Bruce Lee stumped the world with his invention of a new age martial art JKD – Jeet Kune Do. His movie “Enter the Dragon” showcased JKD for the first time to the world and drew millions to embark on the martial arts journey. JKD is a physical, martial and philosophical/spiritual art.
The Martial aspect includes various ranges – Kicking, Punching, Knee-Elbow striking & Grappling with ground fighting. JKD is unlike Karate & Taekwondo where major emphasis is on kicking, Judo & Wrestling where major emphasis is on body grappling and Boxing which focuses on punches. In JKD, emphasis is on all ranges of fighting – Kicking, Punching, Trapping + Elbow/Knee, as well as grappling & Matwork. JKD deals with the techniques developed by Bruce Lee specifically for himself – Jun Fan JKD, made up from Fencing, Boxing & Wing Chun, which Bruce Lee adapted to form his specific stance, specific footwork & specific strikes.
The Philosophical part is about Lao Tzu, Zen and ‘JKDization’ of Life.
- Lao Tzu is about balancing Ying & Yang – harder forces and softer forces of existence (Masculine-Feminine, Day-Night, Optimism-Pessimism, Aggression-Accommodation).
- Zen is about translating thought into action without rumination or worry.
- JKDization of life is problem solving by the 4 fold path – Researching the subject at hand, Absorbing the useful parts & rejecting useless parts of your analysis and finally tailor-making the conclusions to suit your problem.
Despite the colossal success of his films, Bruce Lee did not want to commercialize his art JKD. Hence JKD is not publicly available till date. All those who claim to commercialize JKD by opening schools, using Press & Media, holding tournaments and teaching numbers in batches are prostituting the name of JKD without even scratching the surface of the iceberg. A JKD school is always kept low profile, trains only about 7 students at a time, and each is taught individually (tailormade to correct his mistakes & develop his individual attributes) without hoards trained in batches on common techniques.
After Bruce Lee’s death, since JKD was not available, the result was other martial arts which were available got popular all over the world. Bruce Lee certified few students in his lifetime in various martial arts he taught. Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Ted Wong, James Lee and Taky Kimura are some of his prominent students. Today Inosanto, Richard Bustillo and Ted Wong are the most sought out Teachers of JKD.
These ‘Original Students’ run seminars all over the world to introduce JKD to the participants. The participants are then awarded JKD Seminar Attendance certificates. These are not to be confused with JKD Instructor Certifications awarded to those deserving by the Original students after a lifetime of specific JKD training under the Original students. The Instructor Certifications are Apprentice, Associate & Full Instructor which takes decades of researching & training specifically in Bruce Lee’s art.
Those who have been certified by these above Bruce Lee’s Original Students (first generation) are called Second Generation Instructors. Those who have been certified under second generation are called Third Generation Instructors. Upto third generation Instructors, one can safely assume that the art of JKD is least diluted. I, Dr. Ritesh Reddy, am a third generation instructor, under Dr. Rao, private student of Richard Bustillo.
After Bruce Lee’s death, Dan Inosanto & Richard Bustillo opened up the IMB Academy (Filipino Kali Academy) which was the first academy to teach JKD. Richard Bustillo had received student certification from Bruce Lee and later was the first student of Inosanto to be issued Senior JKD Instructor Certification, before partnering the first JKD Academy the IMB Academy. Ted Wong, Taky Kimura, Dan lee & others have trained this academy before branching off themselves. Richard Bustillo & Ted wong was instrumental in training Bruce Lees son Brandon Lee, daughter Shannon Lee & in helping raise the Bruce Lee foundation.
Quacks & Fakes
To the best of my information, The Bruce Lee foundation has yet NOT developed the JKD training program, and is still to develop JKD Schools all over the world. There are many who locally register Bruce Lee foundation with the TM & Patent office in their country & claim to be the BL Foundation, without any connection to Bruce Lee. The false claims of being BL Affiliate schools can be easily verified by contacting the BL Foundation & Ted wong for verification of authenticity of the so called BLF Schools in India! There is nothing like a BLF affiliated school anywhere in the world.
