Be Your Own Bodyguard ... and Walk Away Alive


Jeet Kune Do or JKD is the art of style that the late Bruce Lee created. It is a fascinating art that is a collection of many different martial arts styles. Eclectic means different systems were used as sources and pieces were selected from them to create something new. Eclectic is a commenly used to describe it and it is very appropriate. 

Jeet Kune Do has its origin in Wing Chun Kung Fu. Viewing Bruce Lee in his movies confirms that many of hismoves are clearly Wing Chun movements. He modified them somewhat for fighting while not in a classical horse stance and for the camera’s sake.He added boxing and various kicks that went beyond the original or mother art from Wing Chun and the evolution of his new style began.

Bruce studied other martial arts and took new movements that he found to be very useful and then melded them into his system. At one point he was asked what it was that he was teaching and he could not call it Wing Chun since it had other fighting elements to it so he called it Lee Jun Fan. That was his name in Chinese and it made sense because it was something he was creating. In effect it was Bruce Lee’s style!

At one point he thought he was undeaftable and he was very good. That is until he went against a judo/wrestler name Judo Gene LaBell. Everytime Gene got his hands on Bruce, Bruce had a healthy dose of humility and ended on the mat. That brought about the addition of wrestling or grappling to his expanding style.

Dan Inosanto and Bruce met and became very good friends. Dan had a black belt in Karate and was ready to grow with the new fighting techniques that Bruce had to share. In time Dan had learned Phillipino arts of Kali, Arnis and Escrima and shared them with Bruce. Bruce was content with his evolving style and did not accept his offer. The reality is that the Phillipino arts already had evolved into what Bruce was developing. There were some footwork differenced but both were similar in concepts of using many different techniques for fighting, trapping, kicking, grappling/wrestling and weaponry.

After Bruce died Dan Insosanto continued Bruce’s expansion of Jeet Kune Do and  studied more arts as they became open to study. Muay Thai was one of these arts as was joint locks from Jui Jitsu. Then when a very new style became open he was fortunate to be one of a handful to study Buktari Negara Silat. In time this was also added.

Jeet Kune Do begana new era in martial arts fighting and philosophy. Gone was the idea that you had to learn only one style and stay within its framework. Now you are allowed and even encouraged to add fighting elements from other styles. As styles melded together a new world of fighting came about and is now simply termed Mixed Martial Arts or MMA. There is a lot of action in this world of MMA but the majority of it is focused on grappling or ground work. It even has coined a phrase for beating on your opponent while you are on top and your opponent is on the mat. It is “ground and pound” and it is appropriately termed. With this type of fighting the smoother and sophisticated moves are gone and replaced with brutal smashing and grinding.

In many ways the new era of mixed martial arts is nothing more than Jeet Kune Do simplified down to a few punches with some Muay Thai Kicks followed by a lot of wrestling. Both value real fighting as something to be simplified and only doing what is needed to win.


Here at Kung Fu Warriors the concept of Jeet Kune Do is the driving force to the fighting techniques taught. 








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...Sifu Mike