Seeking the Path to Greatness
by Damon Caro

 

"Learning Jeet Kune Do is not a matter of seeking knowledge or accumulating a stylized pattern, but is discovering the cause of ignorance."  - Si Gung Bruce Lee

Many people view the quality of personal greatness as a moral dilemma. In witnessing the greatness of our teachers and peers, many of us recognize admirable characteristics we may lack. We may then decide to choose a path that strives to emulate our mentors and elevate ourselves to a higher level, or we may allow jealousy; envy and ignorance to create a barrier to achieving our own greatness. In creating a barrier, we also prevent our understanding of such a level of personal growth and achievement. No one within the world of martial arts better illustrates the ideal of personal greatness than Sifu Dan Inosanto. For the past several years, I have had the honor of assisting Sifu Dan Inosanto in his seminars across the United States, as well as in many foreign countries.

 

Although I have learned a great deal regarding the martial arts from this man, these lessons are secondary to a greater knowledge that he has presented to me. As a mentor, teacher and friend, Sifu Inosanto has served as a living example of the impact that true grace, honor, dedication, and wisdom can have upon life. For myself and all of those whom he touches, he is one of the finest and most humble souls encountered. Yet, many have chosen to assault his reputation rather than embrace the knowledge and wisdom that he has attained and shares with such dedication and humility.

 

It has been stated, for example, that Sifu Inosanto does not teach Jun Fan Gung Fu, which is the genesis and base method of Si Gung Bruce Lee's personal expression of Jeet Kune Do. As a current student and certified instructor of the only remaining authentic line of Jeet Kune Do, I believe the erroneous nature of this statement is quite staggering.

 

Another claim has been made that Sifu Inosanto is altering Jun Fan Gung Fu via the influence of techniques derived from various other methods. Bruce Lee states in his book Tao of Jeet Kune Do that "Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve its end." This passage illustrates the eclectic nature of the founder's ideology and represents the adaptive and evolutionary spirit of his art. In combat situations, it is necessary to utilize that which is useful and available, and that germinates from functionality regardless of style or method; therefore, Sifu Inosanto's cross referencing of various methods with those of Jun Fan Gung Fu is in direct correlation with the heart and spirit of Jeet Kune Do. In addition, Sifu Inosanto, out of his respect for the base method of Jun Fan Gung Fu, allocates many classes each week to a study of this art at the Inosanto Academy. In fact he has often said that one could appreciate Jun Fan Gung Fu without an under standing of Jeet Kune Do, but one could not truly embrace Jeer Kune Do without expanding upon the foundations - physically, mentally and spiritually- of Jun Fan Gung Fu.

 

 


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