Jeet Kune Do For the Ring by DeyanaIlieva


									Jeet Kune Do for the Ring

What Would Bruce Lee Say About This?

By now, you have read the title of this article and are likely stretching your head and asking
yourself "Bruce Lee's jeet kune do in the ring? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?"
 Not necessarily. Although it is true that the primary focus of jeet kune do, as taught by Lee, was
for street combat, it does not mean JKD practitioners cannot utilize the concepts and principles
of the "way of the intercepting fist" in the square circle.
 During his lifetime, Lee was exposed to, studied and applied aspects of countless martial arts
from around the globe. He constantly whittled away at the unessentials of each technique he
accumulated, and he established a training regimen and approach capable of producing some
devastating fighters, both inside and outside of the roped canvas. Of course, many of the
techniques Lee advocated-"stop-kicks" to the shins, eye jabs, kicks to the groin, and stomps to
the knee-are not allowed in American professional kickboxing matches. If they were, there
would be a great many crippled fighters.
 Jeet kune do stresses combat reality in training for the street. But applied intelligently, the
concepts taught by Lee can produce highly skilled combatants for competition. Following are
some of Lee's concepts that can be utilized for competition.

Broken Rhythm
 It is not uncommon to see fighters stand relatively still in the ring, then very telegraphically
launch their attack. Just as common are fighters who, without changing the rhythm or tempo of
their movement, initiate their attack on cue with the beat they have established. It is simple to
read the intentions of either type of fighter, and their attacks can be easily evaded, defended
and/or countered.
 The "broken rhythm" concept involves establishing a rhythm to your movement and then
changing the "beat" abruptly in order to bridge the gap to your opponent. You can either quicken
the tempo (the time between each beat) and move a half-beat early, or just as effectively lengthen
the tempo and hit a half-beat late. In either case, the objective is to catch the opponent out of
 Several factors must be considered when using broken rhythm in the first place. You use that
rhythm to lull the opponent into a false sense of security. Once the opponent appears comfortable
with your rhythm, you can quickly change the beat and catch him off guard.
 Second, broken rhythm is most successful once you have obtained the proper fighting distance.
You need to maneuver into your ideal fighting distance to launch your attack. If you launch an
attack from the wrong distance, even with the use of broken rhythm, you will most likely hit only
 And three, you can break your rhythm by using footwork, head-and-shoulder fakes, feints with
your hands, feet, elbows or knees, or just by changing your breathing.
 When using broken rhythm to close the distance to the opponent, it is sometimes a good idea to
break your rhythm a few times without attacking behind it. This strategy takes broken rhythm
one step further by familiarizing your opponent with the movement without any immediate
consequence. Then, after setting up your unsuspecting opponent several times, you strike.
 Broken rhythm can also be used in conjunction with combinations after you have closed the gap.
Rather than blasting every punch and kick with full speed and power when you have your
opponent in a defensive posture, a smart fighter can upset his opponent's defensive timing by
quickening or slowing the tempo of his blows. This tactic allows you to be more selective and
accurate with your strikes while simultaneously confusing your opponent.

The JKD Jab and Cross
 Two of the primary principles in jeet kune do are "economy of motion" and "nonchambering
strikes." With these concepts in mind, the JKD fighter has taken the standard boxing jab and
cross, cut away some of the excess movement, and created more direct, streamlined strikes.
 The standard boxing jab creates torque by snapping the elbow up, turning the wrist, and
pronating the fist. A good portion of the punch's power comes from twisting or torquing the arm.
Rarely do you see a boxer generate any power for his jab from the lower part of his body. In
boxing, the jab is generally a shoulder- and-arm punch intended to bother opponent but no knock
him out.
 The problem with this technique is the slight telegraphing movement when lifting and turning
the elbow and shoulder, which occurs at the outset of the punch. Slight as they may be, these
movements are easily discerned by the skilled pugilist.
 The jeet kune do jab is more direct in that the elbow and shoulder do not rotate, nor does the
wrist turn on its way to the target. The elbow starts and remains in a downward-pointing
position, and the first movement is that of the vertical fist toward the point of impact. The punch
travels to the target as directly as possible. The opponent does not see any telegraphic movement
of the fist, elbow or shoulder. Thus, the opponent has fewer movements on which to focus before
the punch is launched. To quote Lee: "Your strike should be felt before it is seen."
 The JKD jab can be launched from close range, or it can be used in conjunction with a step-and-
glide maneuver to close the gap and hit from longer range. In either case, power is generated by
the elbow, shoulder, hips, knees and finally the feet in a whip-like motion. The fist snaps out and
returns fluidly. Remember to remain loose and relaxed. Other than tightening the fist at the
moment of impact, refrain from tightening the muscles.
 The jeet kune do cross maintains the same principles of economy of motion, nonchambering and
straight-line directness as the JKD jab. The front side of the body acts like a hinge and opens up
just enough to allow the rear arm to move in a straight line to the target. The fist stays vertical
and the elbow stays down and close to the body. As the punch nears the point of impact, the leg
thrusts forward and power is generated from the rear foot, knee and hip.

