The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

January 16, 2013

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do
Philosophy/Non Fiction
By: Bruce Lee
Reviewed By: Chris Dutcher
Rated 6 out of 5 stars

Bruce Lee has had such an impact on the world that it is hard to find a way that in which he is the loser. Bruce Lee is most famous for his martial arts skills, and his strength. He had stared in many films but, undoubtedly, he is most famous for his film, “Enter the Dragon”. Bruce was a perfectionist and due to that he had many martial arts books and would take notes in them. His wife, Linda Lee Cadwell, after his death, took all of his ideas and methods and put them into one book. Bruce’s philosophy is not an original one when you look at each individual idea but if you look at all of the ideas he is one of the first people to combine all these ideas. Most martial arts would, and still do today, say that you must stick with one style. Bruce instead said “The individual is more important, than any style”. What he means is that it doesn’t matter what style you are as long as you be the best you can do. Another quote that Bruce had said on a TV show, “Martial arts, ultimately means, to honestly express oneself”. Meaning that instead of trying to fit to one style, you should just fit to all styles and whatever feels comfortable.

Bruce wrote down every single technique he could think of, but instead of calling them punches or kicks he called them, “tools”. Bruce wrote what to do in everyday life, for example, Bruce wrote in his book ““Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man, who wins, is the man who thinks he can”. I think that the greatest quote from his book is, “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. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend”. This means that don’t telegraph your moves, don’t be like a robot and move with one move at a time, just flow and honestly express yourself. Bruce also drew his own diagrams in the book for certain grappling moves. Bruce’s writings are not like this paragraph but rather quotes and ideas that have no explanation. One quote that was hard for me to understand is “Nothingness cannot be defined; the softest thing cannot be snapped”. For awhile I did not understand this quote until I learned about Taoism and Buddhism which Bruce followed both religions, and water is considered the softest thing. That quote would another fluidity quote.

I am one of the biggest Bruce Lee fans and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes philosophy and martial arts type stuff. But be warned, if you decide to read this book, you MUST read the book from front cover to back cover. You don’t want to miss a single thing!

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