Saturday, December 24, 2005
Bruce Lee's own style of fighting was called Jeet Kune Do, this style was taken from the best methods from all the other schools.
JEET KUNE DO PRINCIPALS
Jeet Kune Do shares a lot of its principals with other arts. Those who study Wing Chun will see a lot of things taken directly from it. It has borrowed a lot things from other arts such as footwork from both fencing and boxing, grappling from Judo and so on, but has a lot of unique perspectives of its own. Jeet Kune Do also emphasizes being physically fit, but most of all, the number one rule of Jeet Kune Do is to use whatever works.
ECONOMY OF MOTION
Economy of motion means that you use no wasted movement. That is to say, you make only the motions that are effective and necessary. Do not over extend, or follow through to far after a punch, it will leave you open. If you are able to retract quicker you can attack again quicker, or be ready to defend.
CENTER LINE THEORY
The center line refers to an imaginary line running down the center of ones body. The idea is to exploit, control and dominate your opponent's centerline. All attacks, defenses and footwork are designed to preserve your own center line and open your opponent's.
Three basic rules are:
The one who controls the center line will control the fight.
Protect and maintain your own centerline while you control and exploit your opponent's.
Control the center line by occupying it.
THEORY OF FACING
The idea is to always face your opponent's center line. This does not mean that you have to be facing face to face. If you use some footwork or maybe a little trapping hands, you may end up facing his right or left side, or even better his back (Don't count on this one, but it's nice!) Now you are facing your opponent's central line, but he is not facing yours!
IMMOVABLE ELBOW THEORY
This is the idea that you WILL NOT compromise the space between your arms and your body when somebody is pressing an attack. If they successfully pin your arms against you then you have lost a lot of options. So when in trapping always keep about six inches between your elbow and your body.
YOUR OPPONENT DICTATES YOUR ACTIONS
Not all the time. What I mean is, don't go into a situation thinking, "I'm gonna do this, and then this, and finish him with this.", because it will never happen right. Respond to what your opponent does. If he keeps moving in, either move back, change your line of attack (e.g. sidestepping) or stop him in his tracks but it will be different each time.
DON'T PLAY NICE
A lot of arts say no hitting the groin or throat because it hurts, or there is a potential for injury. JKD is not a sport. IF you NEED to use it, use it and don't hold back, especially if it's your life your dealing with. HOWEVER, in training always respect your partner and wear the appropriate equipment.
It's great to know a lot of techniques that are difficult or to know many that flow together, because you never know when you will need them. BUT, it is always best to use simple techniques and the lesser the number of techniques the better. Why dance around and look good when a straight jab to the face is easier?
Exercise and eat right. You know the drill. Just be healthy and happy, it will improve more than just your martial arts!
Bruce once explained this on Hong Kong television. 'There are lots of places on the human body which are obvious spots to attack such as the head or the stomach - but if you aim for somewhere unexpected, then your opponent can't defend themselves in time'.
The main kicks Bruce used to destroy opponents often twice his size were the Groin kick, the Front Through the Heart kick, the Shovel Leg kick and the Tiger Tail kick. With his fists he used the Cranes Beak, the Snake Strike, the Tiger Claw and the Dragons Head. His stances included the Deer, the Bird and the Monkey.
He wrote many articles and books on his favourite subject, this one was taken from Black Belt Magazine, September 1971.
LIBERATE YOURSELF FROM CLASSICAL KARATE
by Bruce Lee
HE TEACHES AND EXPLAINS WHAT IS JEET KUNE DO
I am the first to admit that any attempt to crystalize Jeet Kune Do into a written article is no easy task. Perhaps to avoid making a 'thing' out of a 'process'. I have not until now personally written an article on JKD. Indeed, it is difficult to explain what Jeet Kune Do is, although it may be easier to explain what it is not.
Let me begin with a Zen story. The story might be familiar to some, but I repeat it for it's appropriateness. Look upon this story as a means of limbering up one's senses, one's attitude and one's mind to make them pliable and receptive. You need that to understand this article, otherwise you might as well forget reading any further.
