|Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute|
|Bruce Lee e Dan Inosanto|
«In setting up his art Bruce Lee seems to have acknowledge the fact that there is nothing so permanent as change. Down through the years some things stayed the same, but there was continual modification. For example, when I first met Bruce back in 1964, he had by then considerably altered his original style, Wing Chun.
Upon returning to the States from Hong Kong at the age of 18 (Lee was born in San Francisco), he began almost immediately to adjust the angles, stances and footwork of Wing Chun because it was too "rigid", as he put it. The end product of all his experimentation, which he called Jun Fan (a variation of his Chinese name), was the art that was taught at the schools he opened in Seattle and Oakland in the early Sixties. And though he considered this new art to be more fluid and direct than its predecessor, Bruce always expressed a very high opinion of Wing Chun. Indeed, even after he had taken it a step further to create Jeet Kune Do, he would still say: "... I would like to stress the fact that though my present style is more totally alive and efficient, I owe my achievement to my previous training in the Wing Chun style, a great style".
Wing Chun (meaning "beautiful spring-time") was reportedly founded by a woman, Yim Wing Chun, some 400 years ago. The style was based on the techniques of Shaolin nun Ng Mui, of the southern temple in Fukien province.
But Yim Wing Chun felt that Ng Mui's style was too complex and placed to much reliance on power techniques and strong horse stances. She was looking for, instead, the simplest, least complicated, most efficient means of defending herself; and not finding it among the existing styles, she created her own.
Yim Wing Chun taught the art to her husband - an actor by profession who was also versed in the martial arts - and it was passed down through the centuries to Leong Bok Sul, Wong Wah Bo, Leong Yee Tai, Leong Jon, Chan Wah Soon, Yipa Man (Lee's instructor), Leong Sheong and Wong Soon Sum.
Despite its roots deep within the legendary Shaolin Temples of Old China, Wing Chun comes to the twentieth century as one of the most modern styles of the ancient art of Kung-Fu.
Based on the theory that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, Wing Chun lacks the elongated, flowing motions that are a part of most other forms of Kung-Fu. The centerline, an imaginary line that runs down the center of the body, forms the basis of Wing Chun movements - the axis around which the blocks and strikes revolve. Wing Chun pratitioners are taught when in combat to have their centerline directly opposite the opponent's chin.
[...] Although Bruce's father had introduced him to the graceful flowing movements of Tai-chi when he was a youngster growing up in Hong Kong, he did not begin training in earnest until he was about 13. As the story goes, he decided to take up Wing Chun out of a feeling of insecurity that arose once he had established a reputation as a gang leader and street fighter. "I kept wondering", he once confided to many of his closest friends, "what would happen to me if may gang was not around when I met a rival gang".
So in the Fifties Bruce became a student of the famed master Yip Man, then patriarch of the Wing Chun school in Hong Kong - and he would go to any length to further his instruction. One of his favorite ploys, for example, was to arrive at the training hall long before any of the other students. And then as they began to show up for class, they would be greeted by Bruce who would assure himself of a private lesson by shaking his head and telling them, "The old man's not in. No class today". He also had friends in other styles, which gave him an opportunity to broaden his horizons as the energetic Chinese youths practiced tirelessly after school and even during recess.
During his senior year in high school, Bruce developed a fascination for boxing and decided to enter an amateur contest. An uncommonly fierce competitor, his being crowned the high-school champion of Hong Kong is only surprising in light of the fact that he had never before put on a glove!
|O pai de Bruce Lee: Li Hoi Chuen, em posição de Tai Chi Chuan. Ver aqui|
|Yip Man. Ver aqui|
|Bruce Lee e Yip Man. Ver aqui|
|Ver 1, 2 e 3|
|Ver aqui e aqui|
Yet the real purpose of the countless hours he spent sharpening his techniques with Yip Man's senior students and friends in other styles, as well as the experience he got in the unfamiliar confines of the ring, was purely strutural: according to Bruce, the ideal proving grounds for combat remained the ever-dangerous backstreets and alleyways of Hong Kong.
Taking into account the myriad styles of Kung-Fu that were - and still are - taught openly in Hong Kong, why did Bruce select Wing Chun? From all indications I have gathered over the years, there were three things he liked especially about Wing Chun: (1) its economical structure; (2) its directeness; and (3) its emphasis on energy or sensitivity training (chi sao).
In any event, I think it is safe to say that Wing Chun does in fact form the nucleous of Jeet Kune Do. For only with a basic foundation that is already stripped down practically to the essentials could he have made such rapid and amazing strides in the development of his own art...».
Dan Inosanto («Jeet Kune Do. The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee»).
[...] If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.
[...] The point is the doing of them rather than the acomplishments. There is no actor but the action; there is no experiencer but the experience.
