JKD instructors

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white dragon

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In another post I read that Bruce only certified 3 people in JKD, was this so they could teach it? If so then only the people certified by them could teach it, right?
In which case is there anyway to trace back all the people qualified to teach JKD?
 
Originally posted by white dragon
In another post I read that Bruce only certified 3 people in JKD, was this so they could teach it? If so then only the people certified by them could teach it, right?
In which case is there anyway to trace back all the people qualified to teach JKD?

In his lifetime, Bruce Lee only certified three people to teach for him: Taky Kimura, James Lee (deceased - no relation), and Dan Inosanto. Theoretically, anyone claiming to teach JKD has to be able to trace their lineage back to one of these three men. From what I recall, James Lee never certified anyone to teach before his death. Having said that, then any one claiming to be a certified JKD instructor should be able to trace their lineage to Dan Inosanto or Taky Kimura. Example (and I hope he doesn't mind): IFAJKD (a MartialTalk board member) is a certified JKD instructor under Paul Vunak, who in turn is certified under Dan Inosanto.

If someone is claiming JKD certification, they should have no qualms about you asking for proof. If someone claims certification under Inosanto, I think it's a simple matter of calling up the Inosanto Academy to verify this.

One thing you'd need to watch for are 'seminar instructors'...people who attended one JKD seminar or another and have magically become certified to teach JKD. It isn't so bad if they say up front that they're just sharing what they learned at a JKD seminar, just so long as they aren't claiming to be certified instructors.

But, we've covered this a few times already.

Cthulhu
 
It's rare that I have time to post these days. Busy opening a new school yada yada yada. Cthulhu is right on. He has a great understanding of JKD history. Please inquire about any Instructor that claims JKD. There is also the entire issue of concepts vs original jkd crap. (issue is crap not the OJKD) Bruce had seen the future in many ways as to what would happen over JKD. It is so much a way of looking at martial arts as well as a way of training in them. You cannot have one without the other. JKD Instructors personal understanding of these concepts and how to train them varries tremendously. Attributes vs technique....FMA for sensitivity and combative training, OJKD for concepts as well as technique, Identification of additional attributes that make a well rounded fighter. All of these things are training enhancers if the Instructor understands them. I am in such a hurry that I have not done this justice, sorry. but safe to say when in doubt. Ask Cthuy
 
Thanks for the words of advice and enducated insight! As for Cthulhu I think he has an great understanding of more than just JKD, by reading the board! :)

Is there a website of something that exisits that can show all those who were certified under Bruce Lee and who those students then trained to instructor level? Could help stop those claiming to be instructors damaging the reputation of JKD... as seems to happen in TKD (reading the boards). Maybe setting one up now before it becomes too hard to trace back would be a good idea....?
 
Inosanto.com is planning on having a page for this, but it's not up yet. If you have any questions about instructors, try the forums over there, they are also extremely friendly and willing to help.
 
now you see, that's why I like this place so much, you ask a question, and you get a good answer. :) thanks!
 
Originally posted by white dragon

Thanks for the words of advice and enducated insight! As for Cthulhu I think he has an great understanding of more than just JKD, by reading the board! :)

Is there a website of something that exisits that can show all those who were certified under Bruce Lee and who those students then trained to instructor level? Could help stop those claiming to be instructors damaging the reputation of JKD... as seems to happen in TKD (reading the boards). Maybe setting one up now before it becomes too hard to trace back would be a good idea....?

I'm just a hack :)

As for those who got certified in JKD directly by Bruce Lee, there are only three:

1) Taky Kimura
2) James Lee (no relation; deceased)
3) Dan Inosanto

As I've said many times before, anyone claiming certification in JKD has to be able to trace their lineage to one of these three men. Actually, probably two, since I'm pretty sure James Lee never promoted anyone to instructor level before he passed away in the early 70's. Taky Kimura typically only has a few students. Dan Inosanto has certified quite a few people. However, you have to watch it with people claiming certification under Inosanto. There are many many people who attend one or two Inosanto seminars and use the seminar certificates to promote themselves as JKD instructors. However, it's really easy to verify their claims. Just get in touch with the Inosanto Academy. They'll be more than glad to tell you if someone is a legitimate instructor under Inosanto or not.

