Dude, what happened to my car?!
This is a reposting of a blog I wrote for Facebook in 2012.
Imagine this nightmare scenario. You take your car to a mechanic for a maintenance and tune-up. When you go back several hours late to pick up the vehicle, you cannot find it anywhere. When you ask the mechanic where it is, he points to a collection of various pieces spread all over the garage floor and tells, “It’s right there, man.” He’s right, your car is there, but it’s no longer what it was designed to be, a single, useful entity that functions efficiently and effectively. The same can be said about the art of Jeet Kune Do. The primary physical objective of JKD training is to finish up a single, useful entity that works efficiently and effectively, not a collection of various elements that sit separately and do not function.
To continue with the analogy of a car, in the same way that different parts from different automobiles may not fit together properly, and even if they fit they might not work the way they were designed, combining various systems of martial arts or elements from various martial art systems together does not guarantee that what you end up with will function well, or even function at all. This is why I believe that JKD should not be confused with the numerous ‘eclectic’ forms of martial arts now popping up everywhere. Eclecticism is often nothing more than the random throwing together of different styles or stockpiling techniques from numerous arts according to fleeting fancy or personal tastes. This is not what Bruce Lee was doing. Lee had a very clear objective in his training. That objective was martial “totality.” And he made sure that all of the components he used to achieve his objective fit together well and functioned at the highest degree of efficiency as possible.
JKD has often been referred to as a “process.” However, even a process, as I said in another article I wrote, is no longer a process if you take it apart. The moment you separate the parts of a process, once you take the process apart, there is no longer a process. There's no movement. There's only this thing or that.
And to me, if you take JKD apart, it is no longer JKD. So keep in mind that the objective of your own JKD training should be to finish up with a single, useful entity that works with the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness for you.
Wishing you well on your journey,