Know The Hidden Mystery Behind Jeet Kune Do - Bruce Lee's JKD
Jeet Kune Do is a dynamic concept that is constantly evolving from its foundations, it is not only a martial art as it is commonly known, but also a philosophy and a way of life.
In the martial field, the objective, apart from the effectiveness and simplicity in combat, is the means of expressing yourself artistically as you are through human movement, for which a fusion of the most diverse arts techniques such as Kung-fu are used. , Taichi, Wing Chun, Muay-Thai, Classic boxing, etc., to which dynamic bases are applied to obtain autonomy and success in combat.
Break with the traditionalisms that are usually present in other martial arts, in the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) it is not you who adapts to it, but on the contrary, it is the Jeet Kune Do who adapts to you.
Thanks to its adaptability Jeet Kune Do is an ideal defense system that can be carried out by anyone regardless of their physical condition, age or sex.
Philosophy: Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is simple, direct and "not classic".
Bruce Lee developed the unique concept of martial arts for each person, since you do not have to dock with Jeet Kune Do but he has to dock with you.
Jeet Kune Do can be anything but static, and perhaps because of this, one of the main characteristics of Jeet Kune Do is the constant evolution and Lee's phrase "The no limit as a limit" that governs its practitioners.
The learning process of Jeet Kune Do is in itself a process of "unlearning", it is to simplify, it is to avoid anatomically incorrect positions and equivocal philosophies, it is to focus on the fight and not see beyond the combat itself so as not to lose the objective: win and survive!
The 3 pillars of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) are speed, alignment and displacement. "I hit and you don't touch me" as a translation of "Jeet Kune Do" or "Intercepting Fist".
That is to say: "AVOID THAT THE ATTACK OF THE CONTRARY COMES INTO EFFECT".
The movements are a combination of defense-attack based on simplicity and effectiveness rather than on classic figures.
"The technical paraphernalia of the Jeet Kune Do is very broad, as wide as your imagination allows, remember the no-limit as a limit, sitting on a solid base, like a side guard, with slightly bent knees, slightly raised heels and lateral movements made on the balls of the feet.”
As far as hand shots are concerned we have the finger jab, the jab cross, upper cut, backhand shots, etc. In terms of kicks, it should be noted that the side kick is considered the most powerful blow in our entire technical arsenal.
Low kicks, as well as kicks in twist, forehead, backhand, descending, ascending, jumping and all kinds of knees as well as the use of the elbow in ascending twist, diagonal or vertical twist.
ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IS ALLOWED. "The boulevard is not a tournament." The genre that most firmly come close to Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is Thai boxing.
At this point it is worth mentioning the "Chi-Sao" and the "Lop-Sao", the first one means "sticky hands", which consists of not taking the opponent's hands off, giving us extra information through touch to improve our timing and the second, "grasping hands", is to hold the opponent's hand or arm to make a counterattack.
Beginning: Mystery Behind Jeet Kune Do
The "4 ranges of combat" in particular is what Bruce Lee felt as an instrument to be a total and complete martial artist.
This is also the principle most related to martial arts mixing different styles. The Jeet Kune Do (JKD) highlights the notion that the best defense is a good offense, hence the "intercept" principle.
Bruce Lee commented that in order for an opponent to attack someone he first has to move towards the person, this provides an opportunity to “intercept” that attack or movement.
The Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is characterized by these six foundations:
1. Be like water
- Bruce Lee thought that martial systems should be as flexible as possible. Water as an analogy can describe why flexibility is a desired trait in martial arts.
- The water is infinitely flexible. It can be seen through, but at other times it can obscure things with the naked eye.
- It can rift and divide, move or collide with anything. It can gently erode the hardest rocks or it can flow past the tiniest pebble.
- Bruce Lee believed that a martial system should have these qualities.
- Jeet Kune Do (JKD) students avoid traditional training systems, fighting styles and the "Pedagogy Confucian" used in traditional Kung-Fu schools, due to this lack of flexibility.
- Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is oriented to be a dynamic concept that is constantly changing, thus being extremely flexible.