Paul Vunak, an instructor certified by Dan Inosanto, has what looks like a fairly comprehensive list of people he's certified at http://fighting.net/instructors.html. Our very own IFAJKD is one of them!

Hopefully, the Inosanto Academy Website will be even more comprehensive with its instructor 'family tree'.

Good luck!

Cthulhu
 
IFAJKD,

Is there a primary governing body overseeing JKD instructors in the USA ? Have you ever heard of a gentleman named Fred Thompson? He would hail from the greater Cleveland area of Ohio. He is a former kenpo practioner. From the Tracy branch of the tree. Just curious, no beef or anything.


Salute in Christ,
Donald:asian:
 
Donald:
Actually there isn't right now. Guru Dan Inosanto had begun an orginazation but it didn't really take off or he thought better of it. Linda Lee had begun the JFGFN which is basically for all the OJKD people and refers to JKD as JunFan Jeet Kune Do. Again. Not too successful at this point. I have not heard of Fred Thompson but that doesn't mean anything.
J
 
Hello all,

This thread is full of potential political landmines so I'll try to step carefully. :asian: First let me say that I agree with the assertion that the "original concepts" issue is crap. I will not say that someone isn't doing "real" JKD just because they are doing JKD concepts. However I also respectfully, but adamantly disagree with the assertion that if an instructor can "trace his roots" to Dan Inosanto via certification that he is not a "true" JKD teacher. I disagree with that assertion for several reasons. For one Bruce Lee himself was never certified in anything. What made him great was what he could do, not because someone gave him a piece of paper. Also just because James Lee never bothered certifying anyone doesn't mean that the guys under him weren't any good. I also think that one of the reasons Bruce closed his school what to try to avoid all of the political infighting. Bruce wasn't about "senority" as much as he was about "ability". It's interesting to note that in a phone conversation with Daniel Lee he told him he should help Dan Inosanto in selecting students, even though Dan Inosanto was certified by Bruce and Dan Lee wasn't.

Something else that I agree with is that you should beware of someone that's just had one seminar and is now all of a sudden a teacher. But this type of problem doesn't just come from the seminar attendees, sometimes it originates fromt he seminar facilitators. An example, I currently have one student (whom I teach for free) who had attended a seminar by someone who is "able to trace his lineage" to Dan Inosanto. At the end of the seminar my friend was told "Now go out and teach". My friend replied "Go out at teach what?" To this faciltators credit he did offer to refund my friend's money. But he still has him listed as an assistant instructor under him. Using the "trace your lineage" criteria he should be teaching me since I'm not certified under someone certified under Taky Kimura, James Lee or Dan Inosanto. But by his own admission I'm better at JKD than he is.

Someone raised a question on another forum "JKD - can do you as the name implies." In other words, can you intercept someone's attack and shut him down as quickly as possible? If you can do that and teach others to do the same, then in my book you are doing JKD whether or not you incoporate FMA, Silat or grappling, whether or not you "trace your lineage" back to this person or that person ect. I'm sure some will disagree with me on that, but that's my point of view.

Regards,

John M. Drake
 
By that thought then, if you do learn techniques that allow you to "intercept someone's attack and shut him down as quickly as possible" then you are studying JKD? In this case then a large part of my training in TKD is actually JKD. Now that sounds a little stupid and like I'm trying to pick a fight, but I'm really not! It's just that if you're going to stream in people to teach JKD that haven't studied under someone that has spent a long time in it then surely it's going to discredit the art? Look at how TKD has had its reputation damaged by allowing that to happen. I think by even giving JKD a name then it's forcing it to be something that it wasn't intended to be, a system with limits on what you can and can't do. If you don't have a qualification to teach in JKD then you could introduce what ever you wanted into it that other instructors would completely disagree with. For example, the use of high kicks.

