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Jeet Kune Do

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Jeet Kune Do (截拳道; "Way of the Intercepting Fist"), often abbreviated as JKD, is an hybrid martial art system and philosophy of life founded by the martial artist Bruce Lee. He often referred it as "the art of expressing the human body" in his writings and in interviews. Through his studies Lee came to believe that styles had become too rigid and unrealistic, that real combat was spontaneous, and that a martial artist cannot predict it, only react to it. Lee stated that his martial concept does not add more and more things on top of each other to form a system, but rather selects the best thereof. The metaphor Lee borrowed from Chan Buddhism was of constantly filling a cup with water, and then emptying it, used for describing Lee's philosophy of "casting off what is unessential". The final result was what he considered to be the bare combat essentials: Jeet Kune Do.


Every situation, in fighting or in everyday life, is varied. To obtain victory, therefore, it is essential not to be rigid, but to be fluid and able to adapt to any situation. Lee compared it to being like water: "Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. That water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend". Lee’s theory behind this was that one must be able to function in any scenario one is thrown into and should react accordingly: one should know when to speed up or slow down, when to expand and when to contract, and when to remain flowing and when to crash. It is the awareness that both life and fighting can be shapeless and ever changing that allows one to be able to adapt to those changes instantaneously and bring forth the appropriate solution.

Jeet Kune Do teaches that the best defense is a strong offense, hence the principle of an "intercepting fist". For someone to attack another hand-to-hand, the attacker must approach the target. This provides an opportunity for the attacked person to "intercept" the attacking movement. "To reach me, you must move to me. Your attack offers me an opportunity to intercept you": this means intercepting an opponent's attack with an attack of one's own instead of simply blocking it. When confronting an incoming attack, the attack is parried or deflected, and a counterattack is delivered at the same time. This is more effective than blocking and counterattacking in sequence.

Jeet Kune Do seeks to waste no time or movement, teaching that the simplest things work best. Economy of motion is the principle by which Jeet Kune Do practitioners achieve: efficiency (an attack which reaches its target in the least amount of time, with maximum force), directness (doing what comes naturally in a disciplined way), and simplicity (thinking in an uncomplicated manner, without ornamentation). This is meant to help a practitioner conserve both energy and time, two crucial components in a physical confrontation.

In the Tekken series

It is highly speculated that Marshall Law and Forest Law are Jeet Kune Do practitioners. Their physical appearances, outfits and movesets are heavily inspired by Bruce Lee. In fact, Marshall and Forest's movements and overall fighting style are almost identical to Lee's. Leading to the commonly accepted assumption that their fighting style is Jeet Kune Do. Strangely, this was never stated directly by Namco or any other official source, and their fighting style is simply listed as "Martial Arts".

Lee Chaolan is also a possible Jeet Kune Do practitioner. In earlier games, his fighting style was listed as a mixture of Mishima Style Fighting Karate and his own style of "Martial Arts", but his actual moveset was an almost exact replica of Marshall's. Furthermore, he was said to have trained with him prior to the events of the first game, reinforcing the theory that his personal fighting style may actually be based on Jeet Kune Do. In later games his fighting style, now simply listed as "Martial Arts" (just like Marshall's and Forest's), differentiated more and more into a personal style, still retaining the basic characteristics of Jeet Kune Do.

Finally, another character likely to be a Jeet Kune Do practitioner, at least in part, is Paul Phoenix. Being a long-time training partner with both Marshall and his son, he probably included some of Marshall's moves and teachings in his own hybrid style (or, at least, he tries to [1]).


  • Combot - Tekken 4 only; through mimicry.



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