- Jeet Kune Do (JKD) students are inspired to study every feasible form of combat, this is to expand their knowledge of other fighting systems.
2. Ease of movement
- In Jeet Kunde Do the ease of movement can be vital, since it sets concrete and highly effective combinations as objectives without performing very embroidered or flowery movements as in traditional arts, which results in energy savings, with which the person has a greater capacity to maintain prolonged intense physical activity for a longer period of time.
3. Learn the 4 ranges of combat
- Jeet Kune Do (JKD) makes its practitioners train in each of these ranges equally.
- According to Bruce Lee, this range of training serves to distinguish Jeet Kune Do (JKD) from other martial arts.
- Bruce Lee marked that maximum but not all traditional martial systems specialize in training in one or two ranges.
- Bruce's theories have been especially influential and verified in the field of combined martial arts, as the "MMA" phases of combat are essentially the same concept that he extends in Jeet Kune Do (JKD) combat.
4. Five ways to attack
- Single angular attack (SAA) and inverses (SDA).
- Attack of the hand immobilization (HIA), attack of the immobilization of the foot of the counterparts, who make use of "interception" to limit the opponent to the use of certain parts of the body.
- Progressive indirect attack (PIA). Attack one part of the opponent's body, then continue attacking but in another part to try to create an opening.
- Combination Attack (CA). Use multiple quick attacks to overcome the opponent.
- Drawing attack (DA). The goal is to create an opening and use it as a means of attacking the opponent.
5. Three servings of Jeet Kune Do
The practice of Jeet Kune Do is based on the fact that the techniques must contain the following characteristics:
- Efficacy: the attack must reach its goal.
- Frankness: ideas must come naturally and spontaneously.
- Simplicity: thinking in a simple way; without unnecessary ornamentation.
6. Center line
The center line refers to an imaginary line that is right in the center of our body. The theory is to exploit, control and dominate that central line of the opponent.
All attacks, defenses and footwork are designed to preserve your own line in the center and to open that of the opponent. This notion is closely related to the control that he maintains on a chessboard, pure strategy game.
The three guidelines for the center line are:
- The one who controls the center line will dominate the fight.
- Protect and maintain your own central line while controlling and exploiting that of your opponent.
- Control the center line occupying it.
Here we summarizes the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) six foundations.
Next we will talk about Bruce Lee and his trainings.
Bruce Lee and training:
- Bruce Lee noted each day's workouts on his schedule to compare results and continually improve.
- He trained about 8 hours daily; His activities were: calisthenics exercises, daily running about 16 km or the perfection of a certain blow or technique.
It was not enough for him to be fit, he wanted to be always stronger and more elastic, despite being one of the strongest men that ever lived, speaking in relation to his size, as he was of athletic build and with a very high muscular density although without a remarkable muscular hypertrophy within the bodybuilder's field, in a size of 1.67 m.
During his first years in the USA Bruce Lee studied philosophy at the university. He taught the secrets of Wing Chun even though at the time it did not bring him good profits.
One day a Chinese teacher showed up, saying that it was not allowed to teach foreigners. Bruce Lee said he would teach whoever he wanted.
Then the teacher said that if he defeated him he could teach whoever he wanted, but if he won he had to close the school.
The fight started. Both used the Wing chun style, the fight was not easy and it took longer than expected.
This immersed him in profound revisions, forcing him to rethink all the failures and reformulate all aspects of the fight, beginning the true revolution in the martial arts.
After that fight, he realized that he felt tired, and other deficiencies that he had during the conflict. For that reason Bruce Lee redirected his training.
Bruce Lee trained with weights, bags, and different devices; studied and applied scientific training to his routine to achieve maximum efficiency, he followed a special diet based on rice, legumes and chicken.
At another crucial moment in his life, Bruce Lee seriously injured his back, a sacral bone, which led him to undergo a tedious process of rehabilitation and to remain inactive for a long time, about six months, which he spent studying and composing notes that they later became his book "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do."
