If you want to learn Jeet Kune Do, you’ll often find it compared or mentioned as a branch of an older fighting style called Wing Chun (or Wing Tsun). Wing Chun is a type of Chinese Kung Fu studied by Jeet Kune Do founder Bruce Lee and employs the “economy of motion” – meaning the fighting moves necessary to get the job done without the “classical mess” as Lee called it.
Use Your Opponent’s Strengths Against Him
The interesting thing about Wing Chun (and by extension, Jeet Kune Do) is that it doesn’t matter how big or beefy the person you’re fighting is. They can be 300 pounds of solid muscle, but their brute strength can be turned against them. Wing Chun is economical, efficient, and precise, relying on low kicks and dynamic punches as well as elbows, head-butts, pokes, and other moves to bring down an attacker. Beautiful in its simplicity, Jeet Kune Do (abbreviated JKD) uses Wing Chun as a foundation and builds upon it based on many of the philosophies and beliefs echoed by Bruce Lee during his lifetime.
Not a “Blocky” Type of Art
It isn’t a rigid “blocky” style of fighting. Rather like its predecessor Wing Chun, it is elegant and flowing, with no distinct starting or stopping of movement. It’s quick, ruthless, and extremely practical. Even defensive moves like blocking are shunned in favor of stop-hits or stop-kicks, which is a combination of halting an opponent’s move and initiating your own in the same flawless movement.
Understanding the Concepts of Jeet Kune Do
With cryptic-sounding quotes like “Having no limitation as limitation” and “Using no way as way”, you might be inclined to think that Jeet Kune Do is purely philosophical bunk. But dig a little deeper and you’ll see that a style of fighting with no limitations and no set-in-stone “way” of doing things is very liberating. It very closely mimics the dynamics of a real street fight – where there are no set rules and no real “way” of doing things, except to make sure you get out of it alive.
In the end, no matter how you look at it, Jeet Kune Do is a style that evolves. Every student comes away with a different meaning – none of which should be construed as the “real” Jeet Kune Do. It is a deeply personal style of fighting which constantly blends and refines itself to stay true to the idea that you use what is necessary, and cut out all the rest. When it comes to self-defense, that’s the only truth in the fight.