Jeet Kune Do: Street-Ready Techniques from a Hollywood Icon
Jeet Kune Do, meaning “The Way of the Intercepting Fist,” is the approach to fighting developed by martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. Its techniques are based primarily on Wang Chun Kung Fu, fencing, and Western boxing. Many also see the technique as a predecessor or inspiration for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Bruce Lee and the History of Jeet Kune Do
Bruce Lee began studying martial arts at a young age from Wang Chun Kung Fu master Yip Man. Lee was teaching Kung Fu in Oakland, California in 1964 when he participated in a private fight against Wong Jack Man, another martial arts teacher and master of Xingyiquan and other forms. Though Lee won the match in only a few minutes, he felt he should have been able to do so even more quickly, but that adherence to classical martial arts forms had made him less effective in a real fight. Thus began the years-long study of multiple forms and philosophies of fighting that would come to be known as Jeet Kune Do.
Lee coined the term Jeet Kune Do around 1967, though he always thought that this martial arts way should not be limited by a name. He felt that a fighter must continually adapt to the situation as it presents itself on the streets, and not simply adhere to strict forms or classical styles. As a result, Lee adapted insights and techniques from a huge range of martial arts into Jeet Kune Do.
Characteristics of Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do was developed primarily from the disciplines of Wang Chun Kung Fu, Western boxing, and fencing. It prizes directness, simplicity, and non-classical form, drawing as it does from many sources and stressing the importance of adapting to the particular circumstances of a given fight. Its basic elements are economy of motion, simultaneous blocking and striking, interception, constant forward pressure, and keeping the center line of one’s body protected while exposing and attacking the opponent’s center line.
Jeet Kune Do Training
Jeet Kune Do is a widely-known and popular martial art, particularly among fans of Bruce Lee’s filmography. Though one can pursue Jeet Kune Do classes for fitness, it is very much a combat training method. Lee himself stressed the importance of being highly combat ready, both in terms of technical excellence and physical conditioning.
Lee also emphasized the importance of realistic training situations in Jeet Kune Do instruction. Because Jeet Kune Do is meant to be maximally effective in actual street fights, the student must learn with a live opponent and not simply learn forms. Protective gear allows partners to spar without injury, practicing their interceptions, jabs, kicks and footwork in a relatively realistic and high-energy setting.
Finding a Jeet Kune Do Instructor
As with any martial art, look for an instructor whom you trust, and who is well-versed in both the philosophy and the techniques of Jeet Kune Do. First-generation Jeet Kune Do instructors—those who studied with founder Bruce Lee—are still alive, enabling the prospective student to enroll in Jeet Kune Do classes with an instructor who has a direct lineage of training back to the discipline’s creator. Bruce Lee also wrote a book about his martial art called Tao of Jeet Kune Do, allowing students to deepen their understanding of the techniques and philosophy they learn in classes.
If you want to train as a fighter for self-defense purposes, or if you simply loved Enter the Dragon and want to learn the moves of perhaps the world’s biggest martial arts icon, Jeet Kune Do may be the perfect fit for you! The whole family can get involved, as some Jeet Kune Do schools even offer Jeet Kune Do for kids. Search for Jeet Kune Do training near you by clicking here.
What Is Jeet Kune Do?
Jeet Kune Do is a form of martial arts that was developed by famous Chinese martial arts actor, Bruce Lee. It is essentially a hybrid martial art form that draws inspiration from many other combat styles and traditions, including Wing Chun, fencing and boxing. Jeet Kune Do literally means “the way of intercepting the fist” in Chinese.
Jeet Kune Do Training and Techniques
Jeet Kune Do is a diverse fighting form that combines influences from many other combat styles. It is quite a simplistic set of fighting techniques that involve quick, direct movements. The general underlying concept is to spend as little energy as possible on movement and yet to achieve maximum outcomes using great speed. Some of the techniques that those learning Jeet Kune Do will come to master include punching, striking, kicking, trapping and wrestling, as well as a suite of fluid movements that will help students move smoothly between one Jeet Kune Do move and the next.
Learn Jeet Kune Do
Bruce Lee would describe Jeet Kune Do as a “the art of fighting without fighting” or “a style without style”, so simplistic was it. Given that this form of martial art doesn’t have any set patterns or rigorous regulations, as is the case with many other fighting styles, it has become quite popular in the United States. It’s more spontaneous and, for this reason, a more realistic way of learning self-defense and offense. More than simply being a combat style, Jeet Kune Do is also a philosophy and perhaps even a form of meditation, as was encompassed by Bruce Lee’s further descriptions of it: “the art of expressing the human body.”
Links of Interest
To learn more about Jeet Kune Do, check out the soon to come links below:
History of Jeet Kune Do
Styles of Jeet Kune Do
Training of Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do Techniques
Jeet Kune Do for Kids
Jeet Kune Do tournaments
Local Jeet Kune Do School
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