Jeet Kune Do

Concepts

JKD Concepts

Old School

Chinatown JKD

Training

Training

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

About Jeet Kune Do

About JKD

Jeet Kune Do Principles

Principles

Jeet Kune Do Branches

Branches

Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do Quotes

Jeet Kune Do Quotes

Jeet Kune Do Symbol Explanation

JKD Symbol Explanation

The 5 Ways of Attack

5 Ways of Attack

Jeet Kune Do Training Tips

JKD Training Tips

The Power of the Interception

The Power of the Interception

The Evolution of JKD

Evolution of JKD

Jeet Kune Do Techniques

JKD Techniques

Jeet Kune Do Symbol Explanation

Symbol Explanation

About Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do (1) Chinese: ???; pinyin: Jié quán dào; Jyutping: zit3 kyun4 dou6; lit. "Way of the Intercepting Fist"), also Jeet Kun Do or JKD, is a martial arts combat system developed by martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. Recently, in 2004, the Bruce Lee Foundation decided on using an all encompassing name of Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do. This name refers to the art itself as taught by Bruce Lee and as intended by Bruce Lee in his lifetime. "Jun Fan" being Lee's Chinese given name, therefore the literal translation is "Bruce Lee's Way of the Intercepting Fist." The Art Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the name Bruce Lee gave to his combat philosophy in 1967. Originally when Lee first began research into fighting styles, he gave his martial art his own name of Jun Fan Gung Fu. 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 being what he considered to be the bare combat essentials or JKD. Bruce Lee, and thus JKD, was heavily influenced by Western Boxing and Western Fencing. Although the backbone concepts (such as centerline, vertical punching, and forward pressure) come from Wing Chun, Lee stopped using the Wing Chun stances in favor of what he claimed were more fluid/flexible fencing and boxing stances. The claim is that they allowed him to "flow", not to be stuck in stances. For instance, instead of using footwork to position the body for maximum fighting position vis-a-vis the opponent, JKD uses flowing "entries" that do not require "bridges" from Wing Chun. Bruce Lee wanted to create the "ultimate fighting form", but later in the development of Jeet Kune Do, he wanted to use the art for personal development as well, not just to become a better fighter. While practicing Western Wrestling, Lee was once pinned by a more skillful opponent, who asked what Lee would do if he found himself in the situation in a real fight. Lee replied, "Well, I'd bite you, of course". One of the theories of JKD is that a fighter should do whatever is necessary to defend oneself, irrespective of where the techniques used come from. Lee's goal in Jeet Kune Do was to break down what he claimed were limiting factors in the training of the traditional styles, and seek a fighting thesis which he believed could only be found within the event of a fight. Jeet Kune Do is currently seen as the genesis of the modern spate of hybrid martial arts.  
 Jeet Kune Do not only advocates the combination of aspects of different styles, it also has to 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, therefore he almost always used the right hand stance of Fencing. 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. Lee 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. Lee 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. Lee believed that these decisions should be done within the context of "real combat" and/or "all out sparring". He believed 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. Lee 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) in modern times -- Bruce Lee has been considered by UFC president Dana White as the "father of mixed martial arts". Many consider Jeet Kune Do to be the precursor of MMA. 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 to thus be effective in all of them; just as in MMA.     end a dinner m���e

Jeet Kune Do Principles

The following are principles that Lee incorporated into Jeet Kune Do. He felt these were universal combat truths that were self evident and would lead to combat success if followed. The "4 Combat Ranges" in particular are what he felt were instrumental in becoming a "total" martial artist. This is also the principle most related to mixed martial arts. The "5 Ways of Attack" are attacking categories that help Jeet Kune Do practitioners organize their fighting repertoire. The concepts of Stop hits & stop kicks and simultaneous parrying & punching were borrowed from Western Fencing. These concepts were than modified for unarmed combat and implemented into the JKD framework by Lee.  
  I. Be like water JKD students reject traditional systems of training, fighting styles and the Confucian pedagogy used in traditional kung fu schools. JKD is claimed to be a dynamic concept that is forever changing. "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. II. Economy of motion JKD students are told to waste no time or movement. When it comes to combat JKD practitioners believe the simplest things work best. A. Stop hits & stop kicks This means intercepting an opponent's attack with an attack of your own instead of a simple block. JKD practitioners believe that this is the most difficult defensive skill to develop. This strategy can be a feature of some traditional Chinese martial arts. B. Simultaneous parrying & punching When confronting an incoming attack; the attack is parried or deflected and a counter attack is delivered at the same time. Not as advanced as a stop hit but more effective than blocking and counter attacking in sequence. This is also practiced by some Chinese martial arts. C. No high kicks JKD practitioners believe they should target their kicks to their opponent's shins, knees, thighs, and mid section. These targets are the closest to the foot, provide more stability and are more difficult to defend against. However, as with all other JKD principles nothing is "written in stone". If a target of opportunity presents itself; even a target above the waist one could take advantage of the situation without feeling hampered by this principle. III. Learn the 4 ranges of combat Kicking  Punching  Trapping  Grappling  Jeet Kune Do students train in each of these ranges equally. According to Lee, this range of training serves to differentiate JKD from other martial arts. Lee stated that most but not all traditional martial systems specialize in training at one or two ranges. Bruce Lee's theories have been especially influential and substantiated in the field of Mixed Martial Arts, as the MMA Phases of Combat are essentially the same concept as the JKD combat ranges.  
 IV. Five Ways Of Attack A. Single Angular Attack and its converse Single Direct Attack. B. Hand Immobilization Attack and its counterpart Foot Immobilization attack, which make use of “trapping” to limit the opponent to function with that appendage. C. Progressive Indirect Attack. Attacking one part of the opponent's body followed by attacking another part as a means of creating an opening. D. Attack By Combinations. This is using multiple rapid attacks as a means of using volume of attack to overcoming the opponent. E. Attack By Drawing. This is creating an opening with positioning as a means of counter attacking. V. Three Parts of JKD Jeet Kune Do practitioners believe that techniques should contain the following properties: Efficiency - An attack that reaches its mark  Directness - Doing what comes naturally in a learned way.  Simplicity - Thinking in an uncomplicated manner; without ornamentation.   

