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Arts that Influenced JKD

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  • Arts that Influenced JKD

    I know I've see this posted here but I cannot seem to locate it. This is a list of various martial arts that Bruce Lee practiced/researched in developing JKD. I cannot remember the exact title of the list but it was something akin to "The 23 Arts That Influenced Jeet Kune Do". I'm not sure if "23" was the number, but I believe it was twenty something. the list included wrestling, boxing, wing chun, and many specific regional, family, and individual styles of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Silat, and other arts.

    If anyone knows what list I am referring to and can re-post it I would appreciate it greatly.


  • #2
    Here it is...

    Here is the list! It was published in Paul Vunak's book "Jeet Kune Do: Its Concepts and Philosophies". It was also published in articles in various martial arts magazines by Vunak. I am not sure if you realize this, but the list has caused quite a bit of discussion. Some seem to hate it, others have no problem with it, and others dont seem to understand it. I know for a fact Guro Inosanto has been asked about this list, I believe he is the one who gave it to Vunak (who published it!).

    Some JKD practitioners might hold the opinion that there are techniques, theories, or whatever in Jun Fan/JKD from all of these arts. I have done extensive research to try and pin that down, and while most DO have some impact on Lee, some can not be accounted for. Plus, if this list is to represent the arts that Lee studied then it is incomplete. Judo, Savate, Silat, Seven Star Mantis, Dragon Style, and Hung Gar (plus probably more) are missing.

    Anyways, here is the list!! I have interest in discussing, debating, and researching this list, so if anybody knows any info about what I described above, post it!

    The Twenty-six Fighting elements of Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do

    1. Wing Chun
    2. Northern Praying Mantis
    3. Southern Praying Mantis
    4. Choy Li Fut
    5. Tai Chi Chuan (Wu Family Style)
    6. Paqua
    7. Hsing-I
    8. Bak-Hoo Pai (White Crane)
    Bak-Fu Pai (White Tiger)
    9. Eagle Claw
    10. Ng Ga Kuen (Five Family System)
    11. Ny Ying Ga (Five Animal System)
    12. Bak Mei Pai (white Eyebrow)
    13. Northern Shaolin
    14. Southern Shaolin
    15. Bok Pai
    16. Law Horn Kuen
    17. Chin Na
    18. Monkey Style
    19. Drunken Style
    20. Western Fencing
    21. Western Boxing
    22. Western Wrestling
    23. Jujutsu
    24. Escrima
    25. Filipino Sikaran
    26. Muay Thai


    • #3
      Thank you TopCrusader for posting this! I thought Vunak had published this, but I was hesitant to mention that since his name stirs up some strong opinions in JKD circles. The fact that judo and savate are missing from the list does raise a few questions.

      The list is interesting from a research standpoint, but obviously some specifics would need to be addressed; How many of these arts did Bruce Lee seriously train and practice in? In how many did he receive only rudimentary training? Which ones did he only research from books, manuals, and observation from a distance?
      I once saw an interview with Guro Inosanto and he was asked about Bruce Lee's Judo training. Inosanto replied along the lines of " I know he had some very good judo training but I do not know with whom or how long he trained." (side note : didn't Lee train with Gene LeBell on a few occasions?)

      It is often said that Lee also worked out with different wrestlers while he was in college, but again no one really knows how much training Lee would have had.

      I think this list (complete or incomplete) shows again that Bruce Lee had an interest in a variety of fighting arts (including Western disciplines) at a time when most people confined themselves to a single art.


      • #4
        Thanks for the reply.
        You would be surprised how many "JKD people" dont have an idea that Lee studied more arts that Wing Chun, Fencing, and Boxing. I am tempted to rant, but lets save that for another post!
        As far as Judo, he most certainly took the art seriously. I have come across a few Chinese JKD sources who claim he and his brothers or friends got the bare minimum Judo basics while still in Hong Kong before his Wing Chun training. Whether this is true or not is hard to verify since I cannot read Chinese so that makes it hard to research.
        Taky Kimura's new book "Regards from the Dragon: Seattle" has a interview with the Judo men who trained Lee when he was a new arrival to Seattle. I believe it was Shuzo Kato. He joined a Judo club and practiced for several months. There are pictures of Lee in a Judo Gi standing with his group as well as throwing a partner.
        Jesse Glover has also mentioned (in his book) showing Lee some Judo moves and how they decided to incorporate some of that into Lee's first book.
        Also, around 1966 when the pictures of Lee was taken as promotional items for the Green Hornet show, showing him sitting in front of his massive library, MANY books on Judo are seen. Quite honestly from the pictures ive seen of Lee's library....there are more Judo books than Fencing and Boxing!!!!! *Let that soak in for awhile*

