This next article on FCJKD is going to focus on Jeet Kune Do’s Five Ways of Attack and represent an introduction to JKD’s unique tactical and strategic methods of thinking. I’ve mentioned before that Jeet Kune Do at the advanced levels is transmitted as a system of: 1) Concepts 2) Principles 3) Tactics and 4) Strategies. The Five Ways is the corner stone of Jeet Kune Do tactical training. Its a way of applying the techniques you learned in basic training. If all the individual strikes and techniques you learned are weapons, The Five Ways represents the different ways you can use each one.
Single Direct Attack
By definition the Single Direct Attack (or SDA) is the easiest to understand on paper. It is a single strike thrown along a single line of attack. Its simplicity hides the fact that an SDA can be one of the hardest of the Five Ways to actually score a direct hit in combat. There is no set up, so therefore the opponent has more of a chance to see it coming and can utilize an appropriate counter or take evasive actions. Skill in landing an SDA in a high pressure situation will depend on how non-telegraphic you are, how good your sense of distance and timing is, and how well you can spot targets of opportunity and take advantage of them. It stands to reason that one’s skill in the Single Direct Attack will translate directly to your ability to apply the other four Ways.
Attack By Combination
Attack by Combination, or ABC, is two or more strikes thrown to multiple lines of attack. It is the next logical step to the SDA, and the number of combinations one can utilize is staggering. The idea is to use multiple attacks to set up an opening for the final blow of the series to land. When one closes a gate, another one opens. As an opponent goes to defend one area of their body, they will inevitably leave another open, and that is what ABCs attempt to take advantage of.
It is important to have good flow from strike to strike by utilizing how the body pivots. In this way it is easy to ‘load up’ a strike. For example, throwing a cross (or Straight Rear) with the left hand pivots the body to the right pulling the right side back. This allows you some extra room to snap back to the left when you throw a right straight punch.
Keep the guard up at all times as it is very possible for the opponent to launch a counterattack in the middle of a your combination. Be prepared for this.
Hand Immobilization Attack
HIA is synonymous with the word “trapping”. It is the method of immobilizing an opponent’s arm or otherwise clearing their guard from the line of attack so you can strike unobstructed. The types of traps can vary, and even stepping on your opponent’s foot can be considered a trap. Any kind of joint lock or manipulation can also fall into this category.
It is argued in many martial arts circles that trapping is not effective, however, one can even look to recent professional MMA matches to see the basics at work. Trapping can be highly effective when used properly because when crashing the line your arms will almost always come in contact with your opponent’s. Learning to move their hands around will allow you to create openings and to deny their counterattacks, but remember that the idea is to always be HITTING. Think hit, hit, hit. Not trap, trap, hit! I tell my students that trapping should be more of a reflex instead of being intentionally set up. The trap should spring into action as a result of your main strike not making contact. This is better than disengaging and giving your opponent a chance to reset or launch a counterstrike. A really important concept in Jeet Kune Do is to always be applying forward pressure, especially in your trapping. Be like water crashing through the dam: always moving toward your destination.
in·di·rect / adjective
(of a route) not straight; not following the shortest way.
In Jeet Kune Do a PIA is quite often defined as “progressive” meaning “closing distance” and “indirect” as “gaining time”. It is a method of simultaneously bridging the gap and gaining an opening in your opponent’s defense. The PIA is preceded by a fake, or uncommitted thrust, in order to throw off your opponent’s actions and give you time to hit an open line at the moment of vulnerability. Bruce Lee would call it ‘throwing out garbage': that initial thrust has no intention of hitting its target, but rather gaining a reaction that can be taken advantage of. The trick here is making the false attack look convincing enough to elicit the desired response from the opponent.
A note on nomenclature: ‘feint’ and ‘fake’ are quite often used interchangeably, but they mean two different things, at least to us Jeet Kune Do practitioners. A “feint” is a gross body movement, like a shoulder pop or bending at the knees, that makes it seem like you are about to strike at that line. A feint will quite often work on a less experienced fighter, and since its not as committed as a fake, will allow you to strike the open line faster. However, against an experienced opponent, it may not work at all. A “fake” is just that: a fake version of an actual strike. To make a fake effective it has to be just as convincing as the real thing. The difference from one to the other is in the footwork. In a fake, you do the strike just as you normally would, but make it fall short by keeping your footwork in check.
Attack by Drawing
ABD is an attack where you lure your opponent into an offensive commitment and then take advantage of the opening left. Attack by Drawing is arguably the most risky of the Five Ways of Attack because you must first expose yourself to danger and then be fast enough to spring the trap. You lull your opponent into a false sense of security and make them think they’ve scored the opening. This can be accomplished by lowering your guard and enticing them to strike your head. This is very effective since Jeet Kune Do works off the principle of interception: by maintaining the Fighting Measure and tricking your opponent to step in and strike, you made them do all the work in closing the gap. Now you can jam them on the way in with stop kicks or use the Straight Lead to intercept!
ABD is very similar to PIA in the sense that they both use ‘feints’ and ‘fakes’ to try to take advantage of openings in the opponent’s defensive line. The difference is that ABD makes your opponent come to YOU, while PIA is you taking the fight to your opponent.
I hope you found the article informative. Train hard. Fight easy.