Jeet Kun Do
Bruce Lee’s martial art, but what is it ? From what I understand Bruce Lee was trying to create a unique art, but what does that mean ? Well the translation roughly means way of intercepting fist.
Bruce Lee is known to be an innovator, he believed that the way martial arts in China is practiced leaves no room for self expression. He believed that all the fixed patterns and forms were a restriction in them selves. So what was he trying to achieve with his martial arts system that others could not. He said that we should be like water which I take to mean that you should take the shape and form of anything that you need to. When we are taught a martial art we seam to follow our teacher around like sheep. Is this what Bruce Lee was trying to tell us ?
Yip man one of Bruce Lees instructors
He trained with his dad in tai chi when he was young and then trained with Yip Man, so why did he feel the need to ditch what he had learned in favour of creating his own art ?
Bruce Lee was a great thinker and being this way he realized that when you are in combat there is no time to work on this technique or that technique, he knew that your opponent dictates what you do and not do what you have been taught but rather do what you feel.
The problem is that we find it easier to be taught than to try and find our own way, he said if it works fine if it doesn’t then do something else, we are all precious about the art that we do and we think that ours is the best and that our instructor in whichever art we learn is a font of all knowledge.
He noticed that when people doing karate were training with others doing karate it would look nice and smooth and polished but what happens when someone doing a different art enters the arena, all the pretty moves look bad. This is why I think that he was following the philosophy of ancient martial artists and not really starting anything new, he just realized that the ancients understood how the arts worked. They all started somewhere
The problem arises when you try to teach by route a class with many students, they all end up doing the same drills and have no idea how to break out of the patterns that they are taught.
Bruce Lee as well as others have tried to teach philosophy rather than technique.
In reality no technique is better or worse than another and self expression is quite hard to do when you feel that you have to do what your master tells you. We should be our own masters, this would push the arts to a new level if we were only brave enough to give it a try.