Jeet Kune Do Branches

Although Bruce Lee officially closed his martial arts schools two years before his death, he allowed private teaching by his then current instructors. Since Bruce Lee's death, Jeet Kune Do has fractured into different groups by way of legal and personality conflicts. The main division can be split into two major branches: The Original/Jun Fan JKD branch, whose main proponents are Taky Kimura, Ted Wong, Jerry Poteet, and others teach only what Bruce Lee taught, and leave individual development of the martial art beyond this framework to the individual student;  The JKD Concepts branch, whose main proponents are Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Larry Hartsell, and others have continued to develop Jeet Kune Do, under the philosophy that it was never meant to be a static art but an ongoing evolution. This branch has incorporated elements from many other martial arts into the main fold of its teachings.   

Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do Quotes

"The usefulness of a cup is its emptiness". - Be prepared to accept new knowledge and not be hindered or biased by old knowledge.  "Using no way as way". - Don't have preconceived notions about anything.  "Having no limitation as limitation". - Don't be confined by anything, achieve true freedom.  "From form to formless and from finite to infinite". - Don't be confined by limitations and forms.  The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action - This is actually a Zen or Chan maxim which means to "be in the moment" and NOT be distracted by your own thought process. The Zen quote is: "If you seek it, you will NOT find it". The "Western" counterpart to this is the term "Being in the Zone".  "If people say Jeet Kune Do is different from "this" or from "that," then let the name of Jeet Kune Do be wiped out, for that is what it is, just a name. Please don't fuss over it." - Don't get hung up on labels and parameters. JKD is alive and therefore always changing; don't try to box it in.   

Jeet Kune Do Symbol Explanation

“In the yin yang symbol, there is a white spot on the black half, and a black spot on the white half. In JKD, Yang (firmness) should be concealed in Yin (gentleness) as Yin is concealed within Yang. Thus, a JKD man should be soft, yet not yielding; firm, yet not hard. The curved arrows surrounding the Yin Yang symbol represent not only the harmonious interplay of Yin Yang but also the interchangeability of opposites.”

-Bruce Lee


The Chinese characters that Bruce Lee wrote around the Yin Yang symbol and arrows are a phrase he authored and used to represent his philosophy, which translated read:“ Using no way as way, Having no limitation as limitation”.

The 5 Ways of Attack

Jeet Kune Do, unlike many other methods, is not a defensive type of combat. JKD follows an approach explained with an expression used in modern sports; 'The best defense is a good offense.' JKD favors a hit first and ask questions later approach rather than letting the opposition dictate one's course of action.  From Bruce's research into the art of combat, he concluded that there are ultimately five methods of attack. These five ways are not meant to exclude any of the infinite number of specific attacks that are possible. He wrote them aiming to generally categorize all modes of attack.  The 'Five Ways of Attack' are as follows:SDA- Single Direct AttackABD- Attack By DrawingABC- Attack By CombinationPIA- Progressive Indirect AttackHIA- Hand Immobilization Attack   
  SDA-An SDA, or Single Direct Attack, is one single strike, taking a direct path to the target. Although it is probably one of the most difficult attacks to land, it is definitely the most important to master. Strong SDAs make strong fighters. If you were able to land an SDA with successful consistency, you would obviously out class your adversary. An SDA takes precise timing, distance, and a keen awareness.Examples of an SDA:1.) A straight lead to the head when they drop their guard.2.) A front lift kick to the groin area.3.) A side kick to the open ribcage.An SDA is a very simple attack, involving no set up or preparation. It is an attack that takes advantage of holes in an opponent's defense.  ABD-ABD stands for Attack By Drawing. It is a set up. It draws the others into a situation that enables you to strike. You can draw them to make an attack that you plan to counter. They can be led a certain direction so that you can intercept or simple get them close enough to hit. Most ABD type attacks require a level of comfort that can only be achieved through numerous sparring sessions. It is necessary to be able to think clearly during the confrontation. ABDs are preplanned; they are a manipulation of your opponent's actions.Examples of ABD:1.) To close the gap, you back away. As they follow, shorten each of your steps gradually so that it goes undetected. With each step getting shorter, they come into your range without noticing. As soon as they are in striking distance, attack.2.) Purposely leaving the right side of your head unguarded, you attempt to draw a jab out of them. When they throw the jab, you counter with a slip and a strike to the ribcage. (Distance is important in this. If you stand out of his punching range, you are likely to get kicked in the head while waiting for the jab)  ABC-An ABC is an Attack By Combination. It is, as it sounds, an attack that utilizes a series of strikes together as one. They are designed to overload the opposition with a few, or possibly several, strikes to fend off. ABCs can be combinations involving hands, feet, or the two together.Examples of ABCs:1) A straight lead to the head, a cross to the body and a hook to head.2) A Side kick to the knee, a straight lead to thee head, then a hook to the head.3) A straight lead to the head, a hook kick to the groin, followed by another straight.The amount of possible combinations is endless. With practice on your own, you will find the combos that flow best for you.  PIA-PIA or Progressive Indirect Attack is the preferred method for a JKD man. It is an attack that is planned from start to finish. Both Feints and fakes are used along with real strikes to set up your final blow. Unlike an SDA, which is thrown directly towards the desired target, with a PIA you may throw a fake, feint, or a real attack, towards another target, drawing their attention to that attack. When they respond, it will open the target you originally intended to hit. Planning a PIA, you will chose a striking point and progressively work your way in.Examples of PIAs:1) Throw a fake low punch to the stomach. When they drop their hand to block, strike to the face.2) You notice your opponent drops his hands when you attack low, and raises both when you attack high. Lead with a low kick to the groin. When they block it, follow with a lead to the head. If they block that too, throw another kick to the groin while their hands are covering their face.3) For someone who backs away frequently; Throw a Straight lead as a feint, when they step back, Double up on the lead, catching them in recovery from their first step.   
 HIA-A Hand Immobilization Attack is a way to force an opening through a tight defense. HIAs, also known as trapping hands, may also be a way of tying up the opponent's weapons so they cannot be used against you. The origin of trapping in JKD is from Wing Chun Gung Fu, the style Bruce practiced when he was young.Examples of HIA:1) Lead with a low punch to the stomach, When they block, slap their forearm (Pak Sao) with you're rear hand, preventing it from moving while you take advantage of the opening, hitting with a backfist to the head.2) While fighting inside, you throw a hook to the head. If they block the hook, as soon as contact is felt, hook their forearm and jerk (Jut Sao) the arm downwards (Like pulling the lever on a slot machine). Immediately spring off their arm with the same hand and strike to their head.Trapping can get very complicated. For effective HIAs it is best to stick to simple traps, steering away from those that involve several movements.The Five Ways of Attack outline five distinct strategies that can be helpful to any martial artist regardless of experience or style. Each strategy works together as well as on it's own. After practicing them individually you will begin to realize that all are inter- related. An HIA can also be a PIA, ABCs are made up of a series of SDAs, or you may use an ABD to pull off a PIA. I know it looks confusing using all those acronyms. Attacking can be quite simple having the Five Ways of Attack to label your options.

