Jeet Kune Do, sometimes called “The Way of the Intercepting Fist”, is an eclectic hybrid martial art influenced and deeply adapted by the life and philosophy of famous martial artist Bruce Lee. Jeet Kune Do incorporates aspects of traditional martial arts as well as incorporating non-traditional concepts into its structure in order to maximize power and flexibility. Jeet Kune Do believes that every martial art should be based on a study of real world situations and scenarios that may occur in real combat situations. Thus, one should be as prepared as possible for any eventuality while still preserving the unique advantages inherent to each individual martial artist. Jeet Kune Do practitioners view this approach as practical and realistic.
The focus of each combatant in Jeet Kune Do, should be on the attack and counter-attacks, evading attacks, and strikes that end in dominant positions. The concept is simple enough, but its execution is challenging. Jeet Kune Do practitioners believe strongly that the key to being a successful fighter is to learn as many combat situations as possible and to take advantage of them when they occur. They view the opponent’s motions as a window into your mind, an opening you need to enter. The concept of the ‘four ranges’ is the means by which you may enter these attacks and dominant positions.
The first range is when you engage in basic, non-intense fighting. Here you try to close the distance between yourself and your opponent with effective footwork, strikes, and jabs. At this range, you are not focusing on hitting your opponent, but rather trying to maintain a standing position and remain alert and ready for a counter-strike. The second range is where you will use a combination of footwork and strikes to move past your opponent and to take him down or another position. Finally, the third range is where you employ the use of kicks, elbows, punches, and other tools to either take him down, or to cause sufficient pain that he backs away from you, leaving him defenseless.
The second principle of Jeet Kune Do, and the basis of its strategy of using the opponent’s momentum against him, is called simultaneous parrying. It can be summarized as the act of deflecting an attack without putting your own life at risk. A properly executed simultaneous parry will completely neutralize an attack and leave your assailant defenseless. A well executed simultaneous parry may completely avoid damage or even death.
Another important principle of the Jeet Kune Do system is what is known as the Template Message. This is essentially a short message written to your opponent. In this message you will advise him of a flaw in his strategy or technique and explain what you are going to do in response. This template message acts as a pre-emptive strike against an opponent who will likely do the same thing to you. It provides you with an advantage before the battle and will give you the opening you need to defeat him. Once you have defeated your assailant, the template message is invaluable as a tool to neutralize any other attacks you may encounter.
Jeet Kune Do was created by the late Bruce Lee, a very famous martial arts fighter and practitioner.
He believed that combat should be approached systematically, and not as a contest of individual strength. He felt that there should be some type of game plan for fighting, one that would ensure victory in any situation. He developed his system to be compatible with any environment, and as a result, many of the moves are now universal. Jeet Kune Do practitioners feel that by learning all the moves, you are better prepared to deal with almost any situation, and apply your knowledge to street fighting.
One of the most common mistakes made in Jeet Kune Do, or any other type of martial arts, is attacking an opponent without preparation. You must have a strategy for approaching your opponent and stopping them from attacking you first. For instance, if you are in a public place, such as a shopping mall, and someone walks up and starts talking to you, when you see their eyes fix on your open bag of chips, you need to know how to quickly deflect the attack and make a run for it. Without stepping out to defend yourself, your aggressor will continue on their winning path, and you could get seriously hurt.
The benefits of Jeet Kune Do far outweigh its perceived dangers. Most people who have seen Bruce Lee in action agree that he is indeed a magnificent martial arts performer. However, his real achievements were not in the ring, but in the streets. He survived many real combat situations and emerged unscathed. For that reason, many martial arts practitioners consider Jeet Kune Do to be a worthy form of self defense, and most teach their students some of this old martial arts philosophy.
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