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About Jeet kune do
Jeet kune do clubs are dotted around the country and teachers are usually well versed in different styles. And always remember that meditation has traditionally been the cornerstone to any good martial art.
Jeet kune do
Invented by the famous late actor, ballroom dance, martial arts champion and enthusiast Bruce Lee (1940-1973). Jeet Kune Do means "the way of the intercepting fist". Jeet Kune Do draws from all other martial arts, then modifies the combat techniques to make them more JKD efficient and personal thus freeing the martial artist from the constrains of a martial arts style with all of the rules and rituals that go with it.
JKD students are expected to develop intuition as part of their training, flow and learning how to move with the rhythm of the fight is the art the JKD artist is aiming to explore and progress in.
In 1981 JKD students were taught western boxing, Bruce Lee's style of kick-boxing and Jun Fan boxing. JKD instructors were instructed that they were merely a guide to their students and it was the student that had to discover his own JKD by exploring all martial art styles.
Students of the JKD style had no formal set instruction usually associated with a martial art, but were instead given guidelines that lead to combat skill's improvement, students were instructed to always strive ways to learn how to improve speed, timing, power, footwork, endurance and the understanding of distance.
The JKD artist is on a journey of discovery, learning about their mental, physical and spiritual self's through training of metaphysical study using JKD as a vehicle for personal growth.
The JKD student would be expected to experience western boxing, judo, karate, Arnis/Kali, Thai boxing, fencing and any other martial art that they could learn from through the JKD experience; through mental/physical training whilst discovering philisophical attitudes from the journey to experience and understand the strengths and weaknesses that work for them as an individual of each art they practice.
Bruce Lee believed that, no fighting art was better that any other fighting art, instead he understood that some fighting arts work better in certain situations than others, learning whilst logically scrutinizing the finer points of a what martial, or element of a style to use at any given time, offering the JKD practitioner unrestricted freedom of choice during combat.
Bruce Lee (founder of Jeet Kune Do) born in San Francisco 27/11/1940 began his acting career as a baby. His real name was Lee Jun Fan, but was called Bruce as his English name by a nurse in the hospital he was born in.
Bruce adopted his name at the age of 12 and at the age of 13 became a student of the wing chun master Ip Man studying wing chun kung fu for five years in Ip Man's Hong Kong Wing Chun Kung Fu school.
Bruce also liked to dance and won many dance competitions during these years including Hong Kong Cha Cha champion of 1958.
At the age of 18 Bruce traveled to the USA to further his education, and as a way to earn money Bruce gave dance lessons soon after arriving in America. After a few months Bruce move to Seattle working in a restaurant whilst going to high school.
Bruce taught kung fu training in Seattle parks, garages and car parks until he opened his first official club in a Seattle Chinatown basement.
Moving to Washington Bruce studied philosophy at university (being a philosophy graduate probably affected the philosophical construction of JKD), again teaching kung fu in this area to earn extra money.
In 1964 Bruce married and moved to Oakland California were he opened up a kung fu school with best friend James Lee.
Bruce Lee and Dancing
Bruce lee enjoyed to dance because it was fun, dancing teaches freedom of expression, coordination, how to move into another persons rhythm and how to be close, whilst moving at different speeds to a person or group people either touching or no-contact, which is a particularly useful skill to acquire especially for combat situations.
Dancing is also athletic (especially Ballet), and has been used for warfare practice by tribal communities since the dawn of time, for practice and development of weapon and unarmed combat skills (see capoeira and the dance of martial arts such as karate etc - kata).
Dance is probably one of the skills other than wing chun that encouraged Bruce to be an intuitive fighter, who liked to express his skills through the performance of his abilities, some of which he acquired through being a champion dancer. Bruce understood that dance training improved speed, timing, power, footwork, endurance and the understanding of distance.
If Bruce Lee was alive today he would probably been a judge or contender for the American version of strictly come dancing, dancing with the stars.
Bruce the famous actor
Although Bruce had become a famous actor of television and cinema he constantly strived to improve his martial arts skill's whilst still privately teaching other actors and students in personal one on one classes.
Bruce still felt constrained by the wing chun style and started to learn other martial arts to fine tune his skill development further, taking them to another level, this is were he developed the concept of Jeet Kune Do, Jeet Kune Do being the art of self discovery more than a style because it draws on the ideal of learning from learning and find one's own art of martial arts.
Bruce Lee also noted the similarities and strategies between fencing and wing chun (he had spent 5 years learning wing chun from IP-Man), with fencing academics and students using centre line linear attacks and almost identical footwork to wing chun, with Bruce openly admitting to using the tactics and strategic elements that skilled sword fencer has to offer the serious martial artist.
Bruce Lee died in July 20th 1973 after having an allergic reaction to an ingredient in a headache tablet he had ingested.
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