Thursday, January 12, 2017

The differences between MMA and Jeet Kune Do

There seems to be a misconception as to what MMA is and what Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is as taught by Bruce Lee. What Bruce did was NOT mixed martial arts. He developed a fighting philosophy that incorporated certain aspects of martial arts he found useful and scientific. While MMA and Jeet Kune Do share some similarities, they are not one in the same. Hopefully, this guide will help you get a better insight on how to adapt your training and mindset in the self defense setting. Here's a list highlighting the key differences:

MMA is made of styles, JKD is a liberation from them - MMA fighters typically train under traditional martial arts for ring fighting in the areas of striking, kicking, ground-fighting, and grappling. Jeet Kune Do is a non-traditional approach to martial arts or combat sport. Jeet Kune Do is only about taking certain efficient or useful tools or ideas of a martial art and discarding the rest of the style. Your focus is on creating your own fighting system and being proficient with what you skillfully use in combat. Jeet Kune Do focuses primarily on striking, kicking, trapping, grappling, possibly some groundfighting but practitioners don't necessarily have to train extensively in all of these ranges.

MMA is for sport, JKD is for combat - Another difference between MMA and Jeet Kune Do is that MMA typically suited for sport while Jeet Kune Do is for combat. Jeet Kune Do trains full contact no holds barred sparring with equipment and gear for safety. MMA training is typically suited for sports fighting rather than the streets.

MMA has rules, JKD doesn't - According to UFC rules, you are forbidden from doing certain moves and thus will not be trained to do them in an MMA environment. Jeet Kune Do has a no holds barred mentality and fighting dirty is allowed. That means you could headbutt, eye gouge, use weapons, elbow strike, bite, throw low blows, have help, pull hair, hit the eyes, the throat, use the environment to your advantage, brutal moves to vital areas, joint breaks, the list goes on.

MMA and JKD have different strategies - The purpose of MMA is to ultimately lead to submissions or knock out. The cross training in various martial arts is to counter their opponent's strengths. The strategies used in MMA may include sprawl and brawl, clinching, ground and pound, the list goes on. Jeet Kune Do on the other hand has a list of principles that the user can freely use or discard. In Jeet Kune Do, your goal is to simply end the fight through interception or other ways of attack in JKD concepts. There's no wasted movement or much thought involved. Rather than learn the best martial art to counter an opponent's ground-fighting ability for example, you either avoid a takedown or execute a counter-attack in the striking and/or other ranges.

MMA has structure, JKD is fluid - In MMA, you have time to study your opponent before a fight and devise a strategy. For example, you might note that your opponent is a superb striker so you work on your long range attacks and stick to the attack plan. In Jeet Kune Do, you simply adapt to every situation whether you have time to devise a strategy or not. MMA has a set standard for using techniques or principles whether in the ring or outside of the ring. Jeet Kune Do doesn't. In Jeet Kune Do, it's about making your ideas work in combat. For example, conventional wisdom says "you should NEVER fight on the ground in a street fight as your enemy could have a weapon..." Jeet Kune Do's question is "can you make it work in training?" If you can, this saying doesn't apply to you under the right circumstances.

 MMA is about competition, JKD is about evolution - In MMA, you learn mixed martial arts to compete - that's it. While you could indeed apply MMA to self defense, you are limited by what the styles have to offer. Jeet Kune Do is about evolution of the self and the knowledge of the past through improvement. In Jeet Kune Do, you bring new insights into the art of combat and go beyond your limits or the ones placed upon you. One of the reasons why Bruce Lee did not compete in sports fighting was because he could not transcend as a martial artist in that environment. Jeet Kune Do is about constant refinement not just in martial arts, but in daily life.

In conclusion, these are several defining characteristics that ultimately separate Jeet Kune Do and MMA from each other. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below.

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