Tag Archives: fighting

What Makes MMA Gay?

Commentary by Garrett “The MMA Purist” Morris

Something needs to be done in the mma fighting sports, especially UFC, for the sake of being true to real combat.  Real combat is almost always fun to watch.  It seems like ages since we had the original ground and pound – bare-knuckles, head-butts, north-south position knees, and soccer kicks to the head of a downed opponent (the last two are still allowed in Japan).  Even the savvy Jiu-Jitsu submission fighters needed to be privy to these tactics.  And before viewers needed to be spared by the “sprawl and brawl,” it wasn’t absolutely and ridiculously boring to watch two sweaty men rolling around on the mat.  Hey, it wasn’t even gay back then.  It was fighting.

Now we have the ubiquitous “shoot and poop,” “clinch and flinch,” “lay and gay,” or the “score and bore.”  These matches, hardly what one should call a fight, consist of at least one guy who wants to stay out of the danger range of fighting, as he hugs his opponent while maintaining control.  It’s the fight which one guy spends a whole round trying to pass the missionary; you’ve seen it a million times.  Such tactics are best for Greco-roman wrestlers who jockey for position and win fights because the other guy doesn’t want to play fight or doesn’t know how to.  The wrestlers shoot in, score impotent takedowns, and hope to win on those points.  In UFC 69, Heath Herring lost a match and said, “I didn’t come to wrestle, I came to fight.  If you want to say he won, he just won a wrestling match…”  Of course, we lifelong martial arts enthusiasts recognize the great importance, effectiveness, and art of groundfighting—but I will argue against it for the sake of the reader.

Obsessive ground-fighting is simply not realistic or primal anymore.  To enjoy these Score and Bore matches, you have to be one of three:  (1) Biased, as you root for one of the fighters not objectifying the entertainment factor of the bout, (2) A wrestling fan who likes to watch the idiosyncrasies of positioning, or (3) Ignorant to fighting (you might think that a takedown is electrifying or that a hammer fist is powerful).

If someone got excited from some of these takedowns, I think it would be warranted to presume he is not a fighter.  It may look dominant when one sees a player bring someone on the mat.  To an average viewer, maybe it looks as though those little hammer punches are doing real damage in someone’s guard.  These bystanders who cheer dull shoots are the same ones who “ooh” and “ahh” when they see one good jab land in a boxing match.  But if you’ve ever been a fighter, you should be able to distinguish a set-up from a finishing move in which a submission, a knock-out, a slam on occasion, and a pummeling (not the wrestling move) are the ultimate goals.  And these goals are rarely pursued in the Score and Bore.  And pummeling is the best with head-butts and knees to the head.  Hell, Randy Couture may have been greater if the UFC rules hadn’t changed.  Conversely, maybe he wouldn’t even have won anything.  Bas Rutten has even cited that he would not even want to bother fighting without the head-butt tool that assisted in making him successful.  And in the Extreme FC contest Frank Shamrock could have been awarded a beautiful Gracie stomping if he was not disqualified.  Shamrock, along with many bewildered viewers, mistook the signing of the bout as signing to fight.

The point is that violence is what makes fights more real… tactical violence at its best, but violent.  Without violent intentions, there would be no initiative to fight for anything in life – self-defense, revenge, money, land, etc.  And today’s Score and Bore couldn’t hold a candlestick to the real combat Ground and Pound of the early days.

I don’t care to know where the cliché holding a candlestick comes from, but here I would go with the pun in which I think it signifies hot wax, romantic lighting, and a really gay wrestler pretending to want to fight.

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MMA became celebrated among martial arts enthusiasts in the mid 1990’s because it became a platform for us to see and prove what systems worked.  The days of “martially” unearned colored belts began to find its way into where it belonged, pre-adolescents and obsolescence.  Before the head-banging and chest pounding, the majority of the UFC fan-base was a small group of true aficionados.  Now, it has expanded its base to the everyday sport fan, superficial and ignorant as he may be.

