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


Day 39

Concentration is a form of exclusion and where there is exclusion, there is a thinker who excludes. It is the thinker, the excluder, the one who concentrates, who creates contradiction because he forms a center from which there is distraction.


Day 40

When, in a split second, your life is threatened, do you say, “Let me make sure my hand is on my hip, and my style is ‘the’ style”? When your life is in danger, do you argue about the method you will adhere to while saving yourself? Why the duality?


Day 41

A so-called martial artist is the result of three thousand years of propaganda and conditioning.


Day 42

The “moment” has not yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought and, therefore, has not time.


Day 43

Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationships to man. He then becomes a slave to the pattern and takes the pattern to be the real thing.


Day 44

Agreeing to certain patterns of movement to secure the participants within the governed rules might be good for sports like boxing or basketball, but the success of Jeet Kune Do lies in its freedom, both to use technique and to dispense with it.


Day 45

The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a result, his action and, more importantly, his thinking become mechanical. His responses become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited.


Day 46

I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves.


Day 47

It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, which design of branches or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.


Day 48

Please do not be concerned with soft versus firm, kicking versus striking, grappling versus hitting and kicking, long-range fighting versus in-fighting. There is no such thing as “this” is better than “that.” Should there be one thing we must guard against, let it be partiality that robs us of our pristine wholeness and makes us lose unity in the midst of duality.


Day 49

In combative arts, it has been the problem of ripening. This ripening is the progressive integration of the individual with his being, his essence. This is possible only through self-exploration in free expression, and not in imitative repetition of an imposed pattern of movement.


Day 50

There are styles that favor straight lines, then there are styles that favor curved lines and circles. Styles that cling to one partial aspect of combat are in bondage. Jeet Kune Do is a technique for acquiring liberty; it is a work of enlightenment. Art is never decoration or embellishment. A choice method, however exacting, fixes its practitioners in a pattern. Combat is never fixed and is changing from moment to moment. Working in patterns is basically a practice of resistance. Such practice leads to clogginess; understanding is not possible and its adherents are never free.


Day 51

The way of combat is not based on personal choice and fancies. Truth in the way of combat is perceived from moment to moment and only when there is awareness without condemnation, justification or any form of identification.


Day 52

The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. Half-way cultivation runs to ornamentation.


Day 53

You cannot see a street fight in its totality, observing it from the viewpoint of a boxer, a kung-fu man, a karateka, a wrestler, a judo man and so forth. You can see clearly only when style does not interfere. You then see it without “like” or “dislike;” you simply see and what you see is the whole and not the partial.


Day 54

There is “what is” only when there is no comparing and to live with “what is” is to be peaceful. Fighting is not something dictated by your conditioning as a kung-fu man, a karate man, a judo man or what not. And seeking the opposite of a system is to enter another conditioning.


Day 55

A Jeet Kune Do man faces reality and not crystallization of form. The tool is a tool of formless form.


Day 56

No abode means that the ultimate source of all things is beyond human understanding, beyond the categories of time and space. As it thus transcends all modes of relativity, it is called “having no abode” and its qualities are applicable.


Day 57

The fighter who has no abode is no more himself. He moves as a kind of automaton. He has given himself up to an influence outside his everyday consciousness, which is not other than his own deeply buried unconscious, whose presence he was never hitherto aware of.


Day 58

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.