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Jeet Kune Do is a hybrid martial arts system and life philosophy founded by martial artist Bruce Lee with direct, non classical and straightforward movements in 1967. Due to the way his style works they believe in minimal movement with maximum effect and extreme speed. The system works on the use of different 'tools' for different situations. These situations are broken down into ranges (Kicking, Punching, Trapping and Grappling), with techniques flowing smoothly between them. It is referred to as a "style without style" or "the art of fighting without fighting" as said by Bruce Lee himself. Unlike more traditional martial arts, Jeet Kune Do is not fixed or patterned, and is a philosophy with guiding thoughts. It was named for the concept of interception, or attacking your opponent while he is about to attack. However, the name Jeet Kune Do was often said by Bruce Lee to be just a name. He himself often referred to it as "The art of expressing the human body" in his writings and in interviews. Through his studies Bruce came to believe that styles had become too rigid, and unrealistic. He called martial art competitions of the day "Dry land swimming". He believed that combat was spontaneous, and that a martial artist cannot predict it, only react to it, and that a good martial artist should "Be like water" and move fluidly without hesitation.








LEE'S PHILOSOPHY



Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the name Bruce Lee gave to his combat system and philosophy. Originally, when Lee began researching various fighting styles, he gave his martial art his own name of Jan Fan Gung Fu. However not wanting to create another style that would share the limitations that all styles have, he instead described the process that he used to create it:"I have not invented a "new style," composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from "this" method or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see "ourselves". . . 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."

— Bruce Lee









MODERN JEET KUNE DO PHILOSOPHY



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 lifelong 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 used the sculptor's mentality of beginning with a lump of clay and hacking away at the "unessentials"; the end result was what he considered to be the bare combat essentials, or JKD. 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. He 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. He believed that these decisions should be done within the context of "real combat" and/or "all out sparring" and 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. He 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.


The following are principles that Bruce Lee incorporated into his Jeet Kune Do. He felt these were universal combat truths that were self-evident, and would lead to combat success if followed. Familiarity with each of the "Four ranges of combat", in particular, is thought to be instrumental in becoming a "total" martial artist.
JKD teaches that the best defense is a strong offense, hence the principle of an "intercepting fist". For a person to attack another hand-to-hand, the attacker must approach the target. This provides an opportunity for the attacked person to "intercept" the attacking movement. The principle of interception may be applied to more than intercepting physical attacks. Non-verbal cues (subtle movements that an opponent may be unaware of) may be perceived or "intercepted", and thus be used to one's advantage.
The "Five ways of attack", categories which help JKD practitioners organize their fighting repertoire, comprise the offensive teachings of JKD. The concepts of "Stop hits & stop kicks", and "Simultaneous parrying & punching", borrowed from épée fencing's and Wing Chun's concepts of single fluid motions which attack while defending, comprise the defensive teachings of JKD. These concepts were modified for unarmed combat and implemented into the JKD framework by Lee, to complement the principle of interception.








STRAIGHT LEAD



Bruce felt that the straight lead was the most integral part of Jeet Kune Do punching, “The leading straight punch is the backbone of all punching in Jeet Kune Do”. The straight lead is not a power strike but a strike built for speed. The straight lead should always be held loosely with a slight motion, this adds to its speed and makes it harder to see and block. The strike is not only the fastest punch in JKD, but also the most accurate. The speed is attributed to the fact that the fist is held out slightly making it closer to the target and its accuracy is gained from the punch being thrown straight forward from your centerline. The straight lead should be held and thrown loosely and easily tightening up only upon impact adding a snap to your punch. The straight lead punch can be thrown from multiple angles and levels. 1. High straight lead 2. Medium straight lead (to body) 3. Low straight lead 4. Slanting right 5. Slanting left 6. Double straight lead “Your leads hand should be like greased lightning and must never be held rigidly or motionless. Keep it slightly moving (without exaggeration) in a threatening manner, as it not only keeps your opponent on edge, but can also be delivered faster from motion than from immobility. Like a cobra, your strike should be felt before it is seen”.










NON- TELEGRAPHIC PUNCH



Bruce felt explosive attacks with no tell signs of intention were best. He displayed that the attacks should catch the opponent off guard, throwing them off balance, leaving the opponent unable to defend against further attacks. “The concept behind this is that you initiate your punch without any forewarning, such as tensing your shoulders or moving your foot or body, the opponent will not have enough time to react”.The key is that you must keep your body and arms loose, weaving your arms slightly only becoming tense upon impact. Bruce Lee wanted no wind up movements or “get ready poses” before any of your strikes were thrown. Bruce explains how that any twitches or slight movements before striking should be avoided as they will give the opponent signs or hints as to what you are planning and the they will be able to strike you first while you are preparing an attack. Non-telegraphic movement is an essential theory to Jeet Kune Do and Bruce felt it to be a must have in your fighting arsenal.