To see a thing uncolored by one's own personal preferences and desires is to see it in its own pristine simplicity.
[...] Art is never decoration, embellishment; instead, it is work of enlightenment. Art, in other words, is a technique for acquiring liberty.
Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.
"Artless art" is the artistic process within the artist; its meaning is "art of the soul". All the various moves of all the tools means a step on the way to the absolute aesthetic world of the soul.
[...] For security, the unlimited living is turned into something dead, a chosen pattern that limits. To understand Jeet Kune Do, one ought to throw away even the concepts of what is or isn't ideal in Jeet Kune Do. Can you look at a situation naming it? Naming it, making it a word, causes fear.
[...] Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve its end.
Approach Jeet Kune Do with the idea of mastering the will. Forget about winning and losing; forget pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with your escaping safely - lay your life before him!
[...] Jeet Kune Do does not beat around the bush. It does not take winding detours. It follows a straight line to the objective. Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points.
The art of Jeet Kune Do is simply to simplify. It is being oneself; it is reality in its "isness". Thus, isness is the meaning - having freedom in its primary sense, not limited by attachments, confinements, partialization, complexities.
Jeet Kune Do is the enlightenment. It is a way of life, a movement toward will power and control, though it ought to be enlightened by intuition.
[...] Punches and kicks are tools to kill the ego. The tools represent the force of intuitive or instinctive directeness which, unlike the intellect or the complicated ego, does not divide itself, blocking its own freedom. The tools move onward without looking back or to the side.
[...] Absense of stereotyped technique as the substance means to be total and free. All lines and movements are the function.
Non-attachment as the foundation is man's original nature. In its ordinary process, thought moves forward without halting; past, present and future thoughts continue as an unbroken stream.
Absense of thought as the doctrine means not to be carried away by thought in the process of thought, not to be defiled by external objects, to be in thought yet devoid of thought.
True thusness is the substance of thought and thought is the function of true thusness. To think of thusness, to define it in thought is to defile it.
Bring the mind into sharp focus and make it alert so it can immediately intuit truth, which is everywhere. The mind must be emancipated from old habits, prejudices, restrictive thought processes and even ordinary thought itself.
Scratch away all the dirt your being has accumulated and reveal reality in its isness, or in its suchness, or in its nakedness, which corresponds to the Buddhist concept of emptiness.
Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.
[...] In the long history of martial arts, the instinct to follow and imitate seems to be inherent in most martial artists, instructors and students alike. This is partly due to human tendency and partly because of the steep traditions behind multiple patterns of styles. Consequently, to find a refreshing, master teacher is a rarity. The need for a "pointer of the way" echoes.
Each man belongs to a style which claims to possess truth to the exclusion of all other styles. These styles become institutes with their explanations of the "Way", dissecting and isolating the harmony of firmness and gentleness, establishing rhythmic forms as the particular state of their techniques.
Instead of facing combat in its suchness, then, most systems of martial art accumulate a "fancy mess" that distorts and cramps their practitioners and distracts them from the actual reality of combat, which is simple and direct. Instead of going immediately to the heart of things, flowery forms (organized despair) and artificial techniques are ritualistically practiced do simulate actual combat. Thus, instead of "being" in combat these practitioners are "doing" something "about" combat.
Worse still, super mental power and spiritual this and spiritual that are desperately incorporated until these practitioners drift further and further into mystery and abstraction. All such things are futile attempts to arrest and fix the ever-changing movements in combat and to dissect and analyze them like a corpse.
When you get down to it, real combat is not fixed and is very much "alive". The fancy mess (a form of paralysis) solidifies and conditions what was once fluid, and when you look at it realistically, it is nothing but a blind devotion to the systematic uselessness of practicing routines or stunts that lead nowhere.
[...] Stylists, instead of looking into the fact, cling to forms (theories) and go on entagling themselfs further and further, finally putting themselves into an inextricable snare.
They do not see it in suchness because their indoctrination is crooked and twisted. Discipline must conform to the nature of things in their suchness.
Maturity does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is the realization of what lies in our innermost selves.
When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. Life is a relationship to the whole.
[...] Relationship is understanding. It is a process of self-revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself - to be is to be related.
Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.
Forms are vain repetitions which offer an orderly and beautiful escape from self-knowledge with an alive opponent.
The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. When he acts, he is translating every living moment in terms of the old.
Knowledge is fixed, whereas, knowing is continual. Knowledge comes from a source, from an accumulation, from a conclusion, while knowing is a movement.
The additive process is merely a cultivation of memory which becomes mechanical. Learning is never cumulative; it is a movement of knowing which has no begining and no end.
[...] To express yourself in freedom, you must die to everything of yesterday. From the "old", you derive security; from the "new", you gain the flow.