Arrrgh, I hate having to type my thoughts out because I start off wanting to make a really good point, and by the time I get to it I tend to have forgotten what the exact point was. But basically I think that if you don't have instructors that have achieved a certain level and can back it up with a certificate then you'll eventually end up with people who don't have a clue what they're doing starting up thir own clubs teaching people worthless techniques. A standard should be there. And if people are claiming to teach Bruce Lee's JKD then they should be able to trace their knowledge back to him. The same way if I was going to advertise that I taught Master Cho TKd, I should be able to show that there's a clear link between him and myself.
 
Hello White Dragon,

I think you've missed the point on a couple of counts. While I'm not out to knock TKD, the last time I looked at it, it had little, if any, interception techniques. It's more "block and counter" than "bridge hit" or "stop hit". Also I'm not saying that its not important to study with someone who's trained in JKD. I'm saying Inosanto lineage is not important. If you take the twin arguments of "instructor must have Inosanto lineage" and "instructor can teach anything from any art as long as he can say he's applying JKD 'concepts'" then you are at PRECISELY the situation that you claim to be arguing against. I'm personally more interested in what someone teaches than what their "pedigree" is. If I'm concerned about someone tracing their "lineage" back then can they trace it back to Bruce Lee? I would rather study under Bob Bremer or Jesse Glover (both who studied under Bruce but were never certified) than studying under someone who has a certificate from someone who has a certificate from Dan Inosanto but freely admits that he doesn't know what he is doing. But hey, you've got to do what's good for you.

Regards,

John M. Drake

Originally posted by white dragon

By that thought then, if you do learn techniques that allow you to "intercept someone's attack and shut him down as quickly as possible" then you are studying JKD? In this case then a large part of my training in TKD is actually JKD. Now that sounds a little stupid and like I'm trying to pick a fight, but I'm really not! It's just that if you're going to stream in people to teach JKD that haven't studied under someone that has spent a long time in it then surely it's going to discredit the art? Look at how TKD has had its reputation damaged by allowing that to happen. I think by even giving JKD a name then it's forcing it to be something that it wasn't intended to be, a system with limits on what you can and can't do. If you don't have a qualification to teach in JKD then you could introduce what ever you wanted into it that other instructors would completely disagree with. For example, the use of high kicks.

Arrrgh, I hate having to type my thoughts out because I start off wanting to make a really good point, and by the time I get to it I tend to have forgotten what the exact point was. But basically I think that if you don't have instructors that have achieved a certain level and can back it up with a certificate then you'll eventually end up with people who don't have a clue what they're doing starting up thir own clubs teaching people worthless techniques. A standard should be there. And if people are claiming to teach Bruce Lee's JKD then they should be able to trace their knowledge back to him. The same way if I was going to advertise that I taught Master Cho TKd, I should be able to show that there's a clear link between him and myself.
 
OK before we all get our wires crossed, the reason I asked my original question was because I trained in JKD for about 6 months at a particular. The instructor holds no qualification, but still teaches and charges his students. During my time there I was taught nothing that would really be any use to me. The class included sessions of full contact fighting, which was a big draw for me. However I found after only starting martial arts for just over a year I could easily beat students of his that had trained under him for almost 4 years. This isn't me just blowing my own trumpet, this really worried me as there are guys in my TKD class that could kill me before I could get my hands up, (not that they would ever be down you understand! :) I'm in no way saying this is true of every JKD school and I have no idea if it is, although I assume and want to believe it's a rare exception. However it worries me that people can claim to know JKD and teach people techniques that either aren't practicle or they don't know how to apply the techniques they know. I was also shocked to hear when I did a jump spin side kick that I shouldn't do that as "it wasn't JKD", despite sending my opponent sprawling across the class. This is why I'd like to know if there's a way of checking instructors backgrounds in clubs, to insure they know what they're teaching.

I'm in NO WAY saying that just because someone didn't train under Bruce Lee or one of his direct pupils that what they're doing is in anyway wrong, but I can't help but feel that if JKD keeps letting people with no proof of qualification teach, hold seminars etc then the art is going to get a very bad reputation in the near future, and that would indeed be a very sad thing.
 