Jeet Kune Do Training Tips

Speed Training

Hand SpeedThere are many different drills that can be done to improve your hand speed. I am going to list a few that I have found to be extremely effective.  - Striking PaperStriking a piece of paper is an excellent way to improve your speed. Not to mention how cost effective it is. All of us should be able to afford a piece of paper! What makes paper such a great tool is the fact that you don't have the tendency to tighten up as when facing a heavier target. It is only natural when squaring off with a larger target, such as a heavy bag, that the first instinct is to think about hitting as hard as possible. Usually, thinking about hitting hard makes the body tense. Tense, un-relaxed muscles slow you down. It's like driving your car with the parking brake on. With paper as the target, you can relax and concentrate on speed and form. Power is not an issue.  Find a way to hang a short staff horizontally and secure a piece of paper to it so that it hangs in front of you. Several sheets of newspaper work well, or possibly, a plastic sheet protector. Stand in front of it and practice your hand strikes. You can use any hand technique that you wish to improve.  The key to making this work is in the concentration. Concentrate on the form. Make sure your entire body is relaxed prior to initiation. Upon striking the paper, listen to the sound it makes. You should hear a quick snap. Pay attention to the way it feels when you hit the paper. It should feel like a whip cracking on the surface. Practice each punch a couple of hundred times three days a week for a month and I guarantee you will notice a difference.  - Shadow BoxingShadow boxing is a great all around drill. Helping to increase your speed is just one of many benefits. It is a crucial tool to help put everything you have learned together.  Getting started can take a little bit of practice. Many people have a difficult time in the beginning, not being able to move freely without preplanning. The trick to getting the most out of it is in the imagination. You have to visualize, as best as you can, a real opponent in front of you.  I begin almost every workout with five to ten minutes of shadow boxing. It is a good way to get all your muscles loosened up.  To increase your speed, remain relaxed and throw you attacks as quickly as you can. You can practice individual techniques one by one or you can build overall speed by throwing combinations of punches, kicks, and parries. Throw everything you've got. Try to keep your mind open, don't get locked into doing the same movements over and over again. Feel the techniques flowing naturally, without any thought or pre-arrangement.  As your imaginary adversary attacks, counter him. As he steps to the side intercept him. Use your imagination and concentrate on speed.  To help build your speed even more, add hand weights to your routine. Using anything from one to five pounds, throw your punches until your shoulders burn. Not only will you develop hand speed, you will also greatly improve your muscle endurance.   
  -Training with a Heavy BagTraining with a Heavy Bag is usually used for developing power. It can also be used to help develop speed.  Start off by hitting lightly. Just tap the bag, concentrate on speed, not punching through the bag as you would if you were working on power. Work either individual punches or in combination. A little trick to help focus at the same time is to cut a few small pieces of duct tape and place them on the bag in various places for target practice. With each strike listen to the sound it makes, try to "crack" the surface of the bag like a whip.  - Training with a PartnerTo increase your speed, there are many drills that can be done with a partner. One of the best pieces of equipment to use is a pair of focus mitts. Focus mitts offer a great deal of versatility in that they can give you a small moving target.  One drill that is very useful is to have your partner hold one focus mitt up, as you try to hit it, he tries to pull it away. As you practice, you will notice that you will be able to barely tap the mitt. Don't get frustrated if you are unable to hit it squarely. If you are able to tap it, you're doing very well. Your partner may be able to move his hand out of the way but in a real situation, a persons head never moves that fast. If you find that either you cannot hit it at all or if you are hitting it every single time, you need to adjust your distance. Step further back if you hit it every time to create more of a challenge. Or, step closer if you cannot hit it at all.  This drill can be used to increase the speed of any of your punches. One small warning: Do not attempt this with kicks! You are likely to do serious damage to your knees.  Strength Training  Strength training for martial arts performance can be very beneficial. One thing to keep in mind is that the most important muscles to train are the muscles used in each type of martial arts movement. It is easy to get caught up in the body building routine. It has been said by some that weight training is not good for martial artists. They believe that your muscles will get too large and tend to slow you down. I do not buy into that way of thinking. If you are to practice your martial arts and use weight lifting as a supplement, you should have no problems at all. If your workouts were to consist of primarily weights with little work on speed and flexibility, then you may have a problem. Building Strength For PunchesThere are many different muscle groups involved in a punch. Starting with the forearms, the bi-ceps and tri-ceps, the deltoids, traps, pectorals, lats, and to some degree, the abdominals.  - Surgical Tubing (resistance training)A drill that will help increase all the muscle groups in a punch is to purchase a piece of surgical tubing from a medical supply store. Tie on end to something stationary and make a loop in the other end. Put your hand inside the loop and make a fist around it. Stand so that your back is to where you tied the other end. Throw a punch, feeling the resistance of the tubing. Repeat this as fast as you can until you feel the muscles burn. Do this in three or four sets on each arm. This will not give you great gains in physical strength, it will not improve your bench press or squatting ability but it will help the muscle endurance in all the muscles that count. A variation of this drill that will more substantially impact your strength, (if you have access to a machine with cables) is to put a handle on the lower cable and throw punches with progressively more weight.  The best course of action to is to use exercises that will isolate the muscles involved in a punch. They are too numerous to name but there are numerous books and magazines on weight lifting that will help.  Strength training for Kicks and FootworkLeg strength is crucial in all aspects of JKD. Strong calves and quads help produce a quick and powerful push off. Strong hamstring muscles ensure better flexibility and more forceful kicks.  - Frog leapsFrog Leaps are a tool to develop the quads as well as increasing anaerobic endurance. They are a plyo-metric type exercise, using a persons own body weight as resistance.   
 To perform a Frog Leap, squat down with your feet about shoulder width. Using all your strength, leap upwards as high as you can. When you land, try to do so without any excess noise.  Start off with three sets of twenty or so. With some work, you should be able to achieve three sets of fifty or more. If you've never done them before, expect to be sore the next couple of days.  After a couple of months you will notice a remarkable difference in your explosiveness as well as your muscle endurance.  -FootworkThe most important exercise for your legs is to practice footwork alone. Begin with repetitions of individual steps.  For example, you may try five sets of fifty push offs. Just practice pushing forward over and over. Each time you can measure the distance you cover in order to measure progress.  Next, try tying a few steps together in combination.  For instance, you might try a step forward, then to the right, ending with a right pivot. After a couple of weeks, when these three steps feel fluid and quick, change to another combination. This should be an on going process since clean footwork is probably the most important attribute for JKD performance.  -Jumping RopeJumping Rope is perfect all around exercise. If done frequently, it can build endurance, coordination, and lighter footwork. To keep from getting bored, add some fancy moves to your rope routine. Crossovers, double jumps, and alternating feet can provide a formidable challenge. If you can jump rope for twenty minutes or more without stopping, you can consider yourself in pretty good shape.  

