Jeet Kune Do, or JKD for short, is an eclectic and hybrid martial.

Unlike more traditional martial arts, Jeet Kune Do is not fixed or patterned, and is a philosophy with guiding thoughts. It was named for the Wing Chun concept of interception or attacking while one's opponent is about to attack. Jeet Kune Do practitioners believe in minimal movement with maximum effect.

Characteristics

Jeet Kune Do seeks to waste no time or movement, teaching that the simplest things work best, as in Wing Chun.

  • Efficiency: each attack which reaches its target in the least amount of time, with maximum force.
  • Directness: doing what comes naturally in a disciplined way.
  • Simplicity: thinking in an uncomplicated manner; without ornamentation.

This is meant to help a practitioner conserve both energy and time, two crucial components in a physical confrontation. Maximized force seeks to end the battle quickly due to the amount of damage inflicted upon the opponent. Rapidity aims to reach the target before the opponent can react, which is half-beat faster timing, as taught in Wing Chun and Boxing. Learned techniques are utilized in JKD to apply these principles to a variety of situations.

Stop hits

Intercepting an opponent's attack with an attack of one's own instead of simply blocking it. It is for this concept Jeet Kune Do is named. JKD practitioners believe that this is the most difficult defensive skill to develop. This strategy is a feature of some traditional Chinese martial arts as Wing Chun, as well as an essential component of European Épée Fencing. Stop hits and kicks utilize the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into one movement, thus minimizing the "time" element.

Simultaneous parrying and punching

When confronting an incoming attack, the attack is parried or deflected, and a counterattack is delivered at the same time. This is not as advanced as a stop hit but more effective than blocking and counterattacking in sequence. This is practiced by some Chinese martial arts such as Wing Chun, and it is also known in Krav Maga as "bursting". Simultaneous parrying & punching utilizes the principle of economy of motion by combining attack and defense into one movement, thus minimizing the "time" element and maximising the "energy" element. Efficiency is gained by utilizing a parry rather than a block. By definition a "block" stops an attack, whereas a parry merely re-directs it. Redirection has two advantages, first that it requires less energy to execute and second that it utilizes the opponent's energy against them by creating an imbalance. Efficiency is gained in that the opponent has less time to react to an incoming attack, since they are still nullifying the original attack.

Low kicks

JKD practitioners believe they should direct their kicks to their opponent's shins, knees, thighs, and midsection, as in Wing Chun. These targets are the closest to the foot, provide more stability and are more difficult to defend against. Maintaining low kicks utilizes the principle of economy of motion by reducing the distance a kick must travel, thus minimizing the "time" element. However, as with all other JKD principles nothing is "written in stone". If a target of opportunity presents itself, even a target above the waist, one could take advantage and not be hampered by this principle.

Four ranges of combat

  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Trapping
  • Grappling

Jeet Kune Do students train in each of the aforementioned ranges equally. According to Lee, this range of training serves to differentiate JKD from other martial arts. Lee stated that most but not all traditional martial arts systems specialize in training at one or two ranges. Lee's theories have been especially influential and substantiated in the field of mixed martial arts, as the MMA Phases of Combat are essentially the same concept as the JKD combat ranges. As a historic note, the ranges in JKD have evolved over time. Initially the ranges were categorized as short or close, medium, and long range. These terms proved ambiguous and eventually evolved into their more descriptive forms, although some may still prefer the original three categories.

Five ways of attack

The original five ways of attack are:

  • Single Direct Attack (SDA)
  • Attack By Combination (ABC)
  • Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA)
  • (Hand) Immobilization Attack (HIA)
  • Attack By Drawing (ABD)

Centerline

The centerline is an imaginary line drawn vertically along the center of a standing human body, and refers to the space directly in front of that body. If one draws an isosceles triangle on the floor, for which one's body forms the base, and one's arms form the equal legs of the triangle, then h (the height of the triangle) is the centerline. The Wing Chun concept is to exploit, control and dominate an opponent's centerline. All attacks, defenses, and footwork are designed to guard one's own centerline while entering the opponent's centerline space. Lee incorporated this theory into JKD from his Sifu Yip Man's Wing Chun.

  • The one who controls the centerline will control the fight.
  • Protect and maintain your own centerline while you control and exploit your opponent's.
  • Control the centerline by occupying it.

This notion is closely related to maintaining control of the center squares in the strategic game chess. The concept is naturally present in xiangqi (Chinese chess), where an "X" is drawn on the game board, in front of both players' general and advisors.

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