#10 Simplicity, Directness, Freedom
In this week’s episode we talk about the three core tenets of Jeet Kune Do: Simplicity, Directness, Freedom. Bruce Lee applied these tenets to martial arts, but also to everyday life. Shannon shares the story of the pivotal fight that led Bruce Lee to develop his own martial arts philosophy and way: Jeet Kune Do.
In Bruce Lee’s words:
“The art of Jeet Kune Do is simply to simplify. Jeet Kune Do avoids the superficial, penetrates the complex, goes to the heart of the problem and pinpoints the key factors. Jeet Kune Do does not beat around the bush. It does not take winding detours. It follows a straight line to the objective. Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points. 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.”
Essentially: Taking what is useful and rejecting what is useless. You have to know the rules to rewrite the rules. The problem is never apart from the solution, the solution is within the problem, if you’re willing to confront and face the problem.
“To realize freedom, the mind has to learn to look at life without the bondage of time. For freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness, don’t stop and interpret “Hey I’m free” then you’re living in a memory of something that has now gone.”
If we, in our own lives, start to hack away at the unnecessary, take out everything we don’t need or that we thought we needed but don’t, that will give us the space to explore what it’s like to be free from ego, free from form, free to express our true selves.
The mark of genius is to see and express what is simple, simply.
True freedom relies on the balance of structure and formlessness.
“Learning Jeet Kune Do is not a matter of seeking knowledge or accumulating stylized pattern, but is discovering the cause of ignorance.”
“If you follow the classical pattern, you’re understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow, you are not understanding yourself.”
What you can do to practice this philosophy:
Look around your own life and ask how can I be more direct? How can I simplify? What can I let go of? What is cluttering up my life right now?
Pick a space (physical space or they way we do something) and ask what is the most useful part of this? And strip away the useless.
#AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas)
This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Jake Shimabukuro, the talented ukulele musician and composer. He is constantly breaking expectations and exploring his instrument. He’s also a big Bruce Lee fan:
“As I got older,” he says, “I realized that I could also learn from guitar players, drummers, violinists, pianists, singers and even dancers. And then I started to observe athletes. Athletes are artists too. I was heavily influenced by people like Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan – applying their philosophy and intense, mental focus to music performance.”
Check this video from Jake’s new album “Nashville Sessions”:
Jake Shimabukuro is also this week’s #BruceLeeMoment!
“With Bruce Lee, I was really into his philosophy and the way he approached martial arts. All this mixed martial arts that you see now, that was his concept decades before. I kind of wanted to take that mindset of a mixed martial artist and bring it to music. Like being an MMA musician in a way where you learn to appreciate all different styles of music.
And then you take the thing that runs parallel to your taste and expresses who you are. That was, in a nutshell, what Bruce Lee was all about. Martial arts to him was a form of human expression.”