Martial Arts is not just about Fighting- Understanding the JKD Method

Jeet Kune Do
Shutterstock/ Olga L Galkina
When I read JKD, Bruce was not just trying to teach his fighting style. However, I feel he was teaching me about life and how to be a better human being. Many of his quotes express the way he lived life and how martial arts developed it. His life, training, and practice were so interconnected and fused together that they all became one. For instance, what you learn in JKD helps your life and what you learn in life helps your JKD

Maybe not your physical training but your mental and spiritual development that empowers your physicality. As I learned from the USA 7's Rugby Coach, Mike Friday,"If you want a better player, make them a better person." Very similar view to Bruce Lee.

Bruce seemed to apply all his philosophy, not just think about it. This is probably why he was advanced and superior. He did not hesitate and let thoughts unconsciously roll away. He would dissect them first, extract what he needed, and then moved on. Bruce was a master at being a student because a master never stops learning and experimenting.

Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own.

There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.

Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.

Bruce believed that fighting was reflexive, unpredictable and spontaneous, like life and spirit. Bruce taught that you can only react not predict. If you have control emotionally to reactions, you will have better reflexes. And if you have better reflexes, you can be better prepared for the unpredictable.

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

A good fighter must sense rather than perceive his chance to strike.

The control of our being is not unlike the combination of a safe. One turn of the knob rarely unlocks the safe; each advance and retreat is a step toward one's final achievement.

Unlike classical and traditional martial arts, Jeet Kune Do is not fixed style of fighting. JKD is what sits in-between life and fighting. In order to be a better martial artist, you need to be a better person. For example, being egotistical in JKD will affect your life the same way as well as your compassion and sincerity. One must apply ego at the same time humility. One must be heavy to produce power and at the same time be soft to be agile and quick. Learning to adapt is the key to life and fighting and seeking balance harmonizes, stimulates and connects them- Yin and Yang.

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.

Centering is the reconciliation of opposites so that they no longer waste energy in useless struggle with each other but can join in productive combination and interplay.

Effort implies a struggle towards a goal, and when you have a goal, a purpose, and end in view, you have placed a limit on your mind. Remove the limit and use the energy of your mind creatively to further your development.

I believe the biggest thing Bruce taught was adaptation. Bruce knew how the mind was the best way to learn but at the same time, works against you. Because without adaptation, problems and issues arise. And when they arise you lose your way in life. JKD was Bruce's way to show people how to live a better, happier, and meaningful life.

Instead of establishing rigid rules and separative thoughts, we should look within ourselves to see where our particular problems lie and our cause of ignorance. You must look for the truth yourself and experience every minute detail of for yourself.

He who wants to succeed should learn how to fight, to strive and to suffer. You can acquire a lot in life, if you are prepared to give up a lot to get it.

As you think, so you shall become.

In our eyes we saw Bruce Lee as perfect. However, perfection is simply evolved simplicity. Bruce was very simplistic and taught you have to do things that are natural for you because what is natural is easy and simple. Through consistent practice, simplicity evolves and transforms. And, when it transforms through our natural way, it becomes more advanced to another person and remains simple for you. We all have this potential and ability. But you must practice and be consistent and natural with simplicity and fundamentals for transformation and evolution to happen in life and technique.

Simplicity is the key to brilliance.

The extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way.

The art of Jeet Kune Do is simply to simplify. Jeet Kune Do avoids the superficial, penetrates the complex, goes to the heart of the problem and pinpoints the key factors. Jeet Kune Do does not beat around the bush. It does not take winding detours. It follows a straight line to the objective. Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points. 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.

You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.

For more health fitness and training tips about Bruce Lee or in general check out my channel, the Balanced Body. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcTdGuQFH48EgrCmyZ81mig

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