Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why i dislike the Jeet Kune Do community

Despite being a Jeet Kune Do practitioner myself, i don't like associating with most of the Jeet Kune Do community. It's not that they are fans of Bruce Lee as i'm a fan myself. It's the fact that the way Jeet Kune Do is being taught today has strayed so much from what Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto intended. I've seen so many people practicing Jun Fan Gung Fu and i have no problem with that. The problem arises when people try to put Jeet Kune Do in a box and limit it to the material that only Bruce Lee practiced. Some have even gone as far as denouncing what Jeet Kune Do is and what it isn't.

This self limiting and arrogant mindset is preparing a generation of people who are unprepared for self defense.  There are many people who have shifted their focus from the process to the product which Bruce warned about. Jeet Kune Do has become a style, not a philosophy. There's a lack of emphasis on creativity, individuality, and finding your own Jeet Kune Do. There's nothing wrong with learning Jun Fan Gung Fu but you should make sure you understand it and most don't. Jun Fan Gung Fu is Bruce Lee's own personal expression. Jun Fan Gung Fu is an example of how the Jeet Kune Do philosophy is applied. It's the basis for understanding Jeet Kune Do. It does not represent Jeet Kune Do as a whole because Jeet Kune Do is different for each individual. Nevertheless, many JKD practitioners will try to fight the way Bruce did. This is impossible. You'll never be able to fight the way Bruce did because everyone has specific needs and distinct abilities. Very few people could move as fast as Bruce Lee and had the same insights in combat as he did. As Dan Inosanto explains, learning Jun Fan Gung Fu helps in understanding Bruce Lee and Jeet Kune Do from a historical framework but after that, you should research your own experience. If Jeet Kune Do to you means learning Jun Fan Gung Fu then that's your Jeet Kune Do. If Jeet Kune Do means mixing up a bunch of martial arts together to another person then that's Jeet Kune Do for him or her. Jeet Kune Do is a process of self discovery that each person ought to tread alone as long as the philosophy is being applied.  

Why do i find many Jun Fan Gung Fu practitioners unprepared for self defense? Because they confine themselves to a style namely Bruce's. This goes against his teaching "be like water." Once you become too rigid, your movements become mechanical and predictable. That's not to say you won't win any street fight but you won't be able to deal with every violent situation. MMA is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Do you think you can defend yourself against an MMA fighter? Do you think you can deal with a knife? A gun? Difficult situations? What about advanced weaponry? If you want to defend yourself effectively, you'll have to be fluid because every situation in combat is different. Jeet Kune Do is about evolution and constantly evolving. It doesn't do anyone good to strictly learn a style or system because the essence of Jeet Kune Do is adaptability.

For these reasons, i don't like the Jeet Kune Do community. I don't like the culture that it's brought up. I don't like how Jeet Kune Do is taught. I don't suggest you take a class to learn Jeet Kune Do because nine times out of ten, your instructor will not teach you the essence of Jeet Kune Do. If you want to learn Jeet Kune Do, learn it from Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto themselves. Read their source material and apply the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do in your self defense training. Be independent. Absorb what is useful to you and what isn't. Discover who you are as an individual. Only then will you understand the true meaning of Jeet Kune Do.

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