JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 22nd, 2018, 10:30 pm #11

Matt can certainly speak to his own experiences and/or frustrations with the way Dan Inosanto taught JKD, but he has no idea how JKD is taught in other circles. The thing that makes JKD unique is the fencing elements of the art. From what I understand, Dan does not emphasize the fencing aspects of JKD the way that Tim Tackett and/or Tommy Carruthers have done for past 20 years. For example, the Hammer Principle is one of the key elements of JKD, yet Bruce only taught that principle to Bob Bremer. In the early 90's, Bob taught that principle to Tim Tackett and Tim has made the Hammer Principle a key component in the teachings of the Wednesday Night Group. It's interesting to note that Bob Bremer became so frustrated with how Dan Inosanto was teaching JKD in the "backyard days," he quit the group. He became re-energized when Tim Tackett later invited him to become a member of the Wednesday Night Group. I would bet the mortgage that, at best, Matt Thornton has only a cursory understanding of the Hammer Principle, lead leg obstruction, lead leg jam, and the full pendulum.
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 1:03 am #12

It's interesting that you say that because when would you use those 'principles'? The 'suddenness' in the Hammer principle is lost in the chaos of a fight where both people are moving around. Leg jam, pendulum, none of those work if you are being pushed backwards or if you are taken to the ground.

Matt, on the other hand has incorporated aliveness (footwork/motion, timing and energy/resistance) and the idea of 'delivery system'. If you don't have a good delivery system those concept won't help you much. He also defined the idea of 'performance-based' training and the idea of using 'non-attribute-based' methods (it has to work for your wife or grandfather, not just big tough athletes).

Remember real fights and real contact matches do not start like the fights in Enter the Dragon, both persons motionless, backs of the hands touching.

I'd say about 50-70 percent of what BL did on screen was 'stage fighting'. It looked good, like Errol Flynn fencing, but it has little practical advantage.

Go back and look at the Dan Inosanto grappling DVDs. He is doing static grappling - the classic collection of tricks - and not flow grappling with a revisiting opponent. He does not know any better. 

Go and look at Dan's trapping DVDs. He is not pushing the opponent backward and breaking his balance (Kuzushi in Judo), he's playing 'advanced patty-cakes'. People don't stick their arms out there to be manipulated. Yet that's what they were teaching. YES, advanced energy drills are fun. Yes, advanced trap and hit is fun but it's an anomaly that just doesn't happen (very often).

To his credit, Dan did got and study BJJ, but he never really could make JKD work (interception), so he just added layer after layer, even the ridiculous art of 'Silat' which I think if you asked him now he'd admit it was a scam.

Anyway, I think Matt did the right thing.
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 1:04 am #13

^^ revisiting=resisting. (sorry can't edit my posts)
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 2:15 am #14

All four of the techniques/principles I mentioned are not delivered from an engaged position and even Dan Inosanto admits that Bruce told him that JKD is basically "Chi Sao without touching." Mobility, deception, hitting with non-intention, and interception are the cornerstones of JKD. Matt went on his own path, but let's not pretend that his path was paved with knowledge of the principles that make JKD a viable street fighting art.  
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 2:13 pm #15

^^ how can you say JKD was a viable street fighting art? We have no examples of it. We know of no one who used JKD in the ring or cage, we have no video of BL using it. We do have stories of him chain punching a Karate guy and we do have stories of him kicking a couple stuntmen.

I do not think that ANY of BL's students or friends or students of students have ever been able to use JKD as an intercepting art in any venue. I would say that some of his second generation students have shown some ability, such as Vunak and Erik Paulson, but they were doing something a little different. Paulson was using a type of catch wrestling though he had trained with Rickson and Inosanto. 

I do not believe and have not seen a real breakdown of exactly how BL discovered, trained and incorporated 'non-intention' though I have Pat Strong's DVD series, he doesn't really say how to train it. I think you have to have BL-level attributes and training discipline to pull that off.

I did do something like that back in the day but I didn't know what I was doing and only did it twice.

Not knowing how much Matt worked with Dan Inosanto and any other JKD guys, I can't judge what he did or didn't know. Being that he is 6'8 and >300 lbs, he probably could beat most people to a pulp with a nerf bat.