A learned man once went to a Zen teacher to inquire about Zen. As the Zen teacher explained, the learned man would frequently interrupt him with remarks like, "Oh, yes, we have that too...." and so on.
Finally the Zen teacher stopped talking and began to serve tea to the learned man. He poured the cup full, and then kept pouring until the cup overflowed.
"Enough!" the learned man once more interrupted. "No more can go into the cup!"
"Indeed, I see," answered the Zen teacher. "If you do not first empty the cup, how can you taste my cup of tea?"
I hope my comrades in the martial arts will read the following paragraphs with open-mindedness leaving all the burdens of preconceived opinions and conclusions behind. This act, by the way, has in itself liberating power. After all, the usefulness of the cup is in it's emptiness.
Make this article relate to yourself, because though it is on JKD, it is primarily concerned with the blossoming of a martial artist---not a "Chinese" martial artist, a "Japanese" martial artist, etc. A martial artist is a human being first. Just as nationalities have nothing to do with one's humanity, so they have nothing to do with martial arts. Leave your protective shell of isolation and relate 'directly' to what is being said. Return to your senses by ceasing all the intervening intellectual mumbo jumbo. Remember that life is a constant process of relating. Remember too, that I seek neither your approval nor to influence you towards my way of thinking. I will be more than satisfied if, as a result of this article, you begin to investigate everything for yourself and cease to uncritically accept prescribed formulas that dictate "this is this" and "that is that".
ON CHOICELESS OBSERVATION
Suppose several persons who are trained in different styles of combative arts witness an all out street fight. I am sure that we would hear different versions from each of these stylists. This is quite understandable for one cannot see a fight (or anything else) "as is" as long as he is blinded by his chosen point of view, i.e. style, and he will view the fight through the lens of his particular conditioning. Fighting, "as is," is simple and total. It is not limited to your perspective conditioning as a Chinese martial artist. True observation begins when one sheds set patterns and true freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond systems.
Before we examine Jeet Kune Do, let's consider exactly what a "classical" martial art style really is. To begin with, we must recognize the incontrovertible fact that regardless of their many colorful origins (by a wise, mysterious monk, by a special messenger in a dream, in a holy revelation, etc.) styles are created by men. A style should never be considered gospel truth, the laws and principles of which can never be violated. Man, the living, creating individual, is always more important than any established style.
It is conceivable that a long time ago a certain martial artist discovered some partial truth. During his lifetime, the man resisted the temptation to organize this partial truth, although this is a common tendency in a man's search for security and certainty in life. After his death, his students took "his" hypotheses, "his" postulates, "his" method and turned them into law. Impressive creeds were then invented, solemn reinforcing ceremonies prescribed, rigid philosophy and patterns formulated, and son on, until finally an institution was erected. So, what originated as one man's intuition of some sort of personal fluidity has been transformed into solidified, fixed knowledge, complete with organized classified responses presented in a logical order. In so doing, the well-meaning, loyal followers have not only made this knowledge a holy shrine, but also a tomb in which they have buried the founder's wisdom.
But distortion does not necessarily end here. In reaction to "the other truth," another martial artist, or possible a dissatisfied disciple, organizes an opposite approach--such as the "soft" style versus the "hard" style, the "internal" school versus the "external" school, and all these separate nonsenses. Soon this opposite faction also becomes a large organization, with its own laws and patterns. A rivalry begins, with each style claiming to possess the "truth" to the exclusions of all others.
At best, styles are merely parts dissected from a unitary whole. All styles require adjustment, partiality, denials, condemnation and a lot of self- justification. The solutions they purport to provide are the very cause of the problem, because they limit and interfere with our natural growth and obstruct the way to genuine understanding. Divisive by nature, styles keep men 'apart' from each other rather than 'unite' them.
TRUTH CANNOT BE STRUCTURED OR DEFINED
One cannot express himself fully when imprisoned by a confining style. Combat "as is" is total, and it includes all the "is" as well as "is not," without favorite lines or angles. Lacking boundaries, combat is always fresh, alive and constantly changing. Your particular style, your personal inclinations and your physical makeup are all 'parts' of combat, but they do not constitute the 'whole' of combat. Should your responses become dependent upon any single part, you will react in terms of what "should be" rather than to the reality of the ever-changing "what is." Remember that while the whole is evidenced in all its parts, an isolated part, efficient or not, does not constitute the whole.
