Hardcore Jeet Kune do | Truth In Combat

I continue to hear and read about various practitioners of Jeet Kune Do talk about going "outside the art" to learn things from other martial arts that they feel they need to "complete" the system!  I want to clarify exactly where I stand regarding what is and isn’t actually Jeet Kune Do, what the training consists of, and why I feel the way that I do about this art.
When I hear practitioners say that they aren’t getting everything they need from Jeet Kune Do, all this tells me is that they have not gone deep enough into their training, and their learning process is incomplete or seriously flawed.  If you have truly gotten into Jeet Kune Do, and learned the entire curriculum from someone who really knows the system and knows what they are doing, you would find that everything that you need for solid self defense skill is right here!

First of all, Jeet Kune Do is not a sport.  There is no sport or competition aspect to what we do.  Everything is geared towards the development of good, solid, effective self defense skills.  This is why we do not spend time rolling around on mats or thinking about rules for fighting.  In the street, there are no rules, there are no mats and the last place that you need to be in on the ground with an assailant.  I have seen this happen many times when I worked in the private security industry.  It never turned out well for the person on the ground, as it seems there was always someone there ready to help out.

And yes, it is true that in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, we do not learn or advocate the use of weapons.  We do, however, train empty hand defense against weapons, and should we find ourselves with a weapon in our hands, we simply apply the basic principles of Jeet Kune Do to the use of that weapon and it just becomes a natural extension of our body.  I often carry a folding knife with me, but for utility purposes.  Would I use it in a self defense situation if I felt it was necessary?  Of course I would!  Part of Jeet Kune Do is, as Bruce Lee used to say, the ability to adapt like a shadow and respond like an echo!  The knife would simple become an extension of my empty hand skills.

Some have tried to remove parts of the equation and still call what they are doing Jeet Kune Do.  One group has tried to completely remove the Wing Chun Gung Fu from the Jeet Kune Do structure  Another group says that Jeet Kune Do is Wing Chun Gung Fu and boxing.  They are more or less trying to leave the fencing out.  Bruce Lee himself said that Jeet Kune Do consists primarily of Wing Chun Gung Fu, fencing and boxing (in that order of importance).  If the founder of a system makes such a statement, yet you deny any part of that statement, are you still practicing the founder’s art?  NO, you are not!  The way that I see it, if you are claiming to be a practitioner of Jet Kune Do, yet you are trying to change the very structure of the art by leaving out any part of the structural foundation of the art (Wing Chun, fencing, boxing), you are NOT doing Jeet Kune Do!

The main reason that I have worked so hard to learn everything that I possibly could about Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do is that I wanted to be sure that I had the COMPLETE SYSTEM to teach others, not a partial view of it!  You need the Wing Chun Gung Fu base.  You need the fencing and boxing skills that Bruce Lee absorbed into his art.  You need to experience the stages that Bruce Lee went through to develop his amazing fighting skills.  I am not saying that you must go out and enroll in a Wing Chun school, take a fencing class and train at a boxing gym.  You could do all of that and still not have Jeet Kune Do!  

Wing Chun Gung Fu is a fighting art.  Fencing is a competition sport with rules.  Boxing is a sport with rules.  Learning each art is not what is important.  What is important is learning the specific elements that Bruce Lee took from each art and knowing how they were put together in order to create Jeet Kune Do!  It was not the sport aspect of fencing and boxing that Bruce Lee was interested in.  It was the possibilities for street application and the process of “fitting in” with everything else in order to create a serious method of real world self defense.  Wing Chun Gung Fu is the base and the foundation structure of Jeet Kune Do.  To deny that is to deny Jeet Kune Do!  You cannot have authentic Jeet Kune Do as developed, practiced and taught by Bruce Lee without that foundation structure.

Some seem to think that you can just pick up with what he was working on in the last few years of his life and develop Bruce Lee-like skills.  Guess what?  NOT GONNA HAPPEN!  Why?  Because you will have not developed the baseline techniques that need to be there to make everything come together to work flawlessly!  You will not have the neuromuscular contact reflex skills needed to be good at trapping and completely controlling and dominating the opponent.  You will just be doing kickboxing with the power side forward!  REAL, AUTHENTIC Jeet Kune Do is SO MUCH MORE than that!

Some have tried to say that the later material does not work with the earlier material, and that it doesn't "fit"!  Hmmmmm ... works great for me, and flows together seamlessly without a problem!  Are these people who say this physically limited in some way, because that is the only reason I could see that it wouldn't work well!  Or, is this just an excuse to not feel bad about not learning the foundation structure that brings everything together and makes it REALLY work?  For me, it is all one system, one method of fighting.  It works without problems as long as you have developed your base!  

My approach to teaching Bruce Lee’s martial art, which I refer to as Hardcore Jeet Kune Do, involves learning the curriculums from all three main schools that Bruce Lee had in the United States (Seattle, Oakland & Los Angeles), as well as a good understanding of what he took from the Wing Chun Gung Fu that he had learned in Hong Kong.  I feel this is necessary in order to truly understand what Bruce Lee actually went through to develop his art of Jeet Kune Do.  Those who actually learn the system as I teach it will truly understand that it is ALL THAT YOU NEED!  Oh, and this is not a selling technique to try to get people to train with me ... it is the SIMPLE TRUTH!  But then some seem to really have a hard time with TRUTH these days!

About the Author:  

Sifu Lamar M. Davis II has been a practicing martial artist for forty-seven years at the time of this writing.  He is a fully certified Second Generation Senior Instructor of Bruce Lee’s fighting methods of Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do
He is the Executive Director/Master Instructor of the Hardcore Jeet Kune Do Chinese Gung Fu Association, and travels the world teaching seminars and training camps. 
Sifu Davis has had nearly two hundred articles published in martial arts magazines worldwide, and has fifty-four instructional DVDs in release.  
He is the owner of DragonBlast Martial Arts Equipment, and custom builds training equipment geared for Wing Chun Gung Fu, Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do practitioners.  
For more information, please visit www.HJKDCGFA.com .  You may contact Sifu Davis by emailing Sifu@HardcoreJKD.com or by calling his office at (205) 467-9039.  

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