The Power of the Interception

Jeet Kune Do, as most of us know, translates as 'The Way of the Intercepting Fist'. It seemed appropriate to provide an article about interception itself.  The interception of an attack can be a very useful tool. It can add power to your attack without additional effort. It may require little preparation, giving the element of surprise. It also, can be extremely frustrating to your rival, helping to win the bout psychologically as well as physically.  There are many different types of interception. An interception does not have to be executed only with the fist. You can intercept a punch with a kick, a kick with a punch, or a kick with a kick etc. Some do not even involve a strike from both sides. You can cut off an attack by simply moving into a position that will jam them, leaving no opportunity for them to land the attack. Alternatively, if he were to simply step one way or the other, you could intercept their motion with a blow, causing him to walk into it.  There are also different times during the adversaries' attack in which an interception may take place. It can occur before, during, or after their attack or movement. Before, or while the opponent is in preparation, you can read their intentions and strike before they can initiate. During their movement, there may be several opportunities to intercept. You could strike from the materialization of their movement all the way up to their full commitment. After, or upon completion, the interception takes place as they recover and before they can launch another attack.  In order to utilize interception as a tactic, it is necessary to train certain attributes. First are your Single Direct Attacks (or S.D.A.'s), for obvious reasons. The faster, more precise, and more powerful your technique, the better chance you will have in pulling it off.  Next, and equally important, is mental awareness. Your mind must be sharp in order to pick up on their movement and react accordingly.  Additionally, work to control your emotions is needed so that fear, self-doubt, and you ego do not cloud your senses and hinder your performance.   
 Two other attributes that need specific attention are timing and distance. Surely, they are both important anyway, but without them, interception becomes impossible. Proper timing can be responsible for some of the most devastating attacks. You can use the momentum from your movement combined with theirs, timing it so that they collide head on into your strike. While the correct distance enables you to strike the target cleanly allowing for more power and penetration.  Here are some examples of interceptions:  1. -The opponent begins to throw a front kick from the rear leg.  -You intercept his kick with a sidekick to the attacking leg as it approaches your position. This is commonly called a stop kick or Jeet Tek in JKD. Depending on your distance and timing, you can attack just about any part of their leg, from the thigh down to the top of their foot.  2. -The opponent throws a jab at your head.  -Drop and Step forward to the outside of their lead leg letting his jab pass over your shoulder. As it does, strike to their open rib cage. This is also called a slip.  3. - The opponent begins to step to his left.  - Throw a hook with your right hand, timing it so that they walk into the punch. Strike them before they complete the step, they will take a much greater impact if their feet have not yet settled on the ground.  Intercepting is almost an art in itself. It takes a lot of practice to perfect but is well worth the effort in the end. Once you are able to utilize interceptions effectively, you will gain a new level of control in both, sparring sessions, or on the street. Interception is a tool for the superior fighter.  

