My JKD big brother, Bob Bremer, likes to tell the story about how he was watching Bruce Lee train like a lunatic one day and asked him, “Geez, Bruce, aren’t you afraid you’re gonna be over-trained?” Lee’s response was, “I’d rather be over-trained than under-trained.” An excellent point provided you keep it in the proper context. Bruce was working on technical skill training at the time. (When it comes to technical skill, especially in combat, I think it would always be better to be over-trained than under-trained). In addition, Lee had already spent years developing his physical fitness to an extremely high level which allowed him to put forth the energy and effort he did.
In his interview for the book, “Jeet Kune Do Conversations” by Jose Fraguas (Unique Publications, 2001) Dan Inosanto was asked about Bruce Lee’s quote “Absorb what is useful, Reject what is useless, Add what is specifically your own.” In his response, Dan stated that, “He [Bruce Lee] said that you had to capture the essence of each art. The essence is not the three thousand techniques you learn from white belt to black belt. Whatever he absorbed from a system, it had to fit in to his personal base system…”
There’s an old saying which states that “The more things change the more they remain the same.” As I look about the JKD world today I see various JKD factions or groups arguing and disagreeing about the very same things I saw groups arguing over thirty years ago. Things such as who is right and who is wrong about JKD, who is doing JKD correctly and who isn’t, who gets JKD and who doesn’t. It’s the same stuff, just a different year and a whole new crop of people.
“A good JKD man has no technique; he makes his opponent’s techniques his techniques.”
- Bruce Lee
There’s an old saying relating to technique that states, “Everything works and nothing works.” This is not a pessimistic statement but rather a simple statement of fact. Techniques work sometimes, and sometimes they don’t work. Nothing works one hundred percent of the time. There is no such thing as an infallible technique. I think every martial artist can remember one time or another when they tried to use a particular technique and for whatever reason, it failed.
Take one of Bruce Lee’s personal day-timer diaries and lay it next to any JKD school class curriculum. It doesn’t matter whether it is the curriculum from the Seattle school, the Oakland school, the Los Angeles school, or any JKD school for that matter, you will see quite a difference. The class curriculum lays out a basic structure of the training program for the particular school. Lee’s notes on the other hand, record a continual personal refinement of the various combative tools and skills (such as throwing 18,000 punches in a single month) and the development of his body to support and enhance the use of those tools and skills. One is an example of “class” curriculum and the other an example of “individual” curriculum.
The following is excerpted from my latest book, “LIBERATE YOURSELF - A Guide to Personal Freedom” which is now available in both paperback and e-book formats.
In his book, “Teaching with the Brain in Mind”, Eric Jensen, one of the leaders in brain-based learning, discusses the importance that the role of “processing” plays in learning. He relates the following three points:
In JKD, technical development can be broken down into three main phases, or stages. These are:
Stage 1 - Synchronization of self
Stage 2 - Synchronization with opponent
Stage 3 - Application under fighting conditions
|I was at an outdoor social gathering the other day and when one individual learned that I taught martial arts, and that some of my students were kids, they asked me, “Aren’t you teaching children violence?” My response to them was, “No, I am teaching them how to deal with someone who is attempting to use violence against them.” Despite the bad press it’s been getting in recent years, I still believe that the world is a nice place filled with mostly good people. But there are some not-so-good people out there, and there are some downright bad people who delight in hurting others, especially children.|
The following is the first part of a multi-part blog series dealing with the art of teaching.
If you are a teacher, you possess the ability to change people’s lives through your teaching. As a teacher you can influence your student’s lives in many ways. Part of your job is to nurture the physical, mental and emotional progress of a student into one complete person.
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