I have been studying and practicing the art of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) and the martial arts for close to two decades. I have researched, read and viewed numerous periodicals, books and videos on the martial arts, combat and fighting.
I have to honestly say, the "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" is one the most in-depth books ever written on the subject.
The "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" is Bruce Lee's analysis of fighting and philosophy through his study of martial arts. It is a compilation of his thoughts and ideas of fighting skills and life.
He began working on the "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" when he was confined to a bed for six months due to a back injury he received while lifting weights.
He never finished and published the book because of his focus on moviemaking.
After his death, a man named Gilbert Johnson, who attended classes at Dan Inosanto's (former Bruce Lee student) Academy, had the task of organizing Bruce's writings, drawings and diagrams into book form.
It should be noted, that the "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" is not meant to be a how-to manual. It is purely a guide and insight into Lee's art of Jeet Kune Do and his way of thinking.
The book contains a wealth of information that can help you gain an understanding of Jeet Kune Do, as well as Bruce Lee, the person.
The book is broken down into different areas:
- Philosophical make up of JKD
- An explanation of the JKD fighting stance, the how and why
- The importance and power principles of using the lead side weapons
- Lee's examination and analysis of grappling arts such as Judo, Jujitsu and wrestling
- The significance of mobility (footwork, evasiveness, distance, awareness and timing)
- The correlation of western boxing and fencing to empty-handed combat
- The cultivation of the attributes and qualities that are necessary to become a good fighter
Each of these areas is loaded with information that would be helpful to anyone, whether they are a beginner or seasoned martial artist, regardless of style.
The "Tao of Jeet Kune Do" also contains the philosophical aspects of his art which are derived from Lao Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Krishnamurti, Sun Tzu and Takuan Soho. The book can also be used as a personal guide for self improvement due to its deep philosophical tenents.
In my opinion, the Tao is one of the best references for empty-handed fighting.
Just remember, use it for what it is, a reference and guide. For nothing beats learning the art of JKD from a teacher who has lineage to its founder.
If you do not already own a copy of it I urge you to pick one up, again, regardless of style or fighting method this book is a useful tool for anyone who is serious about self defense and martial arts training.