tim tackett

A JKD Private Lesson With Tim Tackett

Tim Tackett used to be a schoolteacher, but he should have been a principal. Why? Because he knows all about principles — as in, the foundational principles of jeet kune do. You can sense that within minutes of starting an interview with him about Bruce Lee's martial art. You can even sense it when you initiate a discussion about such an interview.

"Lots of articles are based on things like the five kicks of taekwondo," he said while brainstorming. "JKD is different because it's more principle-based. The kicks we do are similar to kicks everybody else does. It's the principles that guide us in the study of Bruce's art. Let's do an interview about the principles."

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This jeet kune do wisdom from four of Bruce Lee's most famous followers is guaranteed to further your understanding of his fighting art — and yours!

Black Belt contacted 16 well-known martial artists who teach jeet kune do or were heavily influenced by it to get their thoughts on the most important part of Bruce Lee’s art. Part 1 features replies from Dan Inosanto, Tim Tackett, Kelly McCann and Joe Lewis. Part 2 includes the answers we got from Burton Richardson, Matthew J. Numrich, Teri Tom and Richard S. Bustillo. Here, in Part 3, Leo Fong, Bustillo (again), Paul Vunak and Gary Dill weigh in.

Photo by Peter Lueders

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Black Belt contacted prominent martial artists to learn what they regard as the most essential teachings of jeet kune do founder Bruce Lee. Here's what Dan Inosanto, Tim Tackett, Kelly McCann and Joe Lewis had to say.

The concept was simple enough: We contacted 16 prominent martial artists who either teach jeet kune do or were inspired by it, then asked them to identify the single most important thing Bruce Lee taught. To liven it up a bit, we told them it didn't have to be a punch or a kick; it could also be a concept or a philosophy.

The hardest part, most everyone reported, was picking only one thing. In fact, some people disregarded our instructions and selected two or three — and we're kind of glad they did because all the answers are fascinating.

— Editors

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Get the best advice for training — and for life — from the biggest names in the martial arts, including Bill Wallace, Greg Jackson, Stephen K. Hayes, Frank Shamrock, Rorion Gracie and Tim Tackett!

The external lessons of the martial arts are obvious. Use a jab to strike an opponent in front of you. Practice kata to polish your basic techniques and movements. Lift weights to build your strength. You probably know them by heart because you’re exposed to them every day in the dojo.

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