Did Bruce get it right?

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by DanT, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. DanT

    DanT Black Belt

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    There's been a lot of talk on the Wing Chun side of this forum about ways of fixing Wing Chun. It led me to the question of "Did Bruce get it right?" A while back, I posted some suggestions as a practitioner of Wing Chun and JKD myself, critiquing Wing Chun and finding ways to improve the system. This was met with almost no dissent, and I think I got about 10 likes when I posted the following observations:

    - Lack of mobile footwork
    - Lack of head movement
    - Lack of body strength
    - Lack of overall body conditioning
    - Lack of takedown defence
    - Lack of ground fighting ability
    - Lack of punching power
    - Lack of diversity of attacks
    - Lack of positional skills
    - Lack of fluidity

    So the question is, "Did Bruce get it right?" Did his JKD address these issues? Is JKD the "combat adjusted" version of Wing Chun that we've been talking about? Did Bruce see the same thing I see when I look at 95% of Wing Chun? As a practitioner of both JKD and Wing Chun, I personally feel that JKD essentially is a more effective version of Wing Chun. The Wing Chun that I've been taught has been adjusted to the point where it is almost identical to the JKD that I learned. What do you guys think?
     
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  2. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    I would say yes and no.

    Yes because what Bruce actually talked about was just that,adapting to your own body style, conditioning, testing everything rigorously and discarding what doesn't work, etc.

    No because JKD became a sort of Bruce Lee impersonators club after he died, and has become many of the things Bruce spoke out against, with the idea seeming to be move like Bruce did.

    Which is fine if you happen to be 130 pounds and 5 foot six.
     
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  3. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    He didn't compete. And should have.
     
  4. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Bruce Lee did not complete this task.
     
  5. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    From what I read about him I’d say he did get it right.
     
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  6. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    Depends on which version of JKD you are referring to! The version he was doing close to his death was a very "stripped down" to the essentials version with very little Wing Chun left in it. It was essentially a very direct kickboxing method. At least according to Ted Wong! Bruce Lee was so physically gifted that he could generate power in short movements and was very fast. Others not so gifted may need more "classic" boxing mechanics.....more "classic" boxing combos to set things up, etc. JKD started out as Bruce Lee's expression of the Wing Chun he had learned. Then he blended in more and more kickboxing and it became his own version of "Wing Chun Boxing/Kickboxing." And then the Wing Chun element became less and less emphasized until it really was his own version of fast and efficient kickboxing.

    So when I do my "Wing Chun Boxing", someone watching might very well think I was doing JKD. Some guys emphasize the Wing Chun element of their JKD more than others. But I do think Bruce Lee "got it right." Does that mean we should all be switching to JKD? Does that mean that those of us doing a version of "Wing Chun Boxing" are just doing a version of JKD? Those are good question! ;)
     
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  7. DanT

    DanT Black Belt

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    Do you want to expand on that? I heard he had some Judo training with Gene LeBelle, I wonder how extensive it was.
     
  8. obi_juan_salami

    obi_juan_salami Orange Belt

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    The wing chun style i practice and learned/learn from my teachers has all the the things mentioned above in the OP aside from ground fighting. Granted these attributes can be difficult to obtain and take a level of dedication and hard work. But its all there.
     
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  9. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Until the day that Bruce Lee passed away, I have not heard him ever mentioned about any valid "take down defense" strategy.

    What should "take down defense" strategy include? You can write a book about it.
     
  10. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Which lineage/style is that?
     
  11. obi_juan_salami

    obi_juan_salami Orange Belt

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    Guangzhou wing chun
     
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  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Do you have any clip for that? Thanks in advance.
     
  13. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Why? His style wasn't about competing in point matches or kickboxing matches it was about self defence. That's why he started martial arts in the first place to defend himself. He trained so hard in the states because he saw Americans were so much bigger than him so he knew in a street fight he'd fight guys bigger than him not just his weight class. Everything he did was for self defence so why limit himself to rules.
     
  14. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    JKD was never meant to be a commercial style it was meant to be Bruce lees personal style that he used for himself. That's why he taught not to get people good at martial arts but so he could have training partners and learn how to deal with them. That's why he worked with champions so he could spar with them and learn from them. JKD should be different to every practitioner so if your JKD doesn't have those things that's on you
     
  15. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    I think Bruce did what a lot of Martial Artist today simply won't do, acknowledge the limitations of the style they train. I heard Bruce didn't complete his Wing Chun training, more so he didn't learn all the Dummy sets. Do you have any information on this? Regardless, Bruce made a system that worked for him and he studied martial arts with dedication and commitment. I find very little to no fault in his method or result.
     
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  16. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    I don't think anyone has a problem with lee not learning all wing Chun and making his own style. Peoples problem is he didn't know the full system but was still teaching wing Chun and calling himself a sifu that's what the issue was
     
  17. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    Well he taught Jun Fan Gung Fu, his own style heavily influenced by Wing Chun. That's different than calling himself a Wing Chun Sifu
     
  18. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    It wasn't heavily influenced...it WAS wing Chun he just put his own name on it. Taky kimura and James demile have both said in interviews it was wing Chun they were learning and they were some of his first students and back then lee didn't know any other styles so it was all wing Chun and only later did he start adding boxing and other stuff
     
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  19. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    What I took away from him was he acknowledged the limitations of any system and was in favor of blending. That’s a big plus.
     
  20. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    But he didn't really do much self defence. So it was training wasted.
     

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