And although the doctor told him that he might never walk again, the perseverance and spirit that Bruce Lee had showed was the opposite. Not only did he walk again, but his kicks were back to those of before and he continued with his arduous training in search of perfection in the art of combat.
Bruce Lee’s hard training allowed him to perform proverbial and incredible physical feats without tricks, among which stand out:
- doing a large number of push-ups on two fingers of his hand,
- knocking down fighters who doubled his weight with his side kick,
- developing a hitting power at close range (one-inch fist bump),
- performing a nimble and flawless flying kick,
- tremendous instant punching speed due to which their sparring simply didn't see the hit that knocked them down,
- in addition to a skill in weapons such as the nunchaku,
- the Bo (long stick) and the Philippine two-stick technique, Khali.
Bruce Lee's innate talent, dedication and continuous training allowed him to handle a highly developed physique with great skill and solvency of movements that printed great technique, apparent simplicity and speed.
According to him he said: “I do not represent one style but all styles. You don't know what I'm about to do, but I don't know either. My movement is the result of yours and my technique is the result of your technique”.
Lee also adopted some schemes of fencing, Greco-Roman wrestling and boxing in his style, although he did not want to pigeonhole and call it a style, but said that there was no predefined style to fight.
The fights were lively and changeable and did not follow predetermined models. The perfection for the technique and the balance, the solvency and speed of his feints, his admirable physical development and body control have had no rivals that exceed him from 1960 to today.
His image, charisma and influence on martial arts have transformed him into a classic. In life Bruce Lee had great movie stars as his followers and also his students during his stay in the US, among them: James Coburn, Steve McQueen, Danny Innosanto, who were also his great friends.
The Jeet Kune Do Today
The two main groups that practice and teach the art of Bruce Lee (or some variation of it) today are Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do practitioners and Jeet Kune Do (JKD) concept practitioners.
The group known as Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do prefers to focus on Bruce Lee's teachings, training and fighting methods.
Jeet Kune Do (JKD) concept practitioners adopt Bruce Lee's concept and theories and explore and add techniques from jillion of other martial arts to their training.
Of the original Bruce Lee students, the most recognized Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do instructors are Taky Kimura, Steve Golden, Jerry Poteet, Ted Wong, Bob Bremer, Pete Jacobs, and Daniel Lee.
The most renowned practitioners of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) concepts are Daniel Inosanto and Larry Hartsell.
Then there are those instructors who have studied both paths and then chosen the path that best suits them. It is truly something individual, as each practitioner will find their own truth in the art of Jeet Kune Do.
The reason why the original method of Bruce Lee (Jeet Kune Do) is called Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do (JKD) today is that one is not complete without the other.
It is not possible to learn only Jun Fan Gung Fu and claim that you have a complete knowledge of Bruce Lee's fighting method; you need to search and explore Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do to understand the whole picture.
The term Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do means the entirety of your learning process. It also helps to learn as much about Wing Chun Gung Fu as possible so that the roots of the system are better understood.
Wing Chun Gung Fu should be an important part of beginner training; Faced with the difficulty of finding a Wing Chun instructor, Sifu Randy Williams books and videos can be of vital help.
The alarming proliferation of assumptions that are not intended but to deceive using Bruce Lee's techniques is still worrying; Fraud Hard to Uncover: In a true Jeet Kune Do (JKD) class, there are many things that should and should not be seen.
Here are the ones that should never be seen:
- Classic uniforms with belts or girdles (remember the non-classical attitude of training).
- Barefoot instructors and students (Jeet Kune Do (JKD) looks at everything from a practical point of view; barefoot training is not very practical).
- Low or rigid postures with one or both hands on the hip (Jeet Kune Do has the bai jong, or on guard, a position that is highly mobile and effective for both attack and defense).
- Striking from a position where the hand is on the hip or the hand is brought back to strike (the Jeet Kune Do prepares the student to strike from wherever the hand may be, in a non-telegraphic motion).
- Raise the knee before launching a kick (Jeet Kune Do - JKD kicks use the most direct route to the target, using appropriate footwork, waist and hip action to achieve power).
