Truth is that Jeet Kune Do is all of those things. But in simple terms, it is a complete system. Jeet Kune Do was founded by martial arts legend Bruce Lee. When he came to the United States, he was armed with a martial art called Wing Chun, which is still very much alive. The primary focus of Wing Chun is in what is called the trapping range, the range inside of boxing but just outside of grappling.
In 1959, fresh to the United States, Bruce Lee began to teach martial arts to pay his way through college. Along the way he began to research many other martial arts systems including Judo, Western Boxing, French Savate and others. Over time, he began to incorporate his findings into his personal martial arts. This evolution was the first stage of what is known as Jeet Kune Do.
As he began to “empty his cup,” meaning he was unlearning the things he learned quickly began to realize that all martial arts have some limitations. Boxing does not have kicking, Kicking arts do not have grappling, Grappling arts don’t utilize weapons. The idea for Bruce Lee was to be a complete fighter, no limitations and no restraints. As the research continued, this became the second version of Jeet Kune Do.
Now into the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Bruce had studied dozens of arts, with hundreds of martial artists. Keen on refining himself, he was simply put, hungry for the best! In the final stages of the development of Jeet Kune Do, he encouraged every martial artists to “honestly express oneself.” He wanted them to extend their research beyond any system, and beyond even what he himself was teaching. This is known today as Jeet Kune Do Concepts.
After his untimely death on July 20th, 1973, men such as Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Jerry Poteet, Steve Golden and other original students began to continue their own research and carry the light of Jeet Kune Do. Now having a global outreach, many JKD Instructors have taken the philosophies, concepts, and teachings of JKD to a new level!
In today’s day, Jeet Kune Do is being taught in civilian, military, and law enforcement arenas by instructors such as ourselves. Considered to be the most complete combative system, Jeet Kune Do leaves no stones unturned. Our mindset is evolve and improve daily! You can find JKD practitioners involved with today mixed martial arts, UFC, tactical communities such as Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon and many others!