|This is an explaination of the use of the JKD Straight Blast in Jeet Kune Do.|
By: Paul Vunak
Bruce Lee's Straight Blast
"Absolutely every serious altercation that I ever saw Bruce Lee in, he would execute a straight blast to his opponent." ...Dan Inosanto
I find it amazingly ironic that some twenty-five years after Bruce Lee's death, so much has been said about Bruce and his fighting methods, yet so little has been said about his straight blast. Why has this pivotal technique gone largely unmentioned? When you look at the numbers, it becomes clear. Millions of people have experienced Bruce Lee's theatrical Jeet Kune Do through movies, but less than twenty have truly experienced his functional JKD. Bruce was very cognizant of what "looked good" in movies, versus what actually worked in the street. Consequently, we never saw a straight blast in his movies.
When Bruce sparred during demonstrations, he was very much aware of what impressed the sometimes uneducated eye of the public. For example, Bruce Lee's most famous demonstration was at Ed Parker's Long Beach Internationals, where Bruce sparred full contact with Dan Inosanto and a few of his other instructors. One can witness Bruce performing several kicks to the face, yet no thigh kicks or groin shots. Watching Bruce's foot effortlessly kick his opponent's face at will with lightning speed was truly something to behold. Conversely, watching someone execute a straight blast is not the most impressive sight in the world! It probably looks rather silly to the average person, in fact. However, unbeknownst to most people, the entire was formulated around getting into the straight blast. The reason Bruce spent a lifetime developing the ability to burst forward with incredible pressure is a simple one...
ANY OPPONENT IS RENDERED HARMLESS WHEN HE IS RUNNING BACKWARD WITH HIS ARMS FLAILING, TRYING TO CATCH HIS BALANCE!
One immutable principle of fighting (regardless of style) is that for an opponent to hurt you, he needs to have a base. Without a base, without balance, a fighter cannot deliver any strike effectively.
In Gung-fu there is a stance called the "Crane" stance. Picture someone up on one leg, with his arms locked out, imitating the bird known as the crane. Now picture someone on the receiving end of a straight blast, hopping backward on one leg with his arms flopping around. The image of this resembles a wounded bird; hence Bruce's favorite expression. When he wanted one of his instructors to executed a straight blast while sparring, Bruce would say, "Put him in the "Wounded Crane!"
The straight blast was, and still is the single most important thing to do in a fight. It is safe to say that if we were to search the world for the best Karate man, the best Gung-fu man, the best Aikido man, the best Thai boxer, the best grappler (and so on), you can bet that none of these fighters have ever practiced their art RUNNING BACKWARDS!