Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” as Want to Read:
Tao of Jeet Kune Do
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tao of Jeet Kune Do

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  6,418 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
Compiled from Bruce Lee's notes and essays and originally published in 1975, Tao of Jeet Kune Do is the best-selling martial arts book in the world. This iconic work explains the science and philosophy behind jeet kune do--the art Lee invented--and includes hundreds of Lee's illustrations. Topics include Zen and enlightenment, kicking, striking, grappling, and footwork. Wi ...more
ebook, Expanded, 208 pages
Published October 1st 1975 by Black Belt Books (first published 1975)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
I took martial arts a pre-teen/teen. I sucked at it. My teacher was a strict Asian badass, I was so terrifed of him. lol What can I say, I am a delicate flower. Physical activities are not my forte.





I am such a nerd when it comes to Bruce Lee.
Miroku Nemeth
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book that I highly recommend. One of my favorite stories from the book is the following:

Bruce Lee and I were having dim sum, a traditional Chinese breakfast of meat-filled pastries, in a downtown Los Angeles restaurant after a lesson. I seized on this opportunity to tell him that I was discouraged. At forty-five, I felt I was too old and my body too stiff to achieve any real ability in jeet-kune-do.

"You will never learn anything new unless you are ready to accept yourself with your
Long before Steven Segal, Van Damme or the UFC, there was Bruce Lee. While most of the world was concerned with kata and board breaking, Lee was developing a concept that would eventually become the most fundamental aspect of today’s fastest growing sport (mixed martial arts)—use what works for you. While taken as objective truth in today’s rapidly expanding MMA community, it was revolutionary and anathema to the conventional wisdoms of the time. It crossed cultural boundaries within the realm o ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "Tao of Jeet Kune Do", the only character is Bruce Lee. He is also the author of the book. Lee was born in San Francisco, November 20, 1940, and died on May 10, 1973, suffering from seizures and headaches. He was eager to learn martial arts mainly because he was bullied in school. He wanted to show people that just because he was Chinese he could be successful. He eventually was so successful in martial arts, he began to create his own fighting style with a mixture of many different martial ...more
Bernie Gourley
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martial-arts
Jeet Kune Dō (henceforth, JKD) is Bruce Lee’s “styleless style” of martial arts. Its literal meaning is “the way of the intercepting fist.” However, Lee cautions one against attaching too much significance to that name (or any name) in the book’s final chapter. Long before “Mixed Martial Arts” became a household word, Lee was constructing this fighting system that borrowed heavily from the Western traditions of boxing, fencing (conceptually speaking), and wrestling as well as from Kungfu, Savate ...more
Although this book is more for martial arts practitioner than the casual readers but I'm personally interested in Lee's philosophies. The first part of it is absolutely vital and satisfying and the last part as well. Bruce wrote magnificently about oneself and the art of expressing it honestly. He masterly simplifies everything and put everything regarding oneself into a clearer and freeing perspective.
It's impossible to read this one and not gain something, I know I gained many.
Oct 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cool for fans, but I still can't throw a one inch punch.
This is a collection of tips and techniques from Bruce Lee about his martial arts technique. There is very little structure to the book, and it's not something one should read cover to cover. I think it would be most helpful as a martial arts/jeet kune do reference manual and improvement guide, including not only the movements and musculature necessary but also the mental focus and way of thought. The whole collection of material gives some insight into Bruce Lee's way of thinking--perhaps most ...more
Martin Maher
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say about this book & this man. Bruce lee has always had such an influence on me, especially in my teens. Of course, he is well known as a martial art film star ,but he is so much more than that. He was a teacher & philosopher too, who had to fight against racism while living in america to become the man he was to become. This book describes the art that he created called `Jeet kune do`- the way of the intercepting fist. One of my favourite quotes of his which sums up his phil ...more
Vincent Chough
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
During my adolescence Bruce Lee was a hero of mine. He was a minority hero who broke down racial barriers. I remember seeing a documentary about Lee. It interviewed famous black Americans who considered Lee a hero of theirs as well just because he wasn't white (and he could kick butt like no one else).

