Elite Defense Systems Published Articles

The One: Disciples of the Dragon Select the Most Important Lesson Bruce Lee Taught

- By MATT NUMRICH, Black Belt Magazine

Black Belt Editor Note:

The concept was simple enough: We contacted 16 prominet martial artists who either teach jeet kune do or were inspired by it and asked them to identify the single most imprtant thing Bruce Lee taught. To liven it up a bit, we told them it didn't have to be a punch or a kick; it could also be a concept or a philosophy. The hardest part, most everyone reported, was picking only one. In fact, some people disregarded our instructions and selected two or three - and we're kind of glad they did because all the answers are fascinating.

Matthew J. Numrich JKD Insructor, Founder of Elite Defense Systems

There are two Bruce Lee/Jeet Kune Do principals I really like to get across to my students. The first is the importance of physical training. I remember about 20 years ago when I saw Muscle and Fitness magazine do a story on Bruce Lee's weight lifting workouts. Besides being totally enamored by him, his workouts were so specific, so challenging, it showed up some professional bodybuilders' programs. I'm not sure there has ever been a martial artist's "non-martial arts workout" which have been so popular. That was obviously not the first article ever done on his workouts, nor will it be the last, as Muscle and Fitness recently did a cover story on his ab workout regimen (April 2009).

The point that I like to pass on, is that there is direct and indirect training. Bruce Lee definitely showed the importance of his "indirect" training through his documentation of his workouts. The ab and forearm development workouts alone disgrace any late night infomercial routine. Furthermore, the idea that technique alone does not make a great fighter, but the body which produces the technique is just as important is the key.

The second principal is that of the interception. I don't know of anyone who can talk about Jeet Kune Do, the way of the intercepting fist, without discussing intercepting. Bruce Lee taught not just about reacting to one's attack, but interfering with it as early as possible. This idea definitely stood in the face of those who were only teaching blocking at that time, which is very reactive. Bruce Lee would intercept one's attack, even before the attack was completed. This is the sign of a highly skilled martial artist, and what many of us aspire to be.

-Sifu Numrich's contributions also appeared by Tim Tacketts, Dan Inosanto, Joe Lewis, Kelly McCann, Burton Richardson, Teri Tom, Richard Bustillo and Leo Fong... All people who Sifu look up to. He was very honoed to be included in this group.