Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My way to Jeet Kune Do

As a Wing Chun practitioner, i sought the way i thought that was ideal for me. I believed that Wing Chun would help me become the ideal warrior that is until i realized it's limitations. Traditional Wing Chun footwork is solid and strong no doubt. Wing Chun sifus teach that as long as your footwork is mobile, you don't need to waste too much time on footwork. Simply step back and close the gap. I soon found that if faced with an attacker who has a more free moving footwork like a wrestler, how can you expect to end the threat quickly in a Wing Chun stance? The traditional Wing Chun fighting footwork would not be able to respond to those types of situations. When i stumbled across Master Wong's Wing Chun teachings on youtube explaining that Wing Chun must evolve in order to face those situations, i soon realized one of the flaws in the way Wing Chun was being taught today. Wing Chun sifus might counter this by saying "when confronted with an opponent seeking to compromise your balance, simply maintain it and close the gap.." but it's hard to do when your opponent moves faster than you and will probably knock you over with their powerful attacks. Wing Chun's systematic weakness is groundfighting so if your on the ground, you would have no way to defend yourself against a BJJ fighter! If the only way to respond effectively to the systematic weaknesses of Wing Chun is being more free in movements, what does that say about traditional Wing Chun?

I soon realized that every style has it's own systematic flaws. Even moreso, many martial arts have strayed from realistic self defense training and more into other uses such as sports or health-related fitness training. It was when i stumbled across Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do that i realized this was what i was seeking. Having no way as way and no limitation as limitation. Bruce Lee's guiding thought was absorbing what was useful and discarding what wasn't. Jeet Kune Do's training was rooted in full contact no holds barred sparring to train for combat realism.

Jeet Kune Do is a fighting philosophy not a style but there exists two distinct schools of Jeet Kune Do. The first which seeks to preserve Bruce Lee's fighting style, Jun Fan Gung Fu as a means of teaching Jeet Kune Do. The second school loosely applies Jeet Kune Do concepts to any martial arts and develops the individual fighter. I learned that the term "Jeet Kune Do" is just a name. Some call Jeet Kune Do the original MMA, modified Wing Chun, modified boxing, etc. but in reality, Jeet Kune Do cannot be clearly defined. Bruce Lee intended it to be a personal journey of self discovery. Only when you embark on this journey that you begin to understand the meaning of Jeet Kune Do.

Bruce Lee saw that each style was confined to one particular fighting range (close range, long range, grappling range, trapping range) but no one style had all the answers to each situation. Thus he believed that the ideal martial artist should be proficient in all ranges and borrow from any simple techniques irrespective of style. Jeet Kune Do is about seeing reality from different perspectives and being fluid. The way of the intercepting fist appealed to me because it served as a defense by being a powerful offense unlike Wing Chun sifus training you to deflect with one hand while using the other to attack. What most appealed to me about Jeet Kune Do aside from freedom of expression is it's philosophy of adapting to every situation and evolving as an individual.

It is my personal conviction that the Jeet Kune Do philosophy will help people reach their full potential especially in the field of self defense. As i walk on the path to finding the true meaning of Jeet Kune Do, i hope to discover the essence of my identity and what lies beyond.

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