JKD principle I thought I understood...but actually didn't

Discussion in 'JKD / Jeet Kune Do' started by Xue Sheng, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    I trained a little JKD, on the "original concept" side of the fence. The guy I trained with was a student of Jerry Poteet. I am far from a JKD man and all I really know is basics, and due to age and injuries aI doubt I will get back to train it again, but I have heard this phrase applied to JKD for a long time

    "Longest Weapon to the Closest Target"

    Which I thought I understood.... well I didn't. I was watching an old video of Jerry Poteet teaching basics and the "Longest Weapon to the Closest Target" phrase showed up and much to my surprise he was hitting the other persons hand (the closet target) with his lead (the longest weapon). Up until that moment I was thinking body and head shots.... "Longest Weapon to the Closest Target" makes a lot more since now.

    Just wanted to share my stupidity and the little moment of enlightenment I got from late Jerry Poteet
     
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  2. The Great Gigsy

    The Great Gigsy Orange Belt

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    @Xue Sheng, I wouldn't necessarily say your line of thinking about head or stomach being the closest is wrong. As I have not seen the video too which you refer Jerry Pottet may have been speaking for that particular moment such as head to trap or parry an attack.
     
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  3. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    It was JKD basics and he was actually hitting the other person in the hand. Demonstrating using the longest weapon to hit the closest target.
     
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  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Defang the snake?
     
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  5. The Great Gigsy

    The Great Gigsy Orange Belt

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    @Xue Sheng, I will have to take a look at that. I found some some videos of Sifu Pottet on YouTube, good stuff.
     
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  6. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    No, it was wrong. The hand is a target, in some States, :)
     
  7. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Advice, keep those targets closer to your vital targets.
     
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  8. The Great Gigsy

    The Great Gigsy Orange Belt

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    I agree that the hand can be the closest target, such as an instance when you trap or parry using the lead side. But the premise of longest weapon for the closest target goes beyond targeting the hand of an opponent. For example a snap kick to the jimmy johns, I'm using my lead side which provides the longest reach while still providing me with the best protection. In my understanding this is the point within the logic behind the longest weapon for the closest target.
     
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    He was also kicking the lead leg of the opponent with his lead leg. Now that I thought of before, it was just I never even considered the hands as a target in the whole "Longest Weapon to the Closest Target philosophy
     
  10. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, yeah, the concept could still apply to desirable targets, But you gotta chain up to them, which brings us back to what ever they foolishly stick out there to be hit.
     
  11. Thunder Foot

    Thunder Foot Purple Belt

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    I've seen the video you're talking about Xue. The cool thing about the principles is once you know them, you can interpret them for yourself, as Poteet demo'd. And while the attacking the hand may be one interpretation of this principle, the question then becomes what is the most economical way to express not only this principle, but also the sum of the others in such a movement.

    Another adjacent principle is 'strongest weapon weakest target'.
     
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  12. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is what I like about JKD, if one can get past the politics of it, it crosses over so well to other arts. My short time in JKD taught me a lot about Xingyiquan. However I did not see a lot in relation to Taijiquan, until the Poteet video. Gave me a lot to think about as it applies to apps in Taijiquan, the attacking the nearest target and the 'strongest weapon weakest target' applies as well. but for some reason in taijiquan this is leading me to think qinna
     
  13. NYFIGHTSOURCE

    NYFIGHTSOURCE Yellow Belt

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    Old post.... but I will add to it. The principle of "Longest Weapon To The Closest Target"
    Also remember economy of motion and simplicity.
    And also what is intended behind the longest weapon to the closest target?

    Here is what I have learned and personal reflections.
    Lets take the hand as the target first. Yes... The hand may be the closest target. So you deal with the hand. That's what is close to you.
    But then why does JKD have split entries where the hands are split and the target is the head, eyes, body.???
    And the term defang the snake is in FMA a lot. Which is usually dealt with blades and sticks. Why come in a deadly range of the weapon to hit the opponent. Take the weapon out first. Defang the snake. Then move one.

    Longest Weapon to the Closest Target is really about keeping proper fighting measure. Be on the brim of fire. If you have the longer limbs... then be on the brim of fire where your opponent can not hit you... but you can hit him. Or if you have shorter limbs.... be just outside his range so that you can quickly close.
    So when doing this... what weapon gets there first....your longest tool. Your Leg usually. In a generic fighting stance.... meaning JKD, TKD, BOXING etc... what is usually the closest to you....? Their leg. Usually. So most of the time this means kick their lead leg with your lead leg. Economy of motion.... simple. Don't use your rear leg against their lead. Take more time and effort.


    Keeping good fighting measure is a result of good foot work. Hence why Bruce use to make his students work foot work over and over again. "Control the distance.... Control the fight"
    Hit from the outside.... and if you want to close after that then you have your wing chun skills that come into play inside.

    So when I read the "Longest Weapon to the Closest Target" This is what goes through my mind. Brim of fire... distance where I can hit and not be hit. My longest weapon will keep me where I want to be.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sounds like it.
     
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  15. marques

    marques 3rd Black Belt

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    I never did JKD, but use it as a safe setup starting or for checking opponent reactions. Never thought of the hands as targets, perhaps because my opponents wear gloves...

    But after the JKD principles, in which context "Longest Weapon to the Closest Target" is to be applied? Not all the time, I suppose.
     
  16. NYFIGHTSOURCE

    NYFIGHTSOURCE Yellow Belt

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    Well in glove arts.... you can use as distractions... jerk the glove hand down to clear the line.... or simply as a draw/ distraction for a leg kick. But there are bare handed arts that use destructions against the bare hand. So they are attacking the hand.

    Do you apply the principle alll the time? Is that. The question? It depends on the situation. You train to take the fastest target and the quickest and fastest way to end the fight.
     
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  17. marques

    marques 3rd Black Belt

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    So you use that principle to end the fight. That is the answer to my question. I never saw it as a fight ending.
    What are the other principles in JKD?
     
  18. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I like the brim of fire idea...control the distance, control the fight. However, sometimes that is taken away from you. Think about it: you are at the bar getting a drink. You turn away from the bartender to find some ogre in your face because he thinks you were looking at his girlfriend earlier or something stupid. In that case, one of Bruce's other theories comes into play: control the CENTERLINE, control the fight.
     
  19. NYFIGHTSOURCE

    NYFIGHTSOURCE Yellow Belt

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    Yes... There are always best cases and worst case. Best case you control the distance. And even with that distance you still control the centerline. And if you can't control distance cause you back is against the wall table..... absolutely agree with you.

    Hey... best way to control the distance.... stay out of bars with ogres. :)
     
  20. marques

    marques 3rd Black Belt

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    JKD and WC focus a lot on the centre line. How do you deal with lateral lines (circular techniques)? What about lateral targets (liver, rate, ribs, legs...)?
    Most of my (power) techniques are circular...
     

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