Prolonged repetitious drillings will certainly yield mechanical precision and security of that kind comes from any routine. However, it is exactly this kind of "selective" security or "crutch" which limits or blocks the total growth of a martial artist. In fact, quite a few practitioners develop such a liking for and dependence on their "crutch" that they can no longer walk without it. Thus, anyone special technique, however cleverly designed is actually a hinderance.
Let it be understood once and for all that I have NOT invented a new style, composite, or modification. I have in no way set Jeet Kune Do within a distinct form governed by laws that distinguish it from "this" style or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my comrades from bondage to styles, patterns and doctrines.
What, then, is Jeet Kune Do? Literally, "jeet" means to intercept or to stop; "kune" is the fist; and "do" is the way, the ultimate reality---the way of the intercepting fist. Do remember, however, that "Jeet Kune Do" is merely a convenient name. I am not interested with the term itself; I am interested in its effect of liberation when JKD is used as a mirror for self-examination.
Unlike a "classical" martial art, there is no series of rules or classification of technique that constitutes a distinct "Jeet Kune Do" method of fighting. JKD is not a form of special conditioning with its own rigid philosophy. It looks at combat not from a single angle, but from all possible angles. While JKD utilizes all the ways and means to serve its end (after all, efficiency is anything that scores), it is bound by none and is therefore free. In other words, JKD possesses everything, but is in itself possessed by nothing.
Therefore, to try and define JKD in terms of a distinct style---be it gung-fu, karate, street fighting, Bruce Lee's martial art, etc.---is to completely miss its meaning. It's teaching simply cannot be confined with a system. Since JKD is at once "this" and "not this", it neither opposes nor adheres to any style. To understand this fully, one must transcend from the duality of "for" and "against" into one organic unity which is without distinctions. Understanding of JKD is direct intuition of this unity.
There are no prearranged sets or "kata" in the teaching of JKD, nor are they necessary. Consider the subtle difference between "having no form" and having "no form"; the first is ignorance, the second is transcendence. Through instinctive body feeling, each of us 'knows' our own most efficient and dynamic manner of achieving effective leverage, balance in motion, economical use of energy, etc. Patterns, techniques or forms touch only the fringe of genuine understanding. The core of understanding lies in the individual mind, and until that is touched, everything is uncertain and superficial. Truth cannot be perceived until we come to fully understand ourselves and our potentials. After all, 'knowledge in the martial arts ultimately means self-knowledge.'
At this point you may ask, "How do I gain this knowledge?" That you will have to find out all by yourself. You must accept the fact that there is in help but self-help. For the same reason I cannot tell you how to "gain" freedom, since freedom exists within you. I cannot tell you what 'not' to do, I cannot tell you what you 'should' do, since that would be confining you to a particular approach. Formulas can only inhibit freedom, externally dictated prescriptions only squelch creativity and assure mediocrity. Bear in mind that the freedom that accrues from self-knowledge cannot be acquired through strict adherence to a formula; we do not suddenly "become" free, we simply "are" free.
Learning is definitely not mere imitation, nor is it the ability to accumulate and regurgitate fixed knowledge. Learning is a constant process of discovery, a process without end. In JKD we begin not by accumulation but by discovering the cause of our ignorance, a discovery that involves a shedding process.
Unfortunately, most students in the martial arts are conformists. Instead of learning to depend on themselves for expression, they blindly follow their instructors, no longer feeling alone, and finding security in mass imitation. The product of this imitation is a dependent mind. Independent inquiry, which is essential to genuine understanding, is sacrificed. Look around the martial arts and witness the assortment of routine performers, trick artists, desensitized robots, glorifiers of the past and so on---- all followers or exponents of organized despair.