'BE LIKE WATER'



Bruce Lee realized that in every situation, whether in fighting or in everyday life scenarios, they are varied and one must remain fluid in order to obtain victory. Bruce firmly believed you must not be rigid in your mind or fighting method. Bruce felt that you need to be able to adapt to any situation that you may encounter and relates it to being like water, "Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. That water can flow, or it can crash. Be water my friend”. Bruce Lee’s theory behind this is rather simple, you must be able to function in any scenario you are thrown into and you should react accordingly. You should know when to speed up or slow down, when to expand and when to contract, when to remain flowing and when to crash. It is the awareness that both life and fighting can be shapeless and ever changing that allows one to be able to adapt to those changes instantaneously and bring forth the appropriate solution. Bruce didn’t believe in “styles” and felt that everyone and every situation is different, not everyone fits into a mold, we must remain flexible in order obtain new knowledge and victory in both life and combat. We must never become stagnant in the mind or method always evolving and moving towards improving ourselves.











ECONOMY OF MOTION



Jeet Kune Do seeks to waste no time or movement, teaching that the simplest things work best as in Wing Chun. Economy of motion is the principle by which JKD practitioners achieve:
Efficiency: An attack which reaches its target in the least amount of time, with maximum force.
Directness: Doing what comes naturally in a disciplined way.
Simplicity: Thinking in an uncomplicated manner; without ornamentation.
This is meant to help a practitioner conserve both energy and time; two crucial components in a physical confrontation. Maximized force seeks to end the battle quickly due to the amount of damage inflicted upon the opponent. Rapidity aims to reach the target before the opponent can react, which is half-beat faster timing, learned in Wing Chun and Western boxing.Learned techniques are utilized in JKD to apply these principles to a variety of situations.











STOP HITS AND STOP KICKS



"When the distance is wide, the attacking opponent requires some sort of preparation. Therefore, attack him on his preparation of attack." "To reach me, you must move to me. Your attack offers me an opportunity to intercept you." This means intercepting an opponent's attack with an attack of your own instead of a simple block. It is for this concept Jeet Kune Do is named. JKD practitioners believe that this is the most difficult defensive skill to develop. This strategy is a feature of some traditional Chinese martial arts as wing chun, as well as an essential component of European épée fencing. Stop hits & kicks utilize the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into one movement thus minimizing the "time" element.











SIMULTANEOUS PARRYING AND PUNCHING



When confronting an incoming attack, the attack is parried or deflected and a counterattack is delivered at the same time. Not as advanced as a stop hit but more effective than blocking and counterattacking in sequence. This is practiced by some Chinese martial arts as wing chun etc., it is also known in Krav Maga as "bursting". Simultaneous parrying & punching utilizes the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into one movement thus minimizing the "time" element and maximizing the "energy" element. Efficiency is gained by utilizing a parry rather than a block. By definition a "block" stops an attack whereas a parry merely re-directs an attack. Redirection has two advantages: It requires less energy to execute; it utilizes the opponents energy against them by creating an imbalance. Efficiency is gained in that the opponent has less time to react to the nullification of their attack while having to worry about defending an incoming attack.











LOW KICKS



JKD practitioners believe they should target their kicks to their opponent's shins, knees, thighs, and midsection like in wing chun. 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. Maintaining low kicks utilizes the principle of economy of motion by reducing the distance a kick must travel thus minimizing the "time" element.








FOUR 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 arts 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. As a historical note, the ranges in JKD have evolved over time. Initially the ranges were categorized as short or close, medium, and long range. These terms proved ambiguous and eventually evolved into their more descriptive forms although there may still be others who prefer the three categories.










FIVE WAYS OF ATTACK



. Simple Angle attack (S.A.A): The simple angle attack is the use of any “Simple Attack”, an attack that has direct line of fire that is exploited by faking or beating an opponent to the punch, from an unexpected angle. The S.A.A can be set up by either feinting or readjusting the distance with footwork.

. Immobilization Attack (I.A): The immobilization attack is the effective use of “Trapping”. Trapping is a method of attack that results in the holding down of an opponent’s hand or leg providing a safe route of attack. The trapping prevents the opponent from moving the body parts needed for defense, leaving them “trapped” and their body or face open for multiple strikes.

