Dan Inosanto said


Jul 31, 2003
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If you are assuming that Dans statement was within the context of JKD philosophy than I would agree. And that's likely what he meant. But that's not what the quote says on its face. I hesitate to assume I know what someone "means" until they explicitly state it.

That's the "thing" with quotations. Are we discussing Dan? Are we discussing JKD or are we discussing martial philosophy (its the man not the art)? I don't really are about the first two.

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Master of Arts
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Sep 29, 2010
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What do you mean by "philosophical"? I see it as an expression of a philosophical ideal, but the expression here isn't something I'd classify as a philosophical statement… rather an expression of what is felt to be a pragmatic one.

A man does not excel because of his style. It's only when a man can go outside the bounds set by his system that he can excel. If a marital artist can practice a style without being bound and limited to his particular school, then and only then can he be liberated to fission with any type of opponent. A great majority of instructors, however, blind their practitioners and brainwash them into believing only their school of training is best
- Dan Inosanto, 1972

It's written in a philosophical way (reasoned, wise, learned), he may have a pragmatic message within, the reader to draw their own opinion. Similar to how most in this thread have interpreted it in different ways. (eg. student and teacher will be challenged by the words in different ways)
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Jan 8, 2006
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North American Tectonic Plate
The entire article

Martial Arts Styles: Liberating or Constraining?

Mr. Inosanto has forgotten more about martial arts than I'll ever know and, one of the ways Mr. Inosanto amassed his wealth of knowledge came through a tirelessly humble pursuit of new knowledge. I've heard stories of him going to the Philippines and training as a beginner, spending months just doing footwork drills before ever picking up a stick, and doing so after he already held Guro rank in a dozen Filipino systems. I don't know many people that humble. Actually, I'm not sure I know any.