Jeet Kune Do Skills and Workouts

Jeet Kune Do means Way of the Intercepting Fist, and is the martial arts style that Bruce Lee developed to combine what he had discovered after spending years studying every popular fighting style available to him. Although his background was in kung-fu (Tai Chi, Wing Chun) he studied high kicking styles, wrestling, Western boxing, karate, Jujitu, fencing and many others. So, what is Jeet Kune Do, if not just a mish mash of all martial arts?

Bruce Lee actually said the following about Jeet Kune Do, mostly to quell the increasing attacks on the system (many thought he was arrogant to develop “his own” style:

“I have not invented a “new style,” composite, modified or otherwise, that is set within distinct form as apart from “this” method or “that” method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or moulds. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one’s feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one’s back.” – Bruce Lee, 1971

So, it is clear then, that Jeet Kune Do is simply everything, and at the same time nothing. Some would say that it is the root of the MMA (mixed martial arts) philosophy. Breaking down the barriers between martial arts styles. MMA fighters are possibly the most serious martial artists today. Rather than dwell on the childish “my style is better than your style” attitude, they go out, and tackle all styles, and determine first hand which parts of which styles work against an opponent who is training and learning in the same way. Style is not important, winning is. To win, you have to be the best, and be able to fight against anything.

So, what are the core philosophies of Jeet Kune Do?

  • The fighting concepts of Wing Chun are followed, i.e. the centerline, gates, vertical punching
  • For speed and stability, Western Boxing stances are used
  • A fighter should do whatever is necessary to defend himself
  • Stronger striking hand in the lead, with his weaker hand back
  • Apart from the boxing stance, no others are consciously used – let the training guide your instinct
  • Learn to adapt to the constant changes and fluctuations of real combat – not forms

The Principals of Jeet Kune Do

  • The best defense is a strong offense
  • The principal of interception
  • Learning to intercept by learning to understand an opponents body language, predict his movements. This is taken from Japanese sword fighting training
  • “Absorb what is useful; Disregard that which is useless”
  • Economy of motion – waste no time with fancy moves

The Techniques of Jeet Kune Do

  • Stop hits & stop kicks – this means to never block an attack. Always aim to strike your opponent. Some kung-fu systems, such as Southern Praying Mantis, use this method.
  • Simultaneous parrying & punching – In addition to stop hits, never just parry, always strike at the same time. This is fast and takes your opponent by surprise. Waste no time
  • No high kicks – many styles teach high kicking. However, in a real fight it is very dangerous. You are off balance, and invariably leave your groin undefended. A sure way to lose a fight.
  • Learn the 4 ranges of combat:
    • Punching
    • Kicking
    • Trapping
    • Grappling

Jeet Kune Do’s Five Ways Of Attack

  1. Single Angular Attack (SAA) and its converse Single Direct Attack (SDA).
  2. Hand Immobilization Attack (HIA) and its counterpart Foot Immobilization attack, which make use of “trapping” to limit the opponent to strike again with that arm or leg.
  3. Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA). Attacking one part of the opponent’s body followed by attacking another part as a means of creating an opening.
  4. Attack By Combinations (ABC). This is using multiple rapid attacks as a means of using volume of attack to overcoming the opponent.
  5. Attack By Drawing (ABD). This is creating an opening with positioning as a means of counter attacking.

Three Parts of Jeet Kune Do

  • Efficiency – An attack that reaches its mark without detour
  • Directness – Straight to the point
  • Simplicity – Thinking in an uncomplicated manner, flowing like water.

Jeet Kune Do Workouts

Martial arts training is the workout in itself. However, Bruce Lee trained extensively in addition to his many martial arts classes. Jeet Kune Do, like mixed martial arts, requires function training, including bodyweight circuit training, functional strength training (compound exercises, power-lifting techniques), kicking drills, punching and boxing drills, bag work, ground work, running, sprinting, endurance training, and flexibility training.

To “do Jeet Kune Do” today, you simply need to attend an MMA class, or learn several styles and focus on what works for you. Jeet Kune Do is about breaking down barriers, not creating new ones. So called Jeet Kune Do schools are teaching a system now. Students need to remember that they have to break away from all systems, and find what works, and what fails, for them. Be like water my friends, flow! Or as the Gallagher brothers said, “You gotta roll with it, You gotta take your time, You gotta say what you say, Don’t let anybody get in your way”. I am sure that this lyric is in reference to the Way of the Intercepting Fist.

Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method: The Complete Edition – Book Review

Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method is an excellent illustration of the various techniques and skills that Bruce Lee mastered. Originally this was released as a series of books, but now it is available in one handy volume. It also features updated photographs, a new chapter written by Ted Wong (one of Bruce’s students) and a new introduction by Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee.

Bruce Lee was a legendary martial artist, both on screen and off. Unlike many martial artists that appear on screen today, his was a trained fighter, not just a choreographer. He believed in removing form from martial arts, and to use any techniques that worked, and this is the basis of his method, Jeet Kune Do. This book covers all aspects of journey, from his martial arts workouts, his complimentary weight training, research, and his philosophy.

