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…”
The following is an excerpt from Chris Kent’s new book, LIBERATE YOURSELF - A Guide to Personal Freedom, which is currently available through Amzon.com or www.chriskentjkd.com.
When the first public Jeet Kune Do training facility opened in 1974, it quickly became the “Mecca” for anyone interested in learning about or studying Bruce Lee’s art and philosophy. Known as the Filipino Kali Academy (the words “Jeet Kune Do” didn’t appear anywhere on the outside), people came from all over the globe to train at the school. In my years of training and assisting at the Academy, I saw countless people whom I refer to as “Bruce Lee shadow chasers” come and go. I called them “shadow chasers” because they spent their time running after the image or “shadow” of Bruce Lee. These people believed that if they performed the exact workout that Lee did, ate the same food he ate, read the same books and listened to the same music Lee listened to, dressed the way he did, even cut their hair in the same style that they could literally become just like Bruce Lee. Some of these individuals would imitate every little nuance and action Lee did in his movies, from the way he held his hands, to shaking his head, to pulling up his trousers before kicking. They would mimic his facial expressions and even his cinematic vocal noises. These people adopted the persona of Bruce Lee instead of being themselves. What they failed to understand is that it wasn’t being “like Bruce Lee” that was integral to Lee’s success, but in his being Bruce Lee, in expressing fully the honest feelings, emotions, and nature of his innermost being.
When people ask me what I think of the new, re-published version of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, I tell them that I like it, and that I think the company did an admirable job on it. What surprises many of them is that when they ask me what my favorite part of the book is, I tell them that it is, and always has been, the “Introductions” written by Linda Lee Cadwell and my friend and training partner, the late Gil Johnson.
The following transcript came from The Bruce Lee Memorial Issue magazine published by Black Belt magazine -- © 1974 by Rainbow Publications
Bruce Lee as seen through the eyes of students of Jeet Kune Do
My relationship with Bruce was as a friend and an instructor. As a friend, I don't think I've had anyone who has helped me as much as Bruce has. As an instructor, I feel I am very fortunate to have trained under him.
With over 35 years experience, Chris Kent is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on Jeet Kune Do. A full-time, professional martial art instructor, educator, author, and public speaker, he has gained international recognition for his knowledge and leadership in disseminating the art and philosophy developed by Bruce Lee, and is considered one of the few individuals in the world having total comprehension of all facets of Lee’s martial art.
Some of his accomplishments include:
- Youngest and final member admitted into Dan Inosanto’s fabled “Backyard JKD” group during Bruce Lee’s lifetime.
- One of the first students to be awarded the title of Full Instructor in the Jun Fan Martial Arts (Jeet Kune Do) by Dan Inosanto.
- Author / Co-author of 4 of the highest rated books on Jeet Kune Do.
- Featured in such books as “Jeet Kune Do Conversations”, “Jeet Kune – The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee” and “Filipino Fighting Arts – Theory and Practice.”
- Co-founded and for 5 years served as a Board of Directors member of the “The Bruce Lee Educational Foundation”.
With over 35 year’s experience, Chris Kent was the youngest and final member admitted into Dan Inosanto’s fabled “Backyard JKD” group during Bruce Lee’s lifetime, and was one of the first students to be awarded the title of Full Instructor in the Jun Fan Martial Arts (Jeet Kune Do) and the Filipino Martial Arts by Guro Dan Inosanto.
A full-time, professional martial art instructor and author/ co-author of 4 of the highest rated books on Jeet Kune Do, he has written and produced 2 series of training videotapes and DVDs which remain the standard of the industry. Plus he has been featured in such books as “Jeet Kune Do Conversations” and “Jeet Kune Do – The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee”, and co-founded and served on the Board of Directors for the Bruce Lee Educational Foundation for 5 years. Due to his exceptional background he has gained international recognition for his knowledge and leadership in disseminating the art and philosophy developed by Bruce Lee, and is considered one of the few individuals in the world having total comprehension of all facets of Lee’s martial art. He is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on the art and philosophy of Jeet Kune Do.
The following are excerpts from the article:
“Chris Kent – Living La Vida JKD”
(Bruce Lee Magazine – CFW Enterprises – 2001)
The following are excerpts from the article:
“Chris Kent – Last of the “Backyard” Breed Breaks His Silence”
(Martial Art Legends presents Martial Art Masters – 1999)
In order to get the most out of JKD it is essential to know how to make Bruce Lee’s notes work for you—how to bring them to life and use them to help you achieve your fullest potential as a martial artist. Lee’s notes have been likened to guideposts, or clues, that can lead an individual to their own self-expression in the martial arts. But guideposts do a person little or no good if they don’t know how to read or interpret them correctly. So the first thing that needs to be understood is how to study Lee’s notes. This is not as easy as it sounds. When reading Bruce Lee’s notes, three intrinsic principles should guide your study. These principles may, in the beginning, require several separate readings but in time can be done concurrently. The three principles are as follows:
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