JKD branches


Although Bruce Lee officially closed his martial arts schools two years before his death, he allowed his curriculum to be taught privately. Since his death, Jeet Kune Do is argued to have split into different groups. Allegedly they are:
The Original (or Jun Fan) JKD branch, whose proponents include Taky Kimura, Yap Mat, James Lee, Jerry Poteet, and Ted Wong; these groups claim to teach what was believed to be only what was taught by Bruce Lee, and encourage the student to further develop his or her self and abilities through those teachings. The inherent training principles of this branch are shaped by the concepts of what was "originally taught", by Bruce Lee, which does include such concepts as absorbing what is useful and discarding what is not. These theories are merely viewed in different contexts by the two branches.
The JKD Concepts branch, whose proponents include Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Larry Hartsell; these groups strive to continue the philosophy of individual self-expression through re-interpretation of combat systems through the lens of Jeet Kune Do, under the concept that it was never meant to be a static art but rather an ongoing evolution, and have incorporated elements from many other martial arts into the main fold of its teachings (most notably, grappling and Kali / Escrima material) based on the individual's personal preferences and physical attributes. The entire JKD "system" can be described through a simple diagram, and the concepts can then be applied to a variety of contexts in a "universal" way.
To understand the branches of JKD it is important to understand the difference between the two "types" or viewpoints of Jeet Kune Do:
JKD framework This type of JKD provides the guiding principles. Bruce Lee experimented with many styles and techniques to reach these conclusions. To Lee these principles were truisms. The JKD framework is not bound or confined by any styles or systems. This type of JKD is a process.
JKD Personal Systems This type of JKD utilizes the JKD framework along with any techniques from any other style or system to construct a "personal system". This approach utilizes a "building blocks" manner in which to construct a personalized system that is especially tailored to an individual. Lee believed that only an individual could determine for themselves what the usefulness of any technique should be. This type of JKD is thus a product.
Lee believed that this freedom of adoption was a distinguishing property from traditional martial arts.
There are many who confuse the JKD Framework with a JKD Personal System (IE. Bruce Lee's personal JKD) thinking them to be one and the same. The system that Bruce Lee personally expressed was his own personal JKD; tailored for himself. Before he could do this, however, he needed to first develop the "JKD Framework" process. Many of the systems that Bruce Lee studied were not to develop his "Personal JKD" but rather was used to gather the "principles" for incorporation in the JKD Framework approach. The uniqueness of JKD to Lee is that it was a "process" not a "product" and thus not a "style" but a system, concept, or approach. Traditional martial arts styles are essentially a product that is given to a student with little provision for change. These traditional styles are usually fixed and not tailored for individuals. Bruce Lee claimed there were inherent problems with this approach and established a "Process" based system rather than a fixed style which a student could then utilize to make a "tailored" or "Personal" product of their own. To use an analogy; traditional martial arts give students fish to eat (a product). Lee believed that a martial art should just teach the student to fish (a process) and gain the food directly.
The two branches of JKD differ in what should be incorporated or offered within the "JKD Framework". The Original (or Jun Fan) JKD branch believes that the original principles before Bruce Lee died are all that is needed for the construction of personalized systems. The JKD Concepts branch believe that there are further principles that can be added to construct personalized systems. The value of each Branch can be determined by individual practitioners based on whatever merits they deem important.
Original JKD is further divided into two points of view. OJKD and JFJKD both hold Wing Chun, Western boxing and fencing as the cornerstones on Bruce's JKD.
OJKD follows all Bruce's training from early Jun Fan Gung Fu (Seattle period) and focuses on trapping with Wing Chun influence. This is his teachings before it was Jeet Kune Do, but still his kung fu interpretations.
Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is a signature version of JKD as Bruce taught privately to Ted Wong. This is a later time period and practices a greater emphasis on elusiveness and simplified trapping unique to Bruce's later approach to combat. The focus is with Wing Chun, Western Boxing, and Fencing.

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