Master Your Will

Approach Jeet Kune Do with the idea of mastering the will. Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. - Bruce Lee


This is where we start. Everyone begins the path of Jeet Kune Do for various reasons. Some are looking to lose weight or get in better shape. Some are looking for a way to defend themselves or succeed in combat sports. Others are looking for a workout that's different from other activities or a unique hobby. Whatever your reason, wherever you come from, this is where everyone must start.


This is the central attitude, the spirit, that you must adopt from the outset to be a part of the training family at Maryland Jeet Kune Do.


It is not something that your instructors can give you. It is something that you must do, from day one, and in each moment of training. Make it your goal to master your will.


How do we master our will during training at Maryland Jeet Kune Do?


The answers are not as esoteric as you may think.


To master your will, bring your mind into sharp focus and make it alert by being on the mat and in the right place before class starts. Take a moment to feel the energy and anticipation in the room when everyone is in their place, focused, and ready in the moments before we bow in. Your class is already practicing Jeet Kune Do, without even throwing a single punch or kick. Your class is mastering the will.


Compare that to the feeling when one or two people are on the mat ready, some people are chatting about things unrelated to class in one corner, one person is taking their time putting on their mat shoes, and another person is waiting for an instructor to tell them that it is time to line up. Your class will fail to master your will. You are not practicing Jeet Kune Do.


To master your will, bring your mind into sharp focus by hearing and understanding the instructions being given. Make your mind alert so that you immediately intuit what you are supposed to be working on, without letting your mind wander and then needing to ask your instructor to repeat themselves. Listen for the voice of your instructor. Don’t be so engaged in a side conversation that you are not paying attention.


To master your will, empty your cup of every other expectation of training, let it be filled with the idea of moving toward willpower and self-control, and be the one who expresses that idea actively and dynamically in every way. The one who expresses this idea is stronger than the most athletically gifted person who walks in believing they already have all the answers.


To master your will, be the one who practices gung fu etiquette, knightly manners, in every interaction in class. Show respect to your instructors and seniors. Encourage and support your juniors. If your only concern in class is your own effort and what you get out of it, then you are not practicing Jeet Kune Do.


Master your will by showing that you are willing to drive yourself hard in class. Mastering your will is fundamental to learning how fight in competition and actual self-defense situations. Your will must be constant, no matter the punishment, no matter how much effort it requires, no matter how tough the conditions may be.


This must be the attitude developed during training.


If you are not mastering your will in this way, you are not on the path of Jeet Kune Do, and in the end, you are not learning how to fight.


Whether today is your first class or you have been training for a decade, start with this attitude.


Approach Jeet Kune Do with the idea of mastering the will.


Forget about winning and losing, forget about pride and pain.


Master your will in all things, and you will find enlightenment on the path of Jeet Kune Do.

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