The Evolution of Jeet Kune Do

Bruce Lee received the majority of his early martial arts training in Hong Kong under a man named Yip Man. From Yip Man he learned a system of Gung Fu called Wing Chun. He studied this method for several years and became very proficient. Although he had exposure to other forms of Gung Fu, at this time he was primarily a Wing Chun practitioner.  Upon his arrival to the United States in 1959, he settled in Seattle Washington. He continued to practice Wing Chun and began teaching classes to fellow students of the university in which he attended. Through these classes he met many people who would later become very significant in his life. One of them, and probably the most important, was Linda Emery, who later became Linda Lee, his wife. Without her support throughout his life he may not have become the man we know.  His performance in public demonstrations and television appearances drew the attention of other martial artists in the surrounding area. He quickly made a name for himself due to his extensive knowledge of the martial arts at such a young age. At this time he was only 18 years old. Even at this early stage of his martial arts career he denounced the "classical mess" created by traditional martial arts systems. He maintained a clear and conscious separation between reality and fantasy when it came to combat. Simplicity and directness became the frame work from which his fighting method developed.  After meeting and becoming close friends with a man named Taky Kimura, the first Bruce Lee martial arts kwoon was formed. This school operated in the basement of a grocery store owned by Mr. Kimura. Teaching Americans of all nationalities, he focused on a modified version of Wing Chun Gung Fu. His given Chinese name being Jun Fan, he called this method Jun Fun Gung Fu.  After a long stay in Seattle, he and Linda moved to Oakland California. They lived in the home of James Lee, also another Gung Fu practitioner. He and James Lee grew to be very close. They worked out together extensively and further modified what was becoming JKD as we know it today. It was here that the second school of Jun Fan Gung Fu was to be in operation. The main focus was, again, reality, simplicity, and directness. In fact, the reality was to such a degree that they never wore gloves or any other safety equipment while training.(including during sparring sessions!).  After some time in Oakland, Bruce's career as an actor was on an up swing. He relocated to Los Angeles. It was here that the phrase Jeet Kune Do was coined. He had modified his fighting method so drastically that it was no longer rooted in Wing Chun. Therefore it deserved a name of its own. Jeet Kune Do, or The Way of the Intercepting Fist, had become unique in its application. It bore no resemblance to any other form of martial arts.   
  In China Town L.A. the third school was opened. This kwoon was, unlike the others in that it was a school of JKD and not Jun Fan Gung Fu. Appointed as the main instructor was Dan Inosanto. Mr. Inosanto was chosen because of his previous teaching experience and his knowledge of the martial arts, as a black belt under Ed Parker. The majority of students of this school were also black belts in American Kempo. Almost everyone had previous back round in the martial arts, with the exception of one, Ted Wong.  In the final stages of JKD, up until his tragic death, Bruce defined JKD as containing elements from three different influences. Western Boxing, of which he was an avid fan, Wing Chun, and Fencing. Much of his earlier training methods fell to the wayside as being seen to be unnecessary to the whole. Wooden Dummy training, Chi sao, and the forms of Wing Chun became things of the past. JKD stood alone as Bruce Lee's fighting method. Jeet Kune Do was developed by Bruce Lee in the late 1960's. Literally translated, Jeet Kune Do, or JKD, means "way of the intercepting fist." Jeet Kune Do is not a traditional martial art in that there are no rules, techniques or forms that define it as a method of fighting. The primary components of Lee's art are directness, simplicity, and the rejection of classical methods. A student of JKD is prepared to fight in any situation.  After Lee's death, many of his original students went on to form their own schools, as well as their own interpretations of his art. As a result there arose a controversy within the JKD community regarding the approach one must take to the study of Lee's art. In 1996, the Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Nucleus (now known as the Bruce Lee Foundation) was founded in order to quell this debate. It was resolved that the proper term to describe Bruce Lee's body of technical and philosophical teachings would from that point forth be Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, or JFJKD. This is the term most widely used by today's practitioners. Film star and martial artist Bruce Lee (1940-1973), born Lee Jun Fan, was born in San Francisco and grew up in Hong Kong. His father was an actor, and Lee acted in roughly 20 films himself as a child. After losing a number of skirmishes with local street gangs, at the age of 13 he began to study Wing Chun, a Southern Chinese form of Gung Fu, under grandmaster Yip Man. In 1959 he moved to Seattle, where he continued to practice Gung Fu, and attracted a number of students whom he taught in backyards and parks. Dissatisfied with what he perceived as the oversimplification and lack of variety in Wing Chun, he began to modify the art to suit his own purposes, calling the product "non-classical Gung Fu." He enrolled as a philosophy student at the University of Washington in 1961, and began to feel strongly that as martial artists must develop their bodies, they must also develop their minds.  In 1963 Lee opened his first martial arts kwoon, at which he taught his modified version of Wing Chun Gung Fu; he called it the "Jun Fan Method," or Jun Fan Gung Fu, after his given name. In 1964 he moved to Oakland, CA, where aided by friend James Lee, he opened a second Jun Fan school. Shortly thereafter, he was challenged to a fight by a prominent figure in the Chinatown Gung Fu community. Lee was victorious, but felt that it had taken him far too long to triumph in this particular fight. The incident prompted him to begin an intensive study of all forms of combat, and to conclude that, above all, martial artists must focus on physical fitness in their training. By 1967 his martial art had strayed far enough from Wing Chun and Gung Fu to merit its renaming as a discrete art. Shortly after Lee and his senior student Dan Inosanto opened Lee's third martial arts kwoon, this time in Los Angeles, the art that was its focus became known as Jeet Kune Do.  In formulating Jeet Kune Do, Lee embraced what he found useful in Western boxing, fencing, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and other martial arts, and encouraged his students to experiment with as many arts as possible in order to determine what would be the most useful and efficient for them personally. (Equally important, of course, was that they "discard" that which they found useless.) Practitioners of JKD may engage in maneuvers that resemble those of Wing Chun, Thai boxing, Karate, French Savate, and other arts. As a result, many tend to view JKD as an eclectic combination of many arts synthesized into one, but it is important to understand that this is an oversimplification. Lee determined that to devote oneself to any specific art is not only limiting but impractical; a true fighter must be competent in all areas of combat, and a practitioner whose training has been limited to a single style will not be able to defend him or herself adequately against all forms of attack. Deception, biting, scratching, and hair-pulling are not excluded from the list of acceptable fight tactics (in fact, there exists no such list). JKD practitioners are encouraged to use absolutely any technique that works.   
 At work in his LA kwoon, Lee continued to develop Jeet Kune Do. His theories of simplicity and directness complemented his abandonment of what he perceived as the limiting, classical arts, and he urged his students to liberate themselves from the "classical mess." He believed that a martial artist who devotes his or her time to perfecting four or five simple strikes and kicks will learn to deliver those blows far more efficiently and powerfully than one who tries to master a hundred, and efficiency emerged as one of JKD's primary characteristics, as did devoting the majority of one's training time to perfecting these simple moves. Lee therefore pared Jeet Kune Do down to a very simple structure, devoid of classical traditions such as forms or postures. The nature of the moves he developed follows this way of thinking as well; Jeet Kune Do techniques favor straight lines over the use of circular hooking in order to gain momentum, for example, as a JKD practitioner will avoid unnecessary expenditure of energy or wasted motions at all costs. A defining attribute of Jeet Kune Do is the "stop-hit," in which a practitioner combines a block and a hit into one fluid motion (see Techniques, below) in order to perform as efficiently as possible.  Lee believed that these tenets of simplicity and directness must be applied not just physically, but mentally as well. It was the role of the instructor to facilitate a student's own self-discovery and liberation from all limitations, both internal and external. As a result, Lee himself came to work with only a few students at a time, as he did not believe that a full comprehension of JKD could be attained through rote routines and drilling. It was ultimately for this reason that he chose to close his own schools, as he concluded that formalized school instruction limited an individual's capacity for personal growth. Continuing to work privately with students, including numerous well-known actors and athletes, he encouraged them to study Krishnamurti, Zen and Taoism for mental cultivation. Lee himself read profusely, seeking ways in which to enrich his art through both philosophy and science. Overall physical fitness remained equally important. For Bruce Lee, JKD was not simply a fighting art, but a comprehensive way of life.  Lee had been invited to give a demonstration at the International Karate Championships in 1964, and it was due to a series of ensuing coincidences that he had been offered the role of Kato in the Green Hornet television series. By 1967, at the age of 27, he had begun to work seriously as an actor once again, and was featured in numerous films and TV shows in the six years that followed. He achieved widespread fame in Hong Kong through his acting, although he did not become a household name in America until after his death. Jeet Kune Do was still a relatively new art, and one still changing as Lee himself changed, when Lee died suddenly in 1973 of a brain edema brought on by a headache medication. He was 32 years old.  Jeet Kune Do continued to flourish after its creator's death. Lee had written extensively on JKD, and several books anthologizing his beliefs and methods are still in print today. Many of Lee's first and second generation students went on to form their own schools, and the use of the term "Jeet Kune Do" itself became controversial. Among the offshoots of Bruce Lee's JKD today are Jeet Kune Do Concepts (JKDC), Progressive Fighting System Jeet Kune Do (PFSJKD), and Total Approach Jeet Kune Do (TAJKD), to name a few. The formation of the Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Nucleus (now the Bruce Lee Federation) in 1996 served to settle the dispute over the use of the term JKD; members of the federation include most of Lee's surviving original students, his wife, Linda Lee Cadwell, and his daughter, Shannon Lee. The names of Lee's two martial arts schools, Jun Fan Method and Jeet Kune Do, were joined into one: Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, (JFJKD). This term now refers to the complete body of knowledge, both technical and philosophical, taught by Bruce Lee in his lifetime.   

