system. It is a blend of boxing, Muay Thai, catch-as-catch-can wrestling, Jiu Jitsu and Sambo. It is such a well rounded style of submission grappling.

As for the philosophical thing you were pondering, I have gathered from the teachings of Guro Inosanto himself that every practitioner is free to take his JKD in whatever direction is best for that individual. The common thread is that you must first begin by learning Bruce Lee's actual concepts and techniques of JKD. You can't just do whatever you want to begin with and then say its JKD. I've encountered some misguided fools who believe that just because they've read a couple books, done some sort of training, believe they've reached some sort of conclusion regarding their personal practice of MA that they are JKD. Whatever you end up with, you must begin by studying under an actual certified JKD instructor. You must understand the concepts and be familiar with Bruce Lee's actual Jun Fan style to truly come to understand JKD. From then on its up to you.

So if one has been trained in JKD and then through his own research comes to the conclusion that he should focus on Jun Fan alone, then that is his personal expression of JKD. In fact, there are a number of JKD practitioners who do train with this mentality. That is why different "factions" or schools of thought regarding JKD have arisen. But if you ask Guro Inosanto what the difference is between JKD Concepts, Jun Fan JKD, Original JKD, etc. he will tell you THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. They are all merely interpretations and expressions of the same idea. A practitioner of JKD Concepts can just as easily decide to focus only on Jun Fan Gung fu as a practitioner of Original JKD can decide to crosstrain in Bjj and Kali. It's really up to the practitioner himself. But I'd find it highly unlikely that a JKD man would practice a classical style and then decide that he can find his personal JKD purely through that style. The reason is that many classical styles embody all of the "diseases" of MA practice that JKD attempts to "cure" (note that I am not putting down classical styles but am trying to explain a concept). But I guess you never know /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Anyway hope this helped in some way.


"To change with change is the changeless state."

-Sijo Bruce Lee

laughing tiger
06-18-2000, 05:00 AM
I never trained in JKD, but I respect the art, tremendously. I have seen a few classes where I was not at all impressed with the instructor, nor the students. However, I have seen Richard Bustillo's school, as well as Inosanto's class (years ago) and was greatly impressed. I was also impressed by the kindness, openness and integrity of these two men. (sorry about the typos...these arent fingers, they're corndogs! LOL)

06-18-2000, 10:30 PM

Thanks again for another informative post! You beat the hell out of most of the crappily-written martial arts books on my shelf.

One more question, though. You write that all studies of JKD must begin with Jun Fan gung fu. I can understand studying the theories, like the live stances and whatnot, but once you start studying specific techniques, aren't you subscribing to a certain philosophy and therefore NOT simply finding what's useful?

Reverend Tim

06-20-2000, 01:06 AM
Hey reverendtim,

I think I know what you're saying. That's actually a point that has probably caused a fair bit of confusion for people's understanding of JKD. I'm not quite sure what the experts on JKD would say to this, but I'll give you my way of looking at it.

When Bruce Lee coined the term Jeet Kune Do, I don't think he intended to make a new "style". So many people will say this JKD cannot be thought of as its own "style" since the most important aspects of Bruce's philosophy in fighting were his concepts and ideas. But whatever Bruce intended, I myself tend to believe that JKD has come to make up its own style in a certain way. It is not a completely systemized and patternized style though. Its more of a method based on certain principles, ideas and certain strategy in doing techniques. So although the techniques one can use and the paths one can take are not set in stone, I think that the mere fact that JKD encompasses some specific ideas and methods of fighting does make it a sort of style, although you can think of it as a "freestyle style".

One of the main principles of the JKD fighter is that his methods emphasize simplicity and directness. I have already mentioned some of the other ideas such as "aliveness" and realistic training. Anyway, from studying Jun Fan, I can tell you that there is no better way to introduce the important concepts of JKD fighting than to start the practitioner out with Jun Fan. So many ideas that Bruce wrote down on paper are much easier to understand once you are introduced to the techniques of Jun Fan which he developed. As for finding what is useful, there is plenty that is useful in Jun Fan so I don't see that as a problem /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. But just because the practitioner is introduced to JKD by Jun Fan techniques does not mean that he is bound to them in any way. If he goes on to fight and you do not see him use specific Jun Fan techniques (for example he might kick more like a thai boxer than the savate/northern Gung fu-esque style of Jun Fan) that doesn't mean he is not utilizing JKD. As long as he is using what is useful for himself, fighting with the principles of JKD and perhaps employing certain attack concepts of JKD such as interception, etc then he is still demonstrating JKD at its finest /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


"To change with change is the changeless state."

