Bruce Lee’s Deadly Strikes and Self Defense on the Street

Bruce Lee’s Deadly Strikes and Self Defense on the Street

Stop a Rapist, Trash a Street Thug, Eliminate a Home Invader

Taught to Navy SEALS, CIA… Even Chuck Norris

The Navy SEALs and CIA both are trained in brutal, effective, simple martial arts strikes — many of these moves tracing their origins back to Bruce Lee.

Bruce also instructed several World Karate Champions including Chuck Norris, training which helped catapult Chuck Norris to Hollywood fame with movies like Missing in Action, Delta Force, and television shows like Walker, Texas Ranger, and the list goes on.

5’5″, 125 pounds … and unstoppable

In the next few minutes of reading, you’ll learn how Bruce Lee showed the world how a little guy who stood only 5 foot, 5 inches tall and weighed a whopping 125 pounds could put a beating on bigger, stronger combatants. Ladies, are you paying attention? CEOs in your business suits and potential targets of a robbery, would you like to know how to defend yourself from a kidnapping, torture, and serious beating by the mob?

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Jeet Kune Do … “Way of the Intercepting Fist”

Bruce Lee invented “Jeet Kune Do,” a revolutionary style of fighting that really isn’t a style at all, but a philosophy. It pulled effective and sometimes deadly moves from multiple styles of Western and Eastern fighting styles and taught practitioners how to read every moment (using “ranges”) so you always knew what to unleash on a threat or combatant at that specific moment measured in split-seconds.

By the end of this article, get ready to learn a few brutal moves that can save your life in a self defense conflict, when your life is on the line, or even save the life of close family, friends or strangers.

Heroes aren’t born. Heroes are made. It just takes practice.

Stop a Rapist, Trash a Street Thug, Eliminate a Home Invader

Bruce Lee’s Deadly Strikes and Self Defense on the Street

Who would have thought that a bunch of martial arts movies from decades ago would contain the person who created a fighting system that years later would be used by the Navy SEALs and the CIA… and over 100 other top law enforcement agencies?

Besides all of the flashy moves and spinning-flipping kicks preferred by Hollywood for the screen (moves you don’t need in real-life self defense), Bruce Lee created a fighting system that scientifically took the best of over two dozen combative arts and showed the world the first all inclusive mixed martial arts years before the first UFC.

In other words, Bruce Lee was the first one to “mix” it up, in many ways fitting it all together in near-perfection. He was small. He wasn’t a hero. But he became one.

Bruce Lee invents “Jeet Kune Do”

When one talks about martial art legends, there may not be any dispute when it comes to the individual called Bruce Lee. Decades ago he was a film star for the baby boomer generation, while still today he graces the t-shirts worn by third graders. His mystical life was cut short in 1973, while his philosophy called Jeet Kune Do (JKD) still mystifies practitioners in search of his combat secrets.

Although JKD was held to closed-door sessions for many years, Bruce’s magic still lives on through his fans across the globe. How can one man, with such a short life, still impact so many people today - both inside and outside the martial arts world? First, let us take a look at the three decades he lived, what he changed, and what role he plays today in martial arts and self defense.

Self defense means cleaning house — putting down attackers fast

This is exactly why even just learning a couple of the basics of Jeet Kune Do will prepare you to “clean house” in a variety of street fights, random attacks and violent scenarios.

What I teach in my classes and through my DVD programs, is that JKD is extremely adaptable, which is why it can give anyone the “fewest answers” to the most amount of dangerous situations when you need to strike fast and escape to survive. With Jeet Kune Do (and Krav Maga) to various police and military, I know what I’m talking about.

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JKD is extremely adaptable

What I teach in my classes and through my DVD programs, is that JKD is extremely adaptable, which is why it can give anyone the “fewest answers” to the most amount of dangerous situations when you need to strike fast and escape to survive. Therefore, let’s dive into a little of Bruce Lee’s life to find out the sources and foundation of his world changing theory, and then conclude by giving some functional tools you can use.

Bruce Lee’s beginnings

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco in 1940 - ironically the year of the Dragon. His father was a star of the Chinese Opera, which probably impacted his early film spots in overseas film hits such as The Orphan and Chinese Blackboard Jungle. Highly dedicated to whatever he put his mind to, Bruce found a mentor in a teacher named Yip Man, who opened the doors to the world of martial arts.

A combination of East meets West

Bruce combined the philosophies of both the Eastern and Western world, which showed through in his combative training. For example, he trained both in the traditional art of Wing Chun, while also competing in school boxing tournaments. Bruce topped off his physical activity by also becoming a dance champion, which only further developed his world-renowned coordination, balance, and speed.