Then there is the World JKD Associations & Federations, which is a diploma mill, which offers Full instructor certification to those who pay 500 USD, without ever meeting the students via video sale! Many Karate Instructors in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have been certified by the such JKD federations & claim to teach JKD. They also hold competitions without realizing that Bruce Lee was dead against martial tournaments & sport fighting, with major focus only on Full Contact No Holds Barred, all out sparring.
Who Can Then Teach JKD?
As per Bruce Lee foundation, authentic JKD can only be learnt under those qualified Instructors who have been issued Full Instructor certifications by the Original students (like Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Ted Wong). So, those with full Instructor certifications from original students Richard Bustillo, Ted Wong & Dan Inosanto, can teach JKD. In my approximation there are about 500 JKD Instructors at all levels in the world of which only about 50 hold full Instructor certifications from original students. Only so many in the last 4 decades after Bruce Lee’s death!
There are martial artists in the world who have trained under Ted Wong/ Inosanto/ Bustillo for a session or two & who claim that they have Instructor Certifications from him (in their websites, there is no display of any Instructor Certificate from any Original student). There are those who are falsely representing BL Foundation in india and “authorize” Indian martial artists to represent BL Foundation to teach JKD in India. Please contact BL Foundation to verify these fraudulent claims. One may also contact the JKD Brotherhood which is a historical JKD website to verify claims of Instructorship.
One may even contact, Richard Bustillo, based in LA, USA, who still runs the IMB Academy, the first academy that taught JKD after Bruce Lee died. He is in his 60s and is a FBI & LA-County Police Defensive Tactics Instructor. He is a martial arts legend and his seminars are in demand all over the world. At 69 years, he constantly travels world wide spreading the torch of JKD. Visit his fansite to find out more about Richard Bustillo. He too can verify who is authorized to teach JKD as approved by BL Foundation & who is certified by him.
The only authorized JKD School in India & Asia is the IMB Academy-India/Asia chapter, in Mumbai called JKD Ideology. I have personally learnt JKD here under the authentic Instructors, Dr. Rao who donot wish their names to be publicized. These Instructors are authorized by Richard Bustillo and are full instructors in JKD. This can be easily verified by contacting IMB Academy or Richard Bustillo himself. He will vouch for the JKD Ideology School in India to be the local IMB chapter under his guidance. Richard Bustillo frequently travels to india to supervise & train the Indian Bruce Lee fans.
If you have to understand more about JKD, you may visit many websites which offer authentic information on JKD. Yes, there are many like WORLD of JKD – which may mislead you to believe that they are related to the BL Foundation, without nothing to do with BL Foundation, but have links to BLF website of it.
For JKD information in India, you may please refer to JKD Ideology India which is IMB – Asia chapter representing Richard Bustillo, Original student of Bruce lee. This website is close to identifying with the concepts & techniques of Jeet Kune Do. For training in Jeet Kune Do under the same school, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 9820496752 to learn the authentic low profile Bruce Lee’s art of Jeet Kune Do in India under authority & supervision of IMB Academy USA President, Richard Bustillo, who has been certified by the great Bruce Lee himself. To learn Jeet Kune Do (JKD) in Bangalore, call +91 7019 3839 42 or contact us.
I hope I have cleared some misconceptions about JKD in India & helped in preserving the good name of the legendary Bruce Lee for the benefit of his fans in India. Bruce lee strongly believed that one must tailor-make every technique to his individual need, by researching, absorbing the useful & rejecting the limitations. He also devised specific techniques to suit his constitution JFJKD. While we must study his methods, we must also understand his concepts, philosophy & ideologies. These will not only help us in becoming better martial artists and also to become good individuals in arena of life.
I wish you luck in your JKD quest, search & journey. I also urge you to remember that JKD is the journey not the destination. So brothers, In the words of Bruce Lee, Walk On!