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  • Thoughts on Paul Vunak

    Hi,

    I've always been peripherally interested in Paul Vunak's work as his focus has always seemed to be on the practical side of MA. So I've been viewing some of his old Panther vids on Youtube ( a lot of vids have recently been put up, and there's quite a bit to view now).

    I had regarded Uk based guys like Geoff Thopmson as being more realisiic, and dare I say gritty? in their approach to practicality , than the US guys. However, I've got to say that I basically like a lot of what Vunak does/advocates.

    Particularly his take on emotional control, and the right mindset to have during a fight. I'm not sure it's possible to turn killer instinct on and off as precisely as he advocates, but the whole idea of not letting fear and rage rule you during a fight is a sound one. It makes perfect sense, at least in theory (not sure if I could do it). I think he defines his definition of killer instinct very well.

    I also like the fact that he took the time to learn BJJ. It shows an open mind, and a willingness to adopt whatever works. I've got no patience for people who go on and on about the de3dly str33ts! and them disparage arts like BJJ and boxing as being mere "sports." It's nice that Vunak embraced the ground game rather than sticking his fingers in his ears, closing his eyes, and pretending it doesn't exist.

    I have some doubts about the Kina Mutai (sic?) and the trapping, but there are more pros than cons in Vunak's approach in my opinion. I also appreciate the fact that he admits to losing fights. In a world where a lot of instructors claim hundreds and even thousands of altercations without a loss, Vunak's candor is quite refreshing.

    Well just rambling, cut me some slack I'm ill.

  • #2
    I had the privilege of training with some of Vu's instructors back in the late 90s. While I haven't taken a "JKD" class in about 10 years, the principles I learned under them have been guiding my training ever since.

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    • #3
      Hi,

      Thanks for the reply. Would you mind going into which principles you found so valuable? Would this have been the PFS curriculum?

      As I said above, I have found the take on killer instinct to be of value. Not that I've used it in any sort of fight situation, but I do feel that the principle of controlling the emotions, and not vice versa, is one which can be carried (with varying degrees obviously) into everyday life. I had read Vunak's written work on killer instinct before, but watching some of his vids on Youtube has made me realise that there's bit more depth to what he was saying.

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      • #4
        For sure! In general terms, the principles could be described as "JKD Concepts" (the BL-DI-PV interpretation). The typical "absorb what is useful, reject what is useless" line, although I am never too hasty to reject something.

        Specifically the idea of placing greater importance of training attributes (of which Killer Instinct is but one) over training "techniques". This can be physical things like strength, muscular endurance, cardio, or mental - pain tolerance, killer instinct. There are also conceptual attributes like line familiarization (being comfortable with being attacked from all angles) or range competency.

        From the PFS curriculum, RAT is still my mental "game plan". Cause pain, blitz to Thai clinch, headbutt-knee-elbow.

        The idea that you train for both self-preservation and self-perfection.

        That's just off the top of my head - I'm sure that there's more that has simply seeped into my subconscious.

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        • #5
          While I've never personally had the pleasure of training with the legend himself I have had the honor of knowing a certain contemporary (though less well known JKD instructor) of his. The man that introduced the JKD world to Jiu-jitsu some years ago. I trust that his opinion of the man holds merit and my buddy Hal thinks very highly of Mr V.

          Enough said.

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          • #6
            I like PV, but what he does is not Jeet Kune Do. IMHO the PFS is a street simplified version of
            Inosanto Kali. I respect the fact that Paul worked with the military and trained from a young age with guys like Chris
            Knudds (Kent), Imada, Lucaylucay, and others.
            But, I do not think Vunak ever learned the right lead or the wing chun base well enough to call what he
            does Jeet Kune Do. Vu did have excellent savate and western boxing back in the day, but when you see him
            work compared with Ted Wong, you can see why Ted is jkd and Vunak is not.

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            • #7
              I disagree. Paul Vunak does JKD, and is well versed in it. But he is also well versed in those other arts you mention, and so he freely blends them as he desires. So the end product is not a pure original JKD. But as long as you abide by the principles of JKD, then what is the problem? If we just leave JKD alone that is fine, but imagine if we did that to the high jump from the 50's, using the western roll, the eastern roll, the scissors. The world record would probably still be under 7 feet. But things progressed, and Dick Fosbury came a long with a new way to do it. Same with basketball, can you imagine Kobe Bryant doing a 2 handed set shot? Things evolve, period. People fight different now than they did in the 60's and 70's. Bruce Lee was seeing mostly karate guys and boxers. The original JKD material is great, and should be taught, but there is nothing wrong with taking it further. I think that is what Bruce Lee would have wanted anyway.

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              • #8
                The Man was good enough to be the instructor for the Navy Seals.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bruce Wilkerson View Post
                  I disagree. Paul Vunak does JKD, and is well versed in it. But he is also well versed in those other arts you mention, and so he freely blends them as he desires. So the end product is not a pure original JKD. But as long as you abide by the principles of JKD, then what is the problem? If we just leave JKD alone that is fine, but imagine if we did that to the high jump from the 50's, using the western roll, the eastern roll, the scissors. The world record would probably still be under 7 feet. But things progressed, and Dick Fosbury came a long with a new way to do it. Same with basketball, can you imagine Kobe Bryant doing a 2 handed set shot? Things evolve, period. People fight different now than they did in the 60's and 70's. Bruce Lee was seeing mostly karate guys and boxers. The original JKD material is great, and should be taught, but there is nothing wrong with taking it further. I think that is what Bruce Lee would have wanted anyway.
                  If you study anything enough you'll find there is nothing new. People rediscover concepts that have been there.

                  There are only so many ways the human body can move, some people just find ways to do it more efficiently.

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                  • #10
                    PFS is a dynamic system of fighting. It follows the philosophy of JKD very close. It's fluid and has the ability to evolve, and yet simple. As far as admitting to losing fights, I say if you have never lost a fight, then you haven't fought enough.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dan Biciocchi View Post
                      PFS is a dynamic system of fighting. It follows the philosophy of JKD very close. It's fluid and has the ability to evolve, and yet simple. As far as admitting to losing fights, I say if you have never lost a fight, then you haven't fought enough.
                      I would tend to agree. There is always someone, some day, some place that will be a little tougher, stronger, smarter or just lucky enough to knock your block off (so to speak).

                      As far as "killer" instinct goes I've nearly always considered fighting FUN. It's hard to beat a guy who enjoys kicking some ass!
                      Even when there is potentially deadly altercations a big shit eating grin just makes you look CRAZY enough to kill someone!

                      But I wouldn't suggest trying it for yourself.

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                      • #12
                        I've always liked Vunak's stuff...

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                        • #13
                          Interested in learning but cant seem to find any around my area.

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