Maybe you can explain how you know Matt did not have in-depth knowledge of JKD principles? After all the ones you mentioned are not secret.
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Joined: July 25th, 2015, 1:24 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 4:57 pm #16

Just a point, most of these 6 foot 8 inch 260 pound and over guys really can not fight standing up. They are slow as hell and not very coordinated. You can see them coming a mile away and they cant make quick changes. I know that is so true in stand up fighting. As someone who has put in his time in sparring I can tell you that for sure. Maybe that is why he is mostly a Ju Jitsu guy , you never know. I know he says that for a very brief time he sparred with Lennox Lewis but that does not even mean much. They both the same size and many times pros look for someone there exact size when they go to a new gym , so they can , what they call "move around " in the ring with someone. So I doubt if they went hard .  He does emphasis "for a brief time' so I suspect that was the case.
I am not saying that he cant fight , he is probably really good at fighting , mostly on the ground though.
Many times I do understand his frustration. This so called 'Street fighting' is not as common as it ones was in USA. These days a GUN does all the talking lol. especially in USA. Except in certain limited areas, the Paul Vunak fighting days are mostly a thing of the past. As a result their are many street fighting keyboard warriors that have all the opinions in the world.
Just my 2 cents.
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 5:13 pm #17

If you look at what those who tried to convey JKD as an art, most of what they're doing is of two types.

1) you have a very superficial methodology, people trying to do 'JKD' type moves, without the base attributes, understanding and training. "He throws a jab you double pak Sao and hit". But they have glossed over that in order to do this BL had top 1% reflexes, he had trained his 'bridge arm' to extreme levels, he had developed 'spring energy' and he understood both 'non-intention' and 'non-telegraphic' reactions and most importantly how to train them. James DeMile gives some hints on this in his book series.

2) they view JKD as a 'collection of tricks'. You almost never see any JKD guys doing anything other than with a compliant partner, saying 'well we're trying to show the step-by-step sequence'. This is not sparring, and it lacks energy, timing, movement, resistance and unbalancing. Remember BL was actively hiding his methods as both Jesse Glover and James DeMile complained about. He never told anyone how to incorporate his methods, except perhaps James Y. Lee who didn't live long enough to pass those on.

What Matt Thornton did was explain several important concepts which gave people real tools and practice methods to go down their own path. You can use the three 'I' method (Introduction, Incorporation and Integration), you can examine your training method for aliveness and you can examine and understand the delivery system for any regime. You can see if your delivery system is lacking, you can try to find ways to add more aliveness and you can build a program to improve.

One example is the way people have moved from the traditional way of holding focus pads. In the past they would hold them in place and not move and the partner would hit or kick. Then they started moving the gloves, and then they started moving all around the ring, moving the gloves and then using the gloves to throw a strike. This goes from a dead drill (static) to an alive drill (dynamic). There is a progression you can follow and not a 'system' or something that doesn't really work for you like copying (superficially) what BL did. It's very tempting because we all want to look like BL, dynamic and exciting. But sometimes it's not possible due to temperament, body type, attributes or lack of, and other things.

So what is better, a few 'tricks' such as a fast close, or a whole system of training based on real application and understanding? I would say that tricks will only take you so far, especially if you don't understand the base development that allows it.

For example you might look up how a magician did a card trick. But can you pull it off without knowing the long process he went through to develop stage presence and misdirection? Nope. Same thing with BL's 'tricks'. You might get them to work in a semi-static mode with a compliant partner but good luck getting them to work against a person who is an actual threat trying to harm you.

FWIW.
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 10:53 pm #18

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.
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 24th, 2018, 7:58 am #19

BADGER: IMO, the most overlooked aspect of Bruce Lee is that he created a unique martial art at the tender age of 25. Despite his youth, portions of his art were already battle tested in the streets of Hong Kong and Seattle. It speaks to his genius that he was constantly evolving and improving upon techniques that, for the most part, had saved his bacon. Right or wrong, Bruce Lee's approach to teaching JKD, was to teach different methods to different people. For example, he only taught the full pendulum footwork to Ted Wong because Wong was small and relied on his ability to get in and out. The 5'11" 220 pound Bob Bremer was taught the Hammer Principle due to his ability to crash the line.

James DeMile recalled his experiences at a convention in the early 90's that focused on bringing in Bruce Lee students from Seattle, Oakland, and L.A./Chinatown. After watching students from each time period perform certain techniques, DeMile was struck by the vast differences between the fighting methods of each time period. DeMile added, "It amazes me that every one of these students was taught by the same man." Fortunately, the passing of time has allowed JKD instructors the luxury of choosing their own path. Some focus on the Jun Fan Gung Fu aspects of JKD, while others feel that the L.A./Chinatown JKD methods are more effective.

