Very informative discussion about what JKD is and isn't

Discussion in 'Jeet Kune Do' started by Cain, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    The quote I made was was actually from Guro Dan
  2. gapjumper

    gapjumper Intentionally left blank

    Why do you feel there is a paradox?
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  3. Simplicity

    Simplicity Valued Member

    Sorry, but you are very incorrect with your statement hear... My friend Jesse Glover never called what he did Wu Wei Gung Fu, he called what he did NCGF= Non Classical Gung Fu...

    As far as Jeet Kune Do goes... When Bruce Lee made this statement, he didn't say you can study anything under the sun and put it together, wham bam know you have JKD... Adding isn't part of JKD, refinement is... Read again what he said:

    "It is ridiculous to attempt to pin down so and so type of gung fu as 'Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do'... I call it Jeet Kune Do just because I want to emphasize the notion of deciding at the right moment in order to stop them at the gate... Very offten when people talk about JKD, they are very much concerned about its title... Actually, the title is not important... It's only a symbol for the kind of martial arts we study... I stress again, I have not created or invented any kind of martial arts... Jeet Kune Do is derived from what I have learned, plus my evaluation of it.... Thus, JKD is not confined by any kind of martial arts... On the contrary, I welcome those who like JKD to study it and improve it"...BL
  4. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    The thing that always confuses me with JKD is that it seems to look very different from school to school. Just by happening by the window or training nearby, I've seen three classes advertised as JKD - one seemed to be training in MMA, one in wing chun and the other in silat. Is the only variable that JKD classes have in common a lineage from Bruce Lee?
  5. Simplicity

    Simplicity Valued Member

    These classes are decieving the public... :bang:
  6. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'm not going to get into how it ought to be, because that's a hornet's nest. A green hornet's nest. See what I did there?

    But my observation of how things have played out is this: There genuinely are at least two and perhaps three reasonably different takes on the implications of Lee's work.

    There really are people who stick very close to the material that Lee himself was working on. Ted Wong perhaps being the most notable person in that approach (though there are obviously many others).

    Then there are the people who embraced a lot of the influences of Dan Inosanto. I'm in that camp, though I don't consider myself to be a JKD guy in the first place.

    The difference in those two approaches, I think, is the emphasis on either 1) the product that Lee developed or 2) the research process he employed. So that Guro Dan's "camp" tends to recreate the process by identifying possible sources of input and culling them for useful material. The particular sources that they've used have tended to focus on styles that Guro Dan himself has identified. So, aside from the original styles that Lee drew on (wing chun, boxing, and fencing), you also get lots of input from kali, muay thai, silat, etc. Maybe (depending on the practitioner) you'll find savate, bando, etc. And increasingly, you're getting BJJ, shooto, etc.

    The third iteration, I think, grows out of the first. MMA as a... platform, I suppose, for evaluating material. MMA is one of the most demanding and permissive formats available for people to test and refine their material. And, since the styles often associated with Guro Dan's approach to JKD are already often well represented in MMA (e.g., jiujitsu, muay thai, boxing), it's a fairly natural transition.

    As I said, I'm not touching whether one or the other is "correct." I'm not interested in hashing that out. But that, to me, seems to be how it's played out.
  7. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter


    Adding is not prohibited - but it HAS to be within a proper framework and methodology
  8. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Not if this arose out of their JKD they aren't

    However, JKD is not "MMA", although there is a common framework.
  9. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Yes a similar process is present in other systems.
  10. Street Stylist

    Street Stylist Banned Banned

    Ah, you were right, I was wrong. Now I remember, Jesse Glover did call his style 'Non-Classical Gung Fu', I do remember that now that you said it. That was many years ago for me, so there are blanks in my memory. I remember Jesse Glover bringing someone along with him who was wearing a Wu Wei Gung Fu shirt. We may have had training in both systems. Mind you, this was a JKD seminar, but we weren't practicing JKD, we were practicing Jesse Glover's non-classical gung fu, and his friend's wu-wei gung fu system. These were more similar to Wing Chun with Boxing principles and Judo takedowns. However, at no time during our training did we refer to it as Jeet Kune Do.

    Everything else you just said, I agree with. That's what I've been trying to do, is take my own personal OJKD and improve on it. For me, however, it isn't about adding or taking away any movements from the 'original' structure. I never learned the entire JKD system, so I just left it how it was. Instead, I stopped doing JKD and moved on, trying to learn other martial arts (or more specifically, 'elements' from different arts) which can be used to fill the gaps in my own training, and/or keep the martial arts alive by staying up-to-date with combative science and weapons technology. I don't call my style JKD, but in a way I feel like I am heading towards the same direction as JKD practitioners in researching my own experience and trying to improve.
  11. Street Stylist

    Street Stylist Banned Banned

    I agree.

    Wing Chun is Wing Chun, Silat is Silat, MMA is MMA, JKD is JKD.
    It seems to me that what these JKD schools are doing is trying to make money off of Bruce Lee's name. If you tell students they are learning Bruce Lee's system, it makes them feel like they are learning something effective and worthwhile. They will think in their minds, "Wow I can be like Bruce Lee!"
    The only thing these types of JKD schools have in common is that they are using the JKD philosophy, or Bruce Lee's philosophy (but it's already been mentioned that this is really not a single philosophy but a collection of philosophical concepts from different writers, authors and systems - many of which are shared by most martial arts). But the problem with these schools is that they 'aren't' teaching Jeet Kune Do, therefore they must be lying to the public.
    Then again, some JKD schools teach more than one style. Some JKD schools have JKD classes, as WELL as other seperately scheduled classes for Wing Chun, Silat, etc. etc. so it also depends on what you're witnessing at a JKD school.
    Any real JKD school, however, will have JKD classes. JKD incorporates the philosophy, as WELL as the physical training. JKD as a system is very unique and different from other systems or styles of martial art. JKD is not Wing Chun, it is not Silat or Eskrima, it is not Boxing or Karate or Muay Thai, nor is it like any other martial arts system. JKD is JKD.


