Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do Bruce Lee developed his form of the martial arts to be as effective as possible. Its goal was simplicity. As Bruce himself once said, “The art of Jeet Kune Do is simply to simplify.” His purpose in creating it was to eliminate all the unnecessary points, and focus on the important facts, which prove useful in real combat. Jeet Kune Do is the outcome of his ideas, thought, and fighting experiences. Bruce was trained in the classical Wing Chun style. This is how he gained knowledge enough to concoct his own method. When he first began teaching he taught mainly Wing Chun, or a loosely based form of Wing Chun. Later on, he changed it to Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do. In English it’s Bruce Lee’s the way of the intercepting fist. As is said, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve its end [Lee 12]. It only has approximately 5 punches and 4 kicks. The reason for this is because it takes much longer than a lifetime to perfect something, many think it can’t be done, so only few kicks and punches are used. While a person still may not be capable of getting it just right in their time on earth, they can do a lot better than if they had many a things to work on. This is more relevant when dealing with actual fighting. If you focus on directness then the goal is easier to achieve. Bruce Lee created Jeet Kune Do to be as effective as possible. He designed it with real combat in mind. He didn’t believe in practicing routines or stunts that lead nowhere [Lee 15]. The hand techniques that are used are as follows: the leading finger jab, straight leading punch and jab, leading hook rear cross, backfist, quarter swing, uppercut, reverse spin blow, and hammer blow. There aren’t very many at all but you can go into great detail in all, and constantly try to improve upon them. The leg techniques include; the sidekick, leading straight kick, reverse straight kick, and hook kick, spin back kick, and knee thrust. In comparison to many other forms of kung fu and with most martial arts, there’s not a whole lot. But, once again there’s a great deal of time, which can be put into working on each and every one of these. Not only does Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do focus on attacks and individual movements of the hands and kicks; it places a great deal of importance on footwork. Bruce was once quoted as saying, “The essence of fighting is the art of moving.” Of course movement is centered on footwork. This is why close attention must be paid to footwork and mobility. The components of footwork consist of about 5 points. The foundation is sensitivity of aura, the second is aliveness and naturalness, the third is instinctive pacing (distance and timing), the fourth is correct placement of the body, and the fifth is a balanced position at the end [Lee 144]. To correctly size things up, footwork is truly everything in Jeet Kune Do. It provides the martial artist with a means of finding a target and a means to avoid being a target [BIG JKD article]. Obviously footwork paired with the perfected forms of hand and leg tactics add to your chance in success. Bruce realized this was more or less the basis of his style. In conclusion, the simplicity and directness that JKD relies on is an effective and intelligent method. Bruce Lee, being the best martial artist in recent history, founded it, and so it’s no surprise that it’s a great a form as it is. It’s also quite possible that Bruce could’ve improved upon Jeet Kune Do in his later years, if not for his tragic untimely death. Lee was smart enough to realize there was always room for improvement and his own style, as refined and effective as it proved to be, was far from perfect. Though in many ways Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do was a monumental step toward excellence in martial arts, and maybe as close to perfection as any other ever will be. END.
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