How often are we told by different "sensei" of "masters" that the martial arts are life itself? But how many of them truly understand what they are saying? Life is a constant movement---rhythmic as well as random; life is a constant change and not stagnation. Instead of choicelessly flowing with this process of change, many of these "masters", past and present, have built an illusion of fixed forms, rigidly subscribing to traditional concepts and techniques of the art, solidifying the ever-flowing, dissecting the totality.
The most pitiful sight is to see sincere students earnestly repeating those imitative drills, listening to their own screams and spiritual yells. In most cases, the means these "sensei" offer their students are so elaborate that the student must give tremendous attention to them, until gradually he loses sight of the end. The students end up performing their methodical routines as a mere conditioned response, rather than 'responding to' "what is." They no longer "listen" to circumstances; they "recite" their circumstances. These pour souls have unwittingly become trapped in the miasma of classical martial arts training.
A teacher, a really good sensei, is never a 'giver' of "truth"; he is a guide, a 'pointer' to the truth that the student must discover for himself. A good teacher, therefore, studies each student individually and encourages the student to explore himself, both internally and externally, until, ultimately, the student is integrated with his being. For example, a skillful teacher might spur his student's growth by confronting him with certain frustrations. A good teacher is a catalyst. Besides possessing a deep understanding, he must also have a responsive mind with great flexibility and sensitivity.
A FINGER POINTING TO THE MOON
There is no standard in total combat, and expression must be free. this liberating truth is a reality only in so far as it is 'experienced and lived' by the individual himself; it is a truth that transcends styles or disciplines. Remember, too, that Jeet Kune Do is merely a term, a label to be used as a boat to get one across; once across, it is to be discarded and not carried on one's back.
These few paragraphs are, at best, a "finger pointing to the moon." Please do not take the finger to be the moon or fix your gaze so intently on the finger as to miss all the beautiful sights of heaven. After all, the usefulness of the finger is in pointing away from itself to the light which illumines finger and all. ---
Friday, December 23, 2005
Welcome to the Bruce Lee Club UK Newsletter
The site has now had over 2 million visitors since we started and many more people are visiting every month, great news for the site and the members of the club.
The interactive CD has mp3's, avi, wallpaper, cursors and a whole lot more to offer the fan of Bruce Lee. All this for only £28 for lifetime membership.
Contact Brian Harrison –
1 Prior Terrace
NE 45 5 HN
Bruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden Dragon
In the pages of Bruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden Dragon, we invite you to examine the real Bruce Lee, the man behind the image-- the man who was so much more than an international film and martial arts superstar. In a brilliantly assembled photographic essay complied and edited by John Little, this history of the life and career of Bruce Lee which covers Bruce from childhood to international stardom, from the charismatic public persona to the quiet family man. With a prefece by SHANNON LEE KEASLER and a foreward by LINDA LEE CADWELL, the text is drawn directly from Bruce Lee's own words, as recorded in his diaries and journals, as well as form interviews and the documentary Bruce Lee: In Hi Own Words.
Illustrated with rare family photographs and stills from his movies and television appearances, you won't want to miss the HOTTEST new Bruce Lee Book NOW AVAILABLE! It's a big 8 1/2 x 11, 180 pages full of pictures you won't want to be without! £15 for members no postage charge.
The unofficial Japanese Bruce lee club, please e-mail mark at email@example.com, please mention my name.Web site at http://www.yo.rim.or.jp/~expect/EXPECT.html has English text and items for sale.
firstname.lastname@example.org please e-mail this guy as he has a huge collection of Bruce Lee items. In Spain.
If you are looking for a good book on Bruce Lee that tries to be truthful, try Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit by Bruce Thomas. He not only covers Lee's life, film career, fighting style and philosophy, he also looks at martial arts movies in general. It's a solid read without any conspiracy nonsense.
Jeet Kune Do, the martial art of Bruce Lee, is being preserved in the UK.
Check out the Web page :
Chief instructor: Sifu T. Carruthers.
Technical directors to his school :Ted Wong, Howard Williams and Jesse Glover - basically the big three.