I bought this book back in the 80's and still have it. There's philosophy, art and, of course, martial arts. It is a testimony to a truly fascinating life. I don't agree with all the philosophy, b
Scarlet Drakonin
I don't have the exact read start and finish dates on many books I have read this year. The dates are approximated, as I have been in & out of the hospital, and on bed rest, and read 2-5 books a day depending on the book & length and my ability to focus. All dates are approximated, by month.

I have studied this book since I was 9....
Lindsey Berkowitz
So good. No one says it better than Bruce Lee himself...

"Self-knowledge is the basis of Jeet Kun Do because it is effective, not only for the individual's martial art, but also for his life as a human being."

What an honor it must have been to have known him.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an awkward one. On the one hand, this is a glimpse into the notebooks of arguably the most important person in the popularisation of martial arts and a good look at the training philosophy of someone whose approaches to breaking down the formality of traditional martial arts have really taken off in the past thirty years.

On the other hand, we have to remember that what a book does for the reader is also important. It's not, for example, going to provide a comprehensive guide to the core tec
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a reason why, more than 20 years after his death, that Bruce Lee is still getting articles about his way and his own personal technique written in magazines and why he is still revered by so many. This book is a good example of the reasons why. The important thing though is to learn from his example, understand it, and then create your own method instead of just following it.
Adrian Ibarra
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeet Kune Do (JKD) was never meant to be a specific style, or another form of martial art. It was just a name Bruce Lee reluctantly coined because he felt he had to call it something. He was concerned that, once named, his approach to Martial Arts could be misinterpreted or exploited.

Anyway, 40 years after Bruce Lee's death, this volume and the 4 paperback volumes of "Bruce Lee's Fighting Method" (now also available in one Hardcover volume) offer, in my opinion, the best overview of his practica
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the philosophy not for the martial arts but as a former martial arts practitioner it was interesting to see the basic review of the approach to Jeet Kune Do-- many of Bruce Lee's approaches have been incorporated into modern Kung Fu.
At its essence Tao of Jeet Kune Do is two thick slices of Philosophy (at the beginning an end) with a serving of Martial arts in between. It is there where Bruce Lee is most poignant.

What brought me to this book:
I've been looking for books that r
Жанна Пояркова
"Если вы следуете классическому образцу, вы познаете рутину, традицию, тени, но не познаете себя."

Знаешь ли ты Брюса Ли?
В детстве мне хотелось быть похожей на него, мы с отцом смотрели фильмы, где Брюс, hot and sexy, виртуозно поражал врагов, и это было прекрасно, словно весна. Знать, что такой человек, ставший в голове именем нарицательным, легендой, написал текст, который ты можешь прочитать, - это такое же чувство, какое я испытывала, читая Авесту и думая, что вижу (условно) те же слова, кот
Cristobal Hernandez
this is a game changer....
everyone takes something different from this book, it's so open to many interpretations but the best part about it is the fact you really get to dive into Bruce Lee's mind. you get to see what he was thinking, what he was trying to accomplish and most of all a way of life. if you're an athelte who lifts or plays ball you'll learn something. if you're a Buddhist or Christian looking for a new spritual perspective you'll learn something. if you're wandering aimlessly in l
Aug 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Expressing the Human Body by Bruce Lee

Concrete no-nonsense martial arts. Very good for the martial artist and athlete alike. This book really encouraged me to branch out in Martial Arts and learn the traditional sports like wrestling and boxing.
John Scott
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shawn Kass
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book from a great man
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book seems to lack a clear organisation and can sometimes be vague. I have still found it very useful in consolidating what I learn in a class setting. It's not meant to teach you how to do Jeet Kune Do, but its more like a supplement to your training. My rating says 5 stars because it personally means a lot to me, however its probably more like 4-4.5 stars to properly reflect the flaws that it has. Its recommended to anyone interested in Bruce Lee's philosophy and martial arts. Here is my ...more
Stacey Tee-Bagang
I was twelve and it was my birthday. My mom gave me some money and told me I could buy whatever I could with it as her present for me. After school, I went to a bookstore and bought a paperback of this literary work of art. It's good to revisit this book once more now that I'm 33. If Bruce Lee achieved so much that actors his age weren't able to, it's because his growth mindset, drive, and passion for his work enabled him to thrive in his colourful but sadly, short life.