There was no definite point when Lee created his “art” JKD, but it is obvious that his eclectic experiences, (at the time) the country’s rebel tendencies, and the overly structured martial arts world, all added fuel to the fire. This fire continued to spread through his acting career as he starred as the side kick “Kato” in the Green Hornet. Later on, he would continue to star in other films as the Big Boss and Enter the Dragon. Both of these movies played huge parts in catapulting Lee in the stratosphere of Asian and American popularity.

His combat abilities made him a natural for Hollywood

However, there was still an aspect of Lee’s life that pushed him to test not only his limits, but martial arts practitioners all over the world. Bruce’s busy lifestyle did not take away from his training as he continued to experiment and discover new truths in martial arts. He was dedicated in finding the one art that was the “truth”, as he called it.

The ironic fact is that his frustration in finding this one art, set the foundation of Jeet Kune Do. After experimenting with dozens upon dozens of arts, and realizing that each had their own set of limitations - Lee made a discovery. The answer to his quest for the “truth” came not in one art, but a philosophy of freedom. Lee realized that one art may be the solution for one moment in combat, but useless in another. Therefore, he started to use techniques and training methods from different styles all in the same sparring session. Decades later this line of thought would become a necessity in tournaments like the Ultimate Fighting Championships.

Soon, Bruce and his protege Dan Inosanto were using Praying Mantis one moment, then switching to a Savate kick, then to Western Boxing, and ending up with a choke on the ground. Every movement was dictated by what was needed by the moment. The Jeet Kune Do “structureless structure” was able to account for many ranges including kicking, boxing, trapping (close quarters), and grappling. Inosanto expanded Lee’s knowledge on weapons, by introducing the Filipino Arts.

Lee even used these arts in the movie, Game of Death - where Inosanto made a cameo. Lee’s formula became a battle cry in training, as most JKD practitioners committed the phrases “Absorb what is useful and reject what was useless…” and “No way as way…” to memory.

Mission: Trapping Range

One of Lee’s most interesting discoveries, that is not widely known, is the aspect of “Trapping range”. Although Bruce was known to be able to adapt from range to range, he found that there was a particular range extremely effective for combat. Trapping range, as he called it, is simply close quarters. It is the range between grappling and boxing.

Lee found that in this range size, weight, height, and even skill did not hold as much water. For instance, in Trapping range one could use more effective tools as elbows, knees, and head butts. Even a smaller person can use these tools to take a larger opponent out of commission easily.

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Bruce showed that little people can put a beating on bigger people

Bruce knew this personally; he was only 5’5″, 125 pounds. Trapping range was also easy to learn. Compare teaching the mechanics of a head butt, to the extensive mechanics of a spinning roundhouse kick or triangle submission hold. These tools were also more efficient. Clock how long it takes to throw a knee, compared to putting someone into a “heel hook” submission!

In other words, stepping into trapping range and using a swift, brutal strike can end a conflict faster than a spinning kick or choke on the ground — both which can take several months of training since both moves can require strength and technique, especially a heel hook.

Not many people knew about trapping range

This Trapping range discovery was also an ignorant subject to most of the martial arts world. Besides a couple arts only scratching the surface of it’s effectiveness, this range was not used by a whole lot of martial artists at the time.

Because of the lack of certified instruction in America of JKD today, Trapping range is still not widely known - therefore those who know it have a huge advantage. Surprisingly enough, today’s favor of the month “Reality Combat Programs” are now adopting this close range, as a great range to train and defend themselves in.

However, if it is that effective, why did Lee not show this range off in his movies? It all came down to what looks good for the screen. Bruce adapted to everything, including the movie set.

Although Lee, and later on his son Brandon, both used Trapping range in their fight choreography, its quick “non-flashy” applications don’t usually demand attention on screen. This is true even today, especially compared to multiple unrealistic kicks Van Damme popularized in the 90’s, and the movie the Matrix showed off a couple years ago.

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Yesterday’s Ideas - Today’s Impact

To this day there is no other street fighting art as complete as Bruce Lee’s JKD. That last sentence may be the most controversial statement so far, however there is a perfect modern day example to support Bruce’s ideas showing up today. How many opponents in the first couple UFC’s lost because they were limited in their ground fighting knowledge?

Then, up until the last few years it was thought that ground fighting arts were the answer - as many of these schools popped up all over the US. In the last few “no rules” tournaments “ground only” opponents started to lose, because ground fighting is not the only answer.

Now it is assumed that “no rules” fighters know the stand-up and ground game… those who don’t learn painfully. As a result, much of the martial arts world now believes that “Hybrid Arts” (a system which combines two or more arts) is the answer to combat. Bruce’s findings still hold true, because “just mixing” arts will still have its limitations. There is no freedom by just mixing. JKD is a process not a product.

