Bruce Lee often called his art of Jeet Kune Do, fencing without a foil. In this entry we will be discussing what he meant by that statement.
If you take a look at fencing and Jeet Kune Do, you will not a few similarities. One of them is how in authentic JKD it is taught to move your hand first as opposed to stepping in and then punching. If you notice, the fencer moves the foil first, rightfully so. He does not step in and thrust his foil forward, the foil moves first and the body follows behind it.
Another aspect taken from fencing are 4 out of the 5 ways of attack, Single direct attack, Attack by combination, Attack by drawing, Progressive indirect attack, Hand and hair immobilization. Hair/hand immobilization is not something used in fencing. But the other 4 ways of attack are inspired by fencing.
The last aspect is having the rear heel up. This was adopted by a very famous fencer named Aldo Nadi. Who described the raised rear heel as "the piston" the thrusts the body forward.
As pointed out above Jeet Kune Do and fencing have a lot of similarities. Here at New York Martial Arts Academy we make sure to emphasize these to make sure our students understand the reasoning why Bruce Lee did what he did.