Tag Archives: Jeet Kune Do

Celebrating The Life Of Brandon Lee, Who Would Have Turned 45 Today

Happy Saturday, everybody!

Where did the week go? I dunno.

I have been thinking about posting something about Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee.

Now, get this: I was planning on posting about him today, February 1, and during my research I find out that today would have been his birthday.

This cannot be a coincidence!

Brandon Lee would have turned 49 today. And here again somebody who left us on this planet way too prematurely.

He was a very aspiring movie star and according to acclaimed movie critic, Roger Ebert, after watching Brandon Lee’s performance  in “The Crow“, Brandon Lee clearly demonstrated that he might have become an action star, had he lived.

I totally agree with Roger Ebert.

You might remember that Brandon Lee was accidently shot and killed on March 31, 1993 at the age of only 28 while filming “The Crow“.

This is really sad, also because he was scheduled to get married to his fiancee, Eliza Hutton, on April 17.

Brandon Lee definitely had the looks for the Big Screen, but he was more than just another pretty face. After acquiring acting skills at the world-famous Lee Strasberg  Academy and being part of a theater group, he was able to put it all together with his martial arts expertise that he was taught by Guro Dan Inosanto.

Before starring in The Crow, which became a box-office hit after his untimely death, Brandon Lee actually performed in a number of productions such as Kung Fu: The Movie, Kung Fu: The Next Generation, Legacy of Rage, Showdown in Little Tokyo, and a movie that I really enjoyed at the time it was released in 1992, Rapid Fire.

I know that a lot of people have focused on the final fight scene  or showdown, but I really like the initial fight scene, because you get a pretty good idea of how Brandon Lee applies a lot of the JKD principles his father defined and how he uses any type of tool, weapon or whatever he can get his hands on to save his character, Jake Lo.

Besides the impressive fighting skills he put on display in the 5 min. clip  below, I also admire his philosophic perspective he so thoughtfully selected for his wedding invitations:

“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless…”

Celebrating The Life of Brandon Bruce Lee, February 1, 1965 – March 31, 1993

The Eye Jab Is A Great Self-Defense Technique

Many times even seasoned martial arts practitioners are overwhelmed by the variety of self-defense techniques at their disposal.

More often than not the solution to a problem, in our example, self-defense could be much easier than we first think.

And that’s why today I thought it might be a good idea to draw our attention to a self-defense technique that doesn’t even require years of training, if applied correctly in the appropriate situation.

Bruce Lee  said it best, when faced with a choice of hitting your opponent in the ribs or poking him in the eyes, you go for the eyes every time.

The technique that I am referrring today is simply known as the eye jab.

You can use this effective technique to “buy time” during a surprise attack and to thwart an attacker.

What’s really cool about the eye jab is that even if you miss the eyes, your attacker will blink and will give you the opportunity to follow up.

Should your jab however connect, meaning touch his eyes, they will immediately water and your attacker’s vision will severely blur.

The rest is up to you.

Especially among Kali and Jeet Kune Do practioners this swatting finger jab is a popular hand technique.

And because one doesn’t require a lot of  strength the eye jab is a very practical technique. It does rely on speed, accuracy and timing.

Thus, if you have just halfway decent motor skills, you can do this one, no matter how physically fit you are.

Just make sure you are loose and not stiff during its execution. It’s like swatting a fly.

It’s also very important that your fingers of the jabbing hand are close to one another and slightly bent to avoid injury on the finger joints in case you accidentally hit bone on impact.

You should try to project toward the target without telegraphing it to your attacker.

The actual execution reminds me of a striking cobra.

I found a video clip with the legendary Paul Vunak, who puts it all together with an eye jab, elbow strike and head butt.

The execution is so fast that you might want to watch it a couple of times.

Use the eye jab responsibly and always stay safe!

Jeff Imada, The Genius Behind Great Action Movies

When you talk about movies like Rush Hour, Armageddon, Lethal Weapon 4,  The Bourne Ultimatum, Gone In Sixty SecondsThe Last Samurai, The Fight Club,  just to mention a few, I am sure the action-filled scenes are the first thing that come to mind.

And when you think about it, some of the most popular movies became box-office successes due to the spectacular stunts and fight scenes displayed on the Big Screen.

Without the stunt and fight professionals, who by the way usually aren’t household names like those of the celebrities on the Red Carpet, many movie productions would never turn out the way they do.

One of these professionals, who deserve more credit for what they do and someone  whom I truly admire, is Jeff Imada.

And yes, the movies I listed above were strongly influenced by Jeff Imada. He either did many of the stunts or coordinated them! Man, this guy must have been in hundreds of great movie productions. It’s absolutely mind-boggling!

Beyond Tinseltown, Jeff Imada is highly recognized and  revered on the martial arts circuit for his mastery of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) and Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).

Born in 1955 in Southern California, Jeff Imada started studying martial arts at the age of 15. So, let’s see, that would have been 1970.

That makes it already 40 years of solid martial arts training experience and what I haven’t mentioned so far in this post:

Jeff Imada is a master student/protege of the world-famous, Guro Dan Inosanto. Remember him?

Jeff was also a very good friend of Brandon Lee, back in the day. Later on, he was the primary fight choreographer in Brandon Lee’s successful movie,  ‘The Crow’.

He has been a stuntman, stunt coordinator and fight choreographer in countless movie productions that have become financial box-office hits, also because of his ingenuity and professionalism.

I was reminded of him just some time ago after I heard about ‘The Book Of Eli’ starring Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis.

In one of the many interviews promoting this movie, Denzel mentioned Dan Inosanto (remember him?) and Jeff Imada in connection with training for the fight scenes.

He’s bringing it, so you better be ready!

Girl Power Expressed Through Karate Kata Perfection

If you have been following this blog lately you probably have noticed that I like to mix things up between different martial arts styles such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aka BJJ aka Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Western Boxing, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun Kung Fu, just to name a few.

Today, I’m in the mood for some really impressive Karate moves. The kind of moves you see when true artists are at work or better performing a kata.

For those of you not familiar with kata, here a short description:

Kata is a Japanese word for choreographed patterns of movements that can be performed either solo or in pairs or even groups.

Kata is commonly known in the Japanese martial arts such as Aikido, Judo, Karate, Iaido and others.

You come across patterns of movements in other non-Japanese martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan and Taekwondo. They just use Chinese and Korean words instead.

To get a better idea of what karate kata perfection looks like, have a look at this video clip of the Japanese Female Kata Team competing in 2008.

Amazing! But I will let you be the judge.