The four individual volumes are:

  • Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, Vol. 1: Self-Defense Techniques
  • Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, Vol. 2: Basic Training
  • Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, Vol. 3: Skill in Techniques
  • Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, Vol. 4: Advanced Techniques

One of the best features of this new hardback version is that the photographs have been restored to such a great level of detail. The book looks fresh, as if it was written this year, and not in the late 1970’s. The publishers have created a new layout and positioned illustrations and text in such a way that it is easier to follow Bruce’s line of thought and understand his principals and techniques than it was in the first editions. Although Bruce Lee’s methods have not been changed, the quality of the publishing industry has. This is what makes this new hardback edition such a treat. It is now even easier to learn Bruce Lee’s methods from his writings and illustrations than ever before!

This book is essential in any martial artists collection. Just as Bruce Lee combined the best parts of many different systems to create his own, his methods and understanding of human anatomy and fighting can benefit all martial artists.

From Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method: The Complete Edition by Bruce Lee.

Also available in other bookshops.

70 Comments on “Jeet Kune Do Skills and Workouts”

  1. MotleyHealth says:

    For speed, you train a lot, train fast. Use wooden dummies and light bags, speed balls etc. Train, train, train. The key is to be fluid, to not tense the muscles until the final moment of impact.

  2. okay thank you………
    I am now 17. How can I workout (Bruce Lee’s) at home?

  3. sorry its home and also diet

  4. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Laksh, diet at home is easy, use the information on this page:

    As for training, it is best to find an instructor or school. As much as some people claim that you can learn martial arts from a book / video / online, you really need hands on experience from a good instructor. Besides, half the fun of martial arts is training with other people.

  5. i have already joined kung fu class ……but bruce lee worked out more

  6. MotleyHealth says:

    That’s good. What style of kung-fu are you learning? You can certainly supplement your kung-fu training with instructions from books and videos, they are just not a replacement.

  7. the institution name is shaolin chu kung fu…….and which books are good for bruce lee work outs ?

  8. and in speed training how can i use wooden dummies and light bags and speed balls?

  9. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Laksh, you really need to speak to your instructor about this, they will be able to guide you on how to improve your speed. As for books, grab a copy of Bruce Lee’s The Art of Expressing the Human Body. You cna read our review of it at the bottom of this page.

  10. what do you mean by shadow boxing which bruce did?

  11. MotleyHealth says:

    Shadow boxing is training punches without hitting anything. To work on technique, form and speed of combining combinations.

  12. Jeet Kune Do. Not Jeet June Do (one of the topics)

  13. MotleyHealth says:

    Well spotted Virgil, fixed it.

  14. Buy the book called tao of jeet kune do by bruce lee. thats where im starting. i already got wing chun and tang soo do as my martial arts back ground. im also taking boxing to help with the boxing stances.

  15. Lance Lee says:

    Great comments and ideas,!

  16. I like everything except for your line regarding learning JKD today. There are 2 ways that JKD is taught: Concepts and Original. Original is taught in more of a stylistic way, based on what Bruce trained and taught himself. Concepts is more open (style of no style) in the sense that they teach the basics concepts talked about in The Tao of Jeet Kune Do without limiting the techniques that are taught. Taking an MMA class or jumping around styles (I’ve done both for too long) will teach you what is effective or important in those environments (cage or tournaments). JKD is awesome and can be effective in competition (take a look at Chris Weidman, Ray Longo teaches JKD), but it’s not geared for it. MMA is closest with their well-rounded training but you won’t learn much outside of what is considered good for the Unified MMA ruleset.

  17. This is hoRrible explanation of what jkd really is. .. the author should train with a real jkd instructor who is certified. .. if they had they would know that jkd is just a style of mma as author Would Like top convince you this article does a disservice to the art, instructors, practicitioners and it’s founder. .. do your research besides just advertising some books

  18. MotleyHealth says:

    Diego, JKD predated MMA, so how can it be “just a style of mma”? Also, JKD is a concept, not a system – this is the entire point. So what one school “teaches” is not going to be what all schools teach. Plus, MMA is a combat martial art with clear rules. JKD is not. I admit, I have never studied JKD, but I have studied around 7 different kung-fu styles, plus karate, jitsu, aikido, kickboxing and a tiny bit of MMA, so I am not completely clueless on the topic (although I am now mostly just an author). I am curious, why is certification so important when it is supposed to be based on the idea of fighting without boundaries, styles and systems? Certification sounds rather limiting and linear….

  19. I agree with with Diego, JKD is more than (fighting without boundaries, styles and systems.) so many people outside Jkd who just reads (The Tao of jkd or expression…) completely get this wrong. JKD is NOT MMA and MMA is not JKD. So that a complete lie

  20. MotleyHealth says:

    What do you suggest for the majority of people who do not live anywhere near a certified JKD instructor? And please, don’t say distance learning with a DVD course! The association with MMA is only because it is a “mixed martial art”, taking elements from many styles, and discarding parts that are not required, nobody ever said they were the same thing, just that they are more similar than say, JKD and judo, or MMA and ballet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *