Many times have I thought of submitting an article (to Bruce Lee magazine), and often requests are made of me to write a book. Frankly, I feel there is nothing to say; or should I say - that has not already been said or attempted? There is also no way to be of technical benefit to the individual via onedimensional media. I have read numerous articles espousing the many scholars, and the many who exclaim their point-of-view and expertise on this, that, and the other.
There have been masses of individuals who knew someone who trained with Bruce Lee, or ate at the same place with someone who knew him. From their position of partial understanding they go on/go out professing the completeness of their newly acquired authenticity. In suit, I shall also attempt my hand at dissertation ala attitude.
In an effort for JKD to be effective, it requires skill! DUH!! I know that all martial arts require skill, thus the name; but it seems as though every JKD practitioner has forgotten. To simplify does not suggest that it can be achieved without effort, better yet- WORK! For example, the biu jee is very misunderstood. The usual response is “anyone can finger jab”. Is this true? Can you use this tool under any circumstance or condition, regardless of your opponents style or level of skill? Here is the art comrades, taking the tool(s), drilling it until you own it (them), and using (it) them- NOW BABY!! Mundanely throwing a round or two on the pads, and posing in pre-arranged, co-operative choreographed sets, does not make the man.
You must apply actively, against all adversaries, in every element- only then can you appreciate the art. The same fact regards the hammer principle and stop hit (kick). The focus must be such in training that one’s efficacy is prepared to occur without conscious effort. It should be crisp, swift, undetectable and accurate; it must be assimilated into “who you are”!
Thus, we arrive at applying the “self” , or as many have stated to me, “attitude is your attribute”. We are not discussing the proper facial expressions of the so-called “War Face” (which many portray as someone with acute gastritis or hard stools with hemorrhoids), or the war cry, or even espousing the diversity of the sailors abridged international vocabulary. Neither are we referring to the, “I am god, the gift of combat - I have killed a hundred and take no prisoners”- Saturday afternoon matinee syndrome. More explicitly, “attitude” refers to combative expression of the true self with concurrent stratagems and freedom from inhibition.
My perspective does not require me to concern myself with what others think of me. I am secure in my being, which can never be dependent upon others ideas of who they think I should be, or how I should be.
I am not a martial artist for business sake, nor for recreation. I do not need to preserve my ego, or build myself in an effort to attract the un-knowing. There is no need for me to create colorful illusions with which to prolong or drag out the progress of training partners (students), simply to extract a life$tyle.
So let us begin this journey to understanding, the destination of the craft. Let us go beyond philosophy, and concept to enter the realm of the living. Leave behind the petty and childish arguments of right or wrong, and stick to the facts.
The stage is set, now the show begins. It is clear to see that combat is much more than the mere confrontation of egos’ and testosterone. Combat at it’s root encompasses the ‘being’. This is why we must understand ourselves and our relationship to the act. Although these words may seem sweet, the bitter truth lay just under the surface. What is involved here is not only the willingness to don the temporal guise of a warrior, but to understand the essential nature of combat at its base- survival.
Many men have discovered themselves as a direct result of having survived. Some have sought the psycho-emotional origin, others have embraced the spiritual-soma. In either case they are seeking that ‘survival sensitivity’.
This is crucial and not mere words. I have been taught and have had the experiences to learn that the martial arts have but a sole purpose; that being to destroy the enemy before you (including the ego, and auto/socio-genic facades). A mentor of mine, use to share an expression with us, “martial arts have but one purpose- that being to kill; the only alternative is to maim”. I not only concur with his point-ofview; additionally I suggest “anyone who tells you otherwise, is merely hiding behind their own insecurities”. For we inherently know, that the martial arts were born of war, and war involves killing; this is the reality. No confrontation necessitates destroying more than the opponent who would otherwise destroy you. Physical combat is not a matter for religion, politics, or the dictum of your system, in combat only you can save you. Develop and reserve your religious convictions, spirituality, and party allegiances for another time; save your ass now-concern yourself with the rest later.
I will likely be labeled as a militant, a radical, a fanatic, an atheist, or as pompous; and my response to the ignorant is, “I am neither”, but what I am is realistic. This is knowledge, not speculation. It is neither good nor evil; it is simply the truth. Knowledge and it’s use, is specifically the responsibility of the possessor. What is taught is specific information regarding the implementation of various tools. These are the tools and skills of the trade utilized in conjunction with a developed strategy to isolate and destroy specific targets and ultimately our foe.
Reserve to society those who endorse weapons of mass destruction for political or business profits. Allow them to observe themselves, their peers, and their motives as a looking glass for discriminating evil and good.
Many will go on to create a myriad of short-comings and excuses for what is a universal-truth. That is fine by me, for as they go on professing why I am not or why it is not true; I am progressing toward my survival. Permit each of them to glance to their own convictions as prophecies of the content of their own attributes, character and ulterior motives.
"The primary purpose of JKD is applying bodily force."
- Lee Jun Fan
"I turn my whole body into a weapon."
- Don Adams, as Maxwell Smart
"There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds, death, and destruction upon the enemy in the shortest amount of time."
- General George S. Patton Jr.
"Many teach you things that are just not effective, it’s all a part of the business; that is a pet peeve of mine. If you are following their root concept, by the time you finally get the picture, you’re too old to fight.
The way Bruce taught made you a damn good fighter. Instead of going five years doing a bunch-of-garbage. Fighting is a young man’s game, Bruce said it way back then. If you fiddle around too long, you’re not going to physically be able to do things.
You should learn a small amount of violence, proficiently!"
- Bob “Captain Blam” Bremer
It is well understood that ours is a game of most certain risks, and only the prepared can survive.
However, many men do not know deep in their heart, what is required of them. It is therefore, that they cannot follow or even acquire the truth.
Musashi wrote, “The way of the warrior is death. When given the choice between life and death, the warrior chooses death. There is no other meaning for the way. The way is simply to follow through on a chosen course, thus the problem resolved. The only thing in wielding a sword is your intention to cut and kill the enemy. It is essential to attain this”.
When we speak of combat, we are specifically referring to life & death, not a fight over a spilled beverage or in the confines of a ring (which reigns as far more real and noble than the former).
In the heat of the moment, are you willing to lay your life on the line for what is true (not faith or belief)? Or is your present understanding of the truth, in the present moment, truly worth dying for? Serious inquiry NOW! The second the first shot is dealt is too late to reconsider your convictions.
Now, at this very second, stop. In the words of Lt. Col Anthony B. Herbert, “Convince yourself of a truth we banter about so lightly without ever really taking the time to understand. Take the time right now. Really consider and think about this next sentence. Everyone is going to die. It’s true. It’s really so. Everyone of us are truly, without a question, going to die. Get it into your head. Convince yourself. Take the time, now, and actually convince yourself of that one most important fact of your life - You Are Going To Die. The only questions remaining are “When” and “How”.
We really have no control of exactly “When”. At this very moment, this article may induce such anger, or frustration as to induce a myocardio-infarction; you could choke on encrusted carrion; or die from the pathological effects of a trendy diet- whatever!
The “How” is within your grasp. You can readily perish in boldness or in horror. If you have to die, do it fully aware, tooth and nail to the end. If you have to die take the S.O.B. with you, don’t let the opponent dictate “How”.
Maybe you consider yourself lucky. Being lucky is no substitute for survivability. Many who have survived luckily, have gone on to admit; they would not know what changes they would make the next time. For me this is a bit weak. I mean, you really have to ask yourself “Is My Life Worth Fighting For”? I have trained with and taught to the military, law enforcement, self defense groups and ringers; many have no bloody clue. Even worse is those who are unwilling to expend the effort or attitude required to survive.
Your attitude is based on knowing, not thinking; thinking will get you dead! In the face of violence, whether prepped or sudden; fate is not innately forlorn.
You must understand the dynamics of confrontation; know the dangers; preplan for any event; know without thought via practice.
I do not stress assumption, rather I suggest combat proven conduct. These procedures are from the insights of those who have experienced the game - and lived. We have readily learned as well from those who did not.
What you need to understand, is that you should never surrender your combative virtues- that is your own ability to implement attacks, deliver the proper tools and evade the opposition. Quite simply, simplify your training. You will fight how you have been trained. Your training must eliminate deficiencies, cumbersome transitions, and complex maneuvers. Avoid the commercial crap that has been injected by profiteers who are infecting our world.
We need not rely on shock-jock type instruction. Attitude and it’s concurrent attributes are acquirable, distinct, and measurable. One issue is, that many of us have been deceived by instructors who themselves lack an understanding of “attitude”. Your conditioning (mental/physical) must be founded on clinical principles (combat proven), not merely on the rhetorical ego of a probable bully. Attitude training requires facts and is based on the truth. Let the truth be known. Some skills may give you the combative edge; however, the situation may not comply with your use of such a skill. There may also be times when, what you were taught has no value at all. Learn a few skills/tools well, refine them; learn the in’s and out’s; make it yours. Observe others, and have others observe your mistakes, point out and have them pointed out at the moment they occur. Walk through the paces, correct mistakes as they occur. Repeat the situation, refine it - until it is yours. Learn to win, train to win, observe winners.
Again I will refer to elite military training, and from experience. We taught/experienced, that in combat there exist a myriad of chances of any confrontation. Either he wins, or you win, or you both lose, and possibly mutual victory.
The first scenario is anticipated, but not likely. Remember tooth and nail.
The second scenario is extremely improbable. If you are intent on going through and up to the top relation, he can never win. You cannot hesitate, although you may be killed in the process, at least neither wins. Go for it you have nothing to lose if your mind is set to win at any cost. Throw your life before him.
In the next scenario, your win will possibly lead to his desire for vindication, from then on you are a mark. Think about it. These are the things you must know before you engage in combat. Not on that day, or at that moment. This is what you must have decided upon a long time ago.
In closing remember the attitude of combat, not scrapping is to destroy the enemy at any cost. There is no cheating, there is only winning (surviving). The purpose of the martial arts is to kill, the only alternative is to maim. Thus all modes of engagement, striking, throwing, etc, must have a subsequent, immediate nullifying or incapacitating finish.
There is no such thing as cheating, there is only winning;
this is survivability.
What about sportsmanship;
well that is fine within the confines of a ring, with rules;
But in the struggle for life - whatever it takes.
JKD/Combat has always been about self-liberation;
this exceeds social, psychological and political barriers.
This liberation is extended to more than the martial arts, my firearms, etc;
it is a way of life.
It is knowing without thought, it is the very essence of being.
JKD Wednesday Night Group