FIGHTING’S “FIRST COUSINS” Best Jeet Kune Do (JKD) Books for Wing Chun Training 2020

Attacking the eyes as soon as I see him cock back to hit. Simple, direct and efficient-but is it Wing Chun or JKD? The correct answer is IT DOESN’T MATTER. Use it! Who gives a shit where it comes from!

The relationship between Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do (JKD), Bruce Lee’s personal expression of martial art, is one of the most misunderstood and polarizing yet potentially valuable ones between any arts on the combative spectrum.  So many folks have preconceived ideas to what each art means, what it doesn’t and how each should and should not be trained that a gap has grown between the two.

Bruce himself pinpointed the root of this gulf when he stated, “when you get down to it, real combat is not fixed and is very much ‘alive.’ The fancy mess (mainstream martial arts and how they are taught and practiced) solidifies and conditions what was once fluid, and when you look at it realistically, it is nothing but a blind devotion to the systematic uselessness of practicing routines or stunts that lead nowhere.

For those willing to put in the time, energy and work, each art contains attributes and qualities that can only benefit the other.  Choosing the best resources on JKD for the purposes of strengthening your understanding of the Wing Chun system and its’ relation to the nature of combat may seem daunting and a bit pointless given the sheer volume of material out there, but when approached in the right mindset and with the ultimate goal of combat skill and proficiency in mind, this need not be the case.

It behooves anyone serious about making their Wing Chun functional, practical and effective to seek out, use and apply the lessons found in several of the best books written on Jeet Kune Do to their own personal training regimen for purposes of self-defense, sparring or combat sports training.

Mother’s Milk

As both an instructor of Wing Chun as well as Jeet Kune Do concepts I can speak from a so-called “uniquely qualified” position on this topic.  The reason for their conceptual congruency and mutual benefit is a surprisingly simple one: they both spring from the same source.

In the March/April 2002 issue of Kungfu Magazine, Wing Chun Master Sui Yuk Man, a classmate and personal friend of Bruce Lee, recalled a letter he received from Bruce where Bruce stated in the letter that Wing Chun was JKD’s mother and that if JKD did not have the “mother’s milk” it would not be so good.

What Bruce meant was that the ideas, concepts and principles which govern the Wing Chun system also apply to JKD.  Sadly, without the background and pedigree in Wing Chun, this aspect has become little more than a buzzword to many in the Jeet Kune Do community, paying lip service to it while not adhering to the same ideas which make Wing Chun so effective.  The result has become JKD in many (not all) cases  devolving into little more than a hodgepodge of techniques; a veritable Scrabble bag of muay thai kickboxing, boxing, jiu-jitsu, trapping techniques and stick/knife fighting, shaken up and presented as a fighting system.

Ironically, many of the same folks who deride Wing Chun for emphasizing chi sau equate drill after drill after drill with combat when in reality, Bruce himself advocated a stripping away of all non-essentials, in effect peeling away not adding for the sake of diversity.  This sad trend can be reversed simply by approaching one’s training with the end goal of combat and fighting in mind for in doing so, you instantly cut through the bullshit and separate the wheat from the chaff regarding what’s really important and what’s just white noise in your ear.

I trained for years in Jeet Kune Do prior to beginning Wing Chun and although I have since devoted myself to that system, I did so because once I was exposed to TRUE Wing Chun training thanks to my Sifu Philip Ng and the teachings of Grandmaster Wong Shun Leung, the Wing Chun system’s most famous and revered fighting exponent.

Ironically, it was not until I began my Wing Chun training in the Wong Shun Leung (WSL) system that the ideas and concepts of Jeet Kune Do became crystal clear in my mind.  This is no surprise, seeing as how Bruce’s direct instruction in Wing Chun/Ving Tsun was directly under Grandmaster Wong and, according to the late Jesse Glover, founder of Non-Classical Gung Fu and Bruce’s very first student in the United states, Bruce fashioned his ideas on the nature of combat being simple, direct and efficient directly from Wong’s instruction.

