JKD by Sifu Joel
Many practitioners of Jeet Kune Do speak of getting rid of what is not useful, but few of them understand what this means. Many forms of Kung Fu adopt attributes of animals, such as tiger, snake, crane, etc. This is fine, but what Bruce wanted to get back to was the “human animal”. You don’t see a tiger imitating a monkey to fight another tiger or to catch its next meal. Tigers are tigers and monkeys are monkeys. These animals don’t pretend to be anything else. They are fully in the moment, each moment of their lives. They don’t worry about a job or getting a new car or paying the mortgage. They reach their full potential, because they do not pretend to be anything other themselves and they do not worry about extraneous things outside of the moment. This is what Bruce was trying to get across. When you discard what is useless, you discard the notion that you are something other than human. You discard the extraneous elements of your life that are trivial and distracting from living fully in the moment.
I often explain this by asking students if they have ever experienced being “in the zone”. We’ve all done it in our lives. That perfect game of golf, a run at the park, the day at the pool, when you got so much work done one day are all examples of being in the zone. Great athletes get into “the zone” regularly. It’s what makes them great. That’s being in the moment. That’s Primary Freedom. Jeet Kune Do is about returning to your Primary Freedom, and by doing so reaching more of your potential.
Always Think Hit, Simplicity, Efficiency and Longest Weapon to the Nearest Target
These are the four principles of Jeet Kune Do. If you are not abiding by these four principles, then you are not doing JKD.
Jeet Kune Do was created from MODIFIED Wing Chun, MODIFIED Western Boxing, and MODIFIED Fencing.
Many out there believe, falsely, that JKD is comprised of Kali, Escrima, Silat, Arnis, Muay Thai, Savate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wing Chun, Krav Maga or whatever martial art they want to throw in to the mix. They pick up the latest fad and “make it part of my JKD”. It’s not JKD. Yes, Bruce started with a base of Wing Chun. He modified it. It’s like comparing the Chevy you bought at the dealership to the one on the racetrack. Then he studied, as in analyzed, other arts. He did this to find truths and to further understand the human potential by seeing it in action and educating himself on what the human being was capable of reaching. He did it to find strengths and weaknesses. If you are studying another martial art, as in you are training in that art, then you are not training in JKD. Should you stop? That’s entirely up to you. There’s nothing wrong about training in other martial arts. Just realize that it isn’t what Bruce created or used to express himself with physically. It’s not Jeet Kune Do. So don’t go to Muay Thai class and call it Jeet Kune Do. It’s disrespectful to both arts.
“Jeet Kune Do is just a philosophy.” Jeet Kune Do is a philosophy, but it manifests itself in physical movements and is expressed truly and to its fullest in combat. It is from fusing the mind (philosophy), body (physical movements) and spirit (combat) that one truly understands Jeet Kune Do. This is the only way to fully understand Jeet Kune Do. Anything else is only partiality.