Referred to as the "formless form", its greatest strength is its unpredictability, as most fighting styles teach you to fight against someone trained in the same style. (With the possible exceptions of judo and aikido.) Thus, you are trained to expect certain punches, blocks, etc. Jeet Kune Do takes advantage of those expectations.

Bruce Lee's style of martial art is actually not strictly a style at all.

In his book The Tao of Jeet Kune Do he is quite insistent about this point, citing that one of the problems with styles of martial arts was their inflexibility. Bruce Lee was more concerned with what was practical and effective than what was traditionally part of any style of martial art. "Jeet Kune Do" was just a convenient name with which to label his sytem of approaching combat.

As Bruce Lee often stressed, Jeet Kune Do was just a name; it was less a style of fighting and more a way of looking at fighting. Although he was trained in the classical martial arts for much of his young life, Lee soon came to realise that martial art should be an art like any other, a way to express oneself individually rather than something taught rigidly to a whole class, and he often referred to Jeet Kune Do as the "art of expressing the human body."

For example, someone who wants to become a painter will go to art classes where he or she will learn how to use the brush, how to mix colours, how to portray real objects in colours and shades, and so on. After having completed the class, the artist then builds upon those fundamental skills and adapts them to form an individual painting style, which allows the artist to express his or her most inward self, and to learn more about this inward self whilst still using only the basic skills learned at the beginning.

In the same way, going to a class where many different people are taught the same fighting style, having which moves to use in which pattern in which situation drilled into them until they no longer think about it, is akin to being taught that painting involves drawing just one picture in one particular way. By learning the basic techniques and principles of fighting and self-defence, the fighter can adapt and optimise them for his or her own body. Learning how to hit with any limb from any direction to any target, the fighter uses these and other "tools" as a means for self-expression. Rather than forming layer after layer of conditioning, the fighter will rather chip away at the unessentials, constantly refining and becoming more efficient.

The "self" of course is an everchanging process, we are never the same people we were even a month previously. By using martial techniques as a reflection of the self, our style will always be changing. We will be delving deeper and deeper into ourselves, finding out more and more, and as we change as people, our martial art changes. Thus a never-ending circle is born, part of what Bruce Lee referred to as "the circle with no circumference," as our practise of the art constantly refines us, hacking away at our undesirable qualities and traits, and refining our practise of the art itself.

The basic idea of Jeet Kune Do is to be free, flowing and spontaneous, not just in fighting but in life, and not to get caught up in set patterns and tradition. Like water which stagnates when left alone, so will we if we don't keep on moving.

Jeet kune do is not a style per se, more of a philosophy, true, but there is definitely a physical foundation of theories and tools which Bruce Lee drew upon to create his art. These were: Boxing, the trapping aspects of Wing Chun, and the footwork, theory, and strategy of western fencing. He also utilized kicking technique from the french art of savate (that kick he does in Return/Way of the dragon where the guy with the kicking shield goes flying into the cardboard boxes, that's a savate kick.) and took grappling techniques from judo and wrestling. (NOT brazilian jiu jitsu, which is where all the modern jkd people get their ground game.)

However it is also worth noting that Bruce shut down his schools because he felt the individual must learn for him/her self; having 'truth' sold to you is a false truth. It is more valuable when you discover it for yourself.

Basically he felt martial artists, the true JKD men, should seek the truth on their own through experimentation and controlled sparring. If someone else is teaching you a system, even if it's called jeet kune do, you will only be able to express that system. It's like the difference between playing perfectly someone else's symphony, or playing free-form jazz. Jeet kune do is the jazz of martial arts.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.