The 3 Phases of Jeet Kune Do

The now iconic logo of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. The characters read, “using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation” reflecting the essence of what Bruce was trying to convey re: the true nature of combat as well as the underlying purpose behind all martial arts.

Before we dive into the books, we have to know why we are looking at the art of JKD, exactly what we’re looking at and just how it relates to us as Wing Chun people, so here goes:

The evolution of Bruce Lee’s art of Jeet Kune Do has three distinct stages.  This is important, as each one is noticeably different from the other, reflecting Bruce’s personal transformation and evolution as a fighter.  According to the website  they can be classified as follows:

Tao of Chinese Gung Fu , 1959 – 1962 (San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA)

  • Consists primarily of Wing Chun Gung Fu, Western Boxing and Fencing.

Lee Jun Fan (Bruce’s Chinese name) Gung Fu , 1962 – 1965 (Seattle, WA and Oakland, CA)

  • Consists of a distinct methodology and training progression.
  • Contains an understanding that there is no “best” style.
  • Victory through superiority within a combat range or by changing the rules in combat to nullify and opponents superiority within a range.
  • Influenced by over 26 different martial arts from Wing Chun to Muay Thai.
  • Bruce Lee introduced the use of equipment in training i.e. kicking shield and focus mitts.
  • Advocates researching other martial arts to improve your understanding of your own art.

Jun Fan Training consists of:

  • Punching and striking techniques.
  • Kicking and knee techniques.
  • Chin Na / Joint Locking.
  • Choking and strangling.
  • Grappling, throwing, takedown and sweeping techniques.
  • Practical weapons and application.

Jeet Kune Do Concepts, 1965 – Present  (Los Angeles, CA)

  • The “Research and Development” aspect of Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu. 
  • Used as a tool to evaluate/assimilate other training methodologies and techniques.

This breakdown is important, since our focus will be on the first 2 phases, as they are most closely linked to his background and training in the Wing Chun system and as such offer the most direct link to applicable techniques and training methods that can be integrated into your own personal Wing Chun training regimen.

Feeding The Mind: Hack Away The Unessentials!

One of Bruce’s most famous and profound sayings re: JKD is simply that it is not a daily increase (of techniques, ideas and concepts) but rather a daily decrease; to as he put it “hack away the unessentials!” 

When you do this all that is left are commonalities.  It is at this point that the true nature of both Wing Chun and JKD intersect with the true nature of all martial arts: FIGHTING, pure and simple.

The books listed below are the ones I have personally used and have integrated into my own personal approach to both Wing Chun theory and fighting application.

Every one of the books listed below contain, as the late Earl Nightingale put it, “acres of diamonds” available to you if you sincerely read and apply the lessons contained within them.

2019 Best Jeet Kune Do (JKD) Books For Wing Chun Training

Tao of Jeet Kune Do: New Expanded Edition – Bruce Lee

I can think of no better beginning to this list than with the definitive Manifesto from “The Man” himself.

Bruce’s ideas, concepts, theories and core techniques of fighting are all listed here in his hand-written notes, allowing all of us an unprecedented access into both his mind and the depth of which he researched the idea of hand to hand combat and self defense.

His notes on the attributes one needs as a fighter serve as a guide for how to structure your Wing Chun training routine in a way that lines up perfectly with being able to functionalize your techniques.  The section on “attack by immobilization” defines trapping better than any other resource I have come across, and his writings on physical fitness are perhaps the biggest indictment against the mainstream Wing Chun world today.

Following his advice, as your functional fitness levels increase, so will your power, speed and confidence in applying what you know.  Most important to me in this book are his philosophical thoughts on emotionally “letting go” of the result of the outcome and laying your life before your attacker by not being afraid to attack with everything you’ve got.  Letting his words sink in will allow you to really open up and aggressively respond to any attacker.

Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method: The Complete Edition – Bruce Lee & Mito Uyehara

When I was a kid, I would save money from my paper route each month to buy one of these 4 volumes at a time (sounds stereotypical I know but it’s true).  Here they are, all in one “master volume.”  These are best suited to be read in tandem with the Tao of Jeet Kune Do above for a total presentation of Bruce’s thoughts and training for combat and self-defense.

This comprehensive edition breaks down the physical aspects into lessons complete with pictures and in the case of Volume 1 (Self-Defense Techniques), scenarios.  The self-defense section shows extensive use of the low shin/knee kick, a “bread and butter” Wing Chun concept but shown from a different way.  I love how the pics all basically revolve around attacking the eyes, throat and balls, since Wing Chun is structurally designed to do just that.

Volume 2 (Basic Training) lays out a comprehensive fighting-based fitness plan which will add power and speed to your techniques, and Volume 3 (Developing Skill In Techniques) lays out several unique training drills that can be easily adapted to Wing Chun since as stated above, the source of both arts is essentially the same.

Volume 4 (Advanced Techniques) contains several trapping sequences that may seem like they have nothing to offer you as a Wing Chun guy/gal but after further reading you will see they have much to offer by way of closing the gap and getting into trapping range, where we as ‘Wingers” live.  Loads of useful info contained in one place instead of scrounging for each Volume separately.

Jeet Kune Do: Bruce Lee’s Commentaries on the Martial Way – Bruce Lee/John Little

This is THE definitive work on Jeet Kune Do, compiled by renowned Bruce Lee historian John Little, who was granted unrestricted access to Lee’s records and writings.  The original edition of Tao of Jeet Kune Do was compiled from Lee’s notes in 1975, 2 years after he died.

This volume expands his notes as well as using hundreds of photographs, many of them lesser known and very rare, to present Bruce’s art in a complete way.  All of the lessons of the original volume are still here, reorganized into different topic headings for easier use for the reader.

What I love most of all is there is a comprehensive 12-lesson plan for Bruce’s JKD class penned by him for use when he was still alive.  This is priceless for you to be able to see just how Bruce applied his ideas and training into a cohesive curriculum for his private students.

You can then take this plan and apply the lessons to your own personal training routine, reaping the rewards of basically being trained by Bruce himself if the plan is conscientiously followed.

The Tao of Gung Fu: Commentaries on the Chinese Martial Arts – Bruce Lee/John Little

This is one of my favorite books on Jeet Kune Do out there, as well as one of the most useful I have found in integrating Bruce’s ideas with my own purposeful Wing Chun practice.

Written by Bruce in the midst of his evolution and adaptation of Wing Chun fighting theory to his perosonal style, in addition to presenting the fundamental techniques, mindset and training methods of traditional Chinese martial arts, this explores such esoteric topics as Taoism and Zen as applied to Gung Fu, Eastern and Western fitness regimens and self-defense techniques. The section on chi sau alone is worth the price of the book ten times over.

What is cool to see also is the Gung Fu “scrapbook” of Bruce Lee’s anecdotes regarding the history and traditions of the martial arts of China. After Lee’s death, his manuscript was completed and edited by martial arts expert John Little in cooperation with the Bruce Lee Estate. This book features an introduction by his wife, Linda Lee Cadwell and a foreword from his close friend and student, Taky Kimura who both provide important historical context to both Bruce’s writings and the conceptual and technical meanings behind those writings.

The Art of Expressing The Human Body – Bruce Lee & John Little

Wing Chun’s greatest limitation today from what I have seen lies in the lack of physical fitness of many of its’ practitioners-there, I said it.  True, Wing Chun is a structurally flawless system in theory but as I have said so many times before and will continue to do so until my tongue falls out and has to be super-glued to the roof of my mouth, people apply the system and therefore its’ effectiveness rests in the capability of each individual.

Nothing takes the place of physical fitness in terms of preparation for combat.  If that weren’t so, special forces soldiers the world over would just practice shooting, blowing shit up and jumping out of airplanes-but we all know that just ain’t the case.

