Jeet Kune Do or JKD for short has long since been known as the style of no style, but this term has been overused and to a great extent exaggerated to “allow” others to teach JKD without using actual Jeet Kune Do techniques under the guise of defining the art as anything you want to make it. Lee’s intent for his martial art was far from this.
The art, which was formed by Lee in various stages, was finally named in the late 60’s. While continuing to deny that JKD was a “style” he began to show his system to the public with great skepticism from the martial arts community and various Chinese individual who found his teachings to be discourteous to tradition. While it is nothing in the martial arts for a founder of a martial art style to be young (most founders / grandmasters of famous Chinese and Japanese systems were in their 20’s) Lee’s instruction of non-Chinese had the elders in an uproar. He was a pioneer in many different aspects in the martial arts. One of his famous quotes was Jeet Kune Do is only a name so don’t fuss over it, but if he gave so little importance to the name why would he want it on his grave marker. This act would certainly lead one to believe that this name was important, and that it had significant meaning to him and the style known as Jeet Kune Do.
The art of JKD is difficult for many to grasp if it is taught in a manner shrouded in mystery, as is the case in most situations. For this reason the World Jeet Kune Do Federation was formed many years ago to clear up the mess and allow each and every individual to practice and learn the real art, and to gain legitimate martial art rankings for their hard work and dedication. There have been many attempts to bring the styles instructors and associations together as one, none of which has ever succeeded. Today there are two basic JKD systems to choose from. The original JKD, and JKD concepts. The original JKD is as its name implies the core art as founded. The concepts rely on other arts in an attempt to improve Lee?s system. Neither is better than the other, only different.
The original art itself is a modification of Lee’s first martial art style of Wing Chun Kung Fu. So many modifications in fact that it is very hard to see some of the similarities of the two systems. The blocks and hand maneuvers such as grabbing, sticking, and energy techniques have their roots in Wing Chun but the finished product is pure JKD. JKD has had such an influence in the martial art word the even the core art of Wing Chun has adopted JKD sparring techniques. The second of the three arts in the core of original JKD is French Fencing. Who can deny the speed and agility in the art of fencing? The footwork is a combining and modifying of fencing, Wing Chun, boxing movements, placements and displacements. And the final art of Western or American Boxing for the Muhammad Ali hand maneuvers and punches.
It was Lee’s goal to create the worlds most effective fighting system. Jeet Kune Do or translated Way of the Intercepting Fist was what Bruce Lee referred to as “Scientific Street Fighting”.
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