To realize freedom, the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement without the bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness. Watch, but don't stop and interpret, "I am free" - then you're living in a memory of something that has gone. To understand and live now, everything of yesterday must die.
Freedom from knowing is death; then, you are living. Die Inwardly of "pro" and "con". There is no such thing as doing right or wrong when there is freedom.
When one is not expressing himself, he is not free. Thus, he begins to struggle and the struggle breeds methodical routine. Soon, he is doing his methodical routine as response rather than responding to what is.
[...] If you want to understand the truth in martial arts, to see any opponent clearly, you must throw away the notion of styles or schools, prejudices, likes and dislikes, and so forth. Then, your mind will cease all conflict and come to rest. In this silence, you will see totally and freshly.
If any style teaches you a method of fighting, then you might be able to fight according to the limit of that method, but that is not actually fighting.
If you meet the unconventional attack, such as one delivered with broken rhythim, with your chosen patterns of rhythmical classical blocks, your defense and counter-attack will always be lacking pliability and aliveness.
If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow - you are not undestanding yourself.
How can one respond to the totality with partial, fragmentary pattern?
Mere repetition of rhythmic, calculated movements robs combat movement of its "aliveness" and "isness" - its reality.
Accumulation of forms, just one more modification of conditioning, becomes an anchor that holds and ties down; it leads only one way - down.
Form is the cultivation of resistance; it is the exclusive drilling of a pattern of choice moves. Instead of creating resistance, enter straight into the movement as it arises; do not condemn or condone - choiceless awareness leads to reconciliation with the opponent in a total understanding of what is.
Once conditioned in a partialized method, once isolated in an enclosing pattern, the practitioner faces his opponent through a screen of resistance - he is "performing" his stylized blocks and listening to his own screaming and not seeing what the opponent is really doing.
We are those kata, we are those classical blocks and thrusts, so heavily conditioned are we by them.
To fit in with an opponent one needs direct perception. There is no direct perception where there is a resistance, a "this is the only way" attitude.
[...] But in classical styles, system becomes more important than the man! The classical man functions with the pattern of a style!
How can there be methods and systems to arrive at something that is living? To that which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path, but not to what which is living. Do not reduce reality to a static thing and then invent methods to reach it.
Truth is relationship with the opponent; constantly moving, living, never static.
Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. It has no resting place, no form, no organized institution, no philosophy. When you see that, you will understand that this living thing is also what you are. You cannot express and be alive through static, put-together form, through stylized movement.
Classical forms dull your creativity, condition and freeze your sense of freedom. You no longer "be", but merely "do", without sensitivity.
[...] Understand the freedom from the conformity of styles. Free yourself by observing closely what you normally practice. Do not condemn or aprove; merely observe.
When you are uninfluenced, when you die do the conditioning of classical responses, then you will know awareness and see things totally fresh, totally new.
Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. Perception alone will resolve all your problems.
[...] To understand combat, one must approch it in a very simple and direct manner.
Understanding comes about through feeling, from moment to moment in the mirror of relationship.
[...] Observe what is with undivided awareness.
True thusness is without defiling thought; it cannot be known throuh conception and thought.
Thinking is not freedom - all thought is partial; it can never be total. Thought is the response of memory and memory is always partial, because memory is the result of experience. So, thought is the reaction of a mind conditioned by experience.
Know the emptiness and tranquility of your mind. Be empty; have no style or form for the opponent to work on.
The mind is originally without activity; the way is always without thought.
Insight is realizing that ones's original nature is not created.
There will be calmness, tranquility, when one is free form external objects and is not perturbed. Being tranquil means not having any illusions or delusions of thusness.
There is no thought, only thusness - what is. Thusness does not move, but its motion and function are inexhaustible.
To meditate means to realize the imperturbability of one's original nature. Surely, meditation can never be a process of concentration, because the highest form of thinking is negation. Negation is a state in which there is neither the positive, nor its reaction as the negative. It is a state of complete emptiness.
Concentration is a form of exclusion and where there is exclusion, there is a thinker who excludes. It is the thinker, the excluder, the one who concentrates, who creates contradiction because he forms a center from which there is distraction.
There is a state of action without the actor, a state of experiencing without the experiencer or the experience. It is a state bound and weighted down by the classical mess.
Classical concentration that focuses on one thing and excludes all others, and awareness, which is total and excludes nothing, are states of the mind that can be understood only by objective, non-prejudiced observation.
[...] The "moment" has not yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought and, therefore, has no time.
When, in a split second, your life is threatened, do you say, "Let me make sure my hand is on my hip, and my style is 'the style'?" When your life is in danger, do you argue about the method you will adhere to while saving yourself? Why the duality?
A so-called martial artist is the result of three thousand years of propaganda and conditioning.
