Jeet Kune Do Q&A

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Q AND A FOR SIFU ROOSEVELT

What is JKD?

JKD is a combat modified Gung Fu (Kung Fu) system designed by Bruce Lee to eliminate the effectiveness of other martial arts in a fight. It is made up with elements from Wing Chun kung fu, American Boxing, and French Fencing for the footwork aspects.

Are there any other arts in JKD?

No. Lee studied various systems to find weaknesses he could exploit. So if he was taking a lesson in, or working with another teacher that was what he was up to.

Is JKD a style, Lee always said JKD was not a style in his books to the public?

JKD is a style. This is in print in the training manuals that were available only to his personal students; in it he states “Style of Jeet Kune Do”, not to mention on his grave marker it says founder of Jeet Kune Do.

Is JKD the most effective style for self-defense?

It is definably at the top of the list for sure. JKD was the first mixed martial art, but it was organized unlike what you see today. It takes discipline to learn as it is so far away from the thinking of most martial art styles that we have come in contact with. Its great for small people and you don’t have to be strong to be effective.

You have to have prior martial arts experience to do Jeet Kune Do?

No not at all. Actually as a teacher it is easier for me because I don’t have to correct bad habits. Also you don’t have to be in great shape to start.

Can you use it in tournaments?

JKD has no rules. It does not translate well to the ring. We do whatever it takes to win. So you would get disqualified pretty quickly.

Why isn’t there JKD schools on every corner like Tae Kwon Do?

That is the big question isn’t it. The most effective martial art from the most famous martial artist. It should be shouldn’t it? Basically it comes down to the ugly side of human nature. You have ego and you have greed and you have envy. All of these things have reared their head in Jeet Kune Do. The original students of Lee could not get along with one another nor with the family. There are exceptions of course, but the failures are many and could have been avoided for the good of the art and out of respect of the founder. Our goal was to change all of that and avoid the fighting and politics for the good of the art and the founder. We have done a good job so far. We get attacked by those same people that kept the art down, but we always take the higher road and stay out of the in fighting.

Are there uniforms in JKD?

No. Although Lee usually wore a Kung Fu uniform.

Are there rank belts in JKD?

No.

Are there rankings in JKD?

Yes. Lee had a rank system of levels 1, 2, 3 and rumored to have a level 4

Did Bruce Lee issue Rank Certificates?

Yes

Can you learn JKD from a book?

That is very hard, probably the hardest method of all.

Why are there so few JKD teachers?

Bruce Lee had very few students in his 3 different schools.

Is there only one JKD?

No there is two. You have the original that we teach, and you have what is called JKD Concepts which is mainly Filipino arts.

Is one better than the other?

We get this question quite a bit. The original is what Lee taught, Concepts is related but does not have to be what Lee taught. I like to answer like this since I have training in Filipino arts as well. Original is what Lee taught and Concepts is not. One is no better that the other just different.

Bruce Lee taught for free why do you charge money?

Bruce Lee was one of the highest paid martial art teachers to date. He did not teach for free and in the 1970’s he charged $1000 for an hour long private lesson. In today’s money that would be what…. a new car.

Why did Bruce Lee order his schools closed?

He came home from filming a movie and witnessed one of his classes and he did not recognize any of the techniques being taught as JKD. He order all of them closed. There were other issues involved but this remained in the forefront.

How many schools did he have?

Three schools, Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles.

Why is there so much controversy in JKD?

Bruce Lee was a very philosophical man with many sides and many contradictions. He had a public face and a private face that his private students witnessed. While I think he would be dismayed at his students lack of compassion toward one another, he would rather enjoy the confusion that keeps people thinking about martial arts. It’s my hope that his 1st generation students the will make amends.

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