- Stern, classic blocking movements (Jeet Kune Do – JKD prefers the stop hit, or the stop kick, using a simultaneous move if needed).
- Katas, Kuens or Hyungs (Forms are not practiced in Jeet Kune Do - JKD).
- Hitting, kicking and defending with the strong side behind (Jeet Kune Do – JKD prefers to put the powerful side in front, where it can be more effective).
- Wide or circular defensive attacks and movements that expend energy (Jeet Kune Do - JKD movements are simple, direct and non-classic).
- Excessive use of the horizontal fist to strike (Jeet Kune Do –JKD punches use the structure of the vertical fist for greater efficiency and better protection of the center line while striking).
- Use of foreign terminology different from Chinese (except in "concept" schools where different arts terminology of Jeet Kune Do is used).
- Emphasis on growling or bowing every time you walk in the middle (Jeet Kune Do has a greeting that is used before and after training, when a student enters class late and before and after a training match).
- Footwork by performing wide or sweeping patterns from a low, static position (Jeet Kune Do - JKD footwork is light, fast, and to the point without telegraphic movements).
- Contactless combat (Jeet Kune Do prefers contact to prepare students for reality on the streets).
- Practice all techniques by hitting the air only (Jeet Kune Do training uses focus gloves, kicking shields, Thai boxing suits, the wing chun wall bag, the wooden dummy, the heavy bag, the double bottom and other hitting devices in such a way that the student prepares his hitting weapons while learning to hit with speed, power and precision).
As for what should be seen:
- The atmosphere should be higher relaxed and calm than in a traditional class.
- Students should be adorn in comfortable and pleasant clothing that allows them to move well while training.
- Students should be free to speak to others during training to discuss the extent of their progress.
- Everything that is practiced should serve a definite purpose. In true Jeet Kune Do (JKD), nothing is done just for the sake of doing it, everything serves a purpose.
One of the first things to consider is the fighting position, or the exercise of the position of arms, as we sometimes call it.
This is a picky subject, because no posture is perfect for all situations. There is, however, a position from which it is more favorable to start.
Preferred Fighting position:
- In Jeet Kune Do (JKD), we refer to this position as the bai jong (on guard) position. According to Bruce Lee, in the fighting position, the powerful side should be ahead.
- This places your most powerful weapons closer to your target, where they can best be used in a non-telegraphic way.
- A good fighting position should be highly mobile and multifunctional, offering good defensive and offensive capabilities.
- Jeet Kune Do's bai jong position (also sometimes written as bi jong or by jong) has all these qualities and more.
Mobility, perhaps more than anything else, is much more accentuated in any Jeet Kune Do (JKD) training program. Footwork should be light and fast.
You must have good footwork to close the gap without being hit, to attack with maximum speed and power and with your tools and to evade and counter a powerful attack from an opponent.
A good fighter will use linear, lateral, angular, and circular displacement patterns. These skills need to be acquired regardless of the level you want to be at.
The biggest emphasis on Jeet Kune Do (JKD) footwork is explosive intensity. This intensity can be seen in the entry skill of the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) fighter.
To maximize the use of tools (hitting weapons), emphasis is placed on three levels of fighting in Jeet Kune Do (JKD). They are the
- And short level.
In a true Jeet Kune Do (JKD) class, you should see training items on all three levels.
Once the fighter understands the tools applied at each level, and how to apply them, he is well on his way to developing good offensive skill.
Part of the long level is what is known as the measure of the fight. This is the optimal distance you want to stay at when you are not attacking.
When you are only one step away from being able to reach the opponent with your longest weapon, that is called being on the brink of fighting measure.
This gives you more reaction time against the opponent's attack, as well as putting you in a position where you are only one step away from your opponent.
This will allow you to quickly close the gap with your attack.
Levels explained in brief:-
The long level
- The long level is defined as the distance from which there can be no contact to the distance where you can reach the opponent using the principle of Bruce Lee's longest weapon against the closest target.
