My fascination with martial arts began fairly early when I was a child. It was intriguing to see so many different forms of combat particularly Shaolin Kung Fu. But having no knowledge of what martial arts/sports or even combat truly meant, I began training in Okinawa Te – An early form of Karate.
I trained in the art for 4 years during which time I came across the name of Bruce Lee. My father and his friends would watch Enter the Dragon and discuss other films of his like Return of the Dragon, etc.
Watching Bruce Lee fighting on screen made want to be exactly like him. It wasn’t how he fought that impressed me, but the emotional content and the unification of his mind, body and soul with which he appeared on-screen.
For me, Bruce Lee practiced Kung Fu and like most kids, I assumed it to be Shaolin Kung Fu.
I tried emulating him and his moves, which unfortunately, is what most Indian Jeet Kune Do practitioners do.
My journey to the world of real martial arts started in the year 2000, when I left for Shaolin Temple in China. I studied hard there and actually realised the difference between Shaolin Kungfu, Southern Shaolin , Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do which was Bruce Lee’s personal fighting system – his creation and his means of expression.
In the year 2003, I left to Taiwan to Study with Grand Master lo Man Kam , who was nephew of Yip Man ( Bruce Lee’s teacher ). Lo man Kam was Bruce Lee’s senior and taught him many times in Hong Kong. Later he shifted to Tai Wan and founded Wing Chun Federation there.
In the year 2004 I went to Bangkok where I met Sifu Wang , who changed my life and actually taught me the real meaning of Jeet Kune Do - The philosophy behind it and how it can be applied in life.
To give you an insight into the essence of Jeet Kune Do or JKD - The way of intercepting fist, was researched, modified and designed by Late Bruce lee to finish a fight/conflict as quickly as possible.
Jeet Kune Do is not a system; it’s a concept. Even the Late Bruce lee said “JKD is only a boat to take you across, after that it’s your own journey.
The essence of JKD lies in the following lines - Absorb what is useful, Reject what is useless and always add something of your own.
Combat wise Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do concepts followed the principle of 3e- easy ,effective and economical. Easy to learn, effective in result and economical in motion.
Don’t waste time, don’t waste motion and don’t waste energy.
Initially Bruce Lee called his martial arts Jun Fan Gong Fu (Jun Fan was Bruce Lee’s Chinese name). Later, after doing research for long time he wrote his book The Tao of Jeet Kune Do , which was based on Fencing concept and included lot of boxing principle, few throws from Judo , Kicking tactics from Savate and Muay Thai , he also borrowed from Southern praying mantis and Tai Chi.
Jeet Kune Do taught me to express myself and not express a style. The problem with most martial artists is that they always try and represent a style (I am from karate, I am from judo,
I am from muay thai, etc), but no one ever expresses themselves. Bruce lee expressed himself through his own personal means and he called it JKD. He also said that it’s not necessary that my way is your way and that JKD is just a name.
Dan Inosanto is currently Bruce Lee’s highest ranked instructor. He always followed the philosophy of Bruce Lee which was to Modify for effective results. After Bruce Lee’s demise, Dan made Jeet Kune Do much more effective by adding concepts from Filipino Kali and Filipino Ground wrestling Dumog and Gracie Jiujitsu.
Some instructors of Bruce lee who were much junior to Dan Inosanto claim that he distorted Bruce Lee’s JKD style. They forget that Bruce Lee himself said that Jeet Kune Do is not a style, it’s a path, it’s a way. You can have your own JKD as long as you follow the principles.
The way people used to fight in late 1960 to 1980, they don’t fight the same way now. The fighting concepts have changed, so in order to be effective and not to go redundant one needs to modify the system which Bruce Lee always did when he was alive.
It is simply a matter of understanding new technologies in the realm of fighting and applying it to your philosophy of fighting. Evolution is the key to progress and if you don’t stay updated you can never be a complete martial artist or even be complete as a person.
Five ways of attack
The Original Five Ways of Attack Are:
- Single Direct Attack (SDA)
- Attack By Combination (ABC)
- Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA)
- (Hand) Immobilisation Attack (HIA)
- Attack by Drawing (ABD)
SDA has been expanded to include:
Simple Angle attack (S.A.A): The simple angle attack is the use of any “Simple Attack”, an attack that has direct line of fire that is exploited by faking or beating an opponent to the punch, from an unexpected angle. The S.A.A can be set up by either feinting or readjusting the distance with footwork.
HIA has been expanded to also encompass foot immobilization techniques and is sometimes just referred to as IA. Immobilization Attack (I.A): The immobilization attack is the effective use of “Trapping”. Trapping is a method of attack that results in the holding down of an opponent’s hand or leg providing a safe route of attack. The trapping prevents the opponent from moving the body parts needed for defense, leaving them “trapped” and their body or face open for multiple strikes.
- Progressive Indirect Attack (P.I.A): The progressive indirect attack is similar to a “simple attack” except there is not a committed fake or feint. The P.I.A is an uncommitted thrust motion that forces your opponent to move in defense as you exploit the predetermined open area.
- Attack by Combination (A.B.C) Attack by combination is a series of punches and or kicks that follows a particular sequence to create openings or “Setups” in your opponent’s defense. The “setup” is created by the series of punches and or kicks maneuvering the opponent into a position to receive a knockout blow.
- Attack by Drawing (A.B.D) The attack by draw method is executed when you are able to make your opponent believe there is an opening or weak spot in your defense. When your opponent tries to attack this area he creates his own opening or weak point and you attack that area, completely catching them off guard