Would not it be great if we could take a bunch of clones and enroll them all at the same time in a bunch of different martial arts. Then we train them all for the same length of time, in order to see which style is better … or best.
Unfortunately, since we do not have clones, we'll always have individual ability affecting the analysis of a style.
Still, I like to compare styles. And after all these years, I can "tell" when a specific style is lacking a component. I can also tell when a style seems progressive enough to adopt new strategies and techniques as the needs arise.
For years now, martial artists have asked me to compare and contrast Jeet Kune Do (JKD) with JKD Concepts (Concepts).
JKD Compared and Contrasted to JKD Concepts
Well, in one sentence …. JKD was Bruce Lee's expression of the martial arts, and Concepts is Dan Inosanto's combination of the Filipino Martial Arts with some principles of Jeet Kune Do.
But that still does not answer much. How are they different? Which style is better?
You have to keep in mind the individual element. We are not all clones. Some of us are young. Others old. Some of us have a lot of weight behind our techniques. Others could be labeled more petit (e).
Given individual differences, each style has its advantages and disadvantages.
For example, JKD is more faithful to center-line theory than Concepts. A lot more faithful. So, put two artists of equal
Ability, from each of the styles against each other.
Once they are in touching range, and if there is a question of tight angles, then the JKD guy definitely has an advantage over the Concepts man (or woman).
The side-to-side motions found in Concepts will get the person in trouble. But take those very same side-to-side motions and put the Concepts guy against Tae Kwon Do, and the TKDer will not know how to handle such tight angles.
Note: Remember, it's all relative. And I am not talking about the system as a whole. For example, Concepts People may be better at closing range than the bulk of the JKD schools. And TKD may win for flexibility.
Both types of JKD have merit. It may be easier for you to find a Concepts school. So, that would be an advantage, if you wanted to study one of them.
Also, the very patterns that a real JKD artist would avoid, are abundant in the Filipino variation. Patterns are great for beginners. You'll see a lot of improvement fast.
We could go on and on about advantages and disadvantages of each.
Let's Sum Up JKD Differences in a Few Final Words:
If you want to open a big school and want some sort of link to the Bruce Lee philosophy, no matter how small, I'd go with JKD Concepts. It's great for large schools. And it's a definite plus if you are doing choreography in Hollywood.
On the other hand, if you believe that the Bruce Lee philosophy is the epitome of efficiency, then I would stick with Jeet Kune Do. Ultimately, you'll learn a more efficient, but less fancy, way to defend yourself. It stresses individual progress and variation more than the other.