Whether you are a seasoned martial artist coming to Jeet Kune Do after years of experience or if this is your first class, there are some things to keep in mind that will help you succeed, no matter what your level of experience. Here is some advice from Sijo Bruce Lee and others to help you in your studies.
"Empty your cup so that it may be filled." - Sijo Bruce Lee
Your instructor is there for a reason. He or she has put in the time and effort to learn from their instructors not only the techniques and concepts of Jeet Kune Do, but more importantly how to pass on the concepts and techniques of Jeet Kune Do. Let them teach, let go of your ego, and any preconceived notions you might have. Don't ask endless what-if questions, and just try to grasp what they are instructing you on at that moment. There will be time for questions after class.
"Right effort: The therapy must go forward at the staying speed, the critical velocity that can be sustained." - Sijo Bruce Lee
You will be tired. You may be exhausted by the end of the warm up, especially if you are new and not in shape. Don't give up, and don't complain. You will adapt and overcome. Just keep training.
"Punches & Kicks are tools to kill the ego." - Sijo Bruce Lee
Every single person in the class, including your instructor, is a student of Jeet Kune Do. Whether the lesson plan is something you have never seen before, or the same technique you practiced on your first day of training. there is something new that you can learn from it. Whether your training partner is an experienced martial artist or a first timer, you can learn something from them. Never allow yourself to act from a place that assumes you know more or are better than anyone. Have a beginner's mind.
"Martial Arts begins and ends with respect." - Gichin Funakoshi
You are not in Jeet Kune Do class to beat up on your training partners. Let go of that ego. You and your training partners are there to help each other improve. When you spar, let go of the idea of winning. If you injure your partner, they cannot train. If you continue to injure partners, no one will want to train with you. Have an attitude of caring for the person you are working with, help them improve their ability, and they will in turn do the same to you.
Cleanliness is Godliness
Show courtesy and respect to your fellow students. Shower before class. Trim your nails. Wear deodorant. Wear clean clothing that has been laundered since last time you trained. You will be getting sweaty enough and smelly enough as it is grappling and clinching with your classmates. Don't come in stinking before hand.
Don't train if you are not in good health.
If you're ill or injured, don't train. Give your body time to heal. Avoid spreading contagion throughout your training group. Take the opportunity to train lightly on your own at home.
Drop the racism
Sijo Bruce Lee encountered a great deal of racism in his life and was seen as a symbol of liberation and empowerment by minorities of all races both during his life and to today. Don't follow his path if you cannot respect what he represents.
"Jeet Kune Do, ultimately, is not a matter of petty technique but of highly developed personal spirituality and physique." - Sijo Bruce Lee
As you learn and practice kicking and punching, clinching and grappling, look at how you are learning persistence, look at how you are learning self-awareness, look at how you have changed from the person you were when you first started training. Let that seep into your life outside of practice. Care for the people around you. Benefit your community. Help others find their way in life. Encourage. Let go of your desire to always win. Let go of your scheming. Let go of your desire to be recognized for the things you know and show off. Let go of your desire to be recognized by the people who have ignored or hindered you. Let go of only reacting to others. Let go of everything else that has ever held you back.
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