I’m sure this hVideo 12 0 00 14-11as been a long waited article.  I hope you guys took my advice and checked out Wing Chun.  At this point you really need to find a partner or group to work with.  Reading books and watching videos only work if you apply it in action and get verbal and physical feedback to your drilling.

We are at phase II, JKD Kickboxing, while keeping in mind that although we distinguish between phases there is no solid line between them.  Several concepts of self defense derive from Wing Chun; centerline, simultaneous defend and attack, etc.  The next few posts will come quick as the material between phases are mixed in single textbooks and references.  It also correlates to training as we can jump back and forth, even ahead while progressing.  By having phases we simply are getting check points for progress and making sure we don’t get too far ahead, skipping too much or missing part of the basics.  Keeping that in mind it also gives you leeway to liven’ things up so you don’t get bored or feel stagnant in training.

Phase 2: JKD Kickboxing (Intermediate)

Overlapping with Phase 1 & Phase 2
Synchronization with the opponent
Sparring
Continuation of material
Basic combinations
Application during fighting conditions occurs in this phase
Flow is stressed
Equipment comes into play
Mook Jong training

 

Phase II deals a lot with kickboxing and continuing Wing Chun training in partner drills.  Footwork is extremely important, unfortunately the most tedious to work on. Textbooks will go over the basics but you have to drill it over and over again.   Advance footwork is used to develop timing and cadence in order to seize the opportunity to strike while synchronizing with your opponent.

Some key points in this phase is learning how to move between long, medium and short range; flowing between them, learning follow ups and how to follow through.  You start learning combinations and mitt drills and then are introduce to sparring in order to apply those drills in action.

You won’t make progress without a partner.  Doing combinations and trapping require a reacting body.  To measure power and precision, control of the direction of power through a mitt requires a person holding the mitt for you and tell you how solid your hits really are.  Bruce Lee spent hours onto hours with his closest friends perfecting his technique this way.  Synchronizing also includes responding to your opponent either by visual tells or energy change when in contact.  This is the time when you start refining technique and reducing telegraphs and test yourself in controlled sparring conditions.

Like a baseball hitter who can read the pitcher’s throw before the ball is released, you have to spend thousands of hours cataloging those tells from real action, not books and videos.

Learning the Mechanics

Before we get into combinations we need to look at the basics.  No matter how far you go you should always look back to the basics.  One of the best books for any martial artists to use as a learning and teaching reference is “Jeet Kune Do, The Arsenal of Self-Expression” by Teri Tom, student of Ted Wong.  I have a copy with just about every other page flagged or highlighted.  It really appeals to the scientific thinker, like myself.  I have always considered Jeet Kune Do as the science of fighting and this book makes great reference to that.  The basic fighting techniques of kicks, punches and footwork are analyzed.  It educates you on the mechanics to improve your technique, optimizing power and speed.  This gets to the fine tuning of your technique to find the “sweet spot” where power does not sacrifice speed and vice versa.

Another reference option is Chris Kent’s Jeet Kune Do from A to Z Vol 1.  It follows a similar layout of giving you the foundational techniques of Jeet Kune Do in foot and hand techniques.  It holds a few extra footwork drills that I have not seen in other JKD books and covers knees, elbows and forearm strikes.  What I like most is the training tips and summaries found at the end of each chapter, like a college text.

Equipment Comes into Play

Bruce Lee emphasized striking different targets.  You need different material, softness, hardness, depth, weight, etc to be better prepared for striking different parts of the body.  Kicking with the top of the foot (the laces) takes conditioning to hit a heavy bag.  A mook jong helps conditiontioning although it’s main function is to correct Wing Chun technique.  The best focus mitt to use is Proforce Focus Glove (tan/black vinyl) .  It’s a hard material that gives a popping sound if you have a proper snap in your punch or kick.  Kick’s need to penetrate Sifu Bryan Thrust Kick to Hip 0 00 03-154-5 inches with punches 2-3.  If you go too little, it sounds like a tap, if too deep than a thud.  You can purchase them through Asian World Martial Arts (awma.com).  A JKD specific kicking shield was also developed by IIsports (iisprots.com).  It’s a triangle shape, curved at the top to let you add straight kicks and upper cuts compared to the regular, flat shields.  I also like the bean shaped IIpsort shield for extra weight when doing finishing kicks.  You just have to be more precise to avoid hurting the holder.

Finding the Flow

Partner drills and energy sensitivity drills become more active and integrated.  Repetition gets you past one, two, three beats and you start adding half-beats.  It’s also about shifting from boxing to trapping and vice versa.  You can find energy drills in the following textbooks:

Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do – The Textbook by Chris Kent and Tim Tackett

  • Hand Immobilization Attacks (Pak Sao & Lop Sao)
  • Harmonious Spring
  • Swinging Gate
  • Jao Sao (Running Hand)
  • Jut Sao (Jerking Hand)
  • Huen Sao (Circling Hand)
  • Foot Immobilizations Attacks
  • Bridging
  • Dissolving energy
  • Chi Sao (Sticky Hands)

Chinatown Jeet Kune Do (Tim Tacket & Bob Bremer) Vol 1, Ch 7 & (Tim Tackett) Vol 2, Ch 6

  • Answering to barrier
  • Hand Immobilization (Pak Sao & Lop Sao)
  • Huen Sao (Circling Hand)
  • Jao Sao (Running Hand)
  • Jut Sao (Jerking Hand)
  • Harmonious Spring
  • Swinging Gate
  • Bridging the Gap
  • Sliding Leverage

Revolutionary Online Training

There have been other online JKD training before by really great instructors like Jerry Poteet and Chris Kent.  One reference I continue to make is that each instructor seems to know a piece of what was going on in Bruce’s head as he was developing Jeet Kune Do.    Online training allows us to learn what we can, from where we are.  But I can’t stress enough how none of it works if we don’t have anyone to practice with.

What came out of this concern is the Chinatown JKD online training (jkdlessons.com).  It’s no surprise that the next generation of JKD practitioners would have website developers and video producers, especially in California.  With the leadership and wisdom of the JKD Wednesday Night Group, Chinatown JKD online lessons was born.  What makes this training different is the encouragement for students to become leaders in their community and form groups for those interested in JKD to train; just like in Bruce Lee’s garage.  Part of the program, as any good online coarse needs, is the requirement for in person testing.  This can be done on location in Redlands, CA or by attending one of the many seminars across the world provided by JKD Wednesday Night Group.  There is also a yearly instructor seminar to train the trainer.  Online training and videos do have their limits and hopefully the idea of training with others will bridge the gap.

I make reference again that not one program is going to have everything that Bruce Lee taught and the greats will agree.  It’s because Bruce Lee didn’t teach you thinking you were going to carry his legacy but taught you what worked for YOU!  The ultimate customization for self-expression.  Which is why it is still recommended to train under different instructors where you can find what works for you.

 

Textbook Training

I enjoy books to videos because you can quickly flip through them.  I can pick up a book and read my personal notes and highlights, those few things I need to work on for perfection.  They complement in person training by reminding you of those small tips you forgot over the years or heard reference only once or twice or not at all.  This might be different if I never had in person training before.  Videos are easier to understand when learning something new or when timing is an important part of the process.  Books can either reveal details while writers scrub though their data base or other things maybe too hard to put into words.

Use whatever format works for you.  Chinatown Jeet Kune Do books have complementary DVDs.  Chinatown JKD online training is also available for DVD purchase at Phantom Martial Arts online store.  Chris Kent and Taky Kimura have mobile options for download on phones and tablets.  Check it out.  You can find jewels anywhere.