Hello White Dragon,

First let me say that I understand your frustration. I trained for about 6 months under a fraud also and all I learned were some warm up excercises and a few punches and kicks. :mad: I guess my main two points are this. 1) There are other students of Bruce Lee's besides the 3 you named that have a lot to offer and 2) even with a certificate that can be traced back to one of the 3 you named there is no guarantee that the instructor actually knows anything. The problem is that there is no real overarching quality control in the JKD world. Other arts have tournaments, review boards, ect. It's probably fair to say that someone who is fully certified under Dan Inosanto knows his stuff. But some of Dan's students have started their own organizations. Are the people who get full instructorship under them reviewed by Sifu Inosanto? If one of these instructors starts his own organization are the instructors he certifies reviewed? Probably the only way to know for sure if someone knows there stuff is to observe a class. Unfortunately sometimes it takes longer to figure out that the instructor has little to offer.

Regards,

John M. Drake

Originally posted by white dragon

OK before we all get our wires crossed, the reason I asked my original question was because I trained in JKD for about 6 months at a particular. The instructor holds no qualification, but still teaches and charges his students. During my time there I was taught nothing that would really be any use to me. The class included sessions of full contact fighting, which was a big draw for me. However I found after only starting martial arts for just over a year I could easily beat students of his that had trained under him for almost 4 years. This isn't me just blowing my own trumpet, this really worried me as there are guys in my TKD class that could kill me before I could get my hands up, (not that they would ever be down you understand! :) I'm in no way saying this is true of every JKD school and I have no idea if it is, although I assume and want to believe it's a rare exception. However it worries me that people can claim to know JKD and teach people techniques that either aren't practicle or they don't know how to apply the techniques they know. I was also shocked to hear when I did a jump spin side kick that I shouldn't do that as "it wasn't JKD", despite sending my opponent sprawling across the class. This is why I'd like to know if there's a way of checking instructors backgrounds in clubs, to insure they know what they're teaching.

I'm in NO WAY saying that just because someone didn't train under Bruce Lee or one of his direct pupils that what they're doing is in anyway wrong, but I can't help but feel that if JKD keeps letting people with no proof of qualification teach, hold seminars etc then the art is going to get a very bad reputation in the near future, and that would indeed be a very sad thing.
 
Always land mines to steer clear of huh.
The point of Bruce not paying much attention to seinority isn't quite true. First Bruce valued tradition very much and even told Dan that regardles of his level of skill he needed to remember that Taky was still his seinor. This being the case Taky still holds a higher rank than Dan not because of skill, but seinority. Next: Bruce closed his school, not because of any politics regarding infighting but because of people coming in mistaking his methods as the way. He never believed in large classes and in truth believed martial arts could really only be taught privately or semi privately. Most small classes.

For one Bruce Lee himself was never certified in anything. What made him great was what he could do, not because someone gave him a piece of paper. Also just because James Lee never bothered certifying anyone doesn't mean that the guys under him weren't any good. I also think that one of the reasons Bruce closed his school what to try to avoid all of the political infighting. Bruce wasn't about "senority" as much as he was about "ability".

JKD is much more than intercepts as well. I know of only one Instructor certifying others after one seminar and this should be put into perspective. He does not certify them to teach anything but what they got in the seminar and they have no right to pass themselves off as an Instructor. Just the ability to teach that which they were given. This because as a seminar Instructor he knows that in teaching it forces the student to understand what they are doing in more depth. In short they get better faster. The problem is that their certificate does say "Apprentice Instructor" It admittingly is misleading. I do believe that seminars are not a way to teach but to expose someone to an art.