[...] The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a result, his action and, more importantly, his thinking become mechanical. His responses become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited.
|Ver 1, 2 e 3|
Self-expression is total, immediate, without conception of time, and you can only express that if you are free, physically and mentally, from fragmentation.
[...] I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, which design of branches or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.
Please do not be concerned with soft versus firm, kicking versus striking, grappling versus hitting and kicking, long-range fighting versus in-fighting. There is no such thing as "this" is better than "that". Should there be one thing we must guard against, let it be partiality that robs us of our pristine wholeness and makes us lose unity in the midst of duality.
[...] There are styles that favor straight lines, then there is styles that favor curved lines and circles. Styles that cling to one partial aspect of combat are in bondage. Jeet Kune Do is a technique for acquiring liberty; it is a work of englihtenment. Art is never decoration or embellisment. A choice method, however exacting, fixes its practitioners in a pattern. Combat is never fixed and is changing from moment to moment. Working in patterns is basically a practice of resistance. Such practice leads to clogginess; understanding is not possible and its adherents are never free.
The way of combat is not based on personal choice and fancies. Truth in the way of combat is perceveid from moment to moment and only when there is awareness without condemnation, justification or any form of identification.
Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and, since it has no style, Jeet Kune Do fits in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do uses all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any technique or means which serves its end. In this art, efficiency is anything that scores.
The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. Half way cultivation runs to ornamentation.
[...] You cannot see a street fight in its totality, observing it from the viewpoint of a boxer, a kung-fu man, a karateka, a wrestler, a judo man and so forth. You can see clearly only when style does not interfere. You then see it without "like" or "dislike", you simply see and what you see is the whole and not the partial.
[...] Fighting is not something dictated by your conditioning as a kung-fu man, a karate man, a judo man or what not. And seeking the opposite of a system is to enter another conditioning.
A Jeet Kune Do man faces reality and not crystallization of form. The tool, is a tool of formless form.
No abode means that the ultimate source of all things is beyond human understanding, beyond the categories of time and space. As it thus transcends all modes of relativity, it is called "having no abode" and its qualities are applicable.
The fighter who has no abode is no more himself. He moves as a kind of automaton. He has given himself up to an influence outside his everyday consciouness, which is not other than his deeply unconscious, whose presence he was never hitherto aware of.
No cultivation does not really mean the absense of any kind of cultivation. What it signifies is a cultivation by means of non-cultivation. To practice cultivation through cultivation is to act with conscious mind. That is to say, to practice assertive activity.
Do not deny classical approach simply as a reaction, for you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there».
Bruce Lee («Tao of Jeet Kune Do»).
«[Bruce Lee] used to refer to JKD's structure as being "a circle with no cicumference". The idea is not to attach yourself to any one thing. Don't hesitate to draw from everything around you: boxing, fencing, wrestling, karate, judo, ballet, modern dance, etc., or anything that can be applied from any field - even biting and clawing, for that matter. Then, finally, know your strengths, your weaknesses too, and be able to recognize your apponent's strong points and weak points - avoiding the former and exploiting the latter.
Bruce was quick to point that Jeet Kune Do is more than simply a composite of many different styles and systems. It has a definite central theme - preserving the centerline, a constant rhytmic flow and the ability to "fit in" to the oponent's techniques - that must be observed at all times. And although the art encompasses many things as we have seen, there is always something to be added, but not in helter-skelter fashion because the main purpose is the preservation of the common thread that binds it all together.
This fitting in spirit, which is the essence of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce discovered many years ago while sailing alone in a junk. Frustrated that he had been unable to master the art of gentle detachment, which is being able to neutralize an opponent's effort at the same time minimizing the expenditure of one's own energy, he was taking a week off from the practice at Yip Man's suggestion to "think about it". As his frustration began to approach its zenith, suddenly the thought struck him that the very substance which kept him afloat - water - was the embodiment of the ethereal spirit of martial arts. After all, one could strike it and nothing happened. Or one could stab it, and it suffered no dent. And to grasp a handful of it was impossible. Furthemore, water automatically assumed the shape of its container, and though it appeared weak, it could in time penetrate any substance on earth. Thus in the nature of water Bruce had discovered the guiding principle of Jeet Kune Do».
Dan Inosanto («Jeet Kune Do. The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee»).
«Some instructors of martial art favor forms, the more complex and fancy the better. Some, on the other hand, are obsessed with super power (like Captain Marvel or Super-man). Still some favor deformed hands and legs, and devote their time to fighting bricks, stones, boards, etc.
To me, the extraordinary aspect of gung fu lies in its simplicity. Gung fu is simply the direct expression of one's feeling with the minimum of movements and energy. Every movement is being so of itself without the artificialities with which people tend to complicate it. The easy way is always the right way, and gung fu is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of gung fu, the less wastage of expression there is...».