True, functional fitness is essential for your Wing Chun’s effectiveness; there’s no way around it.  If that be the case-and it is-then what better person to take advice from on this topic than Bruce Lee?  His physique was the embodiment of functional fitness; lean, strong, quick, powerful and explosive-he developed all of the attributes needed for a fighter through research and application.  Now you can benefit from his intense study and self-experimentation.

The Art of Expressing the Human Body, a title coined by Bruce Lee himself to describe his approach to martial arts, documents the techniques he used so effectively to perfect his body for superior health and muscularity.

Beyond his martial arts and acting abilities, Lee’s physical appearance and strength were truly astounding. He achieved this through an intensive and ever-evolving conditioning regime that is being revealed for the first time in this book.

Drawing on Lee’s notes, letters, diaries and training logs, Bruce Lee historian John Little presents the full extent of Lee’s unique training methods including nutrition, aerobics, isometrics, stretching and weight training.

In addition to serving as a record of Bruce Lee’s training, The Art of Expressing the Human Body, with its easy-to-understand and simple-to-follow training routines, is a valuable source book for you if you want to see a dramatic improvement in your health, conditioning, physical fitness and appearance.

The Straight Lead: The Core of Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do – Teri Tom

The straight lead was a key element in Bruce Lee’s development of his own personal style. It was designed to be uncomplicated, economical, and brutally effective but is not as simple as it might seem. Bruce Lee once described it the most difficult move in the Jeet Kune Do arsenal.

Lee developed JKD as a response to the shortcomings he found in traditional martial arts, but it also includes elements of Western combat systems that he found effective-both of which we can take and apply to our own training in Wing Chun to tie up any loose ends in our own training. JKD incorporates contributions ranging from Jack Dempsey’s approach to boxing to the fencing style of Aldo Nadi while the straight punch itself was borrowed from early 20th century boxer Jim Driscoll.  In fact, Bruce is said to have shown a picture of Jim Driscoll to Ted Wong stating, ” here, you throw the straight lead like this.”

In The Straight Lead: The Core of Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, author Teri Tom describes the development of the straight punch in Western martial arts and describes Bruce Lee’s refinement of the technique. It also offers a thorough instruction in the complexity and power of the move—showing martial artists of any discipline how to incorporate this devastating attack into their repertoire.

With forewords by Shannon Lee Keasler (Bruce’s daughter) and the late Ted Wong, key points covered include a brief history of straight punching, the evolution of the straight lead itself, mechanics, footwork, why the straight lead is so important for you to develop (this one rings extra true for us Wing Chun folk), speed in striking, variations of the straight punch and applications of the straight lead in training, sparring and self-defense.

An interview with Ted Wong caps off the content, which is invaluable since unlike the rest of Bruce’s JKD core students such as Dan Insoanto and Bob Bremer (who came from Ed Parker’s kenpo Karate) Ted had no prior training, allowing us to get an unfiltered access to the core of Bruce’s teachings in as undiluted a manner as possible.

I have personally modified my boxing and kickboxing style in accordance with this book and have seen nothing but positive results in terms of economy of motion, speed and power.

Jeet Kune Do:  The Textbook – Chris Kent & Tim Tackett

The original version of this book was the second martial arts book I ever bought.  It shows the overall picture of Jeet Kune Do as a method of self-discovery.

Many books have been written about the techniques of martial arts (I think I’ve read most of them) The problem is that they deal only with the basic tools of combat, such as punching, kicking and blocking. One thing I have come to learn over the last 20 or so years is that this “how to” approach is not enough to create a successful fighter.

For example, you may know how to punch and have adequate power, but without the proper timing the punch will never score. You may know how to kick, but without a feeling for the proper distance the kick will never land. You may be able to punch and kick, but without proper visual awareness you might not see the opening when it occurs.

The purpose of this book is to explore those qualities and combative motions that make the tools work. Over 1000 NEW photographs illustrate the art taken from several volumes of hand-written notes and observations made by some of the finest Jeet Kune Do exponents in the world.

