History

Jeet Kune Do 截拳道 (Way of the Intercepting Fist)


Jeet Kune Do 截拳道 (Way of the Intercepting Fist), or “Jun Fan Kung Fu” 振藩功夫 (Mastery of the Small Dragon) as Bruce Lee called the philosophical concept of his martial art, was created in the late 1960s. It was a new and shocking concept not only for the West, as far as it knew about eastern martial arts at the time, but for Eastern masters as well, who were closed off in their conservative thinking about their “secret” teachings and traditions in a Western society that was refusing to accept them. In the world of martial arts Bruce Lee 李小龍 is a true symbol of the transition to a new time and a new understanding for equality, freedom of expression, personal dignity and the aspiration for reaching the limits of one’s abilities in this dynamic world.

Jeet Kune Do’s concept 截拳道,of developing the individual personal qualities and skills, regardless of style, is not new in the Eastern practice of martial arts. On the contrary – in China it is traditional for a master to have in-depth experience with more than two or three masters. It was normal and expected for a student to visit other schools in order to exchange experience, and to devote his time and efforts by living with different masters and acquiring the skills they taught him. Of course, in order for this to happen, the student had to adhere to the traditional ritual, and show respect for the master. This also had to happen with the consent and even recommendations of those the student had previously practiced under. So, Bruce Lee 李小龍(Lee Siao Lun – “Lee the Small Dragon”) did not create the idea of combining and enriching individual styles, nor did he create the idea of exchanging ideas and techniques in martial arts.

In regard to the Chinese understanding, he merely destroyed the adherence to traditional rituals, and with, his adolescent arrogance, he rebelled against the widespread canon and customs. However, by doing this he not only destroyed the Eastern ritual tradition, but he also established the modern attitude towards the master as a coach, towards martial arts as a sport, and towards the practice hall as a gym. Mastering combat skills was equated to mastering a simple move, and physical preparedness was equated to a motory reflex of the nerves and muscles.

However, at the same time, Bruce Lee 李振藩(or Lee Jun Fan – his birth name) was the first to convey martial arts’ philosophical basis, concept, and practice in an understandable language for the Western world. He was also the first to successfully formulate to the Western world the East’s understanding of martial arts as an inseparable part of a person’s daily life, a part of every action and thought. For the first time, he showed the West the vast philosophy which is integral to every move in the practice of martial arts.

Kung Fu Centre Xuangui 玄龜功夫中心 tries to apply the ideas of Jeet Kune Do’s concepts, developed by Bruce Lee. The practice strives for a free expression of oneself while at the same time allowing everyone else to express themselves. Being aware of your freedom and its limitations turns the mastery of the martial art and your own abilities into a very responsible endeavour. From this point of view, discipline and rituals are a fruit of deep understanding rather than an imposed repetition of stilted movements.

Arnis/Eskrima/Filipino Kali