JKD 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. 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 D
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 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.
The Evolution Jeet Kune Do
The following is some of the different material and stages covered over the three phases or three different Bruce Lee JKD schools, Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles.
Gin-Lai or Salutation
Bi-jong or ready stance (Incorporating the Centerline Theory) Immovable Elbow Theory Four Corner Theory
Footwork: Forward Backward Shifting right Shifting left Sil Lim Tao (basic form taught in Seattle) Straight punches and elbow punches and various body punches Bil-jee (finger jab)
Kicks: Forward straight heel kick Forward shovel kick Side kick Low side kick Low toe kick Groin toe kick Hook kick (medium & high) Spinning back hook kicks Chi Sao (sticking hands)
Blocks: Tan sao Bong sao Gong sao Vertical fist punch Fook sao or elbow contained bent wrist block Palm strikes - vertical - side - and palm up
Techniques: Pak sao Lop sao Chop chuie - Gwa chuie Pak sao lop sao gwa chuie Lop sao chung chuie lop sao chung chuie Chop chuie gwa chuie lop sao chung chuie
About Jeet Kune Do
Kicking Drills: Five corner kicking: alternating kicks between left and right foot. Five corner kicking: Bi Jong and Natural stance. Clockwork kicking: real-time kicking with the closest weapon. Combination clockwork kicking & hitting: advanced. Key: real-time, no hesitation, no chambering, closest weapon to closest target. Ranges of combat
Stance: Bi Jong Lead stance: shuffle, front, rear, side. Form is the essence, balanced, smooth, feet stay on the ground, (skating) Strictly lower body movements: each movement is independent. Comfortable and alive, natural bounce, not rigid or stiff with hops or jumps. Shuffle to various strikes and kicks.
Key: be alive and comfortable.
Evasive Maneuvers Evade various strikes (some exaggerated to make easier) Evade various kicks. Evade various combinations of strikes and kicks. Minimal movement to make opponent miss. Know what position and distance is safe for you. Individualize and adapt to the size and reach of the opponent. Evade and counter: after learning the above. Keys: Better to miss by an inch then to block by a mile. To block is to get hit. Don't engage the opponent, disengage him. (e.g. don't tangle yourself in blocking and trapping movements) The whole idea is to intercept his physical and emotional intent to hurt you. Classical versus the New (modern) Sil lim tao: performed the semi classical semi wing chun way. Even this was modified. Regarding trapping: cut the movement in half for realism. Concentrate on speed and economy of motion. Hook punch: closer to the body than a boxer. Elbow next to the ribs, much tighter and compact. Key: centerline theory (from the centre, not outside or wide). Rear heel kick: tighter, more centered.
Separate punching drills:
Centerline punching (rapid): straight-line blast with closing footwork. Separate kicking drills - Two Aspects for improved kicking: Power: Water in the hose analogy for transfer of force through target. Speed: Whip analogy for speed of recovery:(e.g. shoe laces pop, kicking a gnat out of the air)
Combine, blend power with speed drills, and make adjustments.
Keys: Delivery system - instant, fast relaxed. Hand before foot Non-telegraphic (no pre-steps or stutter steps)(for punching: no flinching) Complete emphasis on speed and economy of motion. The less you move the better. Clean and sharp as a two edged sword, pure Chinese Kung-Fu. Power comes with time, sometimes years; on the spot power. Speed comes with accuracy. Proper form and body alignment with balance. Footwork is supposed to be light and easy, not jumping around stiff, but relaxed and smooth without deliberation, angular and instant.
Basic Trapping: Pak sao Lop sao Gong sao Jut sao Tan sao Bong sao
Economy of motion: cut these movements in half. One hand trap Two hand trap
Key: Trapping is only a by-product.
Hit, hit and more hit: not trap, trap and then hit. While engaging an opponent, if there's emptiness?Hit. Skim and glide with friction but let the Chi flow. Line drills (Quiet awareness)
Sensitivity: Touch vs. Non-Touch. Line drills: realism Distance: Measure your distance Safe No man's land Gates, body positions, and zones
Key: Put yourself where you're safe and the opponent is not. Circle to the outside of the strong side, away from rear hand. Immobilize the lead leg or hand, after you hit, not before. Practice Drills Attack and defense. Key: Stun him first, before obstruction, to break his rhythm or forward momentum. Apparatus training Finger jab Straight blast Side kick: shin, knee target Side kick: power through target Strikes to traps Kicks to traps Bridging the gap Basic wing chun traps Strike to hand immobilization to takedown Kick to leg immobilization to takedown Backfist (high to low, low to high) Keys: All trapping concludes in hitting Don't punch and kick at an opponent, kick and punch through him Broken rhythm (Don't be predictable) Using the stop-kick as a jab as you incorporate it in footwork (e.g. be loose, fluid, Ali-like) Burning foot: hand to foot impetus. The pendulum: avoidance then following back swiftly and instantaneously.
Basic and primary goal: Each student must find his ownIdentifying the tools Using the tools Sharpening the tools Dissolving the tools
In adapting to the opponent:
The Three Phrases:Ice: solid, unchanging, rigid. Water: liquid, flowing. Steam: gaseous, focused pressure. Sparring and Combat Freestyles
Fitness Program Alternate splits Waist twisting (three times to each side) Run in place Shoulder circling High kicks Side kick raise Sit-ups Waist twisting Leg raises Forward bends
Punching: (Hanging paper*, glove, glove pad, wall pad, heavy bag)
*Paper Hanging exercise
Bruce taught this exercise for two reasons, control and speed. Tape two wires to a concrete wall. The wires allow you to put an 8 by 11 sheet of paper at different depths towards the wall. The idea was to strike the paper as hard as you could, without moving it. You kept pushing the paper closer and closer until it laid against the wall. You had to hit as hard as you could, without busting your hand up. You became very skilled at depth control. The second exercise was for speed. You hung the paper from two corners, about shoulder high. The idea was to rip the paper with a punch. This required two elements, speed and recoil. It was the recoiling action that tore the paper. This was an important quality for doing concussion punching.
Warm-up - the letting out of water [the idea of dropping the hammer loosely] The straight punch (left/right) then with pursuing The entering straight right high low The back fist
Kicking: Warm-up - (left/right) letting out of water the whip Side kick - (left/right) [note: choice of group training method] Facing two lines In group One student comes out Straight kick - (left/right) Rear kick The shin/knee/groin kicks Hook kicks [low first] and toe kick Combination kicking - eventually with hand
Basic Defense: The stop hit The shin/knee kick The finger jab (close range) Any type of kick to fit in The four-corner counter Power training: Isometric training: The upward outward force The basic power training The punch The kick Classical techniques Pak sao Lop sao Gwa chuie Chop chuie/gwa chuie Pak sao/gwa chuie Double lop sao (a & b) Chop chuie/gwa chuie, lop sao/gwa chuie Jut sao Pak sao/jut sao Chop chuie/gwa chuie/jut tek Inside gate tan da Tan da low/gwa chuie Chop chuie/gwa chuie/lop sao
Combination: Right hand feint with groin kick Right kick feint with bil-jee Right feint to stomach with right straight to head Right feint to head shift to right to stomach.
"We hope this has helped you understand some of the many intricacies of JKD, and how it can add to the quality of your life. For a more detailed description of the JKD techniques please refer to the Original Jeet Kune Do Training Manual available on the Learning Center page of this site."
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