-Sijo Bruce Lee

06-20-2000, 10:42 AM
go to this site and read the letter from danny inosanto. you will find it very interesting: http://homepage.altavista.com/spiderchokes_web/JKD.html

here is a little of that letter:

"Over the past 3-4 years much has been written on Bruce Lee's art of Jeet Kune Do. Most of these recent articles have been highly inaccurate. Some articles have even attempted to "rewrite" the history of Jeet Kune Do. I can no longer stand by and watch as the public is mislead by certain individuals who have no knowledge or authority to speak on the subject....
At the time of Si Fu Lee's death the privilage and responsiblity of teaching, preserving, promoting and protecting these arts became my responibilty, and mine alone to ensure Si Fu Lee's contribution would not be "*******ized" and lost. I take this responsiblity very seriously and it is for this reason that I would like to address the question of "original Jeet Kune Do","Jeet Kune Do Concepts", and difference between the two.
There is no difference."
Jeet Kune Do was born out of Si Fu Lee's art of Jun Fan Gung Fu. To understand the principles, concepts and strategies of Jeet Kune Do, you must study first Jun Fan Gung Fu. In the begining, as conceived by Si Fu Lee, Jeet Kune Do was a style. Almost immediately, Si Fu Lee told me he was sorry that he ever named or considered JKD a style. He felt that a style was too limiting and confining. Si Fu told me that he was not creating a new style, nor making a composite of different styles, nor modifying other systems or styles to create a new one. As he stated to me "Jeet Kune Do was to be used as a mirror, in which we could see ourselves". He hoped that JKD would be used as a vehicle to free his students from "clinging" to styles, systems, and patterns. He often quoted to me "Be not concerned with the soft styles versus the hard styles, or kicking styles versus striking styles, or long range styles versus in fighting styles, or ground grappling versus hitting and kicking. He felt that there was no such thing as "this was better than that" or visa versa. To quote him directly "should there be one thing we must guard against, let it be partiality that robs us of our pristine wholeness and makes us lose unity in the midst of duality."

[This message has been edited by thekuntawman (edited 06-21-2000).]

06-26-2000, 10:41 AM
Don't let them confuse you. Just go with what GinSueDog said.....Better yet, just read a Bruce Lee book.....No body knows it better than he.......

07-09-2000, 11:19 PM
I understand that you don't know the least of what Jeet Kune Do is. Forgive me of my Sinning Arrogance, but you are all wrong. Jeet Kune Do is no style. No techniques are in there. As Bruce Lee said, Jeet Kune Do has no style, so it can fit into any style. This is True. I fit it with Tai Chi and Northern and Southern Shaolin. Bless you all, and Forgive me.

Fullness is achieved only when one has truly earned it

07-12-2000, 01:16 PM
Bruce Lee wasn't perfect, people. Perhaps one of his human shortcomings was in being so philosophical and ponderous that it made him very shortsighted and indecisive about what direction he was going with his training philosophy. But regardless of what he might've wanted in the end, the fact is that he created a martial philosophy that embodied a set of specific ideals and technical aspects which brought about a group of students who felt that studying under it was the best path for them. In other words, and for lack of a better term, he created A STYLE. And this style was open for interpretation among all those who spent a good amount of time training under him. So it is a freestyle style and is not as dependent on a rigid set of techniques as are most other styles. But there are still many aspects that must be felt and understood before one has the right to run around calling themselves a JKD man. Sorry, you cannot just watch a Bruce Lee interview, read a couple quotes and then be JKD. That is just a cop out that losers use in order to attach themselves to the name of something which they feel holds more credibility than what they do. Its fools like this who give JKD a bad name. It really makes me laugh when I see idiots who have barely scratched the surface of some Bruce Lee sayings and have no experience or knowledge about what JKD is today and then think that they understand everything so much more than those who have actually been there and have taken the time to ponder the truth behind the entire picture.


07-17-2000, 10:16 PM
Was Ba Gua Zhang, and Yi Quan, the Jeet Kune do of their respective times of development?

Best Regards,

Rick Matz

08-08-2000, 10:47 PM
Like karate? HA! JKD is about the complete opposite of karate, which is basically just misinterpreted kung fu. Karate is hard and tense. Bruce sought to become like water - soft and flowing, yet also hard and penetrating. Karate uses lots of forms and sticks close to traditions. JKD ultimately seeks "formlessness" and is constantly being reality-tested. Etc, etc...

08-09-2000, 11:33 PM
origenx, I doubt you are an advanced Karate martial artist based on your comments. First of all, Karate is a general term, but I assume you are refering to the martial arts such as Shotokan and Tae Kwon Do. Furthermore, neither of these arts are "misinterpreted" versions of Kung-Fu. Kung-Fu can't be classified that simply, there are so many styles of Kung-Fu (which literally means "skill") that it can't be classified so broadly. Northern Kung-Fu styles prefer to meet force with force; whereas, Southern Kung-Fu styles prefer to redirect force. Neither is better than the other, and both have their strengths and weaknesses.

It is the practitioner and the teacher that makes a great martial artist... not the art.