A lot of people have asked me where Dynamic Personal Liberation™ came from. Here’s the answer.
I began training in Bruce Lee’s martial art of Jeet Kune Do in 1973, at the age of seventeen and a half. At first, like most of the other students, I was primarily interested in the physical aspects of the art. I wanted to learn how to do things Lee was able to do, such as stop a swinging three-hundred-pound heavy bag dead in its tracks with a single kick and reach an opponent standing ten feet away with a finger jab before that person could even react. However, as my training progressed, my knowledge and understanding grew. I realized that there was much more to Jeet Kune Do than simply the physical component. What made Jeet Kune Do truly different from any other martial art was the underlying philosophical foundation upon which the art was built. The central theme of this philosophy was self-actualization and liberation of body, mind and spirit through greater self knowledge. Non-restrictive and non-limiting by design, it was a fluid, all-encompassing philosophy that allowed an individual to deal effectively and efficiently not only with combat, but also with life.
Lee’s philosophy touched a place in my soul and lit a fire within me which has never been doused. The mental and spiritual aspects of the art became equally as important to me as the physical component. One of my primary objectives became to develop my knowledge and understanding of the philosophical principles and thought processes Lee synthesized and used. In the years that followed, in addition to training in the physical aspects of Jeet Kune Do, I spent countless hours investigating and researching the sources that informed Lee in his process of intellectual growth and development. Through my friendship and affiliation with Bruce’s widow Linda Lee Cadwell, my close friend John Little, my teacher Dan Inosanto, and many of Lee’s personal assistants, students and friends, I was privileged to have access to a tremendous amount of Lee’s material, including his personal library, writings, etc., and had the opportunity to see things that many others haven’t. Discovering the nature and depth of Lee’s research and conclusions firsthand was truly enlightening. Through my research and study, I came to understand how Bruce Lee’s thinking process enabled him to actualize his full potential. The most important thing I discovered, however, was that while Bruce Lee had lit his torch from many different candles, the light he shone came from within himself.
As my training continued, I began to see the much broader application of the principles and concepts I was learning. The school served as a microcosm for the arena of life that each of us must step into every day. The self-knowledge I gained in the martial art environment could be used in dealing with challenges and obstacles I ran into outside the school. The principles, techniques, tactics and strategies I had learned for dealing effectively with the fluidity and unpredictability of combat translated to tools which helped equip me to handle parallel situations in both my personal life and business. The philosophical ‘framework’ that had taken root in my being gave me the freedom to stand on my own two feet as an individual and find out things for myself rather than simply taking things on faith. It gave me the courage and confidence to try new things, to explore my capabilities. Through direct application of Lee’s principles, I was able to discover certain talents I didn’t know I had. As a result, I was able to write four books on martial art training, write and produce three series of training videos and DVDs, pen numerous articles for martial art magazines, even choreograph fight action sequences for film and television.
In my teaching and travels across the United States and around the world, I've encountered countless people who claimed to have been influenced or inspired by something they refer to as “Bruce Lee’s philosophy” and tell me how Bruce Lee helped change their life for the better. But when pressed to define what in Lee’s philosophy effected such a change, most were incapable of elucidating it. I decided to make it my mission to share with as many people as possible the philosophical principles and thought processes that helped Bruce Lee become the self-actualized person he was, in the hope that they might integrate those principles and thought processes into their own lives, overcome obstacles, and fully realize their innate potential in all aspects of their life; physical, emotional and spiritual. In so doing, each person could become a light unto themselves that would shine forth for the rest of the world to see.
Dynamic Personal Liberation™ the name I chose to put to the program I developed, actually came from a stone book that lies atop Bruce Lee’s resting place, upon which there is an inscription that reads, “Your inspiration continues to guide us toward our personal liberation.” And in the same way that Bruce Lee inspired me to chart a course toward my own personal liberation, I hope to do the same for others.
In the Spirit of JKD,