Jeet Kune Do

October 9, 2011

Articles

Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do

What is Jeet Kune Do?

Simply put, it is a martial art form with no form.

Bruce Lee, the founder of Jeet Kune Do, gives the best description of this form of martial art, “Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don’t, and that is that. There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one’s feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one’s back.”

The essence of Jeet Kune Do is in its flexibility and non-conformity. Jeet Kune Do practitioners learn the philosophy and basics of Jeet Kune Do, but yet are encouraged to develop their own style that best suits their purpose and physical abilities.

Bruce Lee himself explored many forms of martial arts and incorporated them into Jeet Kune Do. His influences include Wing Chun, epee fencing and boxing.


There are 3 main concepts in the application of Jeet Kune Do.

1)      Efficiency – The usage of body mechanics and anatomy to inflict the maximum amount of damage with the least amount of effort.

2)      Simplicity – The use of simple non-complicated movements that are natural. Discarding what is not useful, and taking in only what is.

3)      Directness – Attacking and defending in the most time-saving and efficient ways.


These three concepts serve to make Jeet Kune Do a style that is suited to the unpredictability and carnage of street-fight. Jeet Kune Do is an art that aims to end the fight in the shortest amount of time. Long drawn fights are best avoided. As such the style needs to be efficient, simple and direct to win the fight quickly.

Jeet Kune Do categories its attacks into five different types, mainly in the form of directs attacks, rapid consecutive attacks, indirect attack combinations to different body parts, immobilisation and baiting. Again, true to Bruce Lee’s philosophy, the five forms of attacks are merely to guide the Jeet Kune Do practitioner in the understanding of the martial art. Each form has specific basic techniques, but can be modified in the heat of battle to suit the needs of the situation.

As Bruce Lee puts it, “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

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About Shawn

Shawn is a wushu enthusiast who has been learning wushu since the age of 10. With a passion to influence young lives, Shawn assisted his group in coaching young kids and competitive members for 6 years. He has since stopped coaching wushu but continues to share his love through www.singaporewushu.com :D

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13 Responses to “Jeet Kune Do”

  1. New Movies Says:

    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and terrific design and style.

    Reply

  2. Terry WaiKin Says:

    My senior 1s told me its more of an idea/concept more than a style or art….

    Reply

  3. Marcus Leong Says:

    I think it’s nt even a style. It’s a thinking about fighting the way most suitable yourself without being restricted by martial arts styles. Everyone is different after all

    Reply

  4. Qi Says:

    Hi Terry and Marcus! Wondering if you guys have read the full article?

    Reply

  5. Marcus Leong Says:

    I did. Jus happened to share what I understood abt jkd.

    Reply

  6. Admin Shawn Says:

    Hi guys, thank you for sharing! Yup, the essence of JKD is to absorb what is useful, and what is not. So in that manner you guys are right, it is a concept. But JKD also has it’s own set of movements which arises from its fighting philosophy, so in that sense, it possesses its own distinct style. The important thing to note about JKD is that it should mainly be seen as a vehicle to achieve the best form most suited for you. :)

    Reply

  7. Terry WaiKin Says:

    Hmmm… Correct me if i m wrong… I feel, In a way… If u understand n r able to apply the concept of jkd, u dun necessarily nid to do the moves of jkd… U can actually b doing say hung kar or karate moves, but using the jkd concept… So in tat way, u r actually already doing jkd…. As ur last part mentions, “to achieve the best form most suited to u”… So if lets say i m a karate practioner of many yrs…. Naturally i wuld b most comfortable n efficient wif karate moves n techs…. So juz by applying jkd’s concept in, i can actually achieve jkd’s ultimate goal of efficient, direct, etc, by doing karate moves tat conforms wif these properties….. Something lyk tat?

    Reply

  8. Marcus Leong Says:

    Yeah I think so. I think jkd is a concept which is basically using whatever that suits u best. As Bruce said before,he helps his students “find their jkd”. When he personally trains them

    Reply

  9. Admin Shawn Says:

    Hi guys! Thanks for the interesting thought! If Bruce Lee’s JKD is to finish the fight fast (which is what is being taught to JKD students), perhaps another person’s JKD would be to focus on something else like endurance or manipulating energy flow? Would that still be considered JKD? Hmmm… Any JKD practitioners out there who would like to share?

    Reply

  10. Terry WaiKin Says:

    hmmmm… correct me if i m wrong, if by focusing on endurance and manipulating energy flow can hlp to finish a fight fast and swiftly, then yes, they are still considered jkd.. however if by focusing on those, it lets say draws the fight out into a slug feast or into a seemingly neverending cycle of deflect n dodge, then i do not think that is jkd… ultimately, no matter wat u do, as long as u achieve jkd’s concept n principle of intercepting, finishing fights fast, absorbing what is useful and discarding wat is not, etc, u r doing jkd… as bruce lee says: “absorb what is useful, and discard what is not.” this is a pretty vague point as different people have different physique, strengths and weaknesses… so wat is useful and wat is not varies from people to people… so for example, if les say A and B are both jkd practitioners. A, who is tall and has long legs, finds that the side kick is very useful and he is able to reach and defeat opponents before they are in striking range. However, B, who has shorter legs and is shorter, find that it makes no difference as by the time he is able to kick the opponent, they are within striking range already, thus he prefers and finds it faster and safer to take them out with punches, elbow strikes, etc. however, both practice jkd, and are mindful and skilled in the concept of intercepting, economy of motion, finishing fights fast n swiftly, etc. thus, from the above example, we can see that even tho 2 people are learning the same art. However, the way they use to achieve the goals and concepts of the art is different. for A, he uses kicks more to finish the job. but for B, he uses his fist and hands more. So wat i m still trying to say is that JKD is more of a concept and thinking rather than a martial arts form. granted there are movements base on its principle, but if the practioner finds that instead of helping, these movements are hindering him, he is free to discard them and opt for a better set of movements more suited for him. Afterall, JKD’s maxim is to “let no form become your form”, rite? ;>

    Reply

  11. Marcus Leong Says:

    Yep I agree with what Terry said. Actually,many masters before Bruce lee had already understood this idea. Only that Bruce spread it out to the world

    Reply

  12. Admin Shawn Says:

    Heya Terry! Thanks for the very lively explanation! :D Look forward to see more sharing of opinions from you both.. It was pretty interesting. Keep a look out for more articles!

    Reply

  13. Terry WaiKin Says:

    Ha~ thank u… But i m still not very gd… Tis is juz wat others share wif me de~~~

    Reply

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