More details athttp://www.jeetkunedo.co.uk/Dave Carnell England01782 823984Andy Gibney Kettering, London
http://www.nrmai.co.uk/NEW BOOK******Bruce Lee's Greatest Movie and has 18 never-before published colour photos of Bruce Lee.Take a look at it at web.singnet.com.sg/~hotcopy/brucelee.htmllaunched on November 27. It comes with Two Commendatory Monographs on Bruce Lee and a Special Collector's Certificate. Buy direct from the site.
Here is a readers review of the book:-A Reader's Review of "The Orphan" Being an ardent Bruce Lee fan, I am always on the lookout for obscure or rare movies, books and posters featuring him. Then I came across a book called "The Orphan" by Tan Hoo Chwoon. I bought a copy through the Internet and here's what I discovered:The pictures on the front and back covers were great. Then I found more rare colour pictures of Bruce in the inside pages. Again I regarded those pictures as precious gems. I read the book. The whole story was a gripping and riveting one. There was suspense and anticipation as the story unfolds. Much better than his kung fu movies.Truly a classic as is the writing style throughout its pages.I also discovered many important unknown facts about Bruce, which would enlighten any ardent fan in the world, all very thoughtfully documented in the monographs. I can imagine the painstaking effort in research to bring out the colourful history of a wonderful and gifted actor such as Bruce Lee. An important volume in any Bruce Lee archive. It beats me how these interesting and colourful facts were never made known to the world in the last 25 years! Truly, truly a superb book on a superb movie featuring a superb actor and supported by a superb cast of legendary Hong Kong actors and actresses. An excellent effort by Tan Hoo Chwoon. I wonder what other rare gifts we can expect in the future. All Bruce Lee fans out there must get one copy of "The Orphan" or kick themselves if they fail to obtain one.- Lee Hock ChyeHoo Chwoonhotcopy@mbox5.singnet.com.sg
free e-mail email@example.com join from main page and get your free e-mail address, also you can log on at the site and grab your web based mail direct from the page.
Welcome to the Bruce Lee Club UK newsletter.
Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973) is widely considered to be the greatest martial arts film actor of the 20th century. His films, especially the last performance in Enter the Dragon, elevated the by-then traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level, and artists like Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris have been able to work from this platform. He was married to Linda Emery, with whom he had a son, Brandon, and daughter, Shannon. His son, Brandon Lee, was a martial artist and an actor.
Born in San Francisco, California to a Chinese father Lee Hoi-Chuen and a German-Chinese mother Grace Lee, Bruce Lee was raised in Hong Kong, where his parents lived. His parents were film actors, hence he had the opportunity to appear in several Chinese movies as a child. He also studied the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu.
In 1959, Bruce Lee went to Seattle to complete his high school education. He received his diploma from Edison Technical School and went on to enroll in the University of Washington as a philosophy major. It was at the UW that he would meet his wife Linda Emery.
After leaving University, Bruce Lee went on to star as Kato in the television series The Green Hornet. On his return to Hong Kong, he starred in the movies that would cement his fame.
After studying and becoming dissatisfied with existing classical schools of martial arts, Bruce Lee began the process of creating his own style: Jun Fan Gung Fu, a modification of Wing Chun blended with Western Boxing, and Fencing. His schools were called Jun Fan Gung Fu Institutes. Later, in order to apply a more descriptive name, he renamed it Jeet Kune Do. JKD was a further refinement of his style which incorporated elements from many styles to create a more streamlined and practical martial art, as well as a comprehensive system of fitness training. JKD is also defined as his personal philosophy of how martial arts should be effectively practiced (and according to others also as a self-help philosophy).
Bruce Lee frequently gave demonstrations of his two-finger pushups and his famous "one inch punch". He was a very well rounded man, being well educated both academically (he was a philosophy major at the University of Washington) and in the field of martial arts. His studies of Wing Chun Gung Fu sparked his enthusiasm and understanding of martial arts. In fact, Wing Chun was the only martial art Lee formally studied, under the guidance of Yip Man. Throughout his life Lee studied many styles of martial arts through an extensive literature research and contacts with other martial artists. Many contemporary martial arts instructors, in an effort to promote themselves or their schools, make dubious claims about learning from or teaching Bruce Lee. This was a major reason why he put rigid standards forth to earn certification in his arts.
