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JKD a Science

JKD a Science

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Published by: samfred77835 on Jan 31, 2009
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11/25/2013

 
Jeet Kune Do is a Science by John Little
 "There is no such thing as an effective segment of a totality. By that I mean that I personally donot believe in the word "style." Why? Because, unless thereare human beings with three arms and four legs, unless wehave another group of beings on the earth that arestructurally different from us, there can be no different formof fighting. Why is that? Because we have two hands and twolegs! The important thing is how can we use them to themaximum? In terms of paths, they can be used in straight line,curved line, up, down, round line. They might be slow but depending on the circumstances, sometimes that might not be slow. And in terms of legs you can kick up, straight, samething, right? Physically, you have to ask yourself: How can I beso very well - coordinated? Well, that means you have to bean athlete - using jogging and all those basic ingredients, right? And after all that, you ask yourself, how can you honestly express yourself at that moment? And being yourself, when youpunch, you really want to punch - not trying to punch because you want to avoid getting hit, but to really be in with it and express yourself. Now that to me is the most important thing. That is,how in the process of learning how to use my body can I come to understand myself? Now theunfortunate thing is that there's boxing - which uses hands; judo - which is throwing. I'm not putting them down, mind you, but I am saying that this is a bad thing. Because of styles becamelaw, man. The original founder of the style started out with hypothesis but now it has becomethe gospel truth. And people who go into that become the product of it. It doesn't matter howyou are, who you are, how you are structured, how you are built or how you are made - it doesn't matter. You just go in there and be that product. And that, to me, is not right." - Bruce Lee(Source Bruce Lee: The Ted Thomas Interview)Dear members of the Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do family:For years we've heard the statement that "what works for Bruce Lee will not work for you" andthat "because we are all unique as individuals, we all have different martial arts requirements."I've yet to hear anybody present an opposing viewpoint tothis belief and yet it strikes me as being completelyerroneous on two counts; one I believe that there is ampleevidence that Bruce Lee considered his martial art to bescientific (i.e. with principles that were universally true):and two, for Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do to qualify as a science,it cannot be as arbitrary or subjective as the "we're allunique" proponents advocate.
 
In looking over a random sampling of Bruce Lee's personalpapers (presented in the three volumes) one findsstatements such as:"The students should learn something new in each classperiod, but enough for one session. Until the students beginto spar then he will stop searching for accumulation of techniques; rather he will devote the needed hours of practice to the simple technique for its right execution.""It is not how much one learns but how much one has absorbed in what he has learned. The best techniques are the simple ones executed correctly"."Students themselves will realize the futile search for more and more new techniques. Ratherthey will devote the needed hours on practicing the correct execution of simple techniques".As soon as one makes a distinction between right and wrong or correct and incorrect, they haveceased to endorse subjectivism and have instead embraced science. Science is what allows onecertainty in areas involving correct or appropriate action. Let us assume, then, for the sake of argument, that Bruce Lee was of a scientific bent with regard to teaching students his martial art Jeet Kune Do.Bruce Lee made the distinction between "correct execution" and "right execution" of specifictechniques. This indicates that he held that there were correct (i.e. proper) ways to performtechniques that he held to be true for all of his students. In other words, he held that there wereuniversal truths in terms of combat. Bruce Lee arrived at this conclusion after spendinghundreds of hours sifting through hundreds of techniques until he found the ones that wereapplicable scientifically to ALL human beings. Look again at the quotes with which this articlebegan and remember throughout this article his statement:...unless there are human beings with three arms and four legs, unless we have another group of beings on earth that are structurally different from us, there can be no different form of fighting.Why is that? Because we have two hands and two legs! The important thing is how can we usethem to the maximum?In other words, there is a correct way for human beings to fight and there is an incorrect way. Tobetter our chances of emerging unscathed in a real encounter, it behooves us as human beings tolearn how to use our "tools", i.e., our "two hands and two legs... to the maximum." In the context of a human being using histwo hands and two feet to the maximum, Bruce Lee had and,indeed, still has no equal. Certainly, there are none who havesurpassed his skill in this regard. And he cultivated thisproficiency by constant practice, practice and then still morepractice in what to an initiate, might look to be very basic
 almost rudimentary
techniques. In fact,
 
Bruce Lee once made the statement:
“L
ike boxing or fencing, Jeet Kune Do is a step by step project in which each maneuver must be
repeated many times.”
 In so doing, Bruce Lee not only became adept at mastering these maneuvers, but also discoveredmuch about himself in terms of both his capabilities and limitations.It should be pointed out the while Bruce Lee was open to valid techniques from any so-calledstyle or system, he did not endorse the idea that one had to study the disciplines that containedthese techniques in any formal way. Tha
t is, it wasn’t necessary for one to study the art of judofrom “A” to “Z” in order to master the leverage and body
-mechanics necessary to successfullyexecute an osoto-
gari or “outside major reap” take
-down (a technique that Bruce Lee foundparticularly effective in close-quarter combat). In this respect, Lee once said:
“It is proven more efficient and interesting to
devote time to only one or two simpletechniques at a one hour session than to havemany unrelated and disorganized techniquescrammed into
it….. Until the student begins to
spar, then he will stop searching foraccumulation of technique for its right 
execution.”
 And again:
“A few simple techniques well presented, an
aim clearly seen, are better than a tangledmaze of data whirling in
disorganized educational chaos.”
 Also:
“It is not how much you have absorbed in what you have learned –
the best techniques are the
simple ones executed right.”
 And finally:
“The ultimate goal of discipline in JKD is where learning gained is learning lost”.
 Quite apart from the above obvious facts that Bruce Lee was not in favor of adding martial
techniques (e.g.: “Being wise does not mean add on. Daily minimize instead of daily increase”) tohis student’s arsenal in perpetuity, is the fact that he also
was not of the opinion that all marital
arts had equal value (e.g.: “My JKD is something else… more and more I pity the martial artist that are blinded by their partiality and ignorance.”)
 Additionally, there exists further evidence that Bruce Lee was not in favor of interdisciplinarycross-training. In a letter he wrote to Nucleus member, Jerry Poteet, who had asked Bruce of heobjected to Poteet teaching a few JKD awareness drills in with Kenpo, Bruce wrote the following:

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