Jeet Kune Do Basic Training
Jeet Kune Do or Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is a fighting style developed by Bruce Lee. It incorporates and refines techniques from different martial arts including fencing, western boxing and wing chun. Lee placed heavy emphasis on training basics that included physical conditioning and proper body mechanics to maximize the effectiveness of the techniques he incorporated into his personal fighting style.
In the opening paragraph of “Bruce Lee Fighting Method, Basic Training" by Bruce Lee and M. Uyehara, the authors note that many people spend too much time developing techniques and not enough time participating. Lee's basic training included aerobic exercises such as running, riding a stationary bicycle and jumping rope. Warm-ups included basic stretches. His abdominal workouts included sit-ups and exercises with medicine balls.
The fighting stance, or on-guard position, of Jeet Kune Do is designed to be effective for both offense and defense. Practice your stance by positioning your strongest hand closest to your opponent. If you are right-handed, raise your right shoulder an inch or two and drop your chin about the same distance. Hold your fists in a manner that protects the center line and ribs of your body. The trunk forms a straight line with the leading leg, according to Lee, writing in “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do."
Practice the shuffle, a way to move without crossing your feet or hopping. From the on-guard position, slide your front foot a half-step forward and immediately slide your rear foot up to regain the orientation of the on-guard position. Never let your feet get so close to or so far from each other that you become immobile or unbalanced. First move the foot closest to the direction you are moving. If you move backward, slide your rear foot first and make the front immediately follow. If you move left, move your left foot first.
To learn to use your hips to generate power, Lee recommended hanging a sheet of paper at about chest height. Stand about 8 inches from the sheet, keeping both feet parallel to it. As you pivot on the balls of your feet with your knees bent slightly, rotate your hips just ahead of your shoulders as you turn to the right. As you turn, raise your elbow to shoulder height and strike the target. Your weight will shift to your left foot. Keep your eyes on the paper. Execute the technique in the opposite direction, turning 180 degrees to the left, hitting with your right elbow. When you are comfortable with this drill, use your fists instead of your elbows.
- "Bruce Lee Fighing Method, Basic Training"; Bruce Lee and M. Uyehara; 1977
- “Tao of Jeet Kune Do”; Bruce Lee; 1975
Dean A. Haycock has been a freelance science and medical writer since 1993. He is the author of "The Everything Health Guide to Schizophrenia," "The Everything Health Guide to Adult Bipolar Disorder, 2nd edition" and coauthor of "Overcoming Complications of LASIK and Other Eye Surgeries." Haycock has a Doctor of Philosophy in neurobiology from Brown University.