Bruce Lee Created a Martial Art Called Jeet Kune Do

Bruce Lee was one of the most famous martial artists of all time. He had such a deep understanding of fighting styles and self-defense techniques that he's considered by many to be the father of mixed martial arts.

Before you start to question why he would be called that by some, take a deeper look at Bruce Lee’s own fighting style and martial art - Jeet Kune Do.

What is Jeet Kune Do?

Jeet Kune Do (or JKD for short) is an eclectic martial art that emphasizes simplicity and directness. It was created by Bruce Lee and inspired by his privately held fight with Hong Kong kung fu master Wong Jack Man.

The idea behind JKD is to be able to fight off any opponent with whichever tools are available, without getting stuck on one particular style of martial arts. For example, if you're up against someone who only uses their hands, you can use your feet; if they only attack from the front, you can attack from behind; and so on.

Bruce Lee also believed that in real life fights people would not try to fight conventionally - someone will usually run away or give up before combat even begins - so he taught his students to never assume anything about an opponent's behavior and always be ready for anything (i.e., don't get caught off guard).

Jeet Kune Do For Self-Defense

JKD is a martial art and combat philosophy that was developed by Bruce Lee. In JKD, there are no formal moves or methods to learn; instead, you're encouraged to improvise your own personal style as you practice.

JKD borrows heavily from other martial arts and combines them with boxing and fencing techniques to generate an intuitive fighting style that can be used for self-defense or in sports competition—and everything else in between! The goal of Hsing-I Chuan (Shape Mind System), for example, is to cultivate mental clarity through internal focus so one can better perceive one's opponent's movements while remaining relaxed and ready for action at all times.

This mental technique has been integrated into Jeet Kune Do training because it offers excellent mental preparation before engaging physically with an opponent: being loose and mentally aware of what's happening around you will help you avoid getting hit as much, while also helping set up your next move strategically!

Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a martial art that was developed in the 1800s by a woman named Yim Wing Chun. Yim Wing Chun was born into a wealthy family during the Qing Dynasty. She was married off at age 16 and had two children with her husband, Leung Bok Chau. The couple lived on their own land and were very well respected members of society.

However, when Leung Bok Chau died unexpectedly, Yim Wing Chun found herself in financial trouble as she had no skills other than cooking and housekeeping to make money for herself or her family. She decided to learn Kung Fu so that she would be able to defend herself against larger men who might try to rob or attack her for their own personal gain.

Mahogany Wing Chun Wooden Dummy.
Mahogany Wing Chun Wooden Dummy for practicing martial arts technique.

She traveled to Foshan where an expert martial artist named Chan Wah Shun taught her his style of Kung Fu known as “Muk Yan Jong” which translates into “the wooden dummy method” because it uses wooden training dummies (known as “muk yan jong”) for practice purposes instead of live training partners like most other styles do today.

Bruce Lee began his martial arts journey learning Wing Chun, which is why you'll see so many similarities between Wing Chun and JKD.

Wing Chun vs. Jeet Kune Do

At first glance (and to the untrained eye) it can be difficult to tell Wing Chun apart from the art it gave birth to in the form of Jeet Kune Do. Watch the video to see some of the key differences between the two martial arts.

Grappling and Wrestling in JKD

Grappling is a martial art that focuses on grabbing, holding, throwing, and controlling an opponent. Wrestling is a martial art that focuses on throwing, takedowns and pins.

JKD uses wrestling techniques to take an opponent down by using their own momentum against them. Bruce Lee often used this technique to throw his opponents off balance so he could land more powerful strikes.

Bruce Lee's fighting style focused on practical combat, rather than strict martial arts form. Practical combat would most certainly involve grappling and takedowns which proves Lee's dedication to crafting a practical and useful form of self-defense.

The Meaning of Jeet Kune Do

The meaning of Jeet Kune Do is simply "the way of the intercepting fist." It was derived from Wing Chun, which Lee studied for over three years under Sifu Yip Man who was an expert in Wing Chun martial arts. Jeet Kune Do incorporates elements from boxing, wrestling, fencing, and other styles of Kung Fu. 

In fact, Bruce Lee's goal was to create a new style that would be effective no matter what the opponent did (hence 'Jeet' meaning intercept) and it could be used both on the streets or in competition matches.

Many of the techniques developed as part of Jeet Kune Do are used in MMA fights today. Fighters like Jon Jones and George St. Pierre have used techniques like the oblique kick and lead sidekick to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Bruce Lee had a philosophy called JKD that he spoke about constantly during interviews. He taught his students at seminars around the world as well as through books such as Tao Of Jeet Kune Do where he explained his theories on combat fighting & self-defense techniques. Lee's theories were based on real encounters involving real people against violent attackers who did not use just one specific style but rather multiple forms to fight, depending on the situations at hand.

This theory was central to the JKD philosophy so that its practitioners can adapt fast enough to counter any move coming at them. This philosophy is part of what makes Bruce Lee's school very practical rather than relying too much on form practice alone without knowing how it can actually work out when you're under attack!

"Be Water, My Friend"

Now you know about Jeet Kune Do, the fighting style invented by Bruce Lee himself. He was a great martial artist and one of the most famous martial artists in history. There is a lot that can be learned from his teachings and even though Bruce Lee was not a professional fighter, he helped change the landscape of martial arts forever.