Bruce Lee («The Tao of Gung Fu. A Study in The Way of Chinese Martial Art»).
«It all begin in the early part of 1968 while Bruce and I were driving along in the car. We were talking about fencing. Western fencing. Bruce said the most efficient means of countering in fencing was the stop-hit. A stop-hit is when you do not parry and then counter, it's all done in one step. When the opponent attacks, you intercept his move with a thrust or hit of your own. It is designed to score a hit in the midst of the attacker's action, and is the highest and most economical of all the counters.
Then Bruce said, "We would call our method the 'stop-hitting fist style', or the 'intercepting fist style'."
"What would that be in Chinese?" I asked.
"That would be Jeet Kune Do", he said.
Jeet Kune Do means the way of the stopping fist, or the way of the intercepting fist. So, instead of blocking and then hitting, our main concept is to dispense with blocking completely, and instead to intercept and hit. We realize that this cannot be done all the time, but this is the main theme.
Up until our method was called "Jun Fan" Gung Fu, which was a modification of various techniques from Northern Praying Mantis, Southern Praying Mantis, Choy Li Fut, Eagle Claw, Western Boxing, Hung Gar, Thai Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Jiu Jitsu and several Northern Gung-Fu styles. It is obvious that Wing Chun was the main nucleus and all the other methods evolved around it.
It was during this time that Bruce developed his own particular style of kicking, modified from the Northern styles of Gung Fu, and greatly improved by the way he trained for it.
In later years he became sorry that he ever coined the term Jeet Kune Do because he felt that it, too, was limiting, and according to Bruce, "There is no such thing as a style if you totally understand the roots of combat".
The term "JKD" came about naturally because Bruce used do abbreviate much of his material, such as "HIA", "ABC", "ABD", "SAA", "PIA".
One day I said to him, "This JKD is fantastic", and he said, "Hey, I like that term JKD", and he used it as a shortcut for Jeet Kune Do. In our personal conversations, we used "JKD" as a term for something very good, out of this world, unique, or very fast.
So, for instance, we could be driving along and see a restaurant we liked, and say,
"Yeah, the food at that place is JKD!"
Or "That movie I saw last night was JKD!"
Or, "Mmmmm, his singing is JKD".
Or, "Wow, that painting is JKD!"
However, Bruce also said, "JKD is just a name, don't fuss over it".
[...] Instead of opposing force by force, a JKD man completes his opponent's movement by "accepting" his flow of energy as he aims it, and defeats him by 'borrowing' his own force. In order to reconcile oneself to the changing movements of the opponent, a JKD man should first of all understand the true meaning of Yin/Yang, the basic structure of JKD.
JKD is based on the symbol of the Yin and Yang, a pair of mutually complementary and interdependent forces that act continuously, without cessation, in this universe. In the above symbol, the Yin and Yang are two interlocking parts of 'one whole', each containing within its confines the qualities of its complementaries. Etymologically the characters of Yin and Yang mean darkness and light. The ancient character of Yin, the dark part of the circle, is a drawing of clouds and hill. Yin represent anything in the universe as: negativeness, passiveness, gentleness, internal, insubstantiality, femaleness, moon, darkness, night, etc. The other complementary half of the circle is Yang, which in its ancient form is anything as positiveness, activeness, fimness, external, substantiality, maleness, sun, brightness, day, etc.
The common mistake of most martial artists is to identify these two forces, Yin and Yang, as dualistic (thus the so called soft style and the firm style). Yin/Yang is one inseparate force of unceasing interplay of movement. They are conceived of as essentially one, or as two co-existing forces of one indivisible whole. They are neither cause and effect, but should be looked at as sound and echo, or light and shadow. If this 'oneness' is viewed as two separate entities, realization of the ultimate reality of JKD won't be achieved. In reality things are 'whole' and can not be separated into two parts. When I say the heat makes me perspire, the heat and perspiring are just one process as they are co-existent and the one could not exist but for the other. If a person riding a bicycle whishes to go somewhere, he cannot pump on both the pedals at the same time. In order to go foward, he has to pump on one pedal and release the other. So the movement of going forward requires this 'oneness' of pumping and releasing. Pumping is the result of releasing and vice versa, each being the cause and result of the other. Things do have their complementaries, and complementaries co-exist. Instead of mutually exclusive, they are mutually dependent and are a function each of the other.
In the Yin/Yang symbol there is a white spot on the black part and a black spot on the white one. This is to illustrate the balance in life, for nothing can survive long by going to either extremes, be it pure Yin (gentleness) or pure Yang (firmness). Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survive by bending with the wind. In JKD, Yang (firmness) should be concealed in Yin (gentleness) and Yin in Yang. Thus a JKD man should be soft yet not laxed, firm, yet not hard.