Fighting Measure
 In jeet kune do, proper fighting distance is referred to as the "fighting measure." There is an
ideal fighting measure for every individual, in every situation, and it varies depending on body
type, attitude, type of opponent, strengths and weaknesses, fighting conditions, etc. Since your
opponent's reach, speed, timing and tactics may be quite different than your own, each of you
may have a different fighting measure. The fighter who can keep the battle in his preferred
fighting measure the majority of the time has a decided advantage. For instance, if you like to
fight in close, and your opponent prefers to hit from a distance, it is to your advantage to keep
the bout at close range. By cutting off the ring, pinning him in the corners or against the ropes, or
simply smothering him, you ensure that the fight is conducted under the circumstances in which
you feel most comfortable.
 Many times, however, the difference in preferred distance for each fighter is not that great. You
may both feel comfortable at infighting or long range. In this case, the key may be where you
fight from, but when you fight. When your opponent is in tune with your timing and movement,
and appears to be ready to do battle, it is not the appropriate time to take the fight to him. Nor
should you allow him to bring the fight to you. Ideally, you want to go to battle when you are
ready and the opponent is not.

 When you feel your opponent is prepared to engage you, you either move away or you smother
his intention by jamming and tying him up. A perfect example of this strategy was the way Sugar
Ray Leonard confused and demoralized Marvelous Marvin Hagler in their memorable bout.
Hagler allowed Leonard to dictate the distance and pace of the fight. Body movement, feints and
fakes are often enough to put the brakes on an opponent who is trying to zero in and unload on
you. Other times, lateral movement, angling or changing direction deprives your opponent of the
ability to execute an effective attack. And while he is trying to catch up with you, you are
waiting for him to fall into your preferred fighting zone.

Gaining the Infighting Edge
 Infighting range can be a scary and frustrating place for individuals unschooled at this distance.
Most fighters do not feel overly confident or comfortable when they can feel their opponent's
body heat and smell their breath. Many fighters will rely on brute strength and a barrage of
combinations at this range. While these are fine tactics, they alone do not a fighter make.
 The victory at close range often goes to he who fights smarter, not harder. With proper training,
the jeet kune do stylist learns to savor the inside game and makes it one of his strengths. By
utilizing the centerline principle of wing chun Kung fu, evasion and trapping skills, and strikes
known as "innergate" and "outergate" punches, the JKD stylist can gain a decided edge at
infighting range.

Innergate Punches
 The "innergate" punch is applied when your opponent's arm is on the outside of your arm. The
technique can be utilized either from normal punching distance or from infighting range. One
opportune time to use it is when your adversary is attempting to punch over your inside arm
during a clinch. When he begins his punch, execute a corkscrew-style punch with your inside
arm, striking his head or torso. You must lift your elbow slightly to keep his arm outside and
away from his intended target.
 When using the innergate punch at normal punching distance, timing and angling are extremely
important because you cannot employ JKD's sensitivity skills at this range. The innergate punch
is most successful at punching distance when employed against looping or rounded punches.
Looping punches allow you to get inside more easily and also allow for better angling. As the
opponent begins his looping punch, angle inside slightly, keeping your arm on the same side of
his punching arm. Drive on an inside route upward, so his arm glances against the outside of
your arm as you continue to punch toward the target. His punch should be guided away from the
intended target, while your punch is directed to his face or body.
Outergate Punches
 The "outergate" punch is employed when your arm is outside of your opponent's arm. When the
opponent attempts to take an inside line to his target, you "cut" into his arm, redirect his strike,
and continue with your punch, driving into the target.
 The outergate punch can be utilized in normal punching range or for infighting. As you cut into
the opponent's arm, it might be a good idea to angle slightly to the same side as your punching
arm. This maneuver allows you to not only outflank your opponent, but may also move you out
of the way of his follow-up punch.

Attack by Draw
 If you are facing a strong defensive fighter or an opponent who likes to run, or if you are at a
decided reach disadvantage, feet Rune do's "attack by draw" can be an effective tactic, especially
when combined with a "stop-hit" or "stop-kick" maneuver.
 Attack by draw is one of Lee's legendary "five ways of attack." The object is to lure your
opponent into launching a particular attack by intentionally exposing an opening in your defense.
Perhaps you drop your hands to expose your head, or spread your arms to expose your
midsection, or lift your elbow and seemingly allow access to your ribs. At this point, you have
already analyzed the opponent's reach, speed, timing and body mechanics when executing an
attack, and have noticed any potential weaknesses to exploit.
 Once your opponent launches the expected attack, you are prepared to counter. You should
attempt to utilize a longer, quicker; or more direct offensive tool than the opponent. Your
counterstrike can be executed either at the beginning of, or midway through, his attack.
 The attack by draw principle is normally used against a less-aggressive opponent to lure him
into launching an attack. If the opponent is extra tentative, it might be a good idea to allow him
to get close to hitting his target a few times, yet just miss it. This will serve to build his
confidence, reduce his fear of being countered, and may cause him to throw caution to the wind.
When he is properly set up, counter his next attack.
 It is important to either angle away from, misdirect, or gain control of the opponent's striking
limb before penetrating too deeply with your own strike. Always keep in mind your defensive
structure and defensive tools when countering. Although you exposed a target to lure the
opponent in, when countering you must re-establish a proper defensive position to make sure he
doesn't score.
 "Stop-hit" and "stop-kick" movements include finger jabs to the eyes, foot jams to the shin, hard
kicks to the shin or knee, or kicks to the groin. Since these techniques are obviously illegal in the
ring, some pos- sible alternatives might be: a back kick to the ribs against an opponent's jab; a
front kick to the hip or thigh against an opponent's side kick; a step-and-glide jab against an
opponent's high roundhouse kick; or a front stomp kick to the hip or thigh against a opponent's
rear-leg kick.
 This article has touched on just a few of the principles of Jeet Kune Do which may assist you in
preparing for tournament, kickboxing or boxing competition. To gain a complete and thorough
understanding of these concepts, it is recommended that you seek out an experienced Jeet Kune
Do instructor who can assist you in furthering your skills in these areas.

Taken from Black Belt magazine

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