It is qualities such as balance, precision, speed, awareness, distance and attitude that make the tools found in JKD work so well. The “how to” will always be important, but to be successful also takes the discovering of “why” and “when.”  What this book does, in effect, is make your Wing Chun multi-dimensional and very much “alive.”

Authors Chris Kent and Tim Tackett, world-renown for their decades of teaching Jeet Kune Do, lead you on a journey that will expose to the reader the various aspects of “the way of the intercepting fist” and allow them to see the overall picture.  You can then take these lessons and apply them into the structure of Wing Chun not to change the system but to allow it to be expressed as completely as possible.

Jeet Kune Do Kickboxing – Chris Kent & Tim Tackett

As a chubby kid growing up in the late 80’s/early 90’s pre-UFC martial arts boom, movies like Kickboxer and Bloodsport starring Jean-Claude Van Damme made their way into the family VCR (God, how old does that sound?!) with astounding regularity.

The original version of this book was the first martial arts book I ever bought, back when I still thought that a book would teach me everything I needed to know to be a card-carrying badass (not true, by the way).

This book presents the standup game to Bruce’s art in a complete and easy to follow manner.  For Wing Chun, this book will bridge the gap between Wing Chun training and combative activities such as sparring.  I have found that by altering all of the punches shown in this book to vertical ones, for example, that you can set the lessons contained in this book next to your Wing Chun structure and with some slight modifications such as the one I listed above re: punching style, can successfully craft an approach to applying your Wing Chun training to both combat sports and more contact-based training drills.

The authors, Chris Kent and Tim Tackett, are the 2 highest ranking Jeet Kune Do practitioners alive today under Dan Inosanto, Bruce’s handpicked successor to the JKD system.  Their wealth of experience (as well as the fact that both had been steeped in classical martial arts prior to beginning their JKD training) comes through in the book and allows for an easy read and quick study.

This new expanded edition also includes sections on elbows and knees, missing from the original book.  I found this to be most helpful since both the second and third forms contain elbow strikes-albeit a bit masked-and the Wing Chun stance actually works well in training the knee since it conditions the glutes & hamstrings to move as one dynamic unit as well as developing the inner thigh (adductor) muscles to grip the ground when throwing knees.

In my opinion all of these books are essential for your growth and development as a no-bullshit Wing Chun fighter but if you need to start somewhere, this one and the above-mentioned Jeet Kune Do – The Textbook would be where I’d start.

Chinatown Jeet Kune Do: Essential Elements Of Bruce Lee’s Martial Art – Tim Tackett & Bob Bremer

“Chinatown JKD” is the term used for the first phase of Bruce’s Los Angeles era; that time when his ideas and concepts really took off and he came into his own as a martial artist, fighter and teacher.  The basic structures and principles of Jeet Kune Do (JKD), the martial arts system developed by the iconic Bruce Lee, are revealed in this insightful handbook.

Step-by-step lessons illustrate JKD’s two basic stances and demonstrate how to perform fundamental footwork, kicking, countering, and defensive moves. The most effective aspects of JKD are highlighted, as are some of its lesser-known tools and approaches.

The authors are Tim Tackett, the senior member of the Jeet Kune Do community aside from Dan Insoanto alive today, and the late Bob Bremer, known by those a t the time as Bruce’s “enforcer” who handled challenge matches and those with disrespectful attitudes back in the day when you could duke it out without having some puss-cake come into your school, get slapped around after issuing a challenge and then in turn slap you with a lawsuit forcing you to close your doors.

I don’t know about you, but when these dudes say something, I’m paying attention.

Chinatown Jeet Kune Do Vol. 2: Training Methods of Bruce Lee’s Martial Art – Tim Tackett

Written by Tim Tackett after the passing of Bob Bremer, this book excels in revealing the secrets behind Bruce Lee’s legendary martial arts system, serving as the ideal reference is the ideal guide to your gaining technical proficiency in Jeet Kune Do.

