Richard Bustillo, a first-generation student of jeet kune do founder Bruce Lee, was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as the 1989 Co-Instructor of the Year. Devoting much of his life to preserving and propagating the teachings of Bruce Lee, Richard Bustillo was one of the jeet kune do founder’s first followers in Los Angeles and was partly responsible for training Bruce Lee’s children (Brandon Lee and Shannon Lee) in the martial arts.
Richard Bustillo’s beginnings in martial arts trace back to when he was 10 years old and joined a judo club. His martial arts training over the years went on to include boxing, kajukenbo, escrima, Thai boxing, wrestling, jujitsu, silat and tai chi chuan. Despite this wide array of martial arts experience, Richard Bustillo has always been a believer in Bruce Lee’s teachings and jeet kune do techniques, which he evolved into his own version for teaching at his IMB Academy in Torrance, California.
In this exclusive video, filmed at one of Black Belt’s photography studios, Richard Bustillo teaches jeet kune do techniques based on what he calls “the six gates of jeet kune do.”
JEET KUNE DO TECHNIQUES VIDEO
First-Generation Bruce Lee Student Richard Bustillo Shows You JKD Counterattacks
Richard Bustillo on Bruce Lee and Versatility
“When I was 24, I met Bruce Lee, and I studied with him at the original Chinatown school,” Richard Bustillo says. “I was one of the original students there. Bruce emphasized the importance of being well-rounded in all ranges, and now at the IMB Academy, we focus on that concept. We like to use weapons in long range, boxing strikes and kicking in middle range, and grappling and trapping up close. You have to know all those ranges to be successful in self-defense.”
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Richard Bustillo on Safety When Practicing Jeet Kune Do Techniques
“These six gates can be used as drills or in actual application for street self-defense,” Richard Bustillo says. “Because [these are fast jeet kune do techniques], we try to emphasize not hurting each other [when training]. We always emphasize safety when practicing — touching the body and not the face.”
Richard Bustillo on Bruce Lee’s Approach to Jeet Kune Do Techniques and the Martial Arts Overall
“The most important thing I’ve learned from Bruce Lee is honesty,” Richard Bustillo says. “Every individual should honestly think for himself/herself, accepting only what works for himself/herself that makes good practical sense. The individual is more important than any style or system. Jeet kune do is Bruce Lee’s personal approach to fighting for survival in an uncontrolled situation. His art is founded upon body mechanics, simplicity, effectiveness and adaptability. It is based on his concepts, principles, philosophies and personal training methods.”