    Again, going back to what Hannibal said, you don't necessarily NEED to have a foundation in JKD in order to follow Bruce Lee's philosophy. You can, in a sense, have a foundation in Wing Chun, or Silat, or MMA, and use Bruce Lee's teachings to help you research your own experience and thus create your own kind of personal JKD (but - a big 'BUT' here - you cannot then call your style JKD) which is what a lot of these schools are doing. So in a way, they are doing everything right which constitutes where JKD should probably be going, but the biggest mistake they are making is that they are still calling it JKD and trying to make a quick dollar by exploiting Bruce Lee's teachings.
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  12. Street Stylist

    Street Stylist Banned Banned

    Well, there are 2 ways to define "MMA" which might help. First you have the generic term "mixed martial arts" which can be applied to just about any combination of two or more styles. That hardly constitutes as JKD. But then there is the "MMA" which has grown up within the last decade or so, which is very much like Bruce Lee's JKD in its approach to physical training and development.

    It's hard to say whether JKD is really MMA or not because it appears to be both. JKD is MMA, but at the same time JKD is not MMA, it really all just depends on how it's being used. Many noteable MMA practitioners like Frank Shamrock, Randy Coutore, and even Dana White the president of the UFC have made comments stating that Bruce Lee was the father or the pioneer of modern MMA (here I believe they are talking about the MMA framework, but I could be wrong).

    Anyway, I've added well over my 2 cents on this subject. I'm done talking about JKD, I'm going to go post in some of the other forums now. Thank you for your time.
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  13. mdgee

    mdgee Valued Member

    Funny thing about JKD. Did any of you see the recent film called I Am Bruce Lee. I was completely surprised that they mentioned that Kajukenbo was doing exactly what Bruce Lee did before Bruce Lee created Jeet Kune Do. It's also the same thing that Imi Lichtenstein did when he created Krav Maga. What I find interesting about JKD, KM, and Kajujenbo is that they are all survival martial arts that continue to evolve. None of them are a particular "style" per se, which was the point of JKD. That's why he said that the JKD of 63 would look completely different from the JKD of 73. The film is interesting as it points out an indirect connection to Kempo as well, which can be seen in ETD. I think the film pointed out Bruce's use of fingerless gloves which are used in Kempo.
  14. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    The gloves were actually Japanese Karate gloves - Guro Dan bought them for him. Four pairs in total. He said they were terrible and offered less protection than a 6oz boxing glove!

    Both Dan Inosanto and Larry Hartsell were Kempo black belts and Bruce knew Ed Parker pretty well, so the Kempo link is pretty well documented
  15. mdgee

    mdgee Valued Member

    Hannibal, I wasn't aware of that. Thanks. I know that Bruce knew Ed well. You probably don't know this but he was very good friends with Jhoon Rhee: the man responsible for bringing Taekwon Do to the U.S. Jhoon Rhee lives in my old stomping ground known as Washington, DC. Want to guess what is unique about Jhoon Rhee's TKD? It doesn't look like any other TKD. His friendship with Bruce saw to that. Bruce told Jhoon that there isn't one perfect martial art and not to limit himself. Kind of neat. If you want to read about their friendship and how it lead to Jhoon starring in a film back in the 70's, look up Jhoon Rhee. Here's a link to his website. I'm not trying to take away from the discussion. I just found it fascinating to see who Bruce was friends with and how many of those friendships may have influenced the development of JKD.

    Click on biography to read Jhoon's history. I'm always fascinated when I read how people came to America. In Jhoon's case, he was looking for the blonde woman of his dreams. LOL
  16. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    I knew Bruce and Jhoon were close frineds and it is no surprise they "cross pollenated" :)

    Interesting Jhoon fact about the blonde! ;)
  17. itf-taekwondo

    itf-taekwondo Banned Banned

    Jhoon Rhee actually "left" ITF and started his own. The difference is on emphazism - self defence, instead of competition. Patterns are ITF derived but no sine wave..

    Both JR and Chuck Norris claim to have taught Bruce Lee to kick above the waist. Norris met Lee one year after JR did, and asserts Lee did not believe in kicking high at that time. It would appear to be very strange if Lee still at that time held those views and exhibited limited skills in higher kicking, when JH was his instructor in kicking.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  18. mdgee

    mdgee Valued Member

    Yeah, sounds like Chuck wants to take credit for more then he deserves. Jhoon actually wrote a book about his friendship with Bruce. I wonder if any kicking will be discussed? I know that it was because of Bruce that Jhoon started his own style of TKD.
  19. mdgee

    mdgee Valued Member

    Oh, and the commercials that used to air with his children are priceless. Both are grown, married and with children but they sure were cute. Watch here.

    [ame=""]Jhoon Rhee Taekwondo Nobody Bother Me Commercial - YouTube[/ame]
  20. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    That seems a little harsh. Is it really that unusual that Lee would still be saying he didn't believe in high kicking a year after meeting Rhee? So he wasn't absolutely convinced. I don't think he was ever absolutely convinced of the utility of high kicking. So it's not difficult to believe that both Rhee and Norris had some compelling things to show him for the "plus column."

    I started in taekwondo, but it would be ridiculous for me to suggest that I knew all there was to know about high kicking based on that experience. Any number of people could come along and teach me what might superficially be regarded as the same material.

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