Mma fighting has an over-abundance of coddled participants and posturing fans.  There is a fabricated toughness, much like a hybrid of professional wrestling and the NFL, in which the fans assume the celebrity of their idols.  MMA is make believe and role-playing like linebackers painting their faces and screaming impossible intimidations at opponents.  It’s bush league fight sport; even the celebrations in mma are so rehearsed and excited unlike true professionals.  The jubilation of mma fighters when they win is comparable to first time boxing amateurs.  The culture of mma remains an enigma.  Why these fans love to pretend they’re wild and crazy must be linked to the intimacy of the sports’ physical contact and players’ levels of testosterone – hockey and boxing don’t seem to affect fans quite this way.  (It sounds like I am charging mma for its latent homosexuality of the sport, but that is only a coincidence, inherent or not.)

I blame the state of mma on a dilution of violence.  Violence would keep everyone honest, unable to attack the sport’s genuineness.  Now, every pansy with a little nerve thinks he can learn some shoot-fighting.  The fact that many of the mma fighters have shticks probably has something to do with attracting all the non-fighters to participate in the sport.  These people like mma because of its lack of high quality; they, in turn, imagine themselves in there flailing away, and rightfully so.  Rather than under the Marquess of Queensberry rules, mma has little application of science everywhere on the mat except for in the grappling range.  It’s ironic how most of these guys I speak about, many of whom are well-off suburbanites, enter the fight sport without humbly going through the ranks.  Get into a few scraps, lose some, win some, learn to fight standing up (believe it or not, boxing and kick-boxing are even more dangerous sports even by statistics of injuries/deaths), and find the science.  Fight dozens of amateur bouts.  Win a long string of over 20 professional fights.  Then maybe fight for a top 10 ranking – if the skills are worth it.After all, fighters should learn to stand before they can Waltz.

The abundance of outspoken fans, as seen in venues across the country, are ignorant to the sport.  They don’t know the least about the regimens, techniques, and strategies of mma fights.  They are new to the sport, and they don’t read about martial arts.  Most of them have not ever sparred.  And of the many who like to portray themselves being from the school of hard knocks, they most definitely had never fought anybody who was good.  These people don’t know martial arts, and I fear that they will never care to.  Others may take up mma fighting, join the cast of the spoiled frat-brother Ultimate Fighter participants, learn to be a little tough, but the rest of us know that “he may fight, but he’s not real.”  Why hardened people from the inner-city don’t take a liking to mma over boxing is a whole other topic to be addressed.

It becomes apparent that the new rules of the array of mma organizations (the least of all, Pride) are harming martial arts as a whole and limiting its reach.  They are diluting the art of fighting and making it a tattooed lie.  When the average guy who knows what a fight is like witnesses the UFC, he thinks that he can take the punishment and if he cannot, he would just tap like everyone else – he may be wrong about being able to take the punishment but it goes to show that the sport doesn’t represent itself right.  The sport is just not as respectable as it could be.  On the contrary, when you see Anderson Silva or Fedor Emelianenko fight, you respect the idea that this is “tough stuff.”  Unfortunately, they are two of the few exceptions in the world of mma.

People can see what makes MMA gay.

The spectacle that has become of mma has so many superficial aspects that lend to the homoerotic argument against it.  Its whole production is a show irrelevant to the action of the fights.  From the exaggerated expressions of the commentators, UFC’s Bruce Buffer’s sudden head jerk turn when he announces the fighters in his conjured voice-up, pretentious heavy metal theme music, referee and fighter gimmicks, post fight signature moves, to the body image pitch that mma uses to sell – there’s just so much innuendo. Fighters seem to all have “look at me” tattoos and sculpt their bodies so they can flex.  Their shorts are even used for branding.  This pop-main-streaming hurts the sport.  And it makes it unappealing for pure sportsmen.  And just because mma may be inherently gay, it absolutely does not mean that all the participants are gay.  It simply has more of the gay appeal than necessary.  Dana White, among others, is using it to prostitute the sport.

This whole look and culture of mma detracts talent from the fighter pool.  They already have fewer people competing for the passion to fight than for the glamour and glitz that is promised.  Some really soft suburban kids are already saturating the sport as their decisions to pursue Hollywood fame get nixed by the flip of the coin.  And the cream doesn’t always rise to the top.  Good talent gets turned off like good fans do.  Real fighters don’t fight for the fame; they fight to test themselves and win.

