All forms of Martial Arts are birthed by Dragon Energy. This dance of primal instincts develops into styles of expression. Each style is intrinsically linked to a source of power within the wisdom that Dragons virtuously uphold. Every style of Dragon dance is what encompasses the various known styles of Martial Arts.
A Warrior is akin to a physician; the greatest warrior is always the one who prevents the conflict before it even begins to occur. The battle is fought in the mind, and only when that fails does physical Martial Arts take over.
You fight your reflection.
Question: What are your thoughts when facing an opponent?
Bruce: There is no opponent.
Question: Why is that?
Bruce: Because the word ”l” does not exist.
A good fight should be like a small play… but played seriously. When the opponent expands, l contract. When he contracts, l expand. And when there is an opportunity… l do not hit… it hits all by itself (shows his fist).
Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it.
– Bruce Lee.
The highest technique is to have no technique. My technique is a result of your technique; my movement is a result of your movement.
A good Martial Artist does not oppose force or give way completely. He is pliable as a spring; he is the complement and not the opposition to his opponent’s strength. He has no technique; he makes his opponent’s technique his technique. He has no design; he makes opportunity his design.
One should not respond to circumstance with artificial and “wooden” pre-arrangement. Your action should be like the immediacy of a shadow adapting to its moving object. Your task is simply to complete the other half of the oneness spontaneously.
In combat, spontaneity rules; rote performance of technique perishes.
– Bruce Lee.
In Martial Arts, one does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.
Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation. Jeet Kune-Do is basically a sophisticated fighting style stripped to its essentials.
Art is the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method, the less the opportunity for expression of one’s original sense of freedom. Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation. It is as though when I call you, you answer me, or when I throw you something, you catch it. It’s as simple as that – no fuss, no mess. In other words, when someone grabs you, punch him. To me a lot of this fancy stuff is not functional.
A martial artist who drills exclusively to a set pattern of combat is losing his freedom. He is actually becoming a slave to a choice pattern and feels that the pattern is the real thing. It leads to stagnation because the way of combat is never based on personal choice and fancies, but constantly changes from moment to moment, and the disappointed combatant will soon find out that his ‘choice routine’ lacks pliability. There must be a ‘being’ instead of a ‘doing’ in training. One must be free. Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression.
To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.
In building a statue, a sculptor doesn’t keep adding clay to his subject. Actually, he keeps chiselling away at the inessentials until the truth of its creation is revealed without obstructions. Thus, contrary to other styles, being wise in Jeet Kune-Do doesn’t mean adding more; it means to minimize, in other words to hack away the unessential.
It is not daily increase but daily decrease; hack away the unessential.
– Bruce Lee.