Progressive Indirect Attack (P.I.A): The progressive indirect attack is similar to a “simple attack” except there is not a committed fake or feint. The P.I.A is an uncommitted thrust motion that forces your opponent to move in defense as you exploit the predetermined open area.

. Attack by Combination (A.B.C) Attack by combination is a series of punches and or kicks that follows a particular sequence to create openings or “Setups” in your opponent’s defense. The “setup” is created by the series of punches and or kicks maneuvering the opponent into a position to receive a knockout blow.

. Attack by Drawing (A.B.D) The attack by draw method is executed when you are able to make your opponent believe there is an opening or weak spot in your defense. When your opponent tries to attack this area he creates his own opening or weak point and you attack that area, completely catching them off guard.











CENTERLINE



An animation of mechanical linkage to the shoulders of the triangle illustrates the importance of guarding the centerline.
The centerline is an imaginary line drawn vertically along the center of a standing human body, and refers to the space directly in front of that body. If we draw an isosceles triangle on the floor, for which our body forms the base, and our arms form the equal legs of the triangle, then h (height of the triangle) is that same centerline. The Wing Chun concept is to exploit, control and dominate an opponent's centerline. All attacks, defenses, and footwork are designed to guard your own centerline while entering your opponent's centerline space. Lee incorporated this theory into JKD from his sifu Yip Man's Wing Chun.

The three guidelines for centerline are:

The one who controls the centerline will control the fight.

Protect and maintain your own centerline while you control and exploit your opponent's.

Control the centerline by occupying it.

This notion is closely related to maintaining control of the center squares in the strategic game chess. The concept is obviously present in xiangqi (Chinese chess), where an "X" is drawn on the game board, in front of both players' general and advisors.










COMBAT REALISM



One of the premises that Bruce Lee incorporated in Jeet Kune Do was "combat realism". He insisted that martial arts techniques should be incorporated based upon their effectiveness in real combat situations. This would differentiate JKD from other systems where there was an emphasis on "flowery technique" as Lee would put it. Lee claimed that flashy "flowery techniques" would arguably "look good" but were often not practical or prove ineffective in street survival and self-defense situations. This premise would differentiate JKD from other "sport" oriented martial arts systems that were geared towards "tournament" or "point systems". Lee felt that these systems were "artificial" and fooled its practitioners into a false sense of true martial skill. Lee felt that because these systems favored a "sports" approach they incorporated too many rule sets that would ultimately handicap a practitioner in self-defense situations. He felt that this approach to martial arts became a "game of tag" which would lead to bad habits such as pulling punches and other attacks; this would again lead to disastrous consequences in real world situations. Another aspect of realistic martial arts training fundamental to JKD is what Lee referred to as "aliveness". This is the concept of training techniques with an unwilling assistant who offers resistance. Bruce Lee made a reference to this concept in his famous quote "Boards don't hit back!"Because of this perspective of realism and aliveness, Lee utilized safety gear from various other contact sports to allow him to spar with opponents "full out". This approach to training allowed practitioners to come as close as possible to real combat situations with a high degree of safety.
Donn Draeger, world renowned martial arts pioneer, was the first Westerner to bring widespread attention to the often cited “-do” versus “-jutsu” controversy. Historically the "do" or way arts were based on the "jutsu" or technique arts without what was deemed "dangerous techniques". The "do" arts such as Judo were thus seen as a "watered down" version of their "jutsu" counterparts such as jujutsu, a combat-tested martial art, and thus considered a sport. Lee objected to these "sport" versions of martial arts and instead emphasized combat realism.










ABSORBING WHAT IS USEFUL



This is the idea that a martial artist can only learn techniques in their proper context, through a holistic approach. Styles provide more than just techniques: They offer training methods, theories, and mental attitudes. Learning these factors allows a student to experience a system in what Lee called its "totality". Only through learning a system completely will an artist be able to, "absorb what is useful," and discard the remainder. Real combat training situations allow the student to learn what works, and what doesn't. The critical point of this principle is that the choice of what to keep is based on personal experimentation with various opponents over time. It is not based on how a technique may look or feel, or how precisely the artist can mimic tradition. In the final analysis, if the technique is not beneficial in combat, it is discarded. Lee believed that only the individual could come to understand what worked; based on critical self-analysis, and by, "honestly expressing oneself, without lying to oneself."

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JAN FAN GUNG FU / JEET KUNE DO

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Martial Arts

EXTREME THAI BOXING ACADEMY

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