Today’s competitions prove Lee’s point once again… but will people ever see the difference? Only if the UFC brings weapons into the ring or allows mass attacks, will the Hybrid practitioners realize that self-defense is not found in one, two, or even five arts. It is found in that “structureless structure” - not the ring.

Yes, Hybrid arts are effective in the ring, but they are still limited in the street. Therefore, Lee’s JKD stays where it was meant to be, the street. Elite agencies are now starting to adopt JKD.

Navy SEALs contracted a JKD instructor

For instance, the Navy SEALs contracted out JKD Instructor Sifu Paul Vunak (student under Guru Dan Inosanto) to teach them the realistic self-defense system. Currently, JKD is popping up in the CIA’s and major police curriculums, as well. They simply realize that any altercation with a bad guy will have no referee - and really “No Rules”. Therefore, Bruce still continues to impact new students even though he has been gone for over 25 years.

It seemed that Bruce Lee did it all. He made movies that captivated audiences, trained and taught with such varied talent as Chuck Norris to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, while turning the martial arts world upside down.

JKD is “known for its street effectiveness”

His JKD continues to evolve, as it was once stated in a popular magazine that JKD is definitely “known for its street effectiveness.”

How You Can Use JKD to Defend Yourself

Defending Against the 3 Most Common Attacks

One of the main ways Bruce Lee simplified self-defense was to break attacks down to “a common denominator.” This was learning how to defend against that “first” or “main” movement of an attack. Once you can identify that, you can follow up with a simple self-defense move to immediately stop the attack and then either follow up by escaping or launching your own attack of close quarter moves.

As an example, there are 3 main types of attacks: A punch, grab/push and takedown. By simplifying these we can use a “JKD” move taken from a myriad of arts, and incorporate into an easy response.

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1. Intercept Thug’s Punch, Simultaneously Throwing a Brutal Strike

For instance if someone throws the common “haymaker” punch, which is nothing more than a wide hook (and thrown by a lot of street thugs as a typical first punch), the secret is to step in and “jam” or intercept the punch by blocking the incoming punch and simultaneously elbow striking the brachial area on the side of a person’s face and neck. This “two for one” move stops the attack (punch) but at the same time delivers a debilitating shot of pain to anyone of any size or strength level… and that is the key.

2. You Are Grabbed by Thug …

This one’s especially easy to practice — and practice you should in order to have instinctive reaction time in an actual conflict…

The second kind of common attack is a grab or push, where the attacker will put his hands on you. Most if not all of the time, the attackers’ hands will push or grab onto your chest, but this counter move can also work for a choke. When the opponent puts hands on you, simply “pluck” their hands off by using your hands like two meat hooks, quickly pulling down on their arms. The follow up here is a quick knee to the groin to neutralize your opponent.

3. You Are Bum Rushed…

Lastly, a “bum rush” or takedown move is extremely common as well when being attacked. When you see your attacker get low, you most get low too. Use your elbow again to strike the attacker in their brachial area, which will immediately stun your attacker and stop their initial attacking. As with the previous moves, you once again need to either escape or follow up with several other strikes (additional elbows, knees, punches, etc.).

All of these strategies follow from Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do (JKD), by simplifying the attack, picking just a handful of effective moves and using that secret distance of trapping range — which, with practice, you can learn to read instinctively, and know what kind of move to throw, and exactly the split-second timing to throw it.

It comes naturally with practice

With practice you can learn to do all of it without thinking. In time it comes naturally. That is when you become dangerous. That is when you can follow in the steps of former World Karate Champion, Chuck Norris, and step into a ring and demolish your opponent.

What about the streets?

On the street you can do the wise thing and choose to avoid conflict, but on that day conflict is unavoidable, you are a surprise attack waiting to happen. When it does happen, it’s swift, explosive — and most thugs, rapists, or other attackers simply won’t know what hit them.

Swift, surprise moves are used in Navy SEAL and CIA special defense classes on taking weapons from attackers and or simultaneously throwing any number of lethal strikes. So if you think Jeet Kune Do is only for martial arts experts, think again. It can be a useful tool when a gun has been pulled on you — especially if the guy holding the gun has no idea just how dangerous you are.

You are fast. You know where to hit. You can read the ranges of combat. You can position yourself into a specific range without an attacker realizing what you are doing before it’s too late.

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Demolish attackers in just seconds

Training these are also simple, as I would recommend stationary reps first, over and over again, and then progressing to movement. From there, mix in all three attacks, and focus on responding with the correct counter.

For a short video course on these moves, in addition to a way you can get a 3 DVD JKD instructional series mailed to you for free (just pay shipping and handling), check out Fearless Street Fighter.

You’ll be glad you did. Maybe, one day, your children, a coworker, or even a stranger will be glad as well.

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