Let’s explore the slippery-slope of mma intimacy.  Imagine for a moment that a new mma move created by a top fighter used the immobilization of the head from the north-south position.  This “facial mount” incorporated the use of putting the groin over the face of a supine opponent.  In that position, the fighter found that thrusting his groin/cup into the jaw of his opponent distracts him and makes him expose his arm, so he is put into an arm bar.  What if fighters start putting their mouths over their opponents’ faces to take their air and suffocate them.  At what point would mma people recognize that there are gay aspects of mma?  An openly gay person in the guard wrapping his legs around an opponent – is that gay?  What does mma being gay mean?

Any expert behavioralist will acknowledge the sexual imagery in mma as another healthy outlet for males, gay or hetero, to express their sexual needs.  There is an eroticism that is accepted in mma, reflective of the psyche of fans and practitioners.  And for all mma’s chest puffing and macho exploits, the sport may be exhibiting what boxing people hate about most sports: denial.  It is the root of everything fake, from unnecessary tradition (redundant) to hiding in a closet.  The sport’s denial is why people charge it and fault it for being gay.  If it stopped selling a lie, the rumbles wouldn’t matter.

Besides the arguably inherently intimate mma ground-fighting, is the culture hoarding a bunch of “wish-I-were” tough guy, arm-chair jockey, chest-bumping, ass patting dorks who suddenly think they are world-beaters?  Perhaps it’s true that these followers are being bred everyday at a gym near you.  Some people argue that mma is cashing in on this idol worship dynamic.  The notion that many of the fans now involved in the sport are wanna-bees whose lives are encompassed by their heroes – whether it’s Royce Gracie this, Chuck Liddell that, my sensei this, my sensei that – is becoming more and more ubiquitous in mma.

When I was a kid, I pondered whether Wolverine of the X-men would beat other superheroes like Batman, so I can relate to the mma God-worship of their heroes.  When I wore a Wolverine costume one Halloween, I imagined borrowing his adamantine skeleton.  Go into any martial art school, and for some seemingly inexplicable reason, you have a few fully grown adult groupies who listen and believe everything their teacher says.  Beyond that, they idolize their teachers.  Those are the people who start believing that their instructor could beat everyone and will pass the power down to them.  The culture of mma is spreading this masturbation of the ego to the masses.

MMA is becoming more like the XFL or the WWE.  The mma fan goes beyond the appreciation of a fighter’s technique.  A fighter’s haircut, t-shirts, catch-phrases, and other gimmicks are bought by most of these fans.  When an mma fighter wins before the distance, he runs around, jumps, and acts like a maniac who can’t believe what had happened.  What boxer conducts himself after a fight like he really got lucky?  Even Roy Jones never seemed to have had rehearsed his post fight antics – even his annoying moves at least were authentic.

Ultimately, many of the mma fans join gyms and care more about their idols than the art of fighting.  “MMA is less like thoroughbred horse-racing, on its surface, than all fighting sports should be,” one boxing fan mentioned at UFC 71.  “The genuineness is being tapped out by the marketing and the half-ass fighters,” he said, “so they should use Fedor as a prototype.  Skip the enzone celebrations.”  The man made a good point as to site how the gimmicks of the athletes surpass their substance, yet those fighters still manage to make money.  There are just too many bad fighters.  Ignorant fans and irresponsible owners may be to blame.

The sport needs to recognize that toughness cannot be feigned in the long run and, though all the fighters might actually be tough, it takes away from “tough” when they walk around pretending to be.

When you sell a farce, you sell out – in more ways than one.  And the loser ends up being the “quality” of the sport.

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I offer the surface of solutions to the MMA bore:

1.  Referee discretion.  Incorporating a time-limit on the mat works in most occasions, but, in fairness to action ground fighting, this can be hurtful to the sport, especially for certain fighters.  Moreover, it may give weaker fighters the time to Score and Bore while they lay in safety.  In such a situation, the referee would be given the liberty to stand-up the players almost immediately.  Referees would be trained to assess the inaction of a fight in order to make instant decisions to bring the fight to the feet.

2.  Purse deductions or fines.  If a fighter[s] is not exhibiting intent to finish a fight or engage, standing or grounded, an outside official or the referee would be able to halt the action giving one of several flags that indicate purse deductions or fine amounts.  Recognize, however, that it takes two fighters to make action.

3.  If possible, reinstate the north-south knees, downward elbows, and head-butts.  Knee cushions and elbow cushions may be considered.  Because without any of the three weapons, an mma fight hardly resembles real fighting anymore.