Give this book a read to
Pekka Huhtala
An incomplete guide to "emptying your cup so that it may be filled again". Gathered from Bruce's writings and sketches, this book teaches you the philosophy behind Jeet Kune Do. This book is a must-read for anyone doing martial arts. Techniques, practices, motivation, reasons. "Take what is useful and develop from there."

The best parts of this book are the very first and last pages. They offer you topics to meditate, think and discuss upon.

If you are not that much into martial arts, get this bo
Shane Gallagher
I was disappointed with this book over all. I purchased it as a young boy and tried to read it several times over the years. I finally read through it cover to cover. It reads as a compilation of notes bordering on a stream of consciousness. The graphic design is distracting and makes it seem as those the text are separate anecdotes and not related paragraphs.

Many of the martial arts concepts proposed were revolutionary at the time; however, many of the philosophical aspects contradict themselv
Pedro Rustizu
Well if you are expecting to learn any technique about fighting forget it. This is a more a philosophy book related with the art of fighting. Bruce Lee never wanted to write like a fighting manual because that would create a fighting style and a style is a prison.
So you will read free thoughts, you will see some basic draws and examples of attacking and defending, some tactics and mostly is just a compilation of thoughts the author and his daughter made from his notebooks.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book right after watching the movie "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story." It took me a year to absorbed and strive to apply all the philosophy in it. I still have the original book I purchased, and it is filled with my personal notes, observations, and references. 10 Stars if I could rate it that many!
James Goodrum
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative and a great look into Bruce's mind when it came to the martial arts. This would make a great read for anyone that has ever been a fan of his or even had the slightest interest in martial arts.

Learn about Jeet Kune Do. What it is and the idea behind the style. Follow that up with Bruce's views on becoming a better fighter from coordination to power and endurance both body and mind.
Raymond Strodl
I have just finished re reading this excellent book on the true essence of the martial arts.

For a practitioner of any martial arts this books is an excellent add on to your existing training and development but this is no free standing how to do JKD type of book. I don't think any how to books are complete with out the input form an excellent teacher.

This book will take the partitioner who has trained for some time into areas of the martial arts they never expected and it will destroy al lot of
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
bruce lee 8 47 Sep 04, 2014 08:33AM  
Ms. Bassett's P1A...: Jeet kune do 1 3 Dec 05, 2012 06:42AM  
  • Living the Martial Way: A Manual for the Way of Modern Warrior Should Think
  • Zen in the Martial Arts
  • Karate-Do: My Way of Life
  • Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An Illustrated Introduction
  • The Bible of Karate Bubishi
  • Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence
  • Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal Japan
  • The Warrior Within: The Philosophies of Bruce Lee
  • The Bruce Lee Story
  • Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke
  • The Art of Peace
  • The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master
  • Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit: A Biography
  • Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
  • A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting
  • The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts
  • Autumn Lightning: The Education of an American Samurai
Bruce Lee was an American-born martial artist, philosopher, instructor, martial arts actor and the founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts system, widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of the 20th century and a cultural icon. He was the father of actor Brandon Lee and of actress Shannon Lee.
More about Bruce Lee...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn: Life's Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Funny In Farsi: A Memoir Of Growing Up Iranian In America
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
    $8.49 $1.99
  • Bad Boy
    $7.74 $1.99
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
    $4.99 $1.99
  • All Over But the Shoutin'
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change
    $13.99 $1.99
  • WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness
    $5.99 $0.99
“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.” 321 likes
“Not being tense but ready.
Not thinking but not dreaming.
Not being set but flexible.
Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement.
It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”
More quotes…