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  • Stop Lying

    Stop Lying

    If you want to practice Jeet Kune Do... STOP LYING. Stop lying to others, but most importantly, stop lying to yourself. We received a lot of great feedback and comments on our post yesterday poking fun at the community of martial arts influencers; specifically those who create an image of badassery in order to give themselves an aura of authenticity. It was a tongue in cheek bit for World Wellbeing Week, but it was also a commentary about mental health and lying to yourself. One response we received said that it "wasn't very JKD of us" to critique this trend in the Combatives and self-defense community. In an often shared interview, Bruce Lee once said, ....

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  • Unready

    Unready

    You weren't ready. You were caught off-guard when the attack came, and that sucker punch rocked you off your feet. Maybe it was a literal attack from a committed attacker, or maybe it was a situation in your life, a break-up, a death of a loved one, or a loss of a job that completely shook you to the core. Either way, something you were completely unready for has changed your life forever. So easily defeated, your confidence is shattered, and while you know that there are things you believe in and desire for, you find yourself unable to take a stand for them. You can't look your significant other, your friends, or your family in the eye anymore. At work, you find yourself ....

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  • The Law of Cause and Effect

    The Law of Cause and Effect

    The law of cause and effect. — Every circumstance of every man’s life is the result of a definite cause — mode and control are yours. - Bruce Lee When you realize that you are the cause of how you react to the circumstances that affect you, then you are able to take control of your life. When you take control of yourself, your problems get solved. Placing blame on others, or relying on circumstances outside of your control for excuses will not solve your problems. Embodying this realization can be a harrowing experience, because it means facing the choices we have made to act or remain inactive. It means checking our ego and allowing our pride to be ....

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  • The Expert Fighter's 3 Keys to Success in 2022

    The Expert Fighter's 3 Keys to Success in 2022

    In the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee lays out his Five Ways of Attack. We have been focusing on one of these, "Attack by Combination (ABC)" in the adult martial arts classes at Maryland Jeet Kune Do, here in Savage Mill. We're learning to string individual movements together into a rhythmic, coherent whole. Each movement has a reason for being there, for affecting an opponent in a given way, setting them up to lead to a final finishing blow. For the beginner, learning how to set up combinations leads to a better understanding of not only how their own body moves, but how their opponent's body moves and reacts. Bruce Lee wrote, "The difference between an expert fighter and a novice ....

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  • The Foundation of Jeet Kune Do

    The Foundation of Jeet Kune Do

    The other day, a Instagram critic stated that Maryland Jeet Kune Do couldn't possibly be a real Jeet Kune Do school because he didn't see any videos of us practicing what he perceived to be the foundation of Jeet Kune Do; trapping. This is neither here nor there, since even the sparring video he was commenting on included trapping, and had he gone through the hours of sparring content we have on-line, he could have found what he was looking for. He was correct in his perception that we do not spend a great deal of time focusing on complicated flow drills and thirteen hit trapping sequences. Much like boxers don't spend time learning how to throw twenty hit combinations, we prefer to work ....

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  • Infighting - Shorter Man versus Taller Man

    Infighting - Shorter Man versus Taller Man

    Being a shorter, stockier fighter, I have often found myself at a reach disadvantage. This was frequently true in competition, when weight classes would find me fighting fighters who weighed as much as I did, but were taller and lankier. I often found myself taking punishment just for the opportunity to hit back. One of my Jeet Kune Do instructors noticed this. I was sticking to a more classical JKD structure and strategy, trying to use footwork to maintain a fighting measure and intercept my opponent's movements, but often getting hit when my taller opponents were able to capitalize on their reach. I was trying to move like Bruce Lee or Mohammad Ali. He advised me to spend time studying ....

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  • Don't Focus on the Finger

    Don't Focus on the Finger

    In an often quoted and misquoted scene in the beginning of Enter the Dragon , Bruce Lee's character, aptly named "Lee", uses an old Zen Buddhist teaching from the Lankavatara Sutra to advise his student. "It is a like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don't focus on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory." Centuries before Bruce Lee was born or the script for Enter the Dragon was written, Korean warrior monk Hyujeong, the Grandmaster of the Western Hills, also drew from this teaching of the Lankavatara Sutra in a discussion with monks from a rival faction. "The Great Sutras are nothing more than a finger pointing you to see the moon. If you are really ....

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  • Evasive Tactics

    Evasive Tactics

    The other night during our adult martial arts class in Savage, I was working with a beginner who was becoming frustrated that they weren't able to successfully counter a student who had longer reach. Every time they attacked, they found themselves running into hits. When their opponent was coming at them, all they could do was run out of range or cover and get hit. "How do I stop him from hitting me?" she cried in frustration. "You don't," I responded. "You're shorter. His punch is your way in." We then started working on bobbing and weaving and getting comfortable moving in on punches as opposed to backing away from your opponent. When you're shorter, retreating just leaves you in range ....

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