The Problem With Bruce Lee’s JKD – Afterword

Faith Based Training

JKD has adopted the deficiencies of traditional martial arts (TMA): faith based martial arts training, as I call it. Without questioning all facets of martial arts through the process of simulation training and mere skepticism, all TMA falls short of reality. And JKD is a peripheral victim. The fact is that martial arts training involves pain and frustration and randomness, and it’s not for everyone. It is not glorious at all in all the suffering that goes with it, yet it is a passion like anything else. Even disciplines that are proven through sports must be proven to each successive practitioner. For example, no matter how convinced we are that an arm-bar works, we cannot even trust a Royce Gracie without trying it for ourselves. We cannot know viscerally—not just theoretically—how to do it to an opponent until we actually do it.

Faith based training is what has become of martial arts. Coaches don’t tell why and students don’t ask why. Their training itself doesn’t answer why. Even mma gyms seem to have allowance for quasi-practitioners who just go to classes, do partial-contact drills, but don’t do the free sparring with minimal protection. Minimal protection is important, because you must be free to release genuine force and also process the pain. JKD men often put full gear on (shin protectors, head-gear with mask, and even stomach protectors); this allows fighters to release force upon one another, but it does not allow fighters to process the pain and react to it. Conversely, “gear-less sparring” generally does not allow fighters to release real force on one another, and then there’s nothing to process. No pain, it’s like play-fighting.

The adoption of instructor titles and monikers is another indirect perpetuation of faith based training. It causes students to become followers who don’t question. It’s like religion of martial arts. A coach’s ability to communicate a way of thinking about fighting is better than any coach brainwashing. Anything that lends to brainwashing—as in “believe this because I’m saying so, trust me”—should be extinguished from martial arts. Such things like Sifus and masters and Professors have zero effect on improving martial arts. In the army they break you down to nothing, and on so many levels they brainwash you. Martial arts is not like the military in which you are taught to sacrifice yourself completely to your military’s cause. In martial arts, you sacrifice completely to and for yourself. A hierarchy on almost every level of martial arts stunts the only thing that matters: fighting ability. And respect, in combat arts, is inherent, if not earned on an individual basis. The point is that everyone is equal in martial arts and should question every skill, as fighting is a never ending evolutionary process among the vast array of disciplines.

In JKD, their three main aspects—efficiency, directness, and simplicity—is misleading. It seems inherently correct, but once you put it as a numbered aspect of a way (be it ‘of no way’ or whatever), you make it a “rule.” I would rather sacrifice efficiency, directness, and simplicity for something that simply works for me. Plus the 3 aspects are subjective. It can be argued that boxing is the least simple of martial arts, as it may be the most rigorously strategic. I question, for example, the effectiveness of trapping ala Wing Chun. JKD men all over the world are convinced that this stuff works. It seems efficient, direct, and simple enough, but how do we know? No one has ever used it in full contact combat with any bit of exclusivity. There is no known use of it in combat, period. Paul Vunak, a JKD man who was known for his excellent trapping skills, had plenty of instructional videos exhibiting the trapping range in what I call “contractual sparring.” By that, I speak of sparring in which one guy is limited from using at least one technique that his opponent is not limited from using, or one man’s goal is different from the other man’s goal. Something like this is really just a drill. The truth is that a fighter cannot trust any technique for himself because somebody says it works. A fighter cannot even trust a technique for himself even if he has seen it in action; he must practice it himself and ask the questions in every way he can. Mainly, “how and why would this work for me?” So how can the masses trust a technique they have never seen in use and have never tried themselves? And I don’t know about some of those Brazilian Jujitsu moves either; they don’t seem too simple, direct, or even efficient, but they sure as hell worked for other people. They just don’t seem as cockamamie as, let’s say, Ninjutsu. But hey, maybe that deserves some inquiries of its own.

Only an individual can answer what is best for him in combat, but he should be honest and realistic. If a technique works, is it the best move for a fight? Is there a set-up, follow-up, and counter? Is it a one time move like a Superman punch (meaning you can’t do it over and over because you give the move away)? What does it “working” mean? What if it worked 75% of the time before, but it’s completely failing this time? Do you have the proper tools to solve the problem? What if your technique doesn’t offset another fighter even one-bit? What if the move does the intended physical damage, but the guy keeps coming? Then what?

Question everything…Even what you are reading right now…1…2……3. You are cured.

