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Jeet Kune Do - "The Style Of No Style"

By: Allen Owen

MMA, or mixed-martial arts has been enjoying immense popularity lately as a spectator sport. Names like Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture and Frank Shamrock have become legit superstars to legions of sports fans all over the world. Younger MMA and UFC fans however should know that the ideology and concept for this seemingly new genre of contact sport dates back several decades ago. In fact it has its roots in a martial art developed by none other than Jun Fan a.k.a. Bruce Lee. Dana White, president of the MMA even acknowledges the martial arts icon as the father of the MMA.

The name for the art of Jeet Kune Do, or 'the way of the intercepting fist' came about while Lee and his long-time training partner Dan Inosanto were driving around talking about a European fencing technique- the epee' in particular. This fencing move stops or intercepts an opponent's thrust with an attack of one's own. The two were trying to think of a name for a new martial art based on this concept and thus, the way of the intercepting fist and its literal Chinese translation- Jeet Kune Do, was born.

Traditional martial arts training involves 'kata' or forms to be memorized by the practitioner of a specific martial art during the early levels. It's a series patterned of steps, punches and kicks that theoretically helps the martial artist internalize the various movements and thus be able to use them in combat effectively. The minor role of 'kata' in Jeet Kune Do martial arts training (although it's loosely patterned after Wing-Chun basics), is the most significant difference it has with other 'classical' forms of martial arts. Bruce Lee puts more emphasis on actual combat or sparring sessions as a way to prime the martial art practitioner to be an effective fighter. According to him, pre-arranged patterns and movements are inadequate in simulating the ever-changing circumstances in actual combat- lacking the dynamism and improvisation of sparring with another person.

The basic concept of Jeet Kune Do is to use what works. The "take what is useful and discard what is useless." mantra that most martial artists (and followers of the Buddhist faith) are familiar with. It is, therefore, the art of combining the useful techniques and movements a Jeet Kune Do practitioner has collected from other disciplines and using them as leverage in a fight.

"Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways, is bound by none and likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve it's end." -Bruce Lee.

Allen Owen has been practicing martial arts of one form or another since he was in grammar school. Check out his eBay store at: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Sublime-Tao-Martial-Arts-Supply

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