Dan Inosanto: Original JKD vs JKD Concepts?

November 19, 20151 Comment

If you have followed the art of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do over the years, you have undoubtedly heard of the “controversy” between the Original Jeet Kune Do group versus those who train using the concepts of Jeet Kune Do.

In other words, those who use the original structure of what Bruce Lee himself practiced while he was alive versus those who have taken his philosophy from the book “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” and his advice of:

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own”

While this proverbial horse has been beaten to death, the video above is quite interesting.


Because Sifu Dan Inosanto, who arguably spent the most time training with Bruce Lee had the following to say about this:

“There isn’t any difference between Jeet Kune Do, Original Jeet Kune Do and Jeet Kune Do Concepts.

Whatever you want to call it.

It’s the same.

To understand the JKD Concept, you have to be trained in the original JKD or Jeet Kune Do that Bruce Lee trained.

As he says, JKD is a path to personal enlightenment.”

Sifu Dan Inosanto Original JKD vs ConceptHe goes on to say that the original JKD was the roots… and from there it was up to each individual to find their personal path to their own enlightenment.

To fully understand the concept, you have to have the original.

While there are many opinions on this issue, I think Sifu Inosanto’s point makes a lot of sense…

What do you think?

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  • Isaiah Smith

    I agree with him to an extent. It’s important to understand the Jeet Kune Do philosophy as taught by Bruce Lee before you begin your own personal path of discovery. Unfortunately, what some of the Jeet Kune Do concepts crowd has done is just mix a bunch of martial arts together and call it “Jeet Kune Do.” There’s no set process or principles behind it other than the fact that it’s done purely for the sake of creating.
    I’m not entirely sure what he means by “training in the original JKD” but i’m supposing he means training in Jun Fan Gung Fu to understand the JKD philosophy. While i agree that Jun Fan Gung Fu should be the base system for understanding Jeet Kune Do, no one understands it better than Bruce Lee. I’m pretty sure that if Bruce were alive today, he’d correct Dan Inosanto on some things or explain them better. Bruce’s own personal died with him so we only have fragmentary knowledge. I think the only true way to understand Jeet Kune Do is through your own personal enlightenment. That starts by throwing out the name “Jeet Kune Do.” There’s already enough controversy, division, and confusion as is so i feel the best approach is to simply let each person find his or her own Jeet Kune Do.

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