“We Are Right And You Are Wrong”
The Following blog was written while I was teaching in Italy recently --
I'm going to talk about a problem that seems to be prevalent in the JKD world today. I see it here in Europe and I see it going on elsewhere. That problem is the continual negativity expressed by individuals or groups of individuals against other individuals or groups. This has gone on for years, and I honestly doubt that it will ever cease. All the talk about one big happy JKD family is just that, talk. And I don’t know about you but in my family we had disagreements and arguments. And there are members of my family I don’t like.
Well as someone who has been intimately involved in JKD for over 45 years, I am going to let those people know a few hard truths.
1. People who engage in such actions are doing a disservice to JKD and Bruce Lee’s legacy. You may say you are doing it out of love and respect for the art and Bruce, but you are doing it out of fear and jealousy — fear of possible competition from other teachers and groups, and jealousy because it’s all about real estate and who has the most students, schools, instructors, etc. I have seen this for decades so please don’t try to convince me that you’re doing it for all the right reasons.
2. There is no one individual or group that possesses everything, or the absolute truth to the exclusion of others. I see more and more groups coming into existence everyday and they all claim to be “the best” “the purest” “the truest” and so on. Let’s be very clear about something. The fact that you have received certification from someone simply means that you have fulfilled the requirements that that person or group requires to give you a certificate. And different groups have different requirements. That is up to them and no one else. It does not mean that your certificate is better than someone else’s. It simply means you have a certificate from someone. Get over it people. So again, in the end, however you try to conceal things, your true intentions are about power and control. And sooner or later people will see that about you.
And just so you don’t think I am just being negative and pessimistic about things, let me offer up some solutions.
Why not strive to build bridges that unite or connect people rather than walls that separate them — bridges that lead to better understanding and better relationships within the JKD community. Try seeking out similarities rather than differences — set aside creative or philosophical differences and engage in talking with others who possibly do not agree with you in various subjects with the idea that something better might come from it.
The best in any industry bring out the best in one another and it’s no different for Jeer Kune Do. Stop being fearful or feeling threatened by other people who might be teaching JKD and competing with you in some way. Collaborate and share information and knowledge.
I know that some people who read this will continue doing what they are doing. That’s okay. Let them. But perhaps some people who read this might decide that there is a better way to perpetuate JKD. And those are the people I am speaking to.