Jeet Kune Do: Is it in UFC?

As someone interested in Jeet Kune Do, we all hear how effective and strong Jeet Kune Do is in actual fights. Jeet Kune Do is a martial art designed for actual combat. So, one question you might have is if Jeet Kune Do is being used in the Ultimate Fighting Champion or UFC.

Jeet Kune Do is in UFC but not all JKD moves can be seen in UFC. The reason for this is because UFC doesn’t allow some JKD moves because it is specially made for street fighting which has no rules. However, you will be able to see some JKD moves in UFC such as spinning back kick and oblique stomp.

In this article, I am going to talk about Jeet Kune Do, and what Jeet Kune Do moves have we seen in an actual UFC match. Furthermore, we are going to talk a little about Jeet Kune Do and I will give some examples of people who use JKD in a match.

Is Jeet Kune Do in UFC?

Some moves in Jeet Kune Do are not allowed in UFC.

The reason is that their moves are somewhat illegal if used.

Some of the moves taught in Jeet Kune Do are prohibited in competitive combat since they are designed to be used against an assailant in self-defense and can cause serious injury.

However, it appears that more and more JKD tools and principles are being used in UFC fights.

Here are a few JKD moves or maneuvers that have been seen in recent UFC fights from some of the sport’s best fighters.

  • Progressive indirect attack
  • Pendulum hook kick
  • Eye poke (finger jab)
  • Oblique stomp
  • Strong side forward, punching with the lead hand
  • Spinning back kick

To help you understand, let’s talk a bit more about Jeet Kune Do.

“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own. “

– Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee created a form of martial arts known as Jeet Kune Do that was unique to him (translated: Way of the Intercepting Fist).

The art uses as its main premise what we term Bruce Lee’s Core Symbol as its symbolic expression. “Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation.”

What is Jeet Kune Do?

Jeet Kune Do is a prominent martial art that places a greater emphasis on philosophy and real fighting skills over rigid movements and patterns.

Though the methods of Jeet Kune Do differ from one instructor to the next, they always have the same goal: to prepare the pupil for realistic fighting scenarios by avoiding telegraphed moves and keeping the opponent off balance.

Bruce Lee, the legendary martial artist, founded Jeet Kune Do in 1967.

He established Jeet Kune Do to stress adaptability and fluid combat routines.

This is so that Jeet Kune Do could be employed in a variety of settings in response to what he perceived as stale traditional martial arts that had nothing to do with the real-world conflict.

Bruce Lee is doesn’t allow tradition to hinder in making his martial art better. If the move isn’t effective, he won’t let it be in JKD.

That’s why JKD is as Bruce Lee said, “Like Water.”

JKD is a fluid martial art as it will always change regardless of tradition.

This is also one of its differences from Kung Fu. In Kung Fu, they prefer sticking to traditions although the moves aren’t really practical.

That’s why you’ll see a lot of flashy moves in Kung Fu movies. However, it isn’t effective in combat since it’s most likely just a waste of energy.

Although both are made by the Chinese, Jeet Kune Do is different from Kung Fu. I made a blog post discussing this in greater detail. You can find it here: Is Jeet Kune Do Kung Fu?

But let’s go back to Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee aspired to establish a martial art that was “like water,” i.e., fluid and adaptable.

He stressed the significance of striking without telegraphing one’s move in order to create an element of surprise that confuses the opponent.

Which means that no flashy moves since enemies can easily predict those type of moves.

Be like water:

Every situation, whether in combat or in everyday life, is unique, according to Lee. To win, it is considered that it is necessary to be flexible and adaptable to any situation rather than inflexible.

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water, as Lee put it.

When you fill a cup with water, the cup becomes the cup. When you fill a bottle with water, it becomes the bottle. When you put it in a teapot, it transforms into a teapot. Water can now either flow or crash.

His thought was that one must be able to operate in any situation they find themselves in and react appropriately.

When to speed up or slow down, when to expand and when to contract, when to keep flowing, and when to crash are all important skills to have.

It is the recognition that both life and combat can be shapeless and ever-changing that allows one to instantly adjust to those changes and present the best option.

Lee did not believe in styles, believing that each person and situation is unique and that no one fits into a box.

One must remain adaptable in order to gain new knowledge and achieve triumph in both life and fighting.

It is considered that one should never stay static in one’s mind or practice, but rather should always evolve and improve oneself.

In short, JKD is a martial art that adopts in every situation. It gets its moves from other martial arts which makes it good for fights such as UFC.

Now that you have a little bit of understanding of JKD, let’s go to UFC.

Who uses JKD in UFC?

Two of the most well-known fighters with a JKD background are Jerome Le Banner and Ben Saunders. Currently, because of the effectiveness of Jeet Kune Do, several modern MMA competitors have studied Jeet Kune Do and even utilize it to supplement their other skills.

What is UFC?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), based in Las Vegas, Nevada, is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion business.

It is the world’s largest MMA promotion business, with a roster that includes some of the sport’s best competitors.

Every culture has its own fighting styles. Martial arts are associated with Asia, wrestling with ancient Greece, the Scots with their claymores and kilts, and amateur boxing with England.

This was settled in the twentieth century through global wars and drunken fistfights in World Cup host towns.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, on the other hand, is brilliant in that it standardized a method of letting men fight to see who was the best and from where.

Can you use all Jeet Kun Do moves in UFC?

You can’t use all Jeet Kune Do moves in UFC. The reason is that some Jeet Kune Do moves are designed to because serious injury. However, because of its effectiveness, there are some moves of JKD being used in UFC. Some of its users are Connor McGregor, Ben Saunders, and Lyoto Machida.

A number of contemporary mixed martial artists have used the Jeet Kune Do ideology in their training to improve their fighting skills. Connor McGregor, Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva, Ben Saunders, and others are notable examples.

If any martial artists correctly comprehend what Bruce Lee was doing, Jeet Kune Do is far from obsolete.

He urged his students and fellow martial artists to examine their own battle experiences, absorbing what was useful, discarding what was not, and adding what was unique to them.

Jeet Kune Do, I should add, is more of a way of thinking than a method of hand-to-hand combat.

It was a vehicle for Bruce Lee’s self-actualization, and as such, it was always an ongoing process through which one lives/approaches life in general.

Although UFC is freestyle fighting, still you cannot use all JKD moves in UFC.

There are some moves that are banned here.

This is because they are designed to be used against an adversary in self-defense and might cause serious injury, certain of the tools taught in Jeet Kune Do are outlawed in competitive combat.

In UFC fights, however, it appears that more and more JKD tools and principles are being applied.


  1. Wikipedia | Bruce Lee

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