How To Identify Jeet Kune Do (JKD) Instructors

Bruce Lee’s legacy continues to this day, decades after his death. While it is the most wanted martial art, it’s also the most elusive. ‘Who teaches JKD and where can I learn it?’ is the common query on every seeker’s mind. Amidst the confusion and chaos, how is one to find the Teacher that he or she seeks? Let’s throw some light on that.

In many parts of the world, there are dubious organisations which claim to teach JKD. They have websites showing a long Instructor list. They belong to world JKD organisations which sell DVDs & certifications. Some claim to have “converted to JKD”. Others claim to have learnt under unknown teachers. Many have Wing Chun lineage, unrelated to Bruce Lee’s art. Others have merely participated in day long seminars under Original students. Against the spirit of JKD, they hold competitions, give belts & uniforms & teach katas. They market traditional martial arts under the envelope of JKD. They choreograph films using flowery and fancy technique against the principles outlined by Lee. They claim to be recognised and registered by governmental sport associations.

1. Trained & Certified by 1st Generation students

The primary rung of JKD instructors you’ll find are those who have been trained and certified under 1st generation of Original Students. (Note that we’re referring to those prominent students who were certified by Bruce Lee and not just people who trained with him for a few months.)

2. Trained & Certified by 2nd Generation Students

These instructors have studied, trained and certified under those carrying the torch as handed down by the 1st generation. They continue the legacy under close guidance from above. (As previously explained)

3. Trained but NOT certified by Original students

These instructors donot have any certification. They may have trained under the Original students (prominent students) and may have been recognised by them, but are clearly NOT authorised to teach and instruct the next generation. Such instructors know few skills and specifics of JKD, but are unaware of the nuances of teaching the art and philosophy of Bruce Lee.

4. Trained under Bruce Lee’s occasional students

These practitioners have trained under some of the occasional & casual students of Bruce (none of whom were authorised to teach by Lee). So the credibility or quality of learning cannot be ascertained and is not to be banked upon. Depending on the time of their meeting Bruce Lee, they were only exposed to a limited period of the JKD evolution.

5. Self-trained using authentic drills from the Internet

These self-proclaimed instructors claim inspiration from Bruce Lee. They are sometimes traditional martial artists who study a few drills from videos posted online and proclaim themselves instructors in the art of JKD. Bruce Lee’s art is highly individualistic and is tailor made to each student. It cannot be learnt or taught by mimicking drills.

6. Quacks using traditional martial art and calling it Jeet Kune Do

Such martial artists are not even remotely clued into what JKD is. They are unaware of the underlying philosophy of Bruce Lee which forms the bedrock of this art. They are traditional martial artists who just attempt to market their practise under the guise of Bruce Lee’s JKD to capitalise on it’s fame and popularity.

Train safe and Walk on…

Now that you’re informed and are aware of the types of instructors out there, I trust your search for Jeet Kune Do will have more clarity and will be confusion free. Walk on and see a different view…
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