What is gentleness? It is a pliable reed in the wind - it neither opposes nor gives way.
What is the highest state of yielding? It is like clutching water.
What is true stillness? Stillness in movement.
What is adaptation? It is like the immediacy of the shadow adjusting itself to the moving body.
You wish to know what is internal school and external school? Not two!».
Dan Inosanto («Jeet Kune Do. The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee»).
Libertai-vos do Karaté clássico
O artigo que se segue, escrito por Bruce Lee e dado à estampa na revista norte-americana Black Belt em Setembro de 1971, versa sobre o Jeet Kune Do, expressão em cantonês que significa o caminho para interceptar o punho. O artigo, ora traduzido para português por Miguel Bruno Duarte, seguiu a versão inglesa disponível na Internet.
Por fim, o mestre Zen deixou de falar e começou por lhe servir o chá. Encheu a chávena e assim prosseguiu até que a mesma transbordou.
«Chega!», irrompeu o erudito. «Já não cabe mais na chávena».
«Na verdade, estou a ver que sim», replicou o mestre Zen. «Se não consegue esvaziar a sua chávena, como poderá saborear a minha?».
Espero que os meus companheiros nas artes marciais doravante leiam os próximos parágrafos com abertura de espírito, descartando o fardo da opinião preconceituosa e da conclusão estereotipada. Uma tal atitude tem, por assim dizer, um condão libertador. Além de que, a proficuidade da chávena reside na sua vacuidade.
Fazer com que este artigo vos diga directamente respeito, não obstante versar sobre o Jeet Kune Do (1), resulta do facto de estar primacialmente relacionado com o florescer de um artista marcial que não seja exclusivamente “chinês” ou “japonês”. Um artista marcial é, antes de mais, um ser humano. E do mesmo modo que as nacionalidades nada têm que ver com a nossa própria humanidade, também em nada têm que ver com as artes marciais. Abandonai a vossa concha protectora e, libertos do isolamento, atentai directamente no que vos digo. Despertai os vossos sentidos pondo fim a toda a interferência intelectual idolátrica. Recordai que a vida é um processo infindável de relacionação. Recordai também que eu não busco a vossa aprovação nem influenciar-vos a aderir ao meu modo de pensar. Já ficarei bastante satisfeito se, em virtude deste artigo, tomeis a iniciativa de investigar por vós mesmos, deixando de aceitar de uma forma acrítica fórmulas fixas que preconizam que “isto é isto” e “aquilo é aquilo”.
SOBRE A OBSERVAÇÃO NÃO-SELECTIVA
Suponhamos várias pessoas peritas em diferentes estilos de artes marciais e que presenciam uma luta de rua. Estou certo de que ouviríamos diversas versões de cada um desses estilistas. Tais versões são inteiramente compreensíveis, na medida em que uma pessoa não conseguirá ver um combate (ou qualquer outra coisa que seja) como “ele é” enquanto permanecer obnubilada pelo seu ponto de vista, isto é, através de um estilo pelo qual verá a luta mediante um prisma particularmente condicionado. Lutar, na realidade, é algo simples e total. Não se limita à vossa perspectiva ou ao eventual estatuto de um artista marcial chinês. A verdadeira observação começa quando nos desembaraçamos de modelos estabelecidos e a verdadeira liberdade de expressão transcende os sistemas.
Antes de examinarmos o Jeet Kune Do, atentemos no que realmente consiste um estilo de arte marcial "clássico". Deveremos desde logo reconhecer o facto incontestável de que os estilos, independentemente das suas múltiplas origens (seja por via de um sábio, de um misterioso monge, de um mensageiro num sonho ou de uma revelação sagrada), são, antes de mais, criações do homem. Um estilo jamais deve ser visto como um dogma, cujos princípios e leis não podem ser questionados. O homem, o indivíduo livre e criador, é sempre mais importante do que todo e qualquer sistema estabelecido.
É possível supor que, num tempo remoto, um determinado artista marcial tivesse descoberto alguma verdade parcial. Ao longo da sua vida, esse artista teria ainda resistido à tentação de organizar uma tal verdade, pese embora isso seja uma tendência comum no homem que procura alcançar a certeza e a segurança. Depois da sua morte, os discípulos apropriaram-se das “suas” conjecturas e dos “seus” métodos e postulados para assim convertê-los em leis. Inventaram-se, então, impressionantes credos, prescreveram-se solenes cerimónias, formularam-se rígidas filosofias e modelos até que, por fim, nasceu uma instituição. Por conseguinte, o que resultara da intuição de um homem dotado de alguma fluidez pessoal, foi transformado num conhecimento fixo, coisificado e imbuído de respostas organizadas, classificadas e apresentadas numa ordem lógica. Nisto, os seus fiéis seguidores não só fizeram daquele conhecimento um culto, como também um túmulo no qual soterraram a sabedoria do fundador.
