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Bruce Lee on Jeet Kune Do

April 14, 2012


Bruce Lee explained that Jeet Kune Do was a style that was not a style. He thought about the reality of fighting and to do what works. It is about being direct in winning fights. This meant to win by any means necessary.

He once said: “In building a statue, a sculptor doesn’t keep adding clay to his subject.  Actually, he keeps chiseling away at the inessentials until the truth is revealed without obstructions.  Jeet Kune Do doesn’t mean adding more.  It means to minimize.  In other words, to back away the inessentials.  It is not a ‘daily increase’ but a ‘daily decrease.’  Art is really the expression of the self.  The more complicated and restricted the method, the less the opportunity for the expression of one’s original sense of freedom.  Though the play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive.  If we blindly cling to them, we will eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques.  If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No. 1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5.  Instead, you simply move in like sound and echo, without deliberation.” (source: The Wisdom of Bruce Lee (1976) by Felix Dennis and Roger Hutchinson).

If you are Jeet Kune Do Practitioner, how are you expressing your art?  Or are you still caught up in doing the techniques?  Remember that it’s only a concept, not a strict focus on doing this way or that way.  Bruce Lee even stated that he did not invent a new style.  He simply took the wisdom of all the arts and distilled them down to their essence… Their core… Their truth…

Discover your truth in your art…

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