JKD Belfast, Jeet Kune Do Belfast
Jeet Kune Do
At Concept martial Arts Academy Belfast we believe in training in basics and use the simplicity "Concept” of Jeet Kune Do ( JKD ). Although we are not limited to just JKD, we utilise and introduce a few other arts but again we only use what is necessary and modify them to suit what we do. My experience is based on over 40 years training in various martial arts and it’s actually more of what I’ve hacked away and don't teach during my experiences that makes my club differ.... So here is an insight into the thinking and philosophy of “Concept Martial Arts Academy Belfast”
What we DON’T, Teach, Say and why!
1. Knife Defence.....I really hate this term, as in real life it does not work. Although we train in some drills for speed and co-ordination with knifes we never say defence. Running away is your only answer and knife awareness should be taught more than wasting your time on defence.
2. Endless Flashy Techniques.....I have found that a lot martial artists teach these and use them for demonstrations, seminars etc. for the wow factor. They only lead and blind you into false perceptions of actual real fighting. This doesn’t apply to all though, you may be lucky, the odd time. Try your techniques out on a compliant partner then try again with a partner who is hitting back, then see for yourself what works and what doesn’t.
3. Train in the full systems of various different arts ... you'll never have time master them all, let alone one. There may be odd exception to this but this, but would be a life changer for most of us who just would not have the time if they are in full time employment. The ones who maybe become quite proficient in a few have probably given up their job and managed to juggle teaching and training full time to pay their bills. At concept we use around 5 different arts, but only the basics to give students a foundation to build on. If they like the art then they are encouraged to go find out more or train more at another respectable club if that’s what they wish to do.
4. Competition training and competing ...we do not breed egos at "Concept" and also competitions have rules.... real fighting has none!! Although I don’t really mind watching the odd competition it’s not what I am about. There are so many people who just have to prove something! And again the discipline of you can’t do that and you can’t do this goes against the JKD Street fighting art. But if that’s what people want to do, then that’s their choice. I just don’t promote it.
5. Teach you to become something you are not. ....Yourself! By this I mean I don’t make robots. Or try and make people do things exactly like the book says. We are all different. Everyone has their own set of skills which should be nurtured and worked on to suit them.
6. We do not claim that we are the best and we do not claim to have all the answers.........no club, style or system can honestly say this. Nor does any club or system have all the answers, nobody does, each conflict will have many elements that differ each time. We can only hope that our skills will work for us when we need them.
8. We do not use other renowned martial artists names to promote what we do and live on their reputation. ..... There are so many clubs all tracing and using linage to promote what they do. Just because you have a world famous highly skilled martial arts teacher or can trace your linage back to them does not automatically make you as good as. I was guilty of this when I started out but I have learned by my mistakes.
To sum up,
We have an idea, a "Concept" that uses and teaches the basics of a few arts to give students a solid foundation to build on themselves, but we remain true to the real principles and ideas of Bruce Lee's, Jeet Kune Do and its simplicity. That’s it. Nothing fancy, or complicated. If you can master the basics first, you’re on your way. A lot of teachers will always bring it back to the basics, that is the foundation, but I think with all the styles and endless techniques that are out there especially now with the internet, students see them and just want to learn more and more and more and do not have the patience sometimes to become proficient in the simplicity of basics first.
We have adopted a coloured sash grading system to follow students’ progress but we don’t dwell on them as anything but a progress record. The syllabus itself is always changing; as we work through it we modify and simplify it to make sure it’s in line with our philosophy. The students also have a say in everything we do. This is their club as well as mine, I like to think we are a family and everyone’s input whether it be positive or negative is important. Honesty is also a key part. If you’re good I’ll say so. If you’re bad I’ll say so. I do not tell students they are good when they are not just so they can “feel Good”, as they will never improve and it will only give them a false sense of achievement, I just say things as they are!
We have the utmost respect for all martial arts and my fellow martial arts friends, and we encourage our students to train and learn what they want at other clubs. It’s their choice. You are free to come and go as you please. This is a small insight into what we do that makes us different that’s all. Or maybe we are not that different from some clubs. I will have some that disagree with all or some parts of it. But that’s just the nature of human beings. We are all different with different tastes and we see things differently. We can’t all be correct. I’m just being myself and that’s what I teach students to be also “Themselves”