JUST MY OPINION>>>>>:soapbox: I don't believe anyone not certified by someone legitimately...ie. (Bruce himself, Dan, James, or Taky) can say they are able to teach JKD. Sorry but this attitude is part of the problem. There are more than enough JKD people out there to accomplish this through. Yes some are not as good as others but this is the real world in every system or style. If you don't have this certification, STOP stating that you are teaching JKD. What you are teaching is martial arts and maybe even your own style but NOT JKD. Bruce never said he taught anything that he wasn't certified in because he DID respect and believe in tradition. He also said that
"people believe more in what they copy or duplicate than that which they create"
Dan is still the ONLY person certified to teach in all three arts Bruce taught in his lifetime. All his own creation. None stating something that wasn't.
As far as Dan's students starting theirwon orginizations, yeah they still trace back to Dan and Bruce.
You have to keep in mind that most people refer to Dan because of obvious reasons. He has been the most productive, active and credible. His skill speaks for itself and yes so do his Full Instructors. Name one Full Instructor that can't.
I agree that it is about doing and not about saying or paper. To that end this whole idea of "apprentice Instructors after one seminar is a joke and I have said as much to him as well. There, to his credit is more to it but it does mislead the general public. I do think that is a lapse in appropriateness but it doen't give someone the right to say because of that persons inability I can say I teach JKD and it's legitimate.
I have to walk careful here because there are people out there who have been very public who should not be teaching and do not have the right to say they are teaching JKD. They may teach MA and "want" to teach JKD but they can't. At least they can't legitimately. These people are part of the problem and not the solutioin. Because of their dedication, effort and time they may feel as if they are justified and/or can't turn back now. This just clouds truth.
The reality is that we train more hours and years in the study of how to harm someone, beat someone and defend our selves and our families than most surgeons, and lawyers do. You would rarely find someoen claiming to be a lawyer or doctor even though they may have studied hard and for years, if they did get to the bottom line. That "legitimate" credential from the right authority. Why do we treat our profession with less diginity then they do. We work harder and if we are smart we do this with the right people.
 
Hello IFAJKD,

I think we will have to agree to disagree. With regards to Bruce and seniority, one of the things that got him into trouble with some of his WC brothers back in Hong Kong was that he only respected the seniority of those that were actually better than him. Also while he might have certified Sifu Inosanto, at some point he simply quit giving certificates period. That doesn't mean that he didn't feel that there were others who weren't worthy. He felt that in some ways Daniel Lee to help Daniel Inosanto.

http://www.geocities.com/Dragon_lair2000/danbruce.html

He also closed all of his schools to avoid much of the lineage nonsense that we see in other arts. Now as for the person that certifies people to teach after one seminar, and they are certified to "teach what they've learned" we may be talking about the same guy. But when he lists them as "assistant instructors" on his website he doesn't say "assistant instructors to teach stuff taught at the seminar in Kalamazoo on July 8th 1999". So if you'd rather learn JKD from such and assistant instructor than you would learn from Bob Bremer or Howard Williams or Pete Jacobs or Jerry Poteet then that's your business. It doesn't make sense to me, but it doesn't have to in order to be right for you.

I also agree that there are more principles to JKD than just interception, but that is the key principle. However I've seen some well known JKD people abandon many of these principles in order to add stuff that doesn't fit the JKD core IMHO. I mentioned interception because I was trying to be generous. :) I think that's one part of JKD that we all agree on. Other things like power side forward, simultaneous attack and defense, immovable elbow ect may be negotiable though they are a part of my JKD. But I don't want to come out and say "You're not doing JKD if you don't do all of that." I used to, but I'm trying hard to mellow out in my old age.

Regards,

John M. Drake
 
John I hear the mellow part but it seems as I age more and more I get worse at it. Please keep in mind I am trying to be careful with what I say but still address what I believe to be key things.
With regards to Bruce and seniority, one of the things that got him into trouble with some of his WC brothers back in Hong Kong was that he only respected the seniority of those that were actually better than him. Also while he might have certified Sifu Inosanto, at some point he simply quit giving certificates period.