I thought religion was “the opiate of the masses.”

The Problem with Bruce Lee’s JKD

Jeet Kune Do—a Humble View, Inside Looking… Inside?

From a basic philosophical perspective of education and information, I have always believed in questioning, testing, and testing some more. Now, as an experienced coach, I impel everyone to question what I say and test it. Bruce Lee was my earliest martial arts idol. He had moves with an aesthetic outdoing my sensei and smoother than other karate or kung fu men on Saturday mornings. Bruce Lee almost singlehandedly inspired me to learn boxing and supplement my experience with various styles of martial arts. I have grown to learn how Bruce Lee lent martial arts, on a grand scale, so many invaluable concepts that have helped the evolution of fighting.

My query on JKD is about what it inspires besides boxers to learn different defenses or Greco-Roman grapplers to learn Thai kicks or any other melding of styles. Does it cause a delusion of the artist? Is there a hero-worship that transcends the simple purpose of JKD? When has Bruce Lee ever proved that he existed as an “ultimate,” be-all and end-all of fighters? Hypothetically speaking, if Bruce Lee wanted to be worshipped or even if he wanted his disciples to blindly follow him through the wrong path, should they? Does one grievous Bruce Lee mistake mean uncorrectable, perpetual doom for its new practitioners? Was Bruce Lee’s death the most regressive thing for JKD, causing people to deify him rather than improve upon the gift he gave all of martial arts?

After reading – for the third time in the last 15 years – the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, I was again convinced that Lee was a genius, a legend before his time, indeed. He theoretically understood combat like Cus D’Amato understood boxing combat. He carefully detailed almost everything he had believed, his truths about the art of fighting. Of course, so many of his moves correspond with what we, in today’s fighting world, consider practical.

I notice too many JKD men, however, making the primary faux pas of not questioning. Bruce Lee did Wing Chun Gung-Fu, some western boxing, and Muay Thai, so JKD men believe they should do exactly those. Dan Inosanto, the top JKD man under Lee, incorporated Filipino martial arts, so the flock followed suit. It seems that every JKD man makes this his “way.” JKD guys even go to the extent to say, “ ‘We’ do martial arts [this] way, as opposed to [that] way.” With wide scale questioning – real, genuine inquiry and skepticism – individuals grow and come to find truths that can be so specific to each of the persons. And questioning could only strengthen the concept of JKD.

Bruce Lee regrets naming JKD, so why don’t JKD men absorb this idea: Giving it a concrete property, even in a name, takes away from its proposed water-like property. Being “like water, my friend” becomes mere rhetoric. If one JKD man speculates about his art, he will find answers and for all intents and purposes, he will test it. The JKD school half-testing techniques with assortments of drills only lends to a myth of JKD. When I was 16, JKD was my passion, and I practiced it everyday in my brother’s backyard sessions. But we were bamboozled in many ways; we wore too much gear and we choreograph-role-played too much. We pondered over the straight blast to how to properly perform a stop-kick. Some argued that a straight blast should be softer and made to stun the opponent. Others in our group wanted to swing harder and freer. Some guys wanted to cock the stop-kick for more force. Others wanted to just stop the opponent’s forward movement. We would copy the reference point square-off from Enter the Dragon and Pak Sao to one backfist. We were brainwashed to think one measly backfist predicted a fight’s outcome. Sometimes we would train a sequence of moves and finish it with the first damn strike. The moves lend the subconscious notion that one strike was the science to win a fight. JKD books even illustrate moves to set up these quasi-jabs or backfists. Where was the science of exchanges and reactions to the impact of power punches, set-ups, and boxing traps? Where was the pain factor? We all were so infatuated with finding one truth that we disregarded each other’s truths. We disregarded the whole idea of JKD; if we follow it, we miss it. It was just a concept and we ran with it to the point of killing it. The training was all-in-all worthwhile to a certain extent, but for all the hits we took and time wasted, we didn’t truly test the techniques with the ONLY thing that works, free fighting.

