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Tao of Jeet Kune Do

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  7,532 ratings  ·  246 reviews
From the Introduction: "In 1970, Bruce sustained a rather sever injury to his back. His doctors ordered him to discontinue the practice of martial arts and to remain in bed to allow his back heal. This was probably the most trying and dispiriting time in Bruce's life. He stayed in bed, virtually flat on his back for six months, but he couldn't keep his mind from working - ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 1975 by Black Belt Communications (first published 1975)
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Vladimir Nguyễn These are Bruce Lee's notes. Some of them are in English, other in Chinese - translated.

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Miroku Nemeth
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 you
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I skim-read most of this book, but I liked reading something by Bruce Lee. Had some good philosophy and fitness motivation in the book. I wouldn't read this unless you are training though. My older brother likes Bruce Lee, so we had this in the house.
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
Cool for fans, but I still can't throw a one inch punch.
Martin Maher
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 philosophy g ...more
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
Vincent Chough
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Faith Lowery
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Great book with detailed information about Jeet Kune Do and the philosophy behind it. Although it's incomplete but it's satisfying to read Lee's philosophy. A must read for those who are interested in this matter.
Brian Wilkerson
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember where I got this book. It's been a while. If I had to guess, I'd say that I bought it myself.

The introduction to the book, written by Linda Lee and the editor, says that the book contains little new information. It is mostly how Bruce himself liked to train and fight. I agree with them. Indeed, the first section on Zen and how it relates to the mindset of a Martial Artist echoes a book I read recently, "The Sword and the Mind". Both of them speak of how a martial artist should
Adrian Ibarra
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
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
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
James Goodrum
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Shawn Kass
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book from a great man
John Scott
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
T.R. Preston
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Jeet Kune Do is one martial art I have never even dabbled in. One day, though.

Bruce was a fan of getting to the point. He wasn't so into the flashy stuff, which I admired. He prized speed over beauty when it came to a fight. As fighting is very much the opposite of a dance, he was ahead of his time when it came to that mindset, at least in China.

Great book for any fan of his, or anyone who currently trains in the art.
Chris Santillo
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just a punch, a kick was just a kick.
After I’d studied the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick.
Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick."

It should be understood that Bruce Lee did not write this book as published, but rather it was compiled after his death by Dan Inosanto, other senior students, and his wife. Though he wrote all of the words, he did not set them in their final form. As suc
Bhakta Kishor
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: martial-arts
Bruce Lee believed that kata forms and martial art tournament matches alike (like Karate) were simply "organised despair". He believed that in order to "fully express oneself, one must have no limitations" (kata and rigid and non-flowing movements being the limitation). His system was revolutionary, and included all possible forms of strikes: attacks to the groin, finger jab to the eye.

The name Jeet Kune Do was often said by Lee to be just a name, and he often referred to it as "the art of expre
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: martial-arts
I love bruce lee. Holy crap. This book was short and sweet. full of anecdotes on fighting. His sheer understanding of the physics, biology and the anatomy and physiology of the body is amazing. The man clearly saw martial arts as a science and an art. If you follow his methods. You will be calm. Happy and protected. But of course. It is about action and reflect patterns not about thought at the end of the day. This was a great book honestly for anyone. I consider it great self help

I recommend t
Pekka Huhtala
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
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
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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.

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“Not being tense but ready.
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Not being set but flexible.
Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement.
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