Mas a distorção não terminou aqui. Em reacção à “verdade alheia”, um outro artista marcial, ou, eventualmente, um discípulo insatisfeito, determinou um ponto de vista oposto, à maneira do estilo “suave” versus o estilo “rígido”, ou o da escola “interna” face à escola “externa”, assim como todos esses disparates tendentes à separação. Em pouco tempo, a facção oposta se tornou numa organização poderosa com as suas próprias leis e modelos. Daí ter surgido uma rivalidade com cada estilo a preconizar “a verdade” em detrimento dos demais.
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A VERDADE NÃO PODE SER DELIMITADA
Um indivíduo não se pode exprimir a si mesmo quando confinado a um determinado estilo. Sem linhas ou ângulos predilectos, o combate “tal como é” resulta total, incluindo “o que é” e “o que não é”. Destituído de limites, o combate é sempre livre, vivo e instável. O vosso estilo particular, inclinações pessoais e constituição física perfazem uma parte do combate, mas não a sua totalidade. Se as vossas respostas estiverem dependentes de um qualquer factor isolado, reagireis sempre de acordo com o que “deveria ser” em detrimento “do que é” nos termos de uma realidade em constante movimento. Recordai ainda que, não obstante a evidência do todo nas partes que o constituem, uma só parte isolada, por mais idónea que seja, não constitui o todo.
Exercícios repetitivos e prolongados produzirão necessariamente a precisão mecânica e a certeza no hábito proveniente de uma qualquer rotina. Todavia, é precisamente esse tipo de certeza “selectiva” ou “muletas” o que limita e bloqueia o completo evoluir do artista marcial. De facto, muitos praticantes desenvolvem uma tal confiança e dependência relativamente a essas “muletas” que já não conseguem prosseguir sem elas. Desse modo, toda e qualquer técnica refinada, por mais perfeita que se afigure, acaba por ser um obstáculo.
Deixemos bem assente de uma vez por todas de que eu não inventei um novo estilo, nem nada compus ou alterei. E de maneira alguma estabeleci o Jeet Kune Do como uma forma distinta seriada por leis que o distingam “deste” ou “daquele” método. Ao invés, espero libertar os meus companheiros da total submissão a estilos, modelos e doutrinas.
O que é então o JKD? Sou o primeiro a admitir que qualquer tentativa com vista a, num artigo, definir o JKD não é uma tarefa fácil. Tenhai, no entanto, presente que o Jeet Kune Do é apenas um nome convencional. Não estou interessado no termo em si, mas no seu efeito libertador quando usado como um espelho propício ao exame interior.
Ao contrário da arte marcial “clássica”, não há um conjunto de regras ou uma classificação de ordem técnica que configure o Jeet Kune Do como um método distinto de luta. O JKD não é uma forma particular de treino determinada por uma filosofia rígida. Por isso, não considera apenas o combate de um só ponto de vista, mas de todos os pontos e ângulos possíveis. Na medida em que o JKD utiliza todos os meios e caminhos para alcançar os seus fins (aliás, a eficácia é tudo o que faz mossa), tal é o que lhe permite não ficar limitado a nenhum desses meios e caminhos, sendo, por conseguinte, inteiramente livre. Por outras palavras, o JKD possui tudo o que é necessário, muito embora não seja, em si mesmo, possuído por nada.
Nesse sentido, tentar definir o JKD nos termos de um determinado estilo – seja como Kung Fu, Karaté, luta de rua ou como a arte marcial de Bruce Lee –, é passar completamente ao lado do seu significado. A sua transmissão não pode ser simplesmente confinada aos limites de um sistema. E dado que o JKD é simultaneamente “isto” e “não-isto”, jamais se opõe ou adere a um qualquer estilo que seja. Para que o possamos compreender plenamente, há que procurar transcender a dualidade do estar “a favor” ou “contra” com vista a uma unicidade orgânica indefinível. Compreender o JKD é uma intuição directa dessa unicidade.
Não existem etapas ou formas (Kata) preestabelecidas na transmissão do JKD, até porque não são necessárias. Considerai a subtil diferença entre o “não ter nenhuma forma” e a “não forma”. A primeira é pura ignorância; a segunda é transcendência. Mediante o sentimento corpóreo instintivo, cada um de nós sabe qual a mais eficiente e dinâmica forma de alcançar um estádio efectivo, assim como equilíbrio no movimento e o uso frugal de energia. Os modelos, as técnicas e as formas somente quedam à superfície da compreensão genuína. A essência da inteligência jaz na mente individual, e assim, até que desperte, tudo permanece incerto e superficial. A verdade não pode ser realizada senão quando alcançamos uma plena compreensão do nosso ser e de todo o nosso potencial. De resto, o conhecimento nas artes marciais significa, em última instância, autognose.
