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Bob Hubbard

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What is JKD? Many ask this question. Here, we strive to answer it, and discuss all things JKD.

One definition is this : "Jun fan Jeet Kune Do is the complete body of technical (physical and scientific) and philosophical (mental, social, spiritual) knowledge that was studied and taught by Bruce Lee during his lifetime."

We here at Martialtalk.com welcome all those interested in this topic, and ask that those experienced share their knowledge with us all. :)
 

Cthulhu

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In my mind, the term "*Jun Fan* Jeet Kune Do" places limitations on JKD, by basically saying it is the 'style' Lee taught while he was alive. However, had he lived, I'm sure the JKD he'd be practicing now would look very different from so-called Jun Fan JKD. Limiting JKD to the techniques taught when Lee was alive makes JKD more of a style then a concept, which is why I think Inosanto declined to join 'the Nucleus'.

Another think I find disturbing is the amount of people claiming the ability to give certification in JKD. Only three people were ever certified to teach JKD: Dan Inosanto, Taky Kimura, and the late James Y. Lee. Anyone claiming to teach JKD pretty much has to be able to trace his/her lineage to one of these three men. Without mentioning any names, there are some former sports martial artists claiming to teach JKD nowadays, even though they themselves were really only given a few lessons of private instruction by Lee.

JKD is ultimately a personal expression of martial art. Inosanto's JKD is not Lee's JKD. Golden's JKD is not Inosanto's. Bustillo's is not Richardson's. They all have drawn from their own experience and created a way of fighting unique to them, which in my eyes is one of the key concepts of JKD. To limit it by calling it Jun Fan JKD, or JKD Concepts, or Original JKD really defeats the purpose of JKD.

As Lee himself said, "It's only a name, please don't fuss over it."

And to paraphrase Mas Oyame, "JKD is JKD!"

Alright...only my second post on this forum and I've rambled off already. So sorry.

Cthulhu
 
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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

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Ramblings good though. :)
All valid points. Lee was constantly striving to improve, but as has been said many times, how are we to know where he would have taken things? Perhaps by now he would have scrapped it and been developing JKD 2.0? We will unfortunatly never know. But we can talk about it.
:)

Peace, and welcome to MT.
 

Cthulhu

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Thanks for the welcome!

Very true...we can all speculate until we're blue in the face, but ultimately we'll never know what Lee would have done. The possibilities are many. There is every possibility that his movie career would have been so successful, he wouldn't have had time to make any new innovations in the martial arts and JKD would have stagnated. Of course, I doubt Insanto or Kimura would have allowed that to happen.

I think anybody who has had appreciable experience in the martial arts, ideally in one system (say, at least 5 years), and has begun to actively research the effectiveness of their art, and scientifically analyzes and incorporates ways to improve the art...adding here, subtracting there...is in essence practicing JKD. I maintain that one must have experience with a 'classical' or 'traditional' martial art, because without that experience, one cannot truly appreciate what Bruce Lee was trying to do with JKD. You can't appreciate a freedom from limitation, if one has never been bounded by them.

So after becoming proficient in your chosen art, and after honestly assessing its strengths and weaknesses, as well as addressing them by determining what will and will not work in a real fight, you could be considered an adherent to the concepts of JKD. The reasoning is fairly simple: by adjusting your knowledge to better accomodate what will work in real life (for yourself...what works for you may not work for me), you are practicing common sense. Which is what JKD really is, isn't it?

Bah. Almost midnight. I'm tired. I can't understand any of this gibberish I just wrote.

Cthulhu
 
G

GouRonin

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I've only had a brief intro to some concepts but my instructor took me to meet his instructor once. We were standing in the kitchen and I was trying to be quiet and listen to see if I could pick up anything interesting when this man came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.

I turned around and he said hello and introduced himself as Larry Hartsell. I knew who he was and introduced myself and he told me it was nice to meet me. At that moment my instructor's teacher introduced us to Mr. Hartsell. My instructor mentioned that I was a former boxer gone martial artist and then the two resumed talking regarding a seminar.

Mr. Hartsell asked me if I ever met Ed Parker and sadly I had to say I did not but Larry told me some very kewl stories and then we delved off into boxing. A subject I like to get into. Larry, as he asked me to call him, said he had fought some and so had Ed Parker and then proceeded to square off with me in the kitchen. Holy %$#@!!! There I was with a guy who at an advanced age was quite capable of kicking my @ss. So I did what my coach always taught me to do and that was keep my hands up. Larry threw me some very kewl combinations and I did my best to throw back and defend.

I will never forget my instructor as we drove home. He kept saying, "I turn my back for one moment and then when I turn back you and Larry Hartsell are squaring off in the kitchen. I was sure you'd kiss it good bye."

