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What is Jeet Kune Do? What Do We Do? And Why Do We Do It This Way?

What is Jeet Kune Do?

Jeet Kune Do is a martial art developed by Bruce Lee, it was a product of his training and experience studying various martial arts and pressure testing the techniques through sparring. He looked at them through a scientific lens of what is functional under pressure tested sparring. Jeet Kune Do is primarily based within Bruce Lee's training in Wing Chun and studies into Western Boxing and Fencing. It is a simple, direct and non-classical system of progression. Bruce Lee's early work was titled Jun Fan Gung Fu, this is a further evolution and exploration of the themes and foundational curriculum developed in the Seattle and Oakland academies. The concepts of Jeet Kune Do was born during the time that Bruce Lee was in Los Angeles. Bruce Lee's protégé and heir to the lineage of Jeet Kune Do was his training partner Dan Inosanto with whom Bruce Lee had also trusted with teaching the Chinatown School in his absence.

Unlike other Martial Arts, the scientific spirit of experimentation is central to JKD. Students are encouraged to try new ideas, and explore combat realities and pressure test them to find out what works in the lab of sparring. The main focus is fighting and self defense against real world violent combat scenarios, thus it doesn't have a focus on competitive or tournament based MMA fighting, however we train for street self defense much in the same way that an MMA fighter trains to fight in a ring, but without rules or limits of MMA arenas. We explore methods of striking, Jun Fan Kickboxing, methods of Trapping, Jun Fan Gung Fu, and grappling, Jun Fan Grappling, as well as self defense dealing with Weapons and Multiple Opponents, including Attribute Development. It is the person with the best attributes that is more likely to win the street fight. Everyone has innate attributes with training we seek to draw out the attributes that make one a better fighter. Developing skills such as kicking, punching, trapping, close quarter clinch fighting, grappling, balance, footwork and we develop those through drilling, repetition and technical practice. We learn to put those attributes into use through pressure tested sparring and grappling. Trapping is an important bridge into clinch fighting and grappling that is often neglected in other combat disciplines. Along with traditional methods of trapping we study functional MMA based trapping techniques that work in real life fights and MMA competitions as well.

The person with the best attributes is the one who wins the fight. Attributes are the most overlooked area of training for many martial arts disciplines that is one thing that makes JKD training unique. Attributes are characteristics that we all possess however with training we seek to improve, coupled with proper fight strategy these attributes can be used to make you a better fighter. In Jeet Kune Do, we seek to develop the individual and help them find out their fighting style and become the best fighter that they can be through adapting their natural abilities and honing them into stronger fighters. We seek to develop and enhance physical attributes such as strength, various types of speed (reaction, perceptual), timing, rhythm, cadence, endurance, cardiovascular capacity, longevity, energy drills, rest, weight training, proper nutrition, hand and foot coordination, ambidexterity, mental strength, cognitive awareness, spatial awareness, kinesthetic perception, line recognition and sensory development.

The three main aspects of Jeet kune Do is simplicity, directness and non-classical aliveness. Simply put the direct line is more efficient. We seek to be non-telegraphic and hone specific skills that work under pressure tested combat. We seek to have a daily decrease over a daily increase. The three stages of JKD training are number one sticking to the nucleus or core fundamental structure, number two freedom from the nucleus, and number three returning to the original freedom. As Bruce Lee said "Before i studied the art, a punch was just like a punch, a kick was just like a kick. After i studies the art, a punch is no longer a punch, a kick is no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick is just like a kick." Being direct in combat means there is no passive defense. We seek to be offensive, counter offensive, and recounter offensive, defense is the other guys problem. The best defense is a good offence. There are no fancy decorative or ornate movements. There are no wasted motions. Students are taught to live in the moment, to respond like an echo. They are taught to accept the such-ness of the moment and respond intuitively. To be in the moment and experience it and to respond like a shadow. If someone punches you either intercept (respond before), destroy (respond during) or riposte (respond after completion). We are no classical, not fixed to a formalized structure and thus are focused on aliveness and responsiveness in the moment intuitively. There is no classical positions, no unrealistic footwork, no mechanical body movements, no dissection of movement and thus the art is alive and we use a broken rhythm responding haptically.

Awareness, is one of the most important attributes. Awareness of yourself, your situation and your opponent. Awareness starts with awareness of your self, what present state are you in, relaxed, alert, tired, depressed, angry, agitated, etcetera... secondly situational awareness, is awareness of where you are situated in reality in a public place, in a dark alley, etcetera... and lastly awareness of your opponent, reacting to their emotion, intention or action, this can be simple awareness of their movement or kinesthetic perception through contact.

