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


Day 59

Training is one of the most neglected phases of athletics. Too much time is given to the development of skill and too little to the development of the individual for participation. Training deals not with an object, but with the human spirit and human emotions. It takes intellect and judgment to handle such delicate qualities as these.


Day 60

Training is the psychological and physiological conditioning of an individual preparing for intense neural and muscular reaction. It implies discipline of the mind and power and endurance of the body. It means skill. It is all these things working together in harmony.


Day 61

The outstanding characteristic of the expert athlete is his ease of movement, even during maximal effort. The novice is characterized by his tenseness, wasted motion and excess effort. That rare person, the “natural athlete,” seems to be endowed with the ability to undertake any sport activity, whether he is experienced in it or not, with ease. The ease is his ability to perform with minimal antagonistic tension. It is more present in some athletes than in others, but can be improved by all.


Day 62

The fighter whose movements seem awkward, who never seems to find the proper distance, is always being timed, never “out-guesses” his opponent, and always gives warning of his intentions before they become serious, is suffering chiefly from a lack of coordination. The well-coordinated fighter does everything smoothly and gracefully. He seems to glide in and out of distance with a minimum of effort and a maximum of deception. His timing is usually good because his own movements are so rhythmical they tend to establish complementary rhythm on the part of his opponent, a rhythm he can break to his own advantage because of his perfect control of his own muscles. He seems to out-guess his opponent because he usually takes the initiative and, to a large extent, forces the reactions of his opponent. Above all, he makes his movements with a purpose, rather than with a doubting hope, because he has confidence in himself.


Day 63

To become a champion requires a condition of readiness that causes the individual to approach with pleasure even the most tedious practice session. The more “ready” the person is to respond to a stimulus, the more satisfaction he finds in the response, and the more “unready” he is, the more annoying he finds it to be forced to act.


Day 64

Do not practice finely skilled movements after you are tired, for you will begin to substitute gross motions for finer ones and generalized efforts for specific ones. Remember, wrong movements tend to supervene and the athlete’s progress is set back. Thus, the athlete practices fine skills only while he is fresh. When he becomes fatigued, he shifts to tasks employing gross movements designed principally to develop endurance.


Day 65

Precision of movement means accuracy and generally is used in the sense of exactness in the projection of a force.


Day 66

Precision is made up of controlled body movements. These movements should eventually be executed with a minimum amount of strength and exertion, while still achieving the desired result. Precision can only be attained through a considerable amount of practice and training on the part of both the beginner and the experienced fighter.


Day 67

A powerful athlete is not a strong athlete, but one who can exert his strength quickly. Since power equals force times speed, if the athlete learns to make faster movements he increases his power, even though the contractile pulling strength of his muscles remains unchanged. Thus, a smaller man who can swing faster may hit as hard or as far as the heavier man who swings slowly.


Day 68

Relaxation is a physical state, but it is controlled by the mental state. It is acquired by the conscious effort to control the thought as well as the action pattern. It takes perception, practice and willingness to train the mind into new habits of thinking and the body into new habits of action.


Day 69

Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just a punch, a kick was just a kick. After I’d studied the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick.


Day 70

The elements of attack are all used to carry the attack through strategy, requiring speed, deception, timing and judgment. They are the tools of the master craftsman who blends them into perfect attacks.


Day 71

Because of the many variables, fighting is a careful game. It should be readily understood that each hit must be painstakingly and patiently prepared. Yet, it is generally fatal to start a bout with a set plan. Stay actively aware, but ever flexible.


Bruce took well known Zen and Taoist sayings and philosophies and rewrote them to apply to his martial art. I read his Tao first and studied Zen and Taoism much later before I realized this is what he had done, very cool. It is also an interesting little known fact that the foundation of Jeet Kune Do is an offshoot of American Kenpo tailored by Bruce Lee. No real surprise since Ed Parker through Dan Inosanto was such a huge influence. Nice thread. Since I don’t see any other replies I’m not sure I should put this here. Sorry in advance.


All good brother! Thanks for posting! Bruce was the man in plain sight back in those days. It’s a shame no one knew and even till this day people don’t see what lies beneath his Wing Chun! He was obviously a being who had mastered himself.


Day 72

The intelligent fighter never hesitate to change tactics in order to use the correct strokes to deal with his opponent.


Day 73

Fighters can be placed into two main categories: the “mechanical” fighter and the “intellectual” fighter. It’s easy for the mechanical fighter to give advice because his fighting techniques and tactics are the result of the mechanical repetition of strokes, bred of a lesson which was purely automatic and lacking an intelligent explanation of the why, the how and the when. Their fighting follows a similar pattern in each successive encounter.


Day 74

To attack, you must study the adversary’s weaknesses and strengths and take advantage of the former while avoiding the latter.


Day 75

While attacking, you should look as boldly aggressive as a beast of prey —without becoming reckless —in order to bring pressure at once upon the adversary’s morale. Possess the eye of an eagle, the cunning of a fox, the agility and alertness of a cat with the courage, aggressiveness and fierceness of a panther, the striking power of a cobra and the resistance of a mongoose.


Day 76

The counterattack calls for the greatest skill, the most perfect planning and the most delicate execution of all fighting techniques.