Nisto, talvez perguntareis: “Como obtenho este conhecimento?” Ora, isso tereis de ser vós a descobri-lo. Deveis aceitar o facto de que não existe ajuda, mas tão-só auto-ajuda. Pela mesma razão pela qual não vos poderei dizer como “conquistar” a liberdade, porque vos é intrínseca, também não vos poderei dizer como obter a autognose. Embora vos possa dizer o que não convém fazer, jamais vos direi o que deveríeis fazer, posto que isso vos limitaria a um ponto de vista alheio. As fórmulas somente podem inibir a liberdade, tal como as prescrições externamente impostas apenas logram impedir a criatividade e consumar a mediocridade. Demais, terei sempre em conta que a liberdade oriunda da autognose jamais poderá ser obtida mediante o delimitado apego a uma fórmula. Não nos tornamos livres de um momento para o outro, simplesmente somos livres.
Aprender não consiste, de facto, numa mera imitação, nem na habilidade para acumular e vazar o conhecimento já fixo. Aprender é um processo de permanente descoberta – um processo infindável. No JKD não principiamos pela acumulação, mas pela descoberta da causa da nossa própria ignorância – o que envolve um processo de abnegação.
Infelizmente, muitos praticantes de artes marciais demitem-se das suas responsabilidades. Em vez de, com vista à sua expressão, aprenderem a caminhar por si mesmos, seguem cegamente os seus instrutores, pelo que deixam de sentir para, assim, encontrarem segurança na imitação colectiva. O resultado desta imitação é uma mente submissa. A indagação livre e independente, já de si indispensável à compreensão genuína, perde-se. Observai atentamente as artes marciais e testemunhai a diversidade dos fazedores de rotinas, falsos artistas, máquinas insensíveis, glorificadores do passado e outros afins – todos eles partidários ou representantes do desespero organizado.
Quantas vezes já nos foi dito, por diferentes mestres (sensei), que as artes marciais se identificam com a própria vida? Mas quantos deles compreendem realmente o que estão dizendo? A vida é um movimento contínuo – tanto rítmico como ocasional. A vida muda constantemente, jamais cessando. Em vez de, imparcialmente, fluirem neste mudável processo, muitos desses “mestres” de ontem e de hoje construíram uma ilusão em que preponderam formas fixas, aderindo rigidamente a conceitos e a técnicas tradicionais da arte, para assim coisificar o movimento perpétuo e cindir a totalidade.
O mais desconcertante é poder observar consagrados praticantes a repetir, prontamente, esses decalcados exercícios, escutando os seus próprios gritos e alaridos espirituosos. Na maioria dos casos, os meios oferecidos por tais mestres são tão complexos que os praticantes se sentem na necessidade de lhes prestar demasiada atenção, até que perdem de vista o essencial. Assim, limitam-se a executar as suas rotinas metódicas à laia de uma mera resposta condicionada em vez de responderem ao que “verdadeiramente é”. Já não mais atendem às circunstâncias; logo, em vez disso proclamam as suas próprias circunstâncias. Enfim, tais pobres almas quedaram imperceptivelmente enredadas na prática tradicional das artes marciais.
APONTANDO PARA A VERDADE
Um mestre, um verdadeiro sensei, nunca é um dador ‘da verdade’; é um guia, um pioneiro para a verdade que o praticante deve descobrir por si mesmo. Um bom mestre observa, portanto, cada aluno individualmente, encorajando-o a que se descubra a si mesmo, tanto íntima como exteriormente até que, por fim, realize o seu ser. Um bom mestre é um catalizador. Além de possuir uma profunda compreensão, deve também ter um espírito afável dotado de grande abertura e sensibilidade.
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Não existem regras pré-estabelecidas num combate total, em que toda a expressão deve ser livre. Esta verdade libertadora só se tornará uma realidade se chegar a ser experienciada e vivida por cada indivíduo em particular. É uma verdade que transcende todos os estilos e disciplinas. Relembrai, ainda, que o Jeet Kune Do é apenas um termo, um rótulo a ser usado à laia de uma embarcação que, uma vez usada, deve ser descartada e não carregada às costas.
Estes pequenos parágrafos representam, quando muito, “um dedo a apontar para a Lua”. Por favor, não tomeis o dedo pela Lua ou nele fixeis tão intensamente o vosso olhar, pois assim perdereis toda a beleza do espectáculo celestial. De resto, a utilidade do dedo está em apontar o que está para além dele: a luz que o ilumina e tudo o mais.
(1) "Jeet" significa parar ou interceptar o punho; "Kune" é relativo ao punho; "Do" é o caminho, ou a realidade última (Nota do Tradutor).