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MARTIAL DIRECT- The Directory of Martial Arts Schools & Instructors

"Bruce Lee Said What?"
   'Finding the Truth in Bruce Lee's Writings'

Part 2

(Page 2)

by Kip Brockett

        Tao of Jeet Kune Do, page 156

    "Ducking is dropping the body forward under swings and hooks (hands or feet) directed at the head…"

    "Ducking is used as a means of escaping blows and allowing the fighter to remain in range for a counter attack. It is just as necessary to learn to duck swings and hooks as it is to slip straight punches. Both are important in counterattacks."

        Boxing by Edwin L. Haislet, pages 49 & 50

    "Ducking is dropping the body forward under hooks and swings to the head. It is used as a means of escaping blows allowing the boxer to remain in range for a counter-attack…"

    "It is just as necessary to learn to duck swings as it is to slip straight punches. Both are used for the same purpose, and both are important in counter-attack."

    And finally…

        Tao of Jeet Kune Do, page 157

    "Rolling nullifies the force of a blow by moving the body with it.
                        # Against a straight blow, the movement is backward.
                        # Against hooks, the movement is to either side.
                        # Against uppercuts, it is backward and away."

        Boxing by Edwin L. Haislet, page 50

    "Rolling means nullifying the force of a blow by moving the body with the blow. Against a straight blow, the movement is backward; against hooks, to either side; and against uppercuts, it is backward and away."

    There's no doubt that Bruce Lee used a great deal of Haislet's book in his notes. The point is that although some acknowledgement is given in the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, there is much more needed. This can, has, and will continue to lead to confusion on the part of its readers.

    This is not limited only to the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. There are many other publications on Bruce Lee that use quotes from Haislet's book and other sources, that contain no acknowledgements- including Jeet Kune Do: Commentaries on the Martial Way, by Tuttle Publishing.

    

    I would like to interject something here that may seem a bit off-subject, but that I came across in my studies. I think that it relates here, because it serves as an example to the influence of Haislet's book.

    Around the same time that I acquired a copy of Boxing by Edwin L. Haislet, I also came into possession of Boxing, "The Naval Aviation Physical Training Manual" (copyright 1943). I have yet to be able to figure out how Haislet's book could be copyrighted in 1940 and the Naval Manual in 1943, yet the Naval Manual contains almost the entire text of the Haislet book.

    To the Naval Manual's credit, it does contain added features such as a lesson plan, history, and drills for teaching in groups, which are not part of the Haislet book.

    Now let's move to the other side of the globe to see some of the Eastern influences on Bruce Lee.

    In Part 1, we discussed several examples involving Zen and Japanese swordsmanship that Bruce Lee used as resources. In some instances he simply changed the wording to suit the unarmed combat method of Jeet Kune Do. In this part, I'd like to give several more examples that are direct quotes with almost no change at all.

    Under the heading, "On Zen", in the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, the next 4 examples come from the words of Yagyu Tajima no kami Munenori (1571-1646)- who was mentioned in Part 1. These quotes can be found in D.T. Suzuki's book Zen and Japanese Culture, published in 1959.

        Tao of Jeet Kune Do, page 9

    "Give up thinking as though not giving it up. Observe techniques as though not observing."

        Yagyu Tajima no kami Munenori

    "Give up thinking as though not giving it up. Observe the technique as though not observing."

        Tao of Jeet Kune Do, page 9

    "I'm moving and not moving at all. I'm like the moon underneath the waves that ever go on rolling and rocking."

        Yagyu Tajima no kami Munenori

    "I am moving all day and not moving at all. I am like the moon underneath the waves that ever go on rolling and rocking."

        Tao of Jeet Kune Do, page 8

    "Let yourself go with the disease, be with it, keep company with it- this is the way to be rid of it."

        Yagyu Tajima no kami Munenori

    "Let yourself go with the disease, be with it, keep company with it: this is the way to get rid of it."

        Tao of Jeet Kune Do, page 7

    "Turn into a doll made of wood: it has no ego, it thinks nothing, it is not grasping or sticky. Let the body and limbs work themselves out in accordance with the discipline they have undergone."

        Yagyu Tajima no kami Munenori

    "Turn yourself into a doll made of wood: it has no ego, it thinks nothing; and let the body and limbs work themselves out in accordance with the discipline they have undergone. This is the way to win."

    Again, the above examples by Yagyu Tajima no kami Munenori were written over 300 years ago. Aside from a few grammatical differences, it seems very clear as to the source of these passages.

    Although Western Fencing did play a significant role in the physical techniques of Jeet Kune Do, it appears that Eastern Fencing (Japanese sword arts) played just as significant a role in the philosophical aspects of JKD.

    In Part 3, we will wrap up this article by looking at the influence of Eastern Fencing on one of Bruce Lee's ranking systems and show some examples of how widespread the inaccuracies concerning Bruce Lee's own words and ideas actually reach.

Page 1    Click Here to go to Part 3 of this article.

                                             

© Copyright 2001/2002
Kip Brockett
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