The Kutting Edge of Jeet Kune Do Concepts
by Michael A. Krivka

What Is Jeet Kune Do?
Simply, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is 'the way of the intercepting fist'. JKD is the product of Sijo Bruce Lee's experimentation and interpretation of combat. JKD is characterized by functionality in all combat ranges, mobility in and out of each range, and experimentation and continuous growth to further understand combat, life and one's place in the world.

 

Is JKD a system, style, or art?
JKD is the 'research and development' tool that was the third part of the evolutionary process that began with the Tao of Chinese Gung Fu. At one time JKD was thought of as a style by its practitioners, but Sijo Bruce quickly realized that the preponderance of the term 'style' severely limited JKD. Instead, JKD was to be used as a tool that could be used to look at other arts and to see their relationship to your own development. So, in reality, JKD is part of Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu, as opposed to being something completely separate from it. Following are a number of quotes from Sifu Dan Inosanto that shed some light on JKD:

  • '(JKD is) a series of guidelines to lead you to proficiency.'
  • '(JKD is) Finding the right art for the right time and place.'
  • 'JKD is not an end unto itself, but merely a byproduct. JKD was to serve as a means of self-discovery.'
  • 'The motion of change is essential to JKD. The concept advocates learning, experiencing, evolving above all things.'  
The Evolutionary Process
Sijo Bruce defined his own personal style of combat differently during different stages of his own learning process. Following is that developmental process:
  • Tao of Chinese Gung Fu: San Francisco and Seattle era. Strong Wing Chun Gung Fu influence (80%).
  • Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu: Seattle and Oakland era. Continued modification of Wing Chun (50%) with the addition of more dynamic footwork and kicking.
  • Jeet Kune Do and JKD Concepts: Los Angeles era (1967-). Growth art continued until Sijo Bruce's death and is continuing today under the direction of Sifu Dan.

With this information one can now understand the disparity between the skillset and techniques of an individual from the Seattle era and someone from the Los Angeles era. Is one wrong and the other right? No; they are both on the same path, but are at different places in time and evolution. JKD is constantly changing, and the JKD of today is not the JKD of tomorrow. Only time will tell where the path will lead.

The Kutting Edge (MAK) Jan. - Feb. 1996

 


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