Do I need to train in one art before learning JKD?


White Belt
May 8, 2007
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I am currently considering a class in JKD with an instructor that claims to be a student on Greg Nelson. They do JKD concepts and Kali plus Muay Thai and lots of grappling classes too. I had been alot of research into what MA to take and what I feel would be suitable and effective to my needs. I previous studied TKD but I was much younger at the tender age of 10/11yrs so much of that is forgotten. I have also taken classes in Eagle Claw (to a very limited degree may I add) and yang style tai chi (again limited degree. I don't even remember the whole form). Here is an excerpt I have taken from another website which I have difficulty understanding. It seems as if the sifu is saying you must be some what based in one art before attempted to do JKD so that you can express that art with JKD.

[FONT=&quot]Eric says "any other martial art which compliments the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot] style". This sentence alone shows a lack of understanding of "absorbing what is useful", and I have seen that statement used by many of the "original" schools, and the "Kali/[/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot]" schools, so I don't really blame Eric. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot], being an art, will be expressed differently by different people, as I have stated and explained many times above, and which is repeated below again by Eric. Since this is true, then these other styles being brought into the school would compliment the INDIVIDUAL's "style". The style does NOT compliment [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot] itself, because as was said earlier in a quote from the Tao, "Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot] has no style, it can fit with all styles. As a result, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot] utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve it's end." [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot] is all of the styles, yet it is none of them because it applies it's specific "unhindering" guidances and theories to them, and does not limit you by choosing one style's way as the main "way". [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Many of the schools use a style as a base (Such as Kali in the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot]/Kali schools, or Bruce's "way" in many of the "original" schools). In this way, they are choosing that system as the "way" and look at it as "this is the base, and everything else compliments it", as was shown by the Eric's example. And many times they think "Ok, I'm going to use a Kali [/FONT][FONT=&quot]technique[/FONT][FONT=&quot] here, a Ju-jitsu one here, and a Wing Chun one here." [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot] is on a much higher level than this. By using a specific style as a base to begin with you are directly in conflict with one of the main theories of [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. A style of no style. If on the other hand you were to say "My expression of [/FONT][FONT=&quot]JKD[/FONT][FONT=&quot] includes techniques and strategies from Kali, Aikido, and Wing Chun, because they work for me", then you have expressed your personal "style of no style". Likewise, these are no longer techniques and strategies to be defined by what style they are from. They are techniques and strategies in YOUR style, because they have been expressed in YOUR WAY. You are no longer expressing the techniques the same way an Aikidoka or Kali person would in his/her given style. Hence, the techniques should "flow" forth in the form of YOUR style, rather than saying "an aikido [/FONT][FONT=&quot]technique[/FONT][FONT=&quot] here, and a kali here, etc".

There was even a part that was taken about Kareem which is one of bruce's students that was already an akidoka and that he only expressed JKD through the art he already knew.

Thanks and I look forward to this discussion with you guys


Senior Master
Nov 18, 2005
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In a word, no. JKD isn't a graduate program that assumes you already have a degree. That's what the beginners' classes are for.

If the guy "claims to be" one of Greg's students it's easy enough to verify. Call the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy and ask.