The Tao of Jeet Kune Do : Bruce Lee's Published Masterpiece
Bruce Lee is considered as the greatest martial artist of all time, a hall of famer. The most legendary iconic figure in the martial arts community. He was born on November 27, 1940. It was the Chinese year of the Dragon. He was born on Hong Kong and eventually moved, raised and grew up at the crowded streets of Kowloon.
When he was 13 years old, he was introduced to one of the finest kung fu master named Ip Man who is also a legend in his own right. Bruce was thought and trained through various forms of classical kung fu, particularly, a martial arts style called Wing Chun (literally translated in English as Snake-Crane style kung fu).
Prior the moment he first learned Wing Chun Kung –fu, he was involved to gang rivalries and street fights. Ip man encourages his students to use their knowledge on sparring and competitions. Not on the chaotic streets, unless needed for self-defense and self- preservation. Some of Ip Man students don’t want to interact with Lee because they know about his mixed ancestry. His mother was half- Chinese, half-Caucasian.
Ip Man’s regular Wing Chun classes use different variations of drills and practices like Chi-Sao (Sticking Hands), Lop-Sao (Grabbing Hands) as well as the use of the Wooden Dummy.
As Bruce Lee fully developed and honed his skills his techniques. He noticed some flaws on a traditional Kung-Fu. So he devised a way to modify it. All through the years of study of martial arts, he analyzed over time the different aspect of martial arts. Then he eventually founded a martial arts discipline called Jeet Kune Do, literally translated in English as “the Way of the Intercepting Fist”.
Bruce Lee emphasized that the art of Jee Kune Do is “the art of fighting without fighting”, that you can achieve maximum effect and full speed through minimal movements.
Many perceive Jeet Kune Do as a modified Wing Chun Kung Fu. His masterful innovation of effective drills and techniques was introduced on his dedicated art form. Actually, Jeet Kune Do is a hybrid, eclectic type of martial arts. No wonder, of these modern times, the martial arts community throughout the world recognizes Bruce Lee as the “father of Mixed Martial Arts”, as he employed different forms of self-defense like boxing, fencing, Judo to Filipino Kali. He found many flaws in a traditional Kung Fu as it is unrealistic, flat-footed and rigid. He devised Jeet Kune Do as a free-flowing martial art discipline. He believed about using what is useful and effective and discarding what doesn’t work.
Generally, the Chinese martial arts community in general has greatly opposed Bruce Lee sharing Chinese Kung-Fu to the non-Chinese, particularly Westerners like Americans. But he believed that everybody has the privilege to learn about it, regardless of their race. So every martial arts practitioner should be grateful of his generous intent to share Jeet Kune Do to the world.
Not only was he known as the greatest martial artist of all time, but the most iconic action Kung Fu superstar. Because of his explosive and entertaining style of fighting, he rose up to eventual stardom and has made blockbuster movie hits like Fist of Fury, Game of Death and Enter the Dragon.
Bruce Lee has applied Jeet Kune Do, not only as a martial arts discipline but a philosophy in life, a way of living. Everything he learned was tabulated in to a single book. Not only he wrote and authored it, he is also quite good in drawing so he also did compilations of insightful illustrations. He considered this book as his Masterpiece and published it with great pride. What he attained through years of rigorous extensive study and training about martial arts was printed on a very invaluable book.
This book is called the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. This Masterpiece is a reflection of his pioneering spirit as an elite martial artist.
Bruce Lee's untimely death in 1973 has shocked and saddened many. But the world will always and forever remember on how he lived his life to the fullest.
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Tao of Jeet Kune Do
(Available in hard copy and e-book):
Compiled from Bruce Lee s notes and essays and originally published in 1975, this iconic volume is one of the seminal martial arts guides of its time. The science and philosophy behind the fighting system Lee pioneered himself—jeet kune do—is explained in detail, depicted through hundreds of Lee's own illustrations. With the collaboration of Lee s daughter, Shannon, and Bruce Lee Enterprises, this new edition is expanded, updated, and remastered, covering topics such as Zen and enlightenment, kicking, striking, grappling, and footwork. Featuring an introduction by Linda Lee, this is essential reading for any practitioner, offering a brief glimpse into the mind of one of the world s greatest martial artists.