We deal with an oncoming attack utilizing the 5 Way of Attack. The 5 Ways of Attack come from fencing manuals that Bruce Lee studied. Just like our strong side (weapon side) forward stance come from Fencing. Our use of the Biu Gee like a rapier thrust. Our use of fencing footwork to deliver a Biu Gee thrust all come from fencing. We employ Boxing our of the Fencing Strong Side / Weapon Side forward stand and withing our Fencing / Boxing footwork. The 5 Ways of Attack are:

  • Simple Direct Attack (Single attack motion)

  • Attack By Combination (any combination attac)

  • Progressive Indirect Attack (Feinting / Faking)

  • Hand Immobilization Attack (or Foot Immobilization Attack) (Trapping)

  • Attack By Drawing

Within Jeet Kune Do Bruce Lee included elements of Fencing, Boxing, Wing Chun, Wrestling and JuJitsu, among many other elements. These are our core. Shadow boxing, sparring and energy drills are keys ways to develop aliveness in our training. When we add weapons based sparring the use of attack the attack becomes a vital part of JKD weapons as well as the use of the 5 Ways of Attack and the use of fencing structure, strong side forward, footwork, thrust and a method we call defang the snake where we destroy the hand holding the weapon.

Without Sparring there is no Jeet Kune Do.

Jeet Kune Do was born through the aliveness of sparring. Bruce Lee's backyard training group that Bruce Lee used to experiment on utilized sparring as the main way of testing to see if things worked. If they didn't work in sparring they were thrown out. Sparring scientifically testing what works is central to JKD, without it you do not have JKD, you have dry ground swimming and classical mess if you don't apply sparring.

In Jeet Kune Do we address the immediate danger, we respond to the immediate threat in the most simple and direct way possible, without wasted motion and without telegraphing. It is important to ask yourself what is the "real danger?" Deal with the immediate threat and actual danger not ancillary non-threat concerns. We address the stress, through stress management called stress inoculation, it is a form of exposure therapy. Through training we seek to understand the stages of awareness and cut down the OODA Loop response time through training the most simple, direct and instinctual responses to the violent encounter. In this way we increase your ability function under stress by introducing stress inoculation to your training regime.

Make sure that in training you don't trade one danger for another. Simple and natural instinctual reactions are your best defense to a violent street fighting encounter. You must train simple reactions that deal with the immediate threat without exposing yourself to additional dangers. We attack the immediate danger right away without hesitation. This way the recognition of danger leads to an immediate response. It is important to "keep it simple" so that there isn't a litany of things to memorize. The goal is to overcome obstacles and conquer through necessary violence.

In addition we need to improve our position. If you start behind time, you want to be able to fight at time and head of time. We use interceptions and destructions to help us regain the offenses advantage. Its important to remain offensive and leave defense to the attacker. Again we seek to be offensive (intercept before), counter offensive (destroy during), and recounter offensive (riposte after). We make sure to include defense and counter attack simultaneously. You must maintain and offensive mindset. There is no defend just defense through a strong offense.

The first fight you have is with yourself, the second fight is with your opponent. Being present and aware and in control of your mental and physical state is as important as the things you do to overcome an altercation. It is important to avoid trouble where you can. As Mr. Miyagi says "the best way to avoid a fight is no be there."

We learn to overcome and adapt through developing awareness training. Learning to develop self awareness, situational and physical awareness through developing and enhancing peripheral vision, kinesthetic perception, emotional awareness, physiological awareness, breath control and mindful present in the moment awareness. We seek to create a state of mind that can perceive the dangers taking notice of the abnormalities that present potential harm. In stopping counterfeit money if you want to understand a fake you have to study the real. If you want to feel safe and know when its not safe you have to train those awareness and training to feel and recognize when you move into an unsafe environment.

In simplification it is important to give you smallest number of techniques to deal with the largest number of threats. This is the application of simplification and efficiency. It isn't just simply to simplify but to cut away specifically and learn what to apply tactically with the least of effort with the most direct pressure.

We seek to give a simple transfer knowledge that can be easily applied to a myriad of situations simple and with direct efficiency. The foundations can be taught in a short period of time and can be applied right away without a lot of extra effort. The techniques need to be instinctual and natural and not overcomplicated so that they can be applied instantly and work under the pressure of combat within the fog of war. This is why these methods have been developed and deployed to some of the most elite military units because they are the easiest to teach and maintain and are readily available and usable to overcome and adapt in the most violent of encounters.

This simple, direct and non-classical approach has been called the fore runner and Bruce Lee named as the forefather of Mixed Martial Arts, in that the Sparring and Scientific testing of what works in combat is done every time opponents enter the ring and test what works under the rules of the combat tournament they engage in. This constant pressure testing through sparring is an important key to Jeet Kune Do and has become a strong part of the common nomenclature of modern combat through the evolution of combat sports. The distinctives that we bring through Jeet Kune Do is the focus on Street Fight and the employment of Asymmetrical Tactics to quickly and violently end a fight using the force necessary to overcome an aggressive adversary.

Come train with us in Jeet Kune Do to become self defense athletes who train for Street Fighting Self Defense like MMA Fighters train for the key developing the unique and simple yet direct tools JKD gives you to survive a violent encounter. Come experience the difference with us and learn how to fight violently and overcome and violent encounter with the force necessary to survive. We seek to help you train in a way that you can get in shape and be able to go home and keep yourself and those you love save. We train those who protect us to defend us and train to protect those whom we love. Come and learn a usable skill that gives you the passion to fight for what you deserve in a life that doesn't always want to give it to you.

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