Now, these principles aren’t unique to either of these philosophies, and neither represent the “golden egg” when it comes to finding your path to enlightenment when it comes to martial arts. What they do represent is a different view on “classical” martial arts, and as well-rounded and well-thought individuals, I think it’s important that we don’t dismiss these at face value. Every system has a weakness, most systems have their strengths. I find that Shotokan Karate (and by extension, I’m hoping to gain out of Koryu Uchinadi) was suited to me, as (a) I wanted to learn a traditional form of self defense with historical significance to Japan owing to my interest and tertiary study into Japanese history and culture, (b) wanted to learn an applicable form of self defense with an emphasis on respect and an end result that also improved physical fitness, and (c) learn a style that can be utilised/adapted to my existing physical condition. So for me, karate, whether it by a hybrid style (what I previously learned), “classical” Shotokan (which is probably my primary influence) and Koryu Uchinadi (broader syllabus with anthropological overtones in its development), are what have been right for me at this stage of my development.
At the end of the day, I like that both systems don’t explicitly say they have the answer, but offer opportunities and encourage a mode of self-developed insight into reactions to physical violence. Hanshi McCarthy is of course well-known and respected for the development of his HAPV model (Habitual Acts of Physical Violence), which aims to build a practical foundation for techniques taught within the system, and complements the constantly evolving nature of the system, bringing a modenr, scientific approach to karate that forms is base upon pre-Japan Okinawan kenpo. While not as succinct, I believe Lee was shooting towards the same goal with Jeet Kune Do, in that a martial art should not be a static object, but something that can react to situational changes and notes this should be implicitly explored. Like that classic interview, Bruce’s analogy of being like water is a great concept, and as martial artists, is something we should always consider in our training. Ultimately where Jeet June Do and Koryu Uchinadi meet is in this guiding principle – don’t get so bogged down by tradition that you can forge practicality out of physical or written philosophy.
This is the final post of this lengthy discussion – you can view a full list of the posts by using the Koryu Uchinadi/Jeet Kune Do comparison tag. Thanks for bearing with me as I know it was lengthy, and I hope you got something out of it!!