- Examples of this would be the side kick with the front leg to the opponent's knee or the finger jab with the front hand in the opponent's eyes.
- The long level is basically a "safe" level where you can test your opponent's reactions without being in too much danger of being hit.
- This can be done using feint or testing attacks that appear somewhat threatening.
The middle level
- The middle level is the primary combination level.
- Kicks, punches, catches and grasping movements can be applied from a medium level.
- In other words, it's where you can really "mix" with the opponent.
- This is the main level where simple and catching movements take place.
- As a general rule, by the time an opponent is getting close to the mid-level it should be over.
- If you've properly honed your interception skills, this is where it all should have ended for the opponent.
The short level
- The short level begins where you can hit the opponent with head butts, knees and elbows.
- This is also where grip movements such as drowning, strangulation and neck breaks take place.
- This is truly a deadly level, due to the serious nature of the tools that can be applied.
- If necessary, you could go to the ground with the opponent at this level, but it is preferable to stay on your feet.
Many Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioners have gotten into the habit of referring to "four" levels of combat (kick, punch, catch and grab).
Actually, these are not levels, but categories of techniques. If you search carefully and thoroughly through all the available writings of Bruce Lee, you will find reference to three levels of combat, not four.
Despite the fact that attack is the main objective of the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) fighter, probing defensive ability is also a great need.
A good defensive move has several defined characteristics.
- It will be fast,
- There shouldn't be a hard block.
This is considered as wasted energy and would be used only as a last spring by the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioner.
The Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioner prefers the stop, which is a redirection of the coming force. This allows the flow of energy to continue in attack and defense.
The favored approach of defense in Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is attack. The Jeet Kune Do (JKD) fighter is always thinking about hitting, hitting, hitting and hitting a little bit more.
The next preferred method is simultaneous attack and defense. This is much better than blocking first and then countering approach defended by so many martial arts today.
Simultaneous attack and defense consists of stopping the opponent's attack while we develop our own attack on an open line.
Specific movements, known as the four corner exercises, help the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioner refine this skill.
An even cheaper version is what is known as slippery leverage. When the presenter attacks, you launch a fast, powerful attack of their own, on the same line, deflecting their attack from their trajectory with leverage and allowing your attack to successfully hit its target.
The finger jab and the vertical straight punch are the most used to achieve this. In more advanced and leading stages, the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) fighter without any elaboration intercepts the opponent's movement with a powerful attack.
In this case, your attack and charge is your defense. Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the Chinese nomenclature for "path of the intercepting fist".
Using the hand to intercept refers to a stopping hit. Using the foot to intercept refers to a stop kick. Interception is an exceedingly enticing skill in the fighter's arsenal.
The damage is immediately caused to the attacker, psychologically and physically.
The most important factor in Jeet Kune Do (JKD) wrestler training is energy / sensitivity training.
Each offensive and defensive movement will have a certain type of energy and a certain angle of flow for this energy.
To better understand energy and movement flow and how to use it to your advantage, the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioner has a series of energy / sensitivity exercises.
They are called sensitivity exercises because they develop the fighter's ability to feel the different types of energy in contact with the opponent.
Sensitivity exercises are sometimes called "sticky hands." A high level of movement and directional sensitivity is necessary to achieve a good level in hand-catch exercises.
Using chi sao, or sticky hands, the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) fighter evolves and develops what is recognized as "flowing energy." This flowing energy can be compared to water.
Flowing water will find the smallest crevice and penetrate it.
The flowing energy will grant the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) fighter to perceive the smallest opening in the opponent's defense and infiltrate it with an attack.
Seong chi sao, or sticky double-armed hands, develops the fighter's sensitivity in a circular motion. Don chi sao, or sticky arm, develops the fighter's sensitivity in moving in a straight line. Chi gerk, or sticky legs, develops sensitivity in the legs for sweeps, detours and counter kicks.
Other energy / sensitivity exercises used in Jeet Kune Do (JKD) training are
- energy crossover exercises,
- harmonious spring exercise,
- lop sao commutator exercise,
- lop sao cycle exercise,
- and various connection exercises.