It is rumored that Bruce Lee used an electric current as an aid to strength training, because of the leanness the muscles gained in working against themselves. However, this muscle stimulator was only one of many pieces of equipment and exercise routines Lee used to achieve his on-screen physical appearance. His obsession with physical fitness is seen in his personal notes and diary. Lee tracked the evolution of his training in his diary, which has been recollected and published in The Bruce Lee Library by John Little a "martial arts historian" from Bruce Lee's Estate.
On July 20, 1973, Bruce Lee was due to have dinner with former James Bond star George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee's wife, Linda, Bruce met producer Raymond Chow at 2 pm at home to discuss the making of the movie Game of Death. They worked until 4 pm, and then drove together to the home of Betty Ting Pei, Taiwanese actress who was to also have a leading role in the film. The three went over the script at her home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.
A short time later, Bruce Lee complained of a headache and Tingpei gave him a tablet of Equagesic. At around 7.30 pm, he lay down for a nap. After Lee didn't turn up for the dinner, Chow came to the apartment but could not wake up Lee. A doctor was summoned, who spent 10 minutes attempting to revive him before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. However Lee was dead by the time he reached the hospital. The ensuing autopsy found traces of cannabis in his stomach. There was no visible external injury, however his brain had swollen considerably, from 1,400 to 1,575 grams. Lee was 32 years old.
A similar incident had occurred a few months before. On May 10, during the final dubbing of Enter the Dragon, he suffered a sudden attack of seizures and a cerebral edema which was not fatal. The neurosurgeon who saved his life in May, Dr. Peter Wu, said that he removed a considerable amount of hashish from Lee's stomach. Bruce, whose entrained paranoia grew with his international fame, had been chewing hashish to calm himself. Dr. Wu, who is renowned for his cerebral edema research in Asian males, said that various neurological problems associated with hashish had been recorded in Nepalese men. Bruce was very vulnerable to the effects of drugs due to his extremely low body fat. Dr. Donald Langford, Lee's physician in Hong Kong, said that Bruce's body was less than one percent body fat, that "it was obscene how little body fat he had."
Dr. Langford says that, "This man was muscled like a squirrel, spirited as a horse. I've never seen anybody as physically fit as Bruce. Equagesic is prescribed in the million-dose range every day in Asia.
Despite the opinions of those closest to Bruce Lee, his death is still the source of much sensationalism and controversy. Rumors concerning the cause of his death range from Lee being killed by Hong Kong triads (gangsters) because he refused to pay them protection money; to his being killed by an angry martial artist's dim mak (death touch) strike for having angered the martial arts community by revealing ancient secrets to foreigners; to drug use. However the official cause of death, cerebral edema, was recorded as being the result of an allergic reaction to the analgesic he took combined with medicine he took for back pain, that he sustained after pinching a nerve in his lower back while doing dead lift exercises without properly warming up. A condition that left him in a wheelchair. Fortunately, contrary to his doctor's prognosis that he would never kick again, Lee regained his athletic prowess -- better than ever. Yet, it left with him a lifelong pain in his back.
Bruce Lee is interred in Seattle's Lake View Cemetery.
Although he made only a handful of films and television appearances in his adulthood, Bruce Lee has become an iconic figure in life, and in movies, as a personification of a small man who became the epitome of what some see as mental and physical perfection. His fame also sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. The direction and tone of Bruce Lee's movies have forever changed and influenced action and martial arts films.
Awards and honors:
The film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a highly fictionalized biography of his life/legend.
In 1958, Lee was the Cha Cha Champion of Hong Kong. He worked part time as a Cha Cha instructor for a short time when he returned to San Francisco in April 1959.
The Shaman King character Lee Bailong (Lee Pai-Long) is a reference to Bruce Lee.
The Street Fighter character Fei-Long is essentially an exaggerated clone of Lee, as is the Tekken character Law, whose moves include the One Inch Punch made famous by Lee.
A character from Naruto named Rock Lee bears some similarity to Bruce Lee. In the anime and manga, the character is a master of a purely martial-arts fighting style.