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I was wrong.... and I admit it!

The following is a blog I originally wrote in December, 2011.

In the book I co-authored with Tim Tackett “Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do -- The Textbook” which was originally published in 1988, and then re-published in 2008 and re-titled, Jeet Kune Do -- The Textbook,” we wrote that in JKD one should have the ability to flow from one martial art to another, and then listed several photographic sequences as examples, such as flowing from a JKD hook kick to a Thai elbow to a Silat sweep.

Personally (and I cannot and would not speak for Tim), I now believe this to be incorrect and that it can lead to misperceptions regarding what JKD is all about. My intention was to ask for it to be removed from the re-printed version of the book, but it did not happen.

When the book was originally published, the idea of being able to flow from art to art was one of the prevalent frames of thought being forth. And yes, I was guilty of putting the idea forth myself. However, shortly afterward my perspective on the matter shifted. Why? Because I came to the realization that one of the major philosophical foundation stones underlying JKD was the principle or concept of doing away with the notion of ‘styles’ entirely, and instead simply looking at things scientifically from the perspective of “combative motion.”

This may be a difficult concept for some people to grasp because since we were children we have been entrained to categorize and label things we see and do. That is why when you see someone observing a JKD training session you will often hear comments such as, “Oh, they’re just doing Wing Chun” or “That’s just Thai Boxing.” This is not a case of ignorance on the part of the observer, but rather it is simply the frame of reference through which they are viewing things, based on their conditioning or background. If they have little or no understanding of martial arts at all, they may not have anything with which they can relate what they are observing to.

So now my perspective is that as opposed to flowing from one art to another, an individual should simply flow from motion to motion and express themselves combatively using a kick, an elbow, and a sweep. Not a “Savate” kick, not a “Thai” kick, not even a “JKD” kick, but simply a kick. In the end, I guess the old saying, “a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick” is a truism.


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