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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…

Wisdom of Bruce Lee

March 31, 2012

We all know of Bruce Lee’s fighting abilities and his martial arts. What he really brought forth to all of us was his wisdom. Felix Dennis, the publisher of Maxim Magazine (and former publisher of Kung Fu Monthy), once co-wrote a book entitled The Wisdom of Bruce Lee. In it he brought forth much of the wisdom of Bruce Lee not known at the time (1976) and even now.

When Bruce Lee first started teaching his martial arts, he wanted to do it in such a way that it was customized for each person. He knew that not one size fits all. He did not was a set way, but a flowing way. In fighting, Bruce Lee was about winning by any means possible. if you had to bite, then do it. Whatever it took. There was no specific way. Hence, “the way of now way” was born. Jeet Kune Do is simply that.

Bruce Lee taught no more than 6 students at any given time. Most of the time he taught only 3. He thought this was the best way to instill both the internal and external aspects of his art and philosophy. And he did.

More on his philosophy and wisdom comes from this video:

Paul Vunak: Win a Street Fight

March 21, 2012

Paul Vunak was one of John Lopez’s instructors and continues to teach. His practical methods has translated what Bruce Lee taught onto the street way of defense. And much has also been used by the military. In this video Paul demonstrates 6 ways to win a street fight:

http://www.fighting.net/

Martial Arts & MMA Conditioning

March 21, 2012

Those of us in the martial arts world know that physical as well as mental conditioning is important.  Personally, I’ve been a lifelong advocate of both areas.  If your conditioning in both areas fail you, then all the techniques in the world is not going to help.  As instructors, it’s important to set the example too.  And to possess the best possible knowledge that will help your students become the best they can be.

I’m currently looking into programs that will give you the background knowledge and practical application that will help you help others.  As a fitness expert, I feel this is important for you.  One of the one’s I ran across comes from the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA).  It’s a home study course that will bring you up to knowledge in the area of biomechanics as it pertains to martial arts, MMA and other fighting sports.

It also includes specific training and drills that will take an individual to a highly fit level.  You may also want to do these yourself.  Just make sure you are physically ready.  For more information check out their site. Once completed, you’ll get certified as a MMA Conditioning Coach:

Self-Defense, Pre-Emptive Strikes and the Law

April 18, 2011

Many martial artists struggle with knowing what they can do legally when being attacked. And that’s really important when your feel that your life is in danger.

First of all, I’m not an attorney. If you want to know more about the law when it comes to self-defense, make sure you talk to an attorney and know the law in your respective area.

Danger comes in many forms. When it comes to self-defense, we know that when we are confronted with being harmed or even killed, we should take immediate action to stop it.

Under the law in most situations, the use of self-defense techniques to stop an attack must be reasonable in nature.  For example, you can’t use a handgun to stop somebody from punching you.  Here’s what the law in California says:

According to California law, you act in lawful self-defense if you:

    1. reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger of being killed, seriously injured, or unlawfully touched,
    2. believe that immediate force is necessary to prevent that danger, and
    3. Use no more force than necessary to defend against that danger.1

Having said that regarding the legal issues involved.  You should do everything you can to avoid getting into a physical altercation.  That means keep yourself away from potential situations where you’d end up in danger.  If you go out looking for an altercation, then self-defense won’t apply.  If you fight somebody in mutual combat, then self-defense won’t apply.  In that case, you’d be arrested for fighting in public.  In California it’s known as 415F of the Penal Code.

If you feel that your life is in danger from a violent attack that could really harm you or worse, then waiting for the potential attacker to attack you, where you would block the strike or attack is not a good option.  When you have exhausted verbal means of stopping somebody from attacking you and you can’t get away, then there’s only one viable option.  The pre-emptive strike.  This means that you strike first before the thug has a chance to do the same.  You must make the strike count.  End it as quickly as possible to stop this person from attacking you.  Once you stop them, then stop the attack on the attacker.

One other thing regarding the law.  If you’re far enough away from the person where you can escape, do it.  If you rush in to strike the person from across a room, then you become the attacker and will face charges.  This is not self-defense.  Again, know the law.  Talk to an attorney that knows the law in these type of situations.  If you’re in combat, then it’s a different situation altogether.

With the pre-emptive strike, make sure that you’re doing to in self-defense.  Know the law, otherwise you’ll end up in trouble & maybe in prison.

Jeet Kune Do and the Art of Living

April 16, 2011

In the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee stated many of his philosophies. One that I found important is how we live our lives. He stated this, “The artless art is the art of the soul at peace, like moonlight mirrored in a deep lake. The ultimate aim of the artist is to use his daily activity to become a master of life, and so lay hold of the art of living. Masters in all branches of art must first be masters of living, for the soul creates everything.”

I see too many martial artists that focus only on their art and their techniques. Many have neglected this basic aspect that the masters of old already knew. When you master your life, then your soul and art, will begin to flow as one. That includes in peace as well. My samurai ancestors knew this. They not only mastered the art of fighting, but the art of living. They were artists in other arenas: painting & calligraphy being two of them. Poetry being another one and also philosophy.

Whatever your beliefs about life is, make sure that you master it. You will never truly be worthy of being called a martial arts master without first being a life master. Continue to learn beyond the skills of a martial artist. Bring in ancient and contemporary wisdom into your house of knowledge. Then think about how can apply it into your life as well as you apply martial arts techniques into your art. Bruce Lee was a master of life because he sought and applied wisdom from all corners.

From this wisdom of life and as you master it, you’ll be better prepared to move through it in a more free-flowing way. Nature does this naturally. Such is the presence of life that each of us should be aware of beyond what we know in our arts. Remember, in Jeet Kune Do, the expression of the art for you is what is important.

-Bob Choat

Building a Martial Arts Website using WordPress

April 12, 2011

I know that many instructors are looking to build a professional website for their martial arts business. In today’s world it’s important to have one where both students and prospective students can do to.

Many professionals I know in many areas are gravitating to WordPress. Why? Simply because it’s easy to maintain. Instead of using a webmaster to maintain and update your pages, using WordPress, you can do it yourself.

WordPress is designed on a blog-based platform. But it’s much more than that. It operates like a true, professional website. Once you sign up for a WordPress blog, you have the choice of how your site will look like. By going to the appearance link, you can pick the theme that you want. I would suggest picking one where you can customize the header. There are even ones where you can customize the background design. Or just pick what color you want.

You can add pages for each area of your organization. The standard one is the “about” page. Posts are basically the blog posts you’d make. Now here’s the exciting about that. Recently Google changed the way they rank websites. They want fresh content. By posting regular blogs, not only will it keep your viewer informed of the latest happenings, it also adds fresh content. Blogs can be articles that you write, just make sure they are only for the blog and not elsewhere.

There’s much more you can do with this. And you can keep it hosted at WordPress.com for free or self-host it (like at Go Daddy or HostGator). The choice is yours. At WordPress.com, you can upgrade. One of the things I would suggest is having your own unique web address.

If you need help in setting it up, just contact me, okay?

Thanks,

Bob Choat

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