Focusing on drills for balance, timing, range, precision, and speed, this new volume combines its expertise with the fundamentals of Volume 1 above—basic stances, footwork, kicking, countering, and hand trapping—enhancing these original exercises with an accessible, step-by-step approach.  Whereras the first volume focused on techniques, this one presents training methodologies along with techniques to tie up any loose conceptual ends, allowing you to draw easier correlations between JKD’s curriculum and your own Wing Chun one.

Strikingly illustrated with a myriad of detailed photographs, this is a quality read with many useful tips and ideas on how to functionalize your Wing Chun training for self-defense.

Chinese Gung Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense, Revised & Updated – Bruce Lee

Just as we started this list with a book from “The Man” himself, so too do we end it.

This is Bruce’s very first book, self-published around 1963.  This little volume may seem antiquated by many JKD folks’ standards, actually contains a mountain of golden nuggets for those with the patience and discerning eye to really give his lessons a look.

Written in Seattle in 1963 at the height of the first of the 3 periods of Jeet Kune Do’s formulation listed above, by now in his evolution Bruce was already customizing the training he received from Wong Shun Leung and Yip Man in Hong Kong to adapt to the much larger and, in my opinion, more well rounded fighters in America, since boxing, wrestling and judo were already popular here.

From a Wing Chun perspective, reading this little volume can help you see just how and where Bruce began to alter his training.  You can then take those lessons back to your own training and recognize where training deviates from application and adjust accordingly.

What I love about this book is that it demonstrates how much Bruce favored eye jabs (AKA biu jee for us “Wingers”), throat and groin attacks as “go-to’s” for his method of self-defense.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  All in all, a fascinating look at the infancy of Bruce’s metamorphosis as a fighter with several applicable lessons to your own training regimen.

Faith Vs. Works And Why This Relates to Wing Chun (And It Does)

The relationship between Jeet Kune Do and Wing Chun has been a tumultuous one for the last 40+ years.

Wing Chun folks have criticized the JKD community, especially those of the “Jeet Kune Do Concepts” school of thought  for being too inclusive and drill-based, getting too far off track with techniques and concepts.  Conversely, the JKD community has criticized Wing Chun folks for being too one dimensional in their approach to training.  This argument perpetuates with each generation, and round & round we go.

What I find both amusing and a bit sad is that both seek the same end goal: combat proficiency.  As such, both camps bring up valid points insofar as the majority of each style’s practitioners are concerned.

I always say that a very good analogy for martial arts is the notion of religion (note that I said religion, not “faith” or “spirituality,” as this is a distinction worth noting).  Whereras the root of all religion is a good thing, whose hands it ends up in determines its’ value in a positive or a negative sense.

Growing up in a devout Catholic household, the mutual Wing Chun/JKD circle-jerk bickering reminds me of the debate between various branches of Christianity regarding the the ideas of “faith” and “good works.”  For those of you who may not be aware, let me give you the 10-second version on this long-standing beef:

More established branches such as Catholicism place much value on the idea of good works.  These folks love to cite the Bible passage James 2: 14-26 which in essence says that faith without works is dead; in other words, that faith is both primarily expressed and measured through one’s actions.

On the opposite end, most modern Protestant denominations cite the uselessness of good works as a basis for salvation, claiming that one is saved sola fide, or through faith alone in Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Their Biblical “told ya so” is most often the passage Romans 10:9 which basically says all you need to do is confess that Jesus is Lord and you’re all good.

Which is wrong?  Easy-they both are.  Now before any of you get your stained glass panties in a bunch, let me clarify what I mean when I say this:

For the true believer, works are an expression of one’s faith.  They are as intrinsically linked to one’s life as faith itself.  If you see a homeless man hungry, a child shivering in the cold or someone in need of assistance, if you are a true person of faith you will help without thinking.

Going through the motions, kneeling, standing, singing, donating to charity and performing good works all with a heart full of self-righteousness and judgement does not gain any points towards the pearly gates (sorry folks, it’s true). Inversely, professing faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior and attending your weekly laser light-show Christian rock concert service all while banging the nanny and ignoring those most in need of one’s time and attention doesn’t automatically put a big, fat X in the “salvation” box on your life’s check-off sheet, either.

