Mar 2009 06

One of the most common quotes that is helpful in explaining some of the principles embodied in Jeet Kune Do is “using no way as way.” Bruce emphasised the importance of emptying one’s mind of preconceived notions. He related this to any sphere of activity, not simply to the performance of a martial and was referring to the centuries of tradition and conditioning that can hinder an individuals’ progress along the path towards self-knowledge.

“Most martial arts instructors are so doggone stubborn, you know? I mean their attitude is ‘well, two hundred years ago it was taught like this, therefore it should continue to be taught like this.’ To maintain that type of attitude – I mean you’ve had it…You will never grow, because learning is a discovering thing. It’s a constant process of discovery.

Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. Now you put water into a cup it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

The Yin-Yang principles that Bruce incorporated into Jeet Kune Do from Taosism fundamentally underpinned the whole philosophy of Bruce Lee. They reflected his understanding of the world and set Bruce apart from the other philosophers or martial artists; the cultivation of the mind, body and spirit along the path to self knowledge.

Perhaps another quote from the man himself will shed some light on these principles. According to Bruce, “Gung fu is practiced not only for health and self-protection but for cultivation of the mind as well. Gung fu was used by Taoist priests and Chinese monks as a philosophy, or a way of thinking, in which the ideals of giving with adversity, to bend slightly and then spring up stronger than before, are practiced. The qualities of patience and profiting form one’s mistakes are a part of the discipline of gung fu.”

1 Comment

  1. […] at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think…” Bruce Lee was definitely onto something. No Comments, Comment or […]

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