“Adapt For Life” JKD Seminar for charity featuring Paul Vunak, Friday June 27th @ 630pm

Bruce Lee & Jeet Kune Do

When we Think of Bruce Lee, we think of the movies, the theatrics

jumping, spinning, kicking, yelling, muscles.  But there is also a

functional side to what he displayed on Screen. Bruce Lee was a

world Class streetfighter at 135 lbs.  What he discovered was that in a

street fight, regardless of what art you study, taekwondo, kickboxing,

boxing, karate, wrestling or even regular  streetfighting.  The truth is that there are only four ranges

you can fight in.  Kicking range, Punching, Trapping, and grappling range.


Lee realized that everybody fights in Kicking and Punching Range.  Karate guys kick, boxers box,

street fighters take guys to the ground and pound.  But nobody knows how to fight in the most lethal

range.  Trapping ! Trapping is the range where your most intense tools come into action, head butts,

elbows, knees, eye jab, are the tools that are going to take a larger man/person out of commision. 

This is why the military goes with this particular style. We can teach people how to fight quickly.  You

don't have to train two hours a day. What are you going to do headbutt the bag for two hours a day.  If

you are a high kicking art it would take two hours a day to maintain those kicks.


Bruce Lee had the view that traditional martial arts techniques were too rigid and formalistic to be

practical in scenarios of chaotic street fighting.  Lee decided to develop a system with an emphasis

on "practicality , flexibility , speed , and efficiency ".

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Sifu Paul Vunak on the

cover of Black Belt, April 08.

Origin of JKD

There were 26 different components to Bruce Lee's and Dan Inosanto's

research. However, they didn't borrow equally from all 26 styles. This

illustration is comparable to doing a research paper and using 26 books

for your report. You take ten percent from one book, 15 percent from

another, and ignore another book completely. But you would still cite

all 26 in your bibliography.


Bruce Lee realized from the beginning that he could never learn from the head man or instructor.  In

those days you would have to study for two to three years with the head man before he would give you

his knowledge.  So Bruce traded information with people.  Let's say, for example, that he knew

someone studying choy li fut kung fu.  Bruce would trade his knowledge of wing chun to acquire the

choy li fut skills.  He was also smart enough to study with the second or third in command, rather than

the head man.  In this way Bruce picked up the knowledge he needed.

26 Styles/Arts Were Studied

Bruce learned a lot about praying mantis in all of its forms and southern

mantis.  Forms have great knowlege.  He took what he liked, what

suited his physical and mental attributes.  However someone else

looking at the forms may choose different elements more suited to

them.  The following quote is from Guru Dan Inosanto.

"Bruce taught that Jeet Kune do is like a menu: You go with what works for you. That's why your Jeet

Kune do might be different than mine. Take Larry Hartsell and I; we're both Jeet Kune do

practitioners. We both studied with Bruce. But I might only use 60 percent of the grappling techniques,

whereas Larry might use 90 percent. Of the wing chun Bruce taught, I might take 40 percent and Larry

might only take 15 percent. You see, even the instructors of Jeet Kune do are all very different in what

they favour. A lot of people coming up don't understand this. They might say, "My Jeet Kune do is better

than his Jeet Kune do." I hope they don't say such a thing -  that's the wrong approach. That attitude

indicates a lack of understanding of the fact that Jeet Kune do is not a particular method or system.

Once you understand that every system or style can offer you something, then you can understand Jeet

Kune do".


Applied JKD

If Jeet Kune Do differs from one person to the next, how does one apply

Lee's fighting system for themselves ?


What we have to do is look at the principles that Bruce gave us.


1. Defining a centreline; that an attack has to come either right or left of the body;

2.  Partition your upper and lower sections of the body;

3. Being able to move in all 4 ranges: Kicking range, Punching range,

Trapping Range, and Grappling Range;

4. Understanding different delivery systems - why a boxer puts his hand in a certain place, why a

karate stylist puts his hand somewhere else, why it is sometimes more advantageous to trap than to

attack by a combination. The principles mentioned above along with sensitivity, line familiarization,

spacial relationships, killer instinct are just a few examples of imutable fighting principles. 

"Principles are the only thing that can be handed down". - Guru Dan

Inosanto