Why Bruce Lee Facts and JKD History Must Be Preserved
Bruce Lee and jeet kune do historian Tommy Gong, author of Bruce Lee: The Evolution of a Martial Artist, explores the importance of Lee's legacy as a resource for martial artists who seek to continue their own evolution.
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I remember Linda Lee Cadwell paraphrasing a statement made by Pete Jacobs (a student of Bruce Lee’s in Los Angeles) during the Inaugural JFJKD Seminar held in 1997 in San Francisco: “We can’t possibly predict in what direction he may have gone, most certainly we can predict that he would have continued to grow, evolve, change, but we can’t say what that was [or would have been]." In this way, JFJKD serves as both the historical reference for what Bruce Lee practiced, trained and taught during his lifetime, and also the inspiration or catalyst encouraging followers not to follow blindly their sifu (teacher) and/or style, and to discover the truth for themselves. Although Bruce Lee’s message prescribed having no boundaries when looking to improve one’s martial arts, it becomes increasingly important to document what he taught and practiced so future generations will have a chance to experience what the first-generation students did during their time with him. As a result, the art of Jun Fan jeet kune do showcases the common ground that first-generation students share so the historical reference and context of his evolution in the martial arts during his lifetime could be preserved. When examining Lee’s personal notes and letters, and hearing the recollections from his students, one can discover the building blocks of jeet kune do. In this way, Lee’s body of work is basic source material, providing the beginning student some initial steps to study and explore, and a path to understanding JKD.
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