Bruce Lee, Wing Tsun and Jeet Kune Do
The original martial art of Bruce Lee was
Wing Tsun Kung Fu. Lee learned Wing Tsun
in Hong Kong from Grandmaster Ip Man
in the late 1950’s. After Lee had been studying Wing Tsun
for about 5 years, his parents sent him to Seattle, Washington to attend school.
After Lee arrived in the U.S., he began teaching a modified form of Wing Tsun which he
called Jun Fan Gung Fu.
Years later, after moving to California, Lee further modified
his original Wing Tsun by adding ideas from arts such as fencing, boxing and northern
kung fu style kicking. Bruce Lee called his new art Jeet Kune Do, the “way of the
A close examination of Jeet Kune Do reveals that its theories,
techniques and training methods are indeed actually Wing Tsun Kung Fu. Jeet Kune Do’s emphasis on
economy of motion and simultaneous attack and defense, its use of the vertical fist for
punching combined with low kicks, as well as its use of trapping hands, sticky hands (chi sau)
and wooden dummy training can all be traced back to Lee’s Wing Tsun training. So it is safe
to say that Wing Tsun was the basis for Lee’s art of Jeet Kune Do.