        Plus, Tao of JKD has many pictures of Judo throws that Lee sketched out of his source books. And the Inosanto quote you gave is correct, he wasnt sure who Lee trained with and for how long. But new info published in Sifu Kimura's book as mentioned brings that training to light. As far as Gene LeBell, he himself has stated he showed Lee some Judo moves as well as western wrestling. They worked out privately together at Lee's school but mostly did private lessons together at Gene LeBell's place. You can find this information on his website.
        I hope that answers the question on Judo!

        As far as how many of the "list" did BL train in with a actual instructor? That would included: Wing Chun, The Mantis families, Tai Chi, Choy Lay Fut, Shaolin, Chin-Na, Hung Gar, Fencing, Boxing (if you include his students), Escrima (Dan Inosanto). Lee had hands-on exposure to many Chin Woo Association forms, which include elements of Northern styles (Mantis, Eagle, Shaolin, Tam Tui, etc).
        His training time with Fook Yeung in Seattle has often been overlooked I think. Hopefully someday what he specifically taught Lee will come to light. All ive heard so far is Wing Chun, Mantis, & Tai Chi. There was probably more.

        See what happens when I start discussing this stuff?! I cant stop myself!
        Hope this helps, I look forward to your reply



        • #5
          @ TopCrusader;

          I think this list illustrates how Bruce Lee was interested in all fighting arts no matter what country or time period it originated from. I think it shows how he wanted to research, train, and experience many martial systems and incorporate from them what he could. He took advantage of training opportunities when he could (for some arts it looks like it was extensive, others perhaps just basic).

          I also think his admiration for Western styles is very telling. He was not the first person to consolidate Western and Asian techniques together (Sambo and Bartitsu come to mind) but, at the time he lived in the U.S. (and into the early 90's), many individuals in MA did not view Western disciplines as really being "martial arts" and if they were, then they were far far inferior to Asian styles. Bruce Lee saw things differently.


          • #6
            @ Tanto1;

            I think you are correct about the judo/jujitsu connection. Bruce Lee probably trained with individuals who had experience in both arts, with judo probably being more of the focus.


            • #7
              @ Tanto1;

              Jujitsu is a dead art. Interesting statement I have heard others state this or make similar remarks. I know many people consider BJJ to be "Judo with a little wrestling and boxing". What do you think of "modern Japanese Jujutsu" schools or styles? Are they simply Judo with some clever reworking of long gone jujutsu techniques? Not disagreeing with you BTW, just asking your opinion.


              • #8
                When you say Jujutsu is a "dead art", are you referring to Japanese Jujutsu like what the Samurai practiced, etc? Sorry my Japanese Budo history isnt as good as it should be.

                As far as Jujutsu being on the list, dont forget Lee trained with Wally Jay & his "Small Circle Jujutsu" as early as 1962 I believe. Inosanto has said many times in interviews and his own JKD instructional videos that Lee learned some wrist locks, finger manipulations, etc from Wally Jay.
                If I were to organize it, I would say that a lot of his finger locks and locking came from Professor Wally Jay. A lot of his takedowns probably came from Judo and wrestling because he liked the single leg takedown and the double leg takedown, simple things. He picked a couple Judo throws that he really liked, because he had Judo training, I don’t know for how long." - Dan Inosanto

                On Lee's bookshelf you can see these three Jujutsu books:
                The Fine Art of Jujutsu by Mrs Roger Watts, G.W. Beldam London William Heinemann (1906)
                The Textbook of Ju-Jutsu (or just Ju-Jutsu) by S.K. Uyenishi ; Athletic Publications (1940)
                Jiu Jitsu by Frederick P. Lowell ; A.S. Barnes. NY (1942)

                Probably more, but thats all I could identify.


                • #9
                  About ten years ago I studied a traditional Japanese jujutsu style off and on for almost 2 years (I was training in JKD at the same time, albeit on a more regular basis). I learned a great deal and had fun. However, I did believe much of the waza looked a great deal like judo and aikido (not that I really cared) but I kind of doubted this particular ryu had any lineage to medieval Japan that its practitioners liked to tout.


                  • #10
                    If anybody has any information regarding the Chinese arts on the list, please share it!