“Formlessness”… “No style as style”… “No way as way”…”Simple movements”… “Non-classical.” It sounds like some high-handed mumbo-jumbo, especially when Lee said what he does is a style. “There is no mystery to my style.” Well of course it is, it’s not a spirit or energy; it is as tangible as words on paper. Hence, it is “style.” JKD men seem to take some of Lee’s philosophies too literally except for the part of JKD that implores people not to follow it. It reminds me of Eddie Murphy in Coming to America when his bride will do anything he wishes except for when he wishes that she would do the opposite of what he wishes. JKD men think they can take whatever they want and throw out anything they don’t want from martial arts. That is naïve, even ignorant. I’ve met JKD men who think they can box for 3 months, do Muay Thai for 4, and play with Escrima sticks before bed without any true sacrifice and commitment to any single art and think they are efficient JKD practitioners. They wrongly assume they can borrow tidbits from arts without thoroughly consuming themselves in one art for many years. This is the current problem with MMA – they have “jack-asses of all trades, masters of jack-asses.” It pains me to watch some JKD men who fancy themselves as martial artists who know boxing. Much of the time, they have dumpy footwork but they could do the little butterfly shuffle from Return of the Dragon. They could snap a backfist, but do they understand a semblance of the science of boxing – an art that has been tested over and over again and continually evolves? How about the popular Brazilian Jujitsu? I challenge anyone to find a JKD school that exhibits proper technique in the fundamentals of boxing or Muay Thai, in which a seasoned western boxer or Thai boxer can witness a JKD school coaching and not say facetiously, “You gotta be kidding me…” JKD is almost irrevocably watered down martial arts with an assortment of flawed fundamentals. Too many of these guys pass as hacks deluded by blind dedication to an antiquated JKD. But, perhaps, the best JKD men (perhaps Eric Paulson and Burton Richardson, I wonder) have moved on and do not affiliate themselves with the eternalized cult that has become of JKD today.

There is a spiritual characteristic to JKD causing us to romanticize it. JKD practitioners sometimes delude themselves with a competitive nature that seems to rank “who is most like Bruce Lee.” There is no solid fight footage, so the myth is exacerbated by the movie fight scenes that we like to imagine were reenactments of real Bruce Lee fights. JKD men cling to every recorded word like the Branch Dravidians did to David Koresh. A JKD man may dispute the David Koresh example, saying, “more like Jesus.” Haha, it’s what I’m saying exactly. But is JKD “so lethal that we can’t practice it like sport?” That is such an easy cop out of a claim, but kicking groins, biting limbs, and the death touch are not the only things I ask to be tested. The one-to-three inch punch, for one, I’d like to be examined. Anyone with a boxer’s jab can pretty much answer the one-incher claim with a sarcastic “Big f-ing deal.” It is simply a display of moving one’s hips and generating short power. Still, when I first slow-motioned Bruce Lee doing it one of the many times, I felt embarrassed for him after noticing… Lee actually pulled back about 3 or 4 inches. See for yourself. Many probably won’t, because it’s so much cooler to believe the hype. Still, I would have been more impressed if he exhibited a top boxer’s power or speed in a full punch, rather than what seemed like super power in showbiz thaumaturgy. If he could hit as hard as a top boxer from 1 inch away, how would he fare from a full punch’s distance? Lee criticized katas, but held his own exhibitions of indulgence. He even broke boards though he was known to say, “The board doesn’t hit back.”

It is my humble opinion that JKD should be, as it was meant to be, a vehicle “to be discarded.” JKD guys, as they proudly seem to call themselves, “just don’t get it.” They mimic “stylelessness” and cling to every contradiction. I wonder, is Floyd Mayweather more JKD man than Sifu is? Was Cus D’Amato a teacher of an unwritten JKD?

I am not questioning JKD ad hominem. Contrarily, I am supporting what JKD stands for despite the historical myth of Bruce Lee. I believe Bruce Lee to have been the greatest martial artist to have ever been known. But I doubt that he was as good of a fighter. I look at Bruce Lee as being akin to a Malcolm X; he always meant well, but made a mistake, then he tried to rescind on that mistake, unsuccessfully. Many people of this ‘occult’ still believe the mistake, and no one can ever take it back. They believe they should dance like Bruce Lee and that they all, seemingly without exception, should put their strong side first. But Lee was explicit in letting everyone know that his way would not necessarily be anyone else’s way.

Why couldn’t he just have named it MMA? Instead, he accommodated each worshipper to hop on one leg and bark like a dog?

 

 

“I have not invented a “new style,” composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from “this” method or “that” method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see “ourselves”. . . Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don’t, and that is that. There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one’s feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one’s back.”
– Bruce Lee