Have you ever wondered if there are other fighting styles like Jeet Kune Do? Interestingly, Bruce Lee never intended Jeet Kune Do to be a style. Instead, it was a way to use the best techniques for all ranges of unarmed combat by looking for truth in all fighting arts.
However, some younger JKD practitioners treat it like a style and fight very predictably with the same moves and stance. This goes against Bruce Lee's warning about conformity, but it's natural to want to belong to a group. Some people who teach JKD are like this too.
On the other hand, original students of Bruce Lee, like Dan Inosanto, have their own approach and incorporate JKD principles into other martial arts like Filipino and Indonesian. Each one has their own focus on different aspects of what Bruce did.
Several martial arts and combat sports share similarities with Jeet Kune Do in philosophy, techniques, or both:
- MMA (Mixed Martial Arts): A full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, similar to Jeet Kune Do. It focuses on practicality and efficacy in actual combat, just like Jeet Kune Do. Many MMA fighters have trained in Jeet Kune Do due to its emphasis on practicality and effectiveness.
- Krav Maga: A self-defense system developed for the Israel Defense Forces. It emphasizes practical techniques that can be used in real-life scenarios, similar to Jeet Kune Do. It incorporates elements from various martial arts, including boxing, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- Systema: A Russian martial art that emphasizes fluidity and adaptability in combat. It incorporates various techniques from other martial arts, including strikes, grappling, and weapons training. Like Jeet Kune Do, Systema focuses on using the body's natural movements and reactions to defend against attackers.
- Filipino Martial Arts (FMA): A term used to describe several martial arts and combat systems that originated in the Philippines. They include techniques from both armed and unarmed combat, including stick fighting and knife fighting. Some FMA systems, such as Kali and Escrima, have influenced Jeet Kune Do's development.
- Wing Chun: A Chinese martial art that emphasizes close-range combat, efficiency, and simplicity. It focuses on using the body's natural structure and movements to deliver fast, powerful strikes. Wing Chun has been said to have influenced the development of Jeet Kune Do, as Bruce Lee studied under Wing Chun master Ip Man in his early years.
It's important to note that each of these martial arts and combat systems has its own unique characteristics and philosophy. As such, it's up to the individual practitioner to determine which art or system best aligns with their goals and values.
Jun Fan Kung Fu
It's interesting to note that as I continued training over many years, I rediscovered my traditional roots. The original masters had more in common philosophically with Bruce Lee than many people realize. Each head master in different schools in Okinawa has personalized their art to make it their own personal expression, not a standardized style. Different instructors from the same style express the art uniquely and differently.
Your goal with martial arts is to study and practice long enough till it becomes a part of you. So it's important to find a school that practices an art that appeals to you, but is also open-minded and not fixed in its thinking. This way, you can discover new things and not limit yourself in any way.
It's important to find a school that practices an art that appeals to you, but is also open-minded and not fixed in its thinking. MMA, for example, is similar to JKD in its focus on practicality and efficacy in actual combat. It's a system that keeps only techniques, tactics, and applications that have been proven effective while discarding anything that's ineffective.
You can find MMA studios and academies opening up everywhere, or you can start learning one of the major base arts of MMA one at a time, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, freestyle wrestling, Roman Greco wrestling, submission wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing. Mixing a striking art with a grappling art is a great way to start, and having two grappling styles like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and freestyle wrestling plus kickboxing creates an incredibly complete fighting system.
However, it's important to note that grappling arts have a fundamental weakness when it comes to multiple attackers or an all-out brawl. That's why it's important to have a stand-up art as well and know when to keep the fight standing. High school wrestling is a great way to start if you're still in school and looking to prepare for martial arts.