Higher level Jeet Kune Do practitioners can
- and strike with blinding speed
- and incredible precision blindfolded due to this highly specialized training area.
If the energy / sensitivity exercises aren't there, then it's definitely not Jeet Kune Do.
Sticky hand exercises combined with trapping exercises with a reference point develop what is known as a "contact reflex" in the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) fighter.
This is a highly refined neuromuscular skill. This allows the fighter to respond immediately with the correct movement based on the energy received from the opponent's movement.
You can learn only the mechanics of the catch, but without energy / sensitivity training you will lack the ability to react to the opponent's energy with the correct catch.
Then you will find yourself, as the ancient statement goes, "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Other important parts of training and strategy in Jeet Kune Do (JKD) are Bruce Lee's five attack paths. In the course of its development, Bruce Lee realized that there are essentially only five ways that you can attack an opponent.
Every empty-hand charge ever conceived will plunge into one of these five categories, which were first clearly defined by Bruce Lee.
Large number of prominent fighters such as Joe Lewis and Dan Anderson have enforced these five attack paths to improve their performance in the ring.
Intense and fierce physical training is a must in Jeet Kune Do (JKD). Bruce Lee emphasized physical fitness over and over again with his students.
This will include
- cardiovascular training
- and strength training.
Cardiovascular conditioning can be accomplished through
- stair climbing,
- and displacement / mobility exercises.
Flexibility can be achieved by implementing a serious stretching routine consisting of at least two fifteen minute sessions a day.
It is also a good idea to stretch before any intense physical activity such as cardio, strength training, or sparring.
For best results, stretching movements should resemble the movements you are going to perform.
The waist, lower back, hip joint, and hamstring flexibility are extremely important just before participating in a class.
Strength training can be accomplished through the use of
- isometrics, static concentration training,
- free weights,
- weight machines,
- power training,
- And calisthenics.
A program bringing together all of the above is even better. Every Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioner should also experience plenty of good and tough combat with protective gear.
This brings along with the benefits of all physical training, conditioning the body for impacts, develops confidence, mobility, timing, power, reflexes, level of attention and endurance of the fighter.
Training with special equipment is also necessary. This training hones the attributes and tools of the fighter.
Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioners use various unique pieces of equipment for this purpose.
- The focus glove is a hand target used to develop the speed, precision, and power of punches, kicks, head butts, knees, nudges, and combinations.
- The kicking shield is used to develop the precision and explosiveness of kicking techniques.
- Thai paos are used to develop powerful, penetrating hook kicks that break legs and crush ribs.
- The double bottom bag is used to develop timing, speed, power and reflexes.
- The speed bag is used to develop hand speed, timing, coordination and endurance of the upper trunk.
- The double bottom bag and speed bag are also great for developing hand-eye coordination.
- The heavy bag is used to develop power and precision in simple techniques and combinations.
- The Wing Chun Wall Bag is used to develop power and precision in rotating straight punches, and also conditions the knuckles for impact.
- Another useful piece of training equipment is a piece of paper or an x-ray. Hang the paper or x-ray on a heavy chain or have a partner hold it for you. Since there is no fear of damaging your hand on impact, you can practice hitting with maximum speed. This is especially useful for finger jab training.
- One of the most useful training pieces for the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) practitioner is the mook jong, or wooden dummy, of the Wing Chun system of Chinese gung fu.
This is another piece of equipment that allows you to train only when you have no teammates available.
The dummy consists of a head, trunk, two upper arms, a lower arm, and a lower extension that represents an opponent.
All defensive and offensive movements can be made in the dummy. It is fantastic to develop your simultaneous attack and defense system.
The dummy is an incredible tool for developing hand-catch skills. Hitting the dummy and performing defensive movements on it also conditions the arms and legs for impact.
The mook jong was one of Bruce Lee's favorite pieces of training gear.
These guidelines lead an authentic Jeet Kune Do (JKD) class.
Read About: Bruce Lee Martial Arts Jeet Kune Do