The point I’m getting at is when the mentality is right and the big picture is grasped, both are needed.  Everything else is a pissing contest between branches to validate their point of view as being the only “right” or “true” one.

In much the same way, when some shitbag is hell bent on your assault, rape or murder, which art you use doesn’t mean a damn thing.  All that matters is taking him out.  Lineage, certificates and style don’t mean diddly if you cannot APPLY what you train in a realistic manner should the need ever arise.

Crybaby, Cry!

Now there will be many that get downright incensed at my previous comments about religion but the way I see it, if you really think that the Almighty is that one-dimensional and can’t see the big picture of your life, I have a bridge for sale in London that would be perfect for you!

Just so we’re all on the same page, I’m not preaching or “bible-thumping,” merely drawing an analogy based on an existing situation. Your spiritual practice is your own and no one else’s; same with mine. Don’t force yours on me and I won’t force mine on you.

I will say this though: to all the judgmental old-school folks out there who believe that if you do A, B and C God will give you D as well as the feel-goody, laser light-show rock band mega-Church Jonestownians I say grow up, stop your bitching about each other and look at the bigger picture.  If you have half a brain you’ll realize I’m dead-on-balls correct.

Discomfort is the first step in progress.

…And This Relates To Wing Chun HOW?

I told you when I first started in on all this religion talk that it does relate to our Wing Chun training for self defense, and here’s how: for us, the takeaway is simple – running through the Wing Chun forms, engaging in round after round of chi sau with a cooperative and familiar partner and then calling it  a day isn’t cutting it for preparation for self-defense.  You need to take much more proactive role in stepping outside your comfort zone to make that happen.

On the opposite side of the aisle, approaching everything from the conceptual mindset of most JKD folks out there (who know about 79 different ways to react to a left-lead punch and can whip those sticks around like a drum major on amphetamines) without having a solid structure or base from which to draw from leads one down the “jack of all trades, master of none” road that I see so much of today amongst several JKD folks, especially of the “concepts” approach.

Both approaches have merit as well as limitation; it is up to you to do your own research, train and figure out your own personal approach to integrating these lessons without deleting from or altering your Wing Chun structure.  Sounds difficult, and it can be at first until you get a lay of the land and start to see just where the commonalities lay.

This is why I have chosen the books above that I did; they not only cut out all the fluffy bullshit and give you the goods but their approaches stem from the first 2 periods of Bruce’s life, those most closely linked to his Wing Chun training.

It’s All About One Thing Anyway…

Who says you can’t apply Wing Chun on the ground? Your fixed ideas and preconceived notions as to the nature of both Wing Chun and the reality of fighting, that’s who! JKD concepts can help your Wing Chun by forcing you to apply Wing Chun in an “out of the box” way.  Learn from them and use them to manipulate your surroundings.

The bottom line is simply this: Wing Chun and JKD spring from the same source; their well bears the same life-preserving water.

Study the resources listed above with an open mind and an empty ego and you will in essence glean the best of both worlds for your own personal Wing Chun fighting matrix.  It’s that simple.

In fighting, simple direct and efficient courses of action will come out without mental chess game of “which art am I using?”  That is the essence of both arts and when you get down to it, in the face of real world self-defense situations, things like martial art style or system, lineage and everything else go right out the window.

All that matters is that you can fight back and win, period.

Everything else is just background noise stirred up by poor bastards who would rather bicker than increase their fighting competence and confidence.  If that’s the case, I hope they never get into a situation that calls for a no-bullshit response to an attack because their next of kin are gonna get a knock on the door-and I can damn well guarantee that they won’t like what happens next.

Your job as a student of Wing Chun and combat is to make damn sure you’re not one of them.  Give these books a look and you’ll do well in ensuring that you’re not.

Fair enough?  Good.


Train Smart, Stay Safe

Sifu Bobby

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