Jeet Kune Do

A MartialArts? form invented by BruceLee.


BruceLee developed JeetKuneDo as a reaction to the excessive formalisms of other modern MartialArts? forms of the time (e.g. KungFu?, KarateDo?). He chose to combine the most effective techniques he knew into one form which he called JeetKuneDo. This has an interesting parallel with the development of ExtremeProgramming.

Also parallel to XP is that Bruce began as an expert in WingChun?, the WhiteCrane? style of Kung Fu, a very close-fighting style that legend says was invented in recent centuries by female Taoist monks. The parallel is that Bruce was a master in an existing style before he created his new style, and he weaved in many elements from WingChun? in this new style, rather than trying to throw away everything he had learned before. It always pays to master the traditional, even if it is necessary to create something new. To be a master of nothing and to decide that the older traditions are useless is pure hubris.

It should be noted that there is no single martial arts form called "Kung Fu". The term "Kung Fu" is just a general reference to the whole slew of different chinese martial arts forms. There are huge differences between different forms, and there is really no universal characteristic that can be applied to all, except all are aimed at fighting. See any of the older JackieChan? movies for a great demonstration of this fact.

Essentially all KungFu? movies use choreographed sequences that are not reflective of a pure fighting style, but instead choose movements that are especially dramatic: distant styles that emphasizes long range kicks, sweeps, full-circular punches and kicks, acrobatic backflips, western-style kip-ups, etc.

Visual input is usually an excellent way to learn athletic forms, but the emphasis of showy moves over fighting moves in movies means that this is an exception.

Mainland China has revived (for the sake of tourist dollars, primarily, and for national pride, as a very secondary concern) some Taoist temples and "ShaoLin?" kung fu, however these have no particular connection to past traditions; the kung fu demonstrated is not actually rooted in any of the multiple traditional Shao Lin animal styles nor I Ching hexagrams etc, but instead, as with the movies, was designed for showy impressive movements.


See also ThreeStagesInJeetKuneDo, MartialArtsAsSoftwareDevelopmentMetaphor.

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