Following Jeet Kune Do, using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation can be liberating, but it can also be frustrating at times. I was having a conversation with a student last night and after discussing her progress in her studies, she asked me about my own. She was surprised when I spoke in terms of several years, of reaching goals far into the future. There is just so much to do and so much to learn.
My Brazilian Jiujitsu studies have progressed, but have much farther to go. I am looking forward to starting Savate in the coming months as well as spending more time with Kuya Doug Marcaida and his senior students in developing my Kali. All of this is centered around the unified whole of the curriculum of the Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association, as designed by my Sifu, Harinder Singh. More than just progressing into these individual “departments” for my own development, as Sijo would call them, I then have to come back to the martial arts classes at the Maryland Jeet Kune Do Academy here in Odenton, Maryland and having an understanding of them in order to pass them on to the students here. This isn’t something that can be rushed. Kuya Doug compares it to a stew. It has to be simmered for a long time in order for the flavors to merge and blend. Like tea, the water must be brought to the right temperature, it cannot be rushed. The leaves must be steeped for the right amount of time.
At the outset, it is easy to forget that we’re talking about boundless expansion. Each of these given arts has so much to offer. I could study Brazilian Jiujitsu by itself for the rest of my life and follow just that way. There is no doubt it would be a fulfilling journey, and if I put aside Kali, if I put aside Chinese boxing, and shooting, and just devoted myself to Jiujitsu, my progress along that path would certainly be quicker. Even in that case though, boundless expansion along a lifelong path of martial arts means no matter how good I get at jiujitsu, there will always be more on just that path.
So, I practice Jiujitsu. I practice Chinese boxing. I practice shooting. I practice jwaseon, sitting meditation. I practice the tea ceremony. Each of these could be a nice and neat little intellectual box. The departments would never need to meet each other. Some would even seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the other. What does pouring tea have to do with shooting or choking someone?
That is a good question.
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