Jeet Kune Do Techniques

Jeet Kune Do is primarily an empty-hand fighting system. Although Lee himself never wrote about ranges, most of today's practitioners train in the kicking range, the hand range, the trapping range, and the grappling range, and apply different tools (strikes, kicks, etc.) in each range. An important concept in JKD is the idea of simultaneous attack and defense, in which a practitioner either engages in an attack which is in itself a defense ("stop-hit,"), or attacks with one limb while defending with another. Other important elements include the "bi-jong," JKD's stance, and the idea of the "immovable elbow," which is adapted from Wing Chun.  The Straight Punch is essential to JKD, as economy of motion is a guiding principle. There are no forms, and fighters must avoid telegraphing. Unlike in many other martial arts, JKD practitioners hold the power (dominant) hand forward to lead. Emphasized in all JKD techniques is the "center line," an imaginary line running down the center of one's body; one must break down an opponent's center line while maintaining one's own. The focus in JKD is always on the offensive attack. Above all, a JKD practitioner stands prepared to adapt to whatever form of attack may come, regardless of style or system.  The majority of JKD techniques can be broken down into two categories: leg techniques (kicking) and hand techniques (striking), although elbow techniques, head butting, and anything else a fighter can use efficiently are acceptable. Grappling, Trapping, Feinting, and Parrying are employed as well. Fluid footwork is also a key element of Jeet Kune Do. More important than the utilization of any of these tools, however, is the cultivation of a fighter's personal attributes such as coordination, endurance, balance, vision awareness, and speed.