There is a uniformity, however, in the delivery system of JKD. Bruce felt that his updated Bai Jong stance helped to protect vital targets and was a far more efficient way of delivering effective kicks and punches. The raised rear heel acted as both a pivot mechanism (e.g., overlapping circles maximizes body torque) and a means of engaging what he called the "spring load." JKD is certainly not for everyone, but couldn't the same be said of any martial art? IMO, the key is the individual and not the martial art, and creating a list of the best or most effective martial art(s) is a study in futility. 
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 24th, 2018, 2:44 pm #20

I don’t have a substantial disagreement with the majority of your points. Thanks for taking the time to post.

I do not agree that having some scraps in his teenage years against other teenagers qualifies someone as having ‘real fights’. I’m not saying I doubt that BL was a fighter and probably even under appreciated.

Do I think he could have found a way to defeat Ali in the ‘street’ or in some engagement without ‘rules’. I’m not sure. Though the eye jab is deadly, bear in mind that Ali would not have been unfamiliar with other boxers trying to stick a thumb in his eye or other fouls. If he was warned that it was a ‘fight to the death’, besides him declining to fight if he’s not being paid, I would agree he would not have accepted it. Can a suitably motivated 6’3 200lb world class boxer defeat a 5’7 130lb person?

Let’s say BL threatened Ali’s children and Ali knew he had to win and do so quickly or his child would die. I think I’d bet on the big guy. In fact he could do something (not saying this is it) like charge the smaller guy unexpectedly and just land on top of him and beat his head into the floor. So it goes between people with a great size disparity - rag-dolling the opponent becomes an actual tactic.

At any rate the biggest contention I have with your comments is the delusion that sone people have that ‘sport fighting’ is not ‘real fighting’. It would be very difficult to find someone who is not in a performance based sport who could not beat a ‘street challenger’ in any sport. That’s like saying a guy who played high level pick up basketball could be a ranked NBA player. It’s nonsense. No non-pro basketball player is ever going to be able to beat an NBA pro. Likewise, no street fighter is ever going to beat a similarly sized pro MMA fighter. All MMA fighters have years of competitive experience against high level opponents and quite a lot of them. Any ‘street fighter’ may have a few fights against people they don’t respect or fear. It’s not even a close competition. If so we’d have a lot of street guys popping up in the UFC and we don’t see that.

Professional, selected fighters must have all the attributes, including durability when they get into the cage or they’d have been weeded out. They are the ‘total package’, with game in ground, clinch and standup. “Real fighters’ who are not professionals often have holes in their game and they are not employed in training - at best they have a scrap once in a while and work real jobs.

So before you start talking how sport fighting is not real fighting think about what you’re saying.

Though Larry Harrell is a tough guy he is not really a well-rounded fighter - his books show he was still doing a collection of tricks, or a type of catch wrestling, and didn’t have a great standup game, not to take anything away from him - almost everyone respected his abilities.

Bob Bremer may have had a few stores told about him but he was not a professional athlete. Nobody from JKD besides Erik Paulson has gone into pro fighting, yet we have many, many people from BJJ and wrestling and boxing and MT who have done so. That tells me that there is some kind of deficiency in the basic JKD curriculum and maybe most of the people that go into that couldn’t make it in the the amateur ranks of wrestling or boxing if they were of that type or temperament. It’s a niche art.

Certainly you’ve heard me talk about the genius of BL in these threads. I’m not in any doubt about his skills and abilities and if he were 6’ and 200lbs he would have been able to go into virtually any sport and rise to the top. But again. Fighting skinny teenagers in his youth do not equate to being ‘battle tested’.

Finally, there were a lot of people who say that ‘sport fighting’ is a game and those who do it are not real fighters. I will say that you might have a point were you to talk about those who just do submission fighting tournaments, grappling only events, but people who put on 4 oz gloves and fight a similarly skilled opponent in a cage (or ring) are the ‘most real’ fighters you’re ever going to find. Don’t think for a moment they haven’t dealt with fouls and dirty boxing and people who thought they could block punches with their hands - they have and their skills are deep.

Thanks again for the posts. As I said I’m not in large disagreement with most of your comments.
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