8600 Foundry Street, Savage, Maryland 20763

The Foundation of Jeet Kune Do

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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 on simple trapping techniques that can be immediately worked with a partner and then applied in a live, combative situation or sparring match.

His criticism, like most on the Internet, was baseless.  Given his own Instagram profile, he had very little experience in martial arts or Jeet Kune Do itself.  His opinion was likely formed by movies and flashy demonstrations from others on the Internet.  Regardless, his comment, and the back and forth from others weighing in against him, did great things for increasing MDJKD's Instagram metrics, so there is always a silver lining there.  Think about that before you hate on someone on-line.  You're probably helping them more than hurting them.

So, what is the base of JKD?  What is its foundation?

If you ask Google, you'll probably get several different answers.  They will likely all be accurate in some sense, some more broadly, others more narrowly.

Is it trapping, like our friend said?

Is it Wing Chun?

Is it the Baijong stance?

Is it a more nebulous concept like Evolution or Simplicity?

Is is an attribute, like Speed?

We just finished a fight camp for one of our sanshou fighters who competed on the US Kuoshu Championship's leitai.  In reviewing my notes during his prep last month, I came across a quote that answers that question in a pretty decisive manner.

Bruce Lee stated, "Good feints are decisive, expressive, and threatening, and one can say that JKD is built on feints and the actions connected with them."

Feinting is a skill that takes you from the level of trying to hit someone to convincing your opponent to let you hit them.  Oftentimes when we take action, our opponent is looking for his opportunity to counter hit.  Every attack has its opening, and a good counter-fighter can do some serious damage if you just walk in throwing punches.  Feinting can force him to commit to dealing with attacks that aren't necessarily there, allowing us to score on the target we wanted.

I am the type of person who gets incredibly frustrated when an obstacles shows up in the way of some goal I have set out to achieve.  Each week, I set a target for myself in my business and in my martial arts training.  As part of that process, I list off the four things I will need to do to hit that target.  Then I spend some time thinking of a possible obstacle that would keep me from getting each of those things done.  Then I brainstorm a possible solution for each obstacle.

Where in your life do you find yourself struggling with obstacles getting in the way of achieving your goals?

What can you do today to deal with those problems before they arise?

Oh...and thank your haters.  They give you fuel for your fire when you least expect it.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  What we often think is important, is only important on the surface.  Sometimes, we have to look a bit deeper and see things that would normally be imperceptible in order to grasp the truth.

PRINCIPLE:  Taking decisive action should always take opposition into account.

QUESTION:  What are you trying to accomplish today that keeps running into unforeseen obstacles?

TASK:  What can you do today to deal with some of those obstacles so that you can take decisive action toward your target?

QUOTE:  "To minimize the danger of being heavily countered, leads should almost always be preceded by a feint of some sort."


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