Jeet Kune Do does not require uniforms, or a system of rank such as colored belts.  Learning and becoming proficient in the martial arts can be an overwhelming task. It may take years, if not a lifetime to reach an accomplished level. At times, progress can be made rather quickly. For the most part, noticeable change is painstakingly slow.  In order to progress at the fastest rate possible, it becomes necessary to organize your workouts. As with most any other venture, the more organized, and consistent you are, the more you achieve with your time. It does not matter what style of martial arts you practice, I guarantee that you could practice twenty-four hours a day and accomplish very little, unless you have a plan. Therefore, time is crucial; Planning is crucial. Every workout should be a quality workout. You should begin each session with a plan and stick to it as best as possible. This will not only help achieve more during your training, it will also give you the information you will need to track your progress. There is nothing more frustrating than working as hard as you can for several months and, seemingly, achieve nothing. This is how you can feel if you are not organized in your training.  To help organize your sessions, I have found it efficient to start by breaking things down into four separate steps.1) Form2) Speed3) Power4) Fluidity  When practicing a newly learned technique, the steps should be followed in the order written above. Jumping around only slows down the process and may possibly create bad habits that will have to be undone later. For example, If you were to learn a new type of punch and begin trying to slam the heavy bag without first achieving the proper form, you may substitute proper technique with muscle. Muscling a punch like this may hinder your speed as well as ruining your form. Following the steps, you most likely will find that much greater power is the result of proper form and speed.  In addition, proceeding in the proper order will not only help with power, it also saves time, preventing the necessity to back track and fix what was not learned in the first place. Worse yet, is the fact that without following the correct sequence in learning, you may have practiced the form incorrectly, long enough that it becomes extremely difficult to repair.  FormThe from stage of the process includes learning the mechanics such as what part of the body moves first, where the power is derived, or what type of footwork goes with it. For the best results, all aspects of the movement should be taken into consideration. 1) The muscles involved in the action 2) Footwork 3) Timing 4) Body alignment 5) Balance 6) Flexibility involved 7) What the movement is used for.  Once analyzing all facets of the form, a program of drills can be developed to work these attributes either separately, or in conjunction. Usually, the beginning practice sessions should be slow repetition. Performing the movements slowly does several different things: First, it enables you to monitor and constantly correct the balance throughout. It strengthens the muscles involved, increasing endurance and coordination specifically for this motion. Additionally, practicing slowly lets you feel it every step of the way. When it feels right, it usually is.  After sufficiently breaking down the form and practicing it until it looks and feel right, you are ready to move on to speed training.  SpeedSpeed training, again, can be broken down into separate categories: 1) Relaxation 2) Initiation speed 3) Performance speed 4) Mental speed 5) Reaction speed and 6) Alteration speed  Again, define drills and exercises to work each factor specifically. You will find that in many cases, improvement in speed may require additional work on the form. Even though you may have been able to perform the motion beautifully at a slow pace, doing it quickly will require different types of muscles and a different feel altogether. Repeating the speed drills will train the muscles to perform easily at that pace. (In my next article, I will get more specific on speed training)   
 PowerAs mentioned earlier, you will find that just being able to move quickly and in proper form, power will almost be there on its own. Breaking down the components of power you have: 1) Form 2) Speed 3) Muscle strength 4) Joint and Ligament strength 5) Timing 6) Distance  Again, create drills and exercises to enhance each component. Continue to work on form and speed as previously outlined. Add supplemental exercises such as weight lifting and calisthenics. For timing and distance, drills on the bags or with a partner can be beneficial. Overall, the heavy bag is one of the most useful tools in the development of power.  FluidityFluidity is the process of putting it all together. Having practiced form, speed, and power, now it is necessary to add the new technique to your arsenal. Being fluid with a technique means that you are able o use it in combination with other skills or freely by itself. To work on fluidity, identify the uses of the technique: 1) In combination 2) As a counter 3) As an attack 4) Without preparation  There are many ways to work fluidity, either on a bag, shadow boxing, or most importantly, sparring.  From there, the four steps should begin again. In order to maintain and progress further, techniques are periodically put back through the steps. The steps become, not only a guide to learn a new technique, they are also a means to sustain and enhance existing techniques.  After going through the four steps, a new technique becomes useable. It will be quick, efficient, and potent. In the final stages, it will work without preparation or thought. The ultimate is when 'it hits all by itself'.   

Jeet Kune Do Symbol Explanation

“In the yin yang symbol, there is a white spot on the black half, and a black spot on the white half. In JKD, Yang (firmness) should be concealed in Yin (gentleness) as Yin is concealed within Yang. Thus, a JKD man should be soft, yet not yielding; firm, yet not hard. The curved arrows surrounding the Yin Yang symbol represent not only the harmonious interplay of Yin Yang but also the interchangeability of opposites.” 1. The Chinese characters that Bruce Lee wrote around the Yin Yang symbol and arrows are a phrase he authored and used to represent his philosophy, which translated read:“ Using no way as way, Having no limitation as limitation."


The "JKD" Emblem. The characters around the Taijitu symbol indicate: "Using no way as way" & "Having no limitation as limitation" The arrows represent the endless movement and change of the universe.

