When you watch MMA fights, you will wonder why you don’t see someone displaying Jeet Kune Do with their name. It is quite weird considering that Jeet Kune Do is considered as one of the best martial arts when it comes to actual fights. Why exactly is JKD not in MMA?
JKD is not in MMA because Jeet Kune Do has a lot of moves that are not allowed in MMA. MMA is a sport with a set of rules to follow. Because Jeet Kune Do doesn’t really have rules when it comes to fighting, it can be hard to use it solely for MMA.
That is basically one of the reasons why JKD is not in MMA. However, I have more solid points to tell you. Thus, in this blog post, you are going to learn about Jeet Kune Do, its problems with standardization, governing body, and why these make JKD not applicable to MMA.
Why Is JKD Not Used In MMA?
The reason why JKD is not used in MMA is that MMA does not allow some moves from Jeet Kune Do. This makes a Jeet Kune Do practitioner participate in the sport since Jeet Kune Do doesn’t have any rules when it comes to fighting. Furthermore, Jeet Kune Do has no real governing body and is not standardized.
You see, MMA is a sport so it has some rules.
Furthermore, the implementation of rules is important when it comes to any sport.
Even sports that don’t cause much injury needs rules.
For example, basketball or baseball has rules.
Thus, for sports with a lot of contacts such as MMA, rules are extremely important.
But that’s just the introduction for this article as I have found 4 reasons why JKD is not used in MMA.
1. Jeet Kune Do has no governing body
When you say someone has a black belt in let’s say, Karate, every school no matter where it will be would be recognized as a black belter.
The reason for this is that they have some sort of standards.
These standards are made by a governing body. This governing body would decide rules, lessons, belts, and many more regarding the said martial art.
This governing body is also the one who would recognize someone as a black belter, white belter, yellow belter, and many more.
They will decide how many years and what skill level is needed in order to achieve this.
This is what Jeet Kune Do lacks.
Jeet Kune Do has no governing body to standardize any of these.
For example, Karate has World Karate Federation. Taekwondo has World Taekwondo Federation, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has International BJJ Federation.
Jeet Kune Do has none of this.
That’s why there are lots of independent schools of Jeet Kune Do telling that they are the authentic Jeet Kune Do.
Which is really authentic? Nobody knows simply because there are no governing bodies or standards.
But why did this happened?
The truth is nobody wanted this. Bruce Lee has an untimely death in 1973 that left the martial without any standards and a successor that Bruce Lee has personally chosen.
That’s why there are lots of schools claiming they are students and came from original students of Bruce Lee.
If you’re wondering why they call themselves authentic, that’s why.
There isn’t really a set standard in Jeet Kune Do because of Lee’s untimely death.
Because of this, a black belter from another JKD school might not be recognized by another.
So, it can be hard to say in public that they are masters of Jeet Kune Do especially in MMA where a lot of people are watching.
This is simply because they aren’t united yet.
In fact, some JKD schools don’t even have belt progressions.
That’s how unstandardized their system is.
2. Some Jeet Kune Do moves are not allowed in MMA
Perhaps the most obvious reason why JKD is not in MMA is that some JKD moves are simply not allowed in MMA.
JKD is considered one of the toughest martial arts training involving the elbow move in which the elbow hits the face of another person, punches to the neck, and eye attacks.
These elbows, stomp kicks, low kicks, and eye attack moves are not allowed in MMA.
That’s why a person who is only trained in Jeet Kune Do will have a hard time in MMA.
Since they are used to fighting with no rules, giving them a lot of rules would make it harder for them to decide what to do on many occasions.
Imagine that you are an expert of low kicks in Jeet Kune Do, then suddenly you are told that you can’t use that in MMA.
How are you going to fight then?
That’s also why you won’t see a JKD-only user in MMA simply because JKD is for actual fights and MMA is a sport.
3. Jeet Kune Do has a lot of harsh trainings and no concrete lesson plan
JKD is all about rough and tough training and a competitive environment.
JKD’s training is simply to use what works and try them all yourself.
As I said, they don’t have a concrete set of standards for learning.
This makes some schools have really harsh training such as sparring seriously with other people learning from each other.
Because of the lack of standards in training, MMA fighters will just choose to master another martial art simply because a well-laid lesson plan is ideal since they don’t want to waste their time.
For example, when I learned Taekwondo, I was told that to be a yellow belter, you need to master these moves then memorize these sets of drills.
It also became apparent because their test when advancing belts is the same for every school. I’ve met a lot of people from other schools while taking the test and we are all tested for the same kicks and drills.
That’s a form of standardization to save you some time in learning martial art.
JKD doesn’t have these so learning JKD would look like a waste for most MMA fighters.
4. Jeet Kune Do is only good as a compliment to other martial arts in MMA
Because Jeet Kune Do is not a good martial art for MMA, it is only used as a sort of a compliment to other martial art.
The reason is simple. Since not all moves in JKD are allowed, there are still some moves that are allowed.
Learning those effective moves that are allowed in MMA is a good idea since JKD is really effective in actual fights.
That’s why you’ll see some MMA fighters who use JKD such as Jerome Le Banner and Ben Saunders.
But as expected, they always admit that they only claim to use Jeet Kune Do.
Why? Again, it boils down to the lack of standardization of JKD.