Bruce Ninety X : Daily Excerpts from the Tao of Jeet Kune Do


Day 19

If you want to understand the truth in martial arts, to see any opponent clearly, you must throw away the notion of styles or schools, prejudices, likes and dislikes, and so forth. Then, your mind will cease all conflict and come to rest. In this silence, you will see totally and freshly.


Day 20

If any style teaches you a method of fighting, then you might be able to fight according to the limit of that method, but that is not actually fighting.


Day 21

If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow —you are not understanding yourself.


Day 22

Once conditioned in a partialized method, once isolated in an enclosing pattern, the practitioner faces his opponent through a screen of resistance —he is “performing” his stylized blocks and listening to his own screaming and not seeing what the opponent is really doing.


Day 23

To fit in with an opponent one needs direct perception. There is no direct perception where there is a resistance, a “this is the only way” attitude.


Day 24

Having totality means being capable of following “what is,” because “what is” is constantly moving and constantly changing. If one is anchored to a particular view, one will not be able to follow the swift movement of “what is.”


Day 25

Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. It has no resting place, no form, no organized institution, no philosophy. When you see that, you will understand that this living thing is also what you are. You cannot express and be alive through static, put-together form, through stylized movement.


Day 26

Just as yellow leaves may be gold coins to stop the crying children, thus, the so-called secret moves and contorted postures appease the unknowledgeable martial artists.


Day 27

Acceptance, denial and conviction prevent understanding. Let your mind move together with another’s in understanding with sensitivity. Then, there is a possibility of real communication. To understand one another, there must be a state of choiceless awareness where there is no sense of comparison or condemnation, no waiting for a further development of discussion in order to agree or disagree. Above all, don’t start from a conclusion.


Day 28

Understand the freedom from the conformity of styles. Free yourself by observing closely what you normally practice. Do not condemn or approve; merely observe.


Day 29

When you are uninfluenced, when you die to the conditioning of classical responses, then you will know awareness and see things totally fresh, totally new.


Day 30

Understanding requires not just a moment of perception, but a continuous awareness, a continuous state of inquiry without conclusion.


Day 31

To understand combat, one must approach it in a very simple and direct manner.


Day 32

Understanding comes about through feeling, from moment to moment in the mirror of relationship.


Day 33

To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.


Day 34

To understand the actual requires awareness, an alert and totally free mind.


Day 35

Effort within the mind further limits the mind, because effort implies struggle towards a goal and when you have a goal, a purpose, an end in view, you have placed a limit on the mind.


Day 36

This evening I see something totally new and that newness is experienced by the mind, but tomorrow that experience becomes mechanical if I try to repeat the sensation, the pleasure of it. The description is never real. What is real is seeing the truth instantaneously, because truth has no tomorrow.


Day 37

We shall find the truth when we examine the problem. The problem is never apart from the answer. The problem is the answer —understanding the problem dissolves the problem.


Day 38

Thinking is not freedom —all thought is partial; it can never be total. Thought is the response of memory and memory is always partial, because memory is the result of experience. So, thought is the reaction of a mind conditioned by experience. Know the emptiness and tranquility of your mind. Be empty; have no style or form for the opponent to work on.