In an article I wrote some time back I made the point that I did not feel that Jeet Kune Do is the art for everyone, and I explained my reasons for thinking this. And I still feel the same way about it today. However, while I don’t think Jeet Kune Do may be the art for everyone, I do think it is an art that has something to offer everyone. From the person who is looking to develop self-confidence, to the individual seeking to develop skills which they can use if necessary to protect themselves or their loved ones, to the person looking for a philosophy they can use in their approach to life and living.
People come to martial art training for a variety of reasons, at various ages and with different goals and objectives, and JKD is no different. JKD is not simply an art for “combative zealots.” If Jeet Kune Do is simply all about fighting, as some people purport, what do you say to the mother of a 12 year-old child who is dealing with personal confidence issues or bullying? What about the business professional looking for a way of dealing with the stress they are embroiled in on a daily basis? Or the person who simply wants to learn about themselves and gain a understanding of themselves? Combative fighting is simply one element of Jeet Kune Do, albeit an important one as it relates to the physical aspect. But remaining constrained to that element alone is very limiting. A fight might be against a very different type of opponent than some hulking brute attempting to accost you on the street. Perhaps the fight is against a debilitating disease or to recover oneself after sustaining an injury. Maybe it’s against oppression or injustice. My point is that I’ve seen JKD do so much for so many people who have never been in a combative situation in their life.
The bottom line is that an individual will get from Jeet Kune Do what they want to get from it. If they want to become a better fighter, they’ll become a better fighter. If they want to learn about themselves, they’ll learn about themselves. If they want to develop self-confidence, they’ll develop self-confidence. It’s entirely up to them. Keep in mind though, while JKD may offer a person want they want, it doesn’t give it to them for free. They’ve got to earn it by putting forth the time and effort and doing the work necessary.