Jeet Kune Do was developed by Bruce Lee as a hybrid system and life philosophy. His style uses direct, non-classical and straight forward movements, designed to use minimal movement with maximum effect and extreme speed.
Lee started training in Wing Chun when he was 13 years old, but by 1967 he had developed his own style of Kung Fu, known as Jeet Kune Do. Lee determined that his current knowledge of Kung Fu was not enough, and that what he had learnt was too formalised and rigid to be effective in the chaotic nature of street fights. Because of this he developed his own style, Jeet Kune Do, which is still taught today.
Bruce Lee on Jeet Kune Do:
I have not invented a "new style," composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from "this" method or "that" method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see "ourselves". . . Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that. There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.
One of the most important aspects of Jeet Kune Do for Lee was combat realism. Lee wanted to differeniate the art from other systems with less "flowery techniques" (Lee's words). Lee argued that flashy techniques would look good, but not necessarily be useful in a street-fight.
Jeet Kune Do students train in 4 areas equally, known as the "Four Ranges of Combat". These are:
Lee believed that training in this way would separate Jeet Kune Do from other arts.
For more information please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeet_Kune_Do
Author: The Bear Martial Arts Team