The Art of Jeet Kune Do

The 'Art’ Jeet Kune Do advocates may utilize techniques from any martial art; the trapping and short-range punches of Wing Chun, the kicks of northern Chinese styles as well as Savate, the footwork found in Western fencing and the techniques of Western boxing, to list but a few. 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 sculptors's mentality of beginning with a lump of clay and hacking away at the "Unessentials". The end result being what he considered to be the bare combat essentials or Jeet Kune Do (JKD). Jeet Kune Do 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. JKD in its later phases was heavily influenced by Western boxing and fencing (whereas the backbone concepts such as centerline, four gates, vertical punching, straight blast, "entering", and forward pressure come from Wing Chun). The result was that Lee stopped using some of the Wing Chun stances he had learned, in favor of what he claimed were more fluid, flexible Western fencing and boxing stances. The claim is that allowed him to "flow", not to be stuck in stances, a positioning that Lee believed was a feature of some of traditional Wing Chun that he dismissed as the "classic mess". For instance, instead of using footwork to position the body for maximum fighting position vis-a-vis the opponent, JKD uses flowing boxing "entries" that do not require "bridges" from Wing Chun. Dan Inosanto, who was to be Bruce Lee's student in Jeet Kune Do, once said that originally, Bruce Lee wanted to create the "ultimate fighting form", but later in the development of Jeet Kune Do, he wanted to use the art for personal development as well, not just to become a better fighter. Jeet Kune Do not only advocates the combination of aspects of different styles, it also has to change many of those aspects that it adopts to suit the abilities of the practitioner. Additionally, Jeet Kune Do 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, therefore he almost always used the right hand stance of Western Fencing. He labeled this stance the "On Guard" position. Lee incorporated this stance into his JKD as he felt it provided the best overall mobility. Lee felt that the dominant or strongest hand should be in the lead because it would perform a greater percentage of the work. Lee discarded both the left hand and center stance, whereas most traditional martial arts train their practitioners to be ambidexterous. Lee believed that these decisions should be done within the context of "real combat" and/or "all out sparring". He believed that it was only in this environment that a person could actually deem a technique worthy of adoption.  
  Bruce Lee emphasized what he believed to be the combat effectiveness of Jeet Kune Do, and did not stress the memorization of solo training forms or "Kata", as most traditional styles do in their beginning-level training. While practicing Western wrestling, Lee was once pinned by a more skillful opponent, who asked what Lee would do if he found himself in the situation in a real fight. Lee replied, "Well, I'd bite you, of course". One of the theories of JKD is that a fighter should do whatever is necessary to defend oneself, irrespective of where the techniques used come from. Lee's goal in Jeet Kune Do was to break down what he claimed were limiting factors in the training of the traditional styles, and seek a fighting thesis which he believed could only be found within the event of a fight. Jeet Kune Do is currently seen as the genesis of the modern spate of hybrid martial arts. Jeet Kune Do practitioners claim that it is not a fighting style so much as a fighting philosophy. What Jeet Kune Do practitioners describe as the weakness of traditional martial arts is their rote memorization of techniques (Lee compared doing forms without an opponent to attempting to learn to swim on dry land). They claim that these memorized movements will not be of any help in an actual combat situations. Lee believed that "Real" combat was "alive" and "dynamic". Circumstances in a fight change from milli-second to milli-second and thus pre-arranged patterns and techniques being static are not adequate in dealing with such a changing situation. Adherents believe that Jeet Kune Do does not make one a good fighter, just a better fighter. 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 disagree with his opinions on these issues, especially seeing what Lee described as their lack of strategic flexibility due to "rote" teaching methods to be a misunderstanding on Lee's part. Most, if not all, traditional martial arts teachers say "fluid" strategy is a feature of martial training that is indeed addressed in the curricula of most traditional styles at advanced levels, when the students are ready. The schools Lee criticized tend to see their initial conservatism as a safety feature; a legacy of practical experience passed down from generation to generation, said to ensure that their students are thoroughly prepared for advanced martial arts training, skipping nothing and developing intangibles such as good character, patience and discipline. The hierarchy of the traditional schools is said by this reasoning to provide a level playing field for all students by instilling respect and care for one's seniors, peers and juniors, so that everyone, not just the physically gifted, has an opportunity to benefit from the training provided in a martial art school.  
 The notion of cross-training in Jeet Kune Do is similar to the practice of mixed martial arts in modern times -- Bruce Lee has been considered by UFC president Dana White as the "father of mixed martial arts"[1]. Many consider Jeet Kune Do to be the precursor of Mixed Martial Arts. 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 to thus be effective in all of them; just as in Mixed Martial Arts.  

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee studied the martial art style of Wing Chun as a student of Yip Man sifu in Hong Kong and was a movie star early on. Later, he studied other Chinese martial arts, as well as the sports of Western boxing, Western fencing and Greco-Roman wrestling. Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto studied 26 "official" martial arts (mostly Chinese kung fu styles) and 4 "unofficial" martial arts during the process of refining Jeet Kune Do. The term Jeet Kune Do actually comes from an off-hand comment Bruce Lee once made about his art being an "intercepting" martial art. But one of Bruce's last statements was not to make too much of the name, because the process is what is important, not some product (indeed, some schools now claim to teach the "art of Jeet Kune Do", but that is not believed by other Jeet Kune Do teachers to be in Bruce Lee's original concept of the "art" being a process).

Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do Quotes

"The usefulness of a cup is its emptiness". - Be prepared to accept new knowledge and not be hindered or biased by old knowledge.   
 "Using no way as way". - Don't have preconcieved notions about anything.  "Having no limitation as limitation". - Don't be confined by anything, achieve true freedom.  "From form to formless and from finite to infinite". - Don't be confined by limitations and forms.  The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action - This is actually a Zen or Chan maxim which means to "be in the moment" and NOT be distracted by your own thought process. The Zen quote is: "If you seek it, you will NOT find it". The "Western" counterpart to this is the term "Being in the Zone".  "If people say Jeet Kune Do is different from "this" or from "that," then let the name of Jeet Kune Do be wiped out, for that is what it is, just a name. Please don't fuss over it." - Don't get hung up on labels and parameters. JKD is alive and therefore always changing; don't try to box it in.