|"Learning Jeet Kune Do is not a matter of
seeking knowledge or accumulating a stylized pattern, but is discovering the cause of ignorance."
Si Gung Bruce Lee
|Many people view the quality of personal greatness as a moral dilemma. In witnessing the greatness of our teachers and peers, many of us recognize admirable characteristics we may lack. We may then decide to choose a path that strives to emulate our mentors and elevate ourselves to a higher level, or we may allow jealousy; envy and ignorance to create a barrier to achieving our own greatness. In creating a barrier, we also prevent our understanding of such a level of personal growth and achievement. No one within the world of martial arts better illustrates the ideal of personal greatness than Sifu Dan Inosanto. For the past several years, I have had the honor of assisting Sifu Dan Inosanto in his seminars across the United States, as well as in many foreign countries. Although I have learned a great deal regarding the martial arts from this man, these lessons are secondary to a greater knowledge that he has presented to me. As a mentor, teacher and friend, Sifu Inosanto has served as a living example of the impact that true grace, honor, dedication, and wisdom can have upon life. For myself and all of those whom he touches, he is one of the finest and most humble souls encountered. Yet, many have chosen to assault his reputation rather than embrace the knowledge and wisdom that he has attained and shares with such dedication and humility.|
It has been stated, for example, that Sifu Inosanto does not teach Jun Fan Gung Fu, which is the genesis and base method of Si
Gung Bruce Lee's personal expression of Jeet Kune Do. As a current
student and certified instructor of the only remaining authentic line of Jeet Kune Do, I believe the erroneous nature of this statement is quite staggering.
Another claim has been made that Sifu Inosanto is altering Jun Fan Gung Fu via the influence of techniques derived from various other methods. Bruce Lee states in his book Tao of Jeet Kune Do that "Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve its end." This passage illustrates the eclectic nature of the founder's ideology and represents the adaptive and evolutionary spirit of his art. In combat situations, it is necessary to utilize that which is useful and available, and that germinates from functionality regardless of style or method; therefore, Sifu Inosanto's cross referencing of various methods with those of Jun Fan Gung Fu is in direct correlation with the heart and spirit of Jeet Kune Do. In addition, Sifu Inosanto, out of his respect for the base method of Jun Fan Gung Fu, allocates many classes each week to a study of this art at the Inosanto Academy. In fact he has often said that one could appreciate Jun Fan Gung Fu without an under standing of Jeet Kune Do, but one could not truly embrace Jeer Kune Do without expanding upon the foundations - physically, mentally and spiritually- of Jun Fan Gung Fu.
|In mentioning combat, I am reminded of a quote from a 'Jeet Kune Do enthusiast" who had never met Sifu Inosanto, but felt strongly that although an excellent instructor in an academic sense, Sifu Inosanto was not a fighter. Having received the energy that emanates from this man countless times, I can only take pity on such an ignorant misrepresentation. The kindness of a man's nature should never be confused with the humble power of his skill.|
|Speaking of ignorance and misrepresentation, there also exists a great deal of discrepancy with respect to the Jun Fan Gung Fu Chinatown School. This facility was founded by Si Gung Bruce Lee in 1967. During that time, and for the three years to follow, this school was run by one individual. Si Gung Bruce Lee personally chose Sifu Dan Inosanto as the school's head instructor (below documentation clearly validates this fact). Ninety-five percent of the classes were taught by Sifu Inosanto, with Si Gung Lee providing instruction on a periodic basis.|
These are but a few of the examples illustrating how those motivated by envy and ignorance have attempted to malign the reputation of Sifu Dan Inosanto. The informed need not hear any rebuttal: they axe well aware of Sifu's honorable character and his immeasurable contributions to the world of martial arts. The ignorant -especially those with less-than-honorable intent- will choose to ignore the facts and continue to spread false information. Yet I and others believe such malicious tongues will eventually be silenced ... the lies serving to high light the ignorance of those who speak them. Sifu Inosanto refuses to dignify such comments with a response; although I admire this and all elements of his nature, out of love and respect for him I feel certain truths should be made very clear. He has long shed light onto the path toward spiritual growth, and as a true mentor to many students, his quiet manner and inner strength should he recognized for what they are: personal greatness.
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