The definition of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is the way of the Intercepting Fist. The name is demonstrated in many of the techniques such as blocking by striking or stop hit.
Lee took his primary training in the art and modified it to make it more effective in the real world. He eliminated many of the “traditional” elements and formalities to make the art more alive. The basis of JKD is Wing Chun Gung Fu. Lee was friends with the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, and added some of Ali’s techniques to the style to make the punches more devastating. To increase mobility in footwork, Lee added movement fundamentals from Fencing.
Most books on the work of Jeet Kune Do tell almost nothing of the original art, and some even leave the reader in a complete state of confusion. That is why Professor Hargrave wrote The Original Jeet Kune Do Training Manual ©. This manual gives the reader / practitioner a first-hand look at Lee’s original techniques as taught in his private schools.
When choosing your JKD you must understand that there are two separate versions of the art. The original JKD and the JKD concepts. One is no better than the other, but the original is the Lee method that he designed and taught, while the concepts brings many other arts or styles into play. Hargrave Martial Arts teaches the Original Jeet Kune Do. One of the first things you will notice when starting your JKD journey is that there are no uniforms and very little formality in the schools, and all combat artistss wear shoes. While little formality exists, respect is essential, and you must refer to your teacher with the proper title of Sifu (teacher).
There were three original JKD schools where Lee’s art was taught. Los Angeles, Seattle, and Oakland. All three had different trademark techniques. The system taught by Hargrave is from the Oakland school with harmonious techniques from Los Angeles to create a more rounded original JKD experience.
JKD is basically lightning fast non-telegraphed punches / strikes and kicks, trapping / catching maneuvers, and wonderful footwork. All of which would get you instantly thrown out of any tournament. While Lee used Tae Kwon Do’s high flashy kicks in his movies (taught to him by long time friend Joon Ree), he made it clear that those moves were not JKD nor were they self defense. He said “Kicking a man in the head is like punching him in the foot”. Lee liked having an honest advantage in any confrontation, and JKD was his advantage. To this day Jeet Kune Do remains the only non classical gung fu system.
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