JKD Engagement Continuum

January 14, 20161 Comment

Three Degrees of the Well Timed Stroke


Optimal Function of the Well Timed Stroke in Descending Order

“To Strike the Opponent”

  1. Before the advancement/attack “on preparation”
  2. During the advancement/attack
  3. After the advancement/attack



The strategy of Jeet Kune Do is to perceive, create and control space in order to perceive, create and control “the time”, to hit the opponent with the least chance of being hit back.




Mark Stewart JKD Straight Lead PunchEngagement “in JKD” is defined as touching the opponent, in any way other than striking itself. Thus, the “strategical ideal” of JKD is non-engagement or without touching the opponent, prior to striking.

In its purest sense, JKD is about space/time mastery and striking with out prior touch. However, reality dictates the inclusion and mastery of subsequent tactics.

The subsequent tactics of JKD are highly influenced by the strategical ideal and may be described as engaging with the least amount of engagement or “struggling without struggling”. (See “water principle” and “spring energy”)

The subsequent system or tactics of engagement with touching the opponent, prior to striking are deflecting, trapping and grappling. All of the tactics are accomplished through proper application of structure, mechanics and stepping.

NOTE: The key is to use all of these tactics aggressively or to facilitate striking and to quickly finish the fight. “No questions left unanswered”

On Ground Fighting & Grappling: “Supplementary Training”

Primary / Secondary

  • Stand Up First / Ground Second
  • Get Up First / Stay Down Second
  • Striking First / Grappling Second
  • Grappling for Position to Strike First / Grappling for Position to Submission Second (choke or dislocate)

In survival mode: Biting, Gouging, Tearing, Ripping and Pinching


The Jeet Kune Do Model

The Jeet Kune Do Model is an oral/physical tradition as passed from teacher to student. Jeet Kune Do is the science, art and philosophy of Bruce Lee’s personal martial art.

The science of JKD is based on three principles, simple, direct and non-classical.

Simple: Embraces simplicity over complexity (minimum v. maximum motions)

Direct: Embraces directness over indirectness (straight line v. curved line)

Non-Classical: Embraces Non-classical (spontaneous/non-rhythmic) v. classical (pre-arranged/rhythmic)


The terms Classical and Non-Classical, as used in this work, are defined as such:

Classical: Contains training methods with cultural and social aesthetics that are not directly concerned, with the function of the science.

Non-Classical: Contains training methods concerned only with the function of the science.


JKD is non-classical and its strategies, tactics and techniques are based on functionality, efficiency and effectiveness.

Functionality: Must be able to work against an uncooperative, resisting opponent.

Efficiency: Must not contain wasted motions.

Effectiveness: Must deliver the full potential of bodily force, without sacrificing proper structure.

JKD is based on a model of optimal function, defined by the three times to hit or three degrees of the well timed stroke, before, during and after the attack.

Three Degrees of the Well Timed Stroke

  • Before: Motion/attack “on preparation”
  • During: Motion/attack “in flight”
  • After: Motion/attack “on riposte”

The JKD Engagement Continuum is published with the author’s permission. It is an outline of Mark Stewart’s upcoming book on Jeet Kune Do. You can reach Sifu Mark Stewart through his website at BRIJKD.com

About the video: Highlights from a JKD Seminar taught by Sifu Mark Edward Stewart. Footage courtesy of Monskiee Photography.

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  • Cedric Mouanga

    thanks for these informations, very instructive :)

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