BADGER: Where to begin?
- Bruce Lee coined JKD as being "scientific street fighting," and outside of maybe Jim Harrison, no high profile martial artist of that era was more battle tested in the streets than the Little Dragon. You seem to believe that fighting for real and sport competitions are interchangeable, but they are clearly not. Chinatown student Bob Bremer once asked Bruce about whether he could defeat Muhammad Ali in a fight. Bruce immediately responded, "In the ring, he would kill me, but in streets, where I could use the finger jab, I would kill him."
- Considering that JKD was created in late 1965, I will only go by examples of Bruce engaging in post-1965 street fights that were reported by credible witnesses. Dan Inosanto witnessed Bruce toy with a large trucker during a road rage incident in the late 60's. According to Bob Wall, one of Lee's 3 fights on the set of ETD, was with an opponent who was, "bigger than Bruce, fast, and no punk." The details provided by Wall demonstrate that Bruce would use all three facets (e.g., Wing Chun, Boxing, Fencing) of JKD in a street fight.
Bruce bridged the gap with Steal a Step footwork he culled from Fencing, he then employed the lead leg jam, he then controlled his opponents lead arm with the Lop Sau (e.g., Wing Chun trapping), and proceeded to hit his opponent several times in the face with the rear cross which he took from Boxing. A few months prior to his death, Bruce told student Herb Jackson that a man came onto his property, challenged him, and that Bruce took this guy out in a matter of seconds with a Burning Step side kick. The Burning Step side kick was cultivated in Oakland during the early stages of JKD.
- It is simply not true that Bruce Lee's JKD students did not engage in sport competition. Larry Hartsell competed in several point tournaments in the mid-60's, and he was the first JKD fighter to enter the Full-Contact National Kung Fu tournament in San Francisco in the early 70's, where he placed second. In regards to street fighting, several of Lee's Oakland students had reputations as feared street fighters, and Dan Inosanto nicknamed Chinatown student Bob Bremer as the Ass Kicker of Chinatown. Bremer and fellow student Jim Sewel would actually go to the scary parts of town in order to test the effectiveness of JKD.
- My favorite Bob Bremer story speaks to the fact that JKD was and is a different animal in relation to other martials arts. In the late 60's, Ed Parker student Scott Loring visited the Chinatown kwoon to see what all the fuss was about. Loring was 6'2", 215 pounds, and according to Joe Lewis, the toughest opponent he ever faced in a point tournament. According to Bob Bremer, Loring began to run his mouth during a portion of the class that was being taught by Dan Inosanto. Bremer then asked Loring to spar all-out and Loring agreed. According to Bremer and Inosanto, Bob smothered Loring's rear leg kick with a lead leg jam and proceeded to straight blast Loring into a wall. Inosanto quickly stopped the sparring match before Loring got hurt.