Actually I have to go with the fact that Dan was there and the level of friendship they had, in my opinion makes him quite the authority. ...Yes, He was traditional in many ways one of which was the issue of senority. Dan has spoken at length about this and much has been written.
You also say "While he might have certified Dan Inosanto" He DID certify him and he did so like he had with with no other person. While he did close his schools down he did for everyone but Dan. Dan Inosanto was allowed to continue teaching. What is not read at that site is what Dan and Bruce later would talk about. As for Dan Lee helping Dan Inosanto, I am not sure that is a fact or someone trying to pull wool over your eyes to support their claims. In looking at those transcripts, It's impossible to isolate that conversation and draw those conclusions. I wouldn't read it and assume that he was saying Dan needed any help or that Dan Lee was better in any sense. I did notice that Joe Lewis was featured in that site and This is where I get irate. Joe had maybe a handful of lessons and yes it is verified. I spoke with John Little who confirmed it from Bruce's own notes. Things that have not even been printed. Joe was nothing to Bruce and didn't train &^*%. with him. Now he is ceritifying people in JKD. There is a joke.
Bob Bremer or Howard Williams or Pete Jacobs or Jerry Poteet then that's your business. It doesn't make sense to me, but it doesn't have to in order to be right for you.
Bob, Jerry and Howard are people who could teach a wonderful experience in what it was like with Bruce at that time. to a point. But to have them teach JKD. No chance. Jerry got locked out of the school half the time because he was late. The others, well they really accomplished nothing even close to Instructorship with Bruce.
That being said, No I wouldn't train with an Apprentice Instructor either. Some may however and gain some rewards from it.
So many people cry they want some order to JKD and some recognition to it but the reality is that if that could happen (and I think it would be impossible) there would be many left behind as "not certified" LD may be one. I am not sure of his training. Howard, Bob and Jerry would certainly be others unless Taky certifed them already.
This is a heated issue isn't it. John I really do look forward to your answers. They are thought provoking
 
Hello IFAJKD,

First let me address the statement about "pulling wool over my eyes." That's simply nonsense! I read the conversation myself and drew my own conclusions. If you draw different conclusions that's fine. The part where Bruce was asking Daniel Lee to help Dan Inosanto was in being more selective with students. Bruce also discussed with Daniel Lee problems with Dan Inosanto's side kick. Also your assertion that Dan was the only one allowed to continue teaching in private is not true. And while Bruce did certify Dan (I no way implied that this was up for debate and wonder why you seem to think that) I think Bruce may have regretted doing this. Not so much regretting certifying Dan as regretting certifying anyone. After all at one point he said that he wished he hadn't named JKD, although that was unavoidable. Another important thing to remember is that Bruce Lee said "if people say that JKD is this or that then let the name go away." Concepts people are always berating original JKD people for insisting that JKD is defined by what Bruce taught when he was alive. Fine. We (or at least I) will try to be less dogmatic. But I think an even worse definition of JKD is the certification/lineage one. To say that someone who went to one JKD seminar and got an "assistant instructor's" certificate is more qualified to teach JKD than someone who actually spent years training with Bruce Lee is insane. Like it or not, such people get listed as "assistant instructors" in certain JKD organizations.

In truth, this whole thread boils down to one question. How can someone like "White Dragon" know that he's actually getting his money's worth when going to a JKD school? His own criteria for saying the last school he tried wasn't simply "Sifu so-and-so didn't have a certificate that could be traced back to Dan Inosanto" but rather "Sifu so-and-so didn't know what he was doing and neither did his students." The people that I mentioned that you discount can give someone their money's worth in JKD, whether you wish to acknowlege that or not. Some (though not all) of the instructors that fit your criteria of "tracing lineage back to Dan" clearly cannot give someone their money's worth in JKD instruction if their lives depended on it.

Regards,

John M. Drake

Originally posted by IFAJKD

John I hear the mellow part but it seems as I age more and more I get worse at it. Please keep in mind I am trying to be careful with what I say but still address what I believe to be key things.

Bob, Jerry and Howard are people who could teach a wonderful experience in what it was like with Bruce at that time. to a point. But to have them teach JKD. No chance. Jerry got locked out of the school half the time because he was late. The others, well they really accomplished nothing even close to Instructorship with Bruce.
That being said, No I wouldn't train with an Apprentice Instructor either. Some may however and gain some rewards from it.
So many people cry they want some order to JKD and some recognition to it but the reality is that if that could happen (and I think it would be impossible) there would be many left behind as "not certified" LD may be one. I am not sure of his training. Howard, Bob and Jerry would certainly be others unless Taky certifed them already.
This is a heated issue isn't it. John I really do look forward to your answers. They are thought provoking
 
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