As it turned out Larry said I was ok and that it was smart to get out of boxing before I got too messed up and expanded my horizons. He gave me a few pointers and shared some fresh bread with me and some kewl stories.

Sorry. I don't suppose that was very JKD oriented in the way of techniques but what can I say? I thought I'd share.
 

Cthulhu

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That's great, GouRonin! I love hearing about experiences like that. Unfortunately, there aren't many legitimate JKD guys in my part of Florida that I know of. I have to experience it vicariously through others.

Cthulhu
 
G

GouRonin

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Dude! My buddy Sandor Urban lives in Florida. He's a student of Lee Wedlake and Sean Kelley. 2 Kenpo guys. I hope to hit their Kenpo camp this year.

I know what you mean about having to travel to find guys to work out with. I have a great bunch in my area but like in Kenpo, it sounds like if you want to roll with a lot of the JKD guys you have to travel.

Larry Hartsell and Paul Irish, along with my instructor, have been my only JKD exposure so far and for me that's been pretty positive. Stick with it!
 
I

IFAJKD

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First I would like to say hi to everyone in the forum. My first post here.
I want to respond to the issue of avalibility of JKD Instructors. There are not as many as other systems to be sure, but many JKD Instructors have very Innovative methods of training to be able to accomodate those from other states. I am an Instructor under Paul Vunak and I teach Intensive Personal Training Programs. IPTPs really leave the traditional methods of teaching behind. It is a chance for people who would like to train in JKD but haven't had Instructors close by. Bruce Lee emphasized attributes over techniques. When looking at training in this way, very dynamic training can take place over the coruse of days not years. Lee/Inosanto/Vunak have inspired me with many things but the one that stands out the most is the uncanny way they conceptualize martial arts training...Hence the Jeet Kune Do Concepts vs Original JKD wars. Its not the length of time you train as much as the way and the what of your training when you do.
would like to say more and hear much more. I have enjoyed what I have read so far. Thanks for this opportunity.
Jim:
 

Cthulhu

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Welcome to the forums!

I think it's kind of sad how different factions have arisen in JKD since Lee's death. Unfortunately, that often tends to happen upon a founders death: ie, Ueshiba's passing, Parker, Mitose, etc.

Let me toss some questions at ya :)

Did you have previous martial arts training before training in JKD? If so, was it a 'classical' system and how long did you train in it?

Does there seem to be a 'core' art in the system you're training under? For example, do a lot of the basics come from Wing Chun, Jun Fan, Kali, etc.?

Again, welcome aboard!

Cthulhu
 
I

IFAJKD

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I agree. It's sad to see the split. I think that it only says that many people still don't get it. Bruce was about evolution. Myself... I have trained for about 27 years first Judo then Shotokan and then I went into Tae Kwon Do and earned a Black Belt. I stayed with that awhile but I was drawn toward the Filipino Martial Arts and Jeet Kune Do. As far as a common core, yes, in that when an art originally arises it is indeed "martial" that is to say it is about realistic fighting. I tend to think that although tradition has it's place, too much emphasis on this can "stunt" the evolution of the art. Threats change, needs change and one must be flexible. I can tell you the most important lesson Bruce gave as I see it is this... You have to be able to wrestle a boxer - Kickbox a wrestler, Box a Kickboxer and Trap em all. To be able to fight in all ranges is MOST important. To do this you have to leave tradition and style. In essence, transcend the rigidity found in so many Instructors.
Boy is that stuffy???? I hope I didn't rattle too much. If so... Sorry. Jim
 

Cthulhu

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Cool. The reason I asked about previous MA experience before JKD is because I've always asserted that to truly appreciate what Bruce Lee was trying to accomplish with JKD, you had to have had extensive experience in a 'classical' system. You can't use 'no way as way' if you have no clue what a 'way' is. You can't be 'liberated' if you've never been constrained. You can't whittle away the inessentials if you've got nothing to begin with.

It always seems to me that those who appear to 'get it' (like I believe you do), were 'classically' trained martial artists before their foray into JKD. I'm glad to see that hypothesis working out so far.

Cthulhu
 
I

IFAJKD

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Again: Prayers to everyone out there. Be Safe. Thanks for the confidence. I have enjoyed reading your posts. I have seen those excellent martial artists out there who get it who haven't been classically trained. (some of them I've trained) It seems so many "marry" their style and their Instructor and never look at the larger picture. So much is up to the person. If you look at the big picture in life in general, then you will look in MA as well. What do you think ? Paul Vunak states.... "Learn to play their game and find ways to cheat" Bruce Lee thinking in its most classic sense.

Jim Miller
 

Cthulhu

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To paraphrase Bruce Lee, unless we grow extra arms and legs, there is really only one way to fight. The different systems merely have different concentrations and emphasis.

I believe in Lee's saying that fighting should just be "...punch when you have to punch, kick when you have to kick." My instructor stated it even more succinctly when he said that when fighting, you either "move, or don't move."

