Monday, October 4, 2010

attacking the lead arm...

There is a basic attack in fencing (epee) I was taught over a decade ago, and it is a technique we utilize in sparring quite often in the dojo.
The move is an attack whereby the defender's weapon is attacked first--cleared aside--creating an opening in which to strike (this is all done with the foil or epee in a single motion, much like a stop hit). In jiu-jitsu, we attack the opponent's lead arm the same way, clearing it to the side or down, leaving an open target for the back hand that has already moved to strike. I've been nailed by Sensei this way more than once--in the chest--and when done fast the attack is virtually unstoppable as it removes the defender's blocking hand from the equation.
Although I know little about Bruce Lee compared to his many fans, I have read on several occassions that he gave careful study to fencing tactics (JKD, like fencing, uses a strong-side-forward stance. Since my brief foray in this sport I have found I cannot get away from this).
Also in fencing, like many martial arts, one turns his/her body to the side to narrow themselves as a target (the feet are in a type of backstance). The myth goes Lee passed this along to the boxer Muhammed Ali.
Anyway, I think Lee's JKD definately shows some fencing components, and there a few of which I would encourage any student of budo to understand.


  1. Of course, we can learn best Bruce Lee's thoughts on his fighting philosophy by reading his own words, but after reading much of his work, I was lead to a book called, "The Straight Lead" by Teri Tom who wrote a book solely about the straight jab in JKD, and it references fencing a bit if I recall correctly. Perhaps you'd like to check it out.

  2. i've heard of it but not read it.... i'll try to take a look...