These may seem to be overly simplistic statements, but the goal is the return to simplicity; to get back to the point where "...a punch is just a punch, a kick just a kick." Unfortunatly, becoming simple can be extremely complicated :)

Cthulhu
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by IFAJKD
Hence the Jeet Kune Do Concepts vs Original JKD wars.

Could someone bring me up to speed on this issue?

Also, is there an accepted definition of JKD Concepts vs. JKD?
 

Cthulhu

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Well, I'm not too sure what the current state of the issue is, but...

A rift was created between people who thought JKD should be taught just the way it had been when Lee died ('Original' JKD) and the people who believed that JKD was an evolutionary process that went through continual adaptation (JKD 'Concepts'). Most the of 'Concepts' people seem to have an Inosanto lineage and most of the 'Original' people seem to be either students who trained with Wong or those who trained with Lee but were never certified instructors under him.

The 'Original' JKD people maintain that JKD should be taught just as Lee taught it before his death. In essence, they've made JKD a concrete 'style' which is something that Lee was against. They tend to disapprove of Inosantos's introduction of FMA into JKD, though that was initiated before Lee died. Some of them also seem to forget that Lee had turned the schools over to his instructors, J. Lee, Kimura, and Inosanto, and he rarely trained anymore students near his death, as he was busy making films and also wanted to take the time to train himself.

The 'Concepts' people are of the mindset that JKD is more of a philosophy, or set of concepts, applied to MA training, particularly 'absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own', though that is but one of many principles involved in JKD. As such, it is a continually evolving entity, with different interpretations from person to person, as it becomes a personal expression after enough training. However, some people add and discard without fully researching, which is basically the wrong way to go about it. They see something they like, they just add it without a comprehensive study. Likewise, if they don't like something, they reject it without a second thought.

Like I stated earlier, to me, paraphrasing Mas Oyama, 'JKD is JKD!'.

However, since I'm just a pontificating baffoon, I defer to the certified JKD MartialTalk members.

Cthulhu
 

arnisador

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I asked in the Wing Chun forum about the differences between Wing Chun and Jun Fan Kung Fu and received some informative responses; I'd be curious to hear other opinions on it here or there! As a beginning student of JKD I have much yet to learn. I'll have to re-read all the JKD books I bought many many years ago for general knowledge with a more careful eye.
 

Cthulhu

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Originally posted by arnisador
I asked in the Wing Chun forum about the differences between Wing Chun and Jun Fan Kung Fu and received some informative responses; I'd be curious to hear other opinions on it here or there! As a beginning student of JKD I have much yet to learn. I'll have to re-read all the JKD books I bought many many years ago for general knowledge with a more careful eye.

A couple of books to look for, but may be difficult/impossible to find:

Jeet Kune Do: The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee
and
The Filipino Martial Arts

both by Dan Inosanto. The first book's JKD relevance is obvious, but I've found a lot of JKD themes in the second book.

Both are now out of print and hard to find. I've been fortunate enough to get both used for only cover price. Alibris, a used/rare book dealer, has one copy of The Filipino Martial Arts going for $220USD!

Let this be a lesson to you: many used book dealers know diddly-poop about martial arts books...you can find many good deals, if you search hard enough.

Cthulhu
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by Cthulhu
The Filipino Martial Arts

Fortunately I was always a martial arts bibliophile and have a copy of it from way-back-when.

Is there a particular book that those knowledgeable in JKD would suggest for someone just starting to study it? I know there are a number of works on it but what would be most helpful at the beginning?
 

Cthulhu

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All three of Inosanto's JKD books, though Absorb What is Useful... has stuff comparing cinematic and practical MA that doesn't quite belong.

Chris Kent has a set of books out called a 'JKD Encyclopedia' or somesuch. I've only skimmed it so far.

Hartsell and Tackett have books out as well.

From what I've seen (and what little I remember), the books by Kent, Hartsell, and Tackett pretty much all cover the different types of attack (SDA/SIA, H/FIA, ABC, ABD, PIA), stress power-side forward, as well as other things that are mentioned in the Tao of Jeet Kune Do.

Best thing to do would be to see if your local Borders or B&N has any of these books and just sit down and read a few chapters. Real easy to decide if any of the books are good for you, which is the most important thing.

Oh, and IFAJKD tells me that Vunak's book on JKD is also very good. I've yet to see that in a regular bookstore, though...probably has to be a mail order/Internet order purchase.

Cthulhu
rambling cuz this headache is affecting my thought processes
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by Cthulhu
Oh, and IFAJKD tells me that Vunak's book on JKD is also very good.

My instructor is a student of Mr. Vunak so this may be what I need.

I'm looking for the big picture as well as the mechanics of techniques to help me remember what I learn in class.
 
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