Self Defense/opinion


QUESTION: i am a 19 years old kid who loves bruce lee and his jkd. i've been researching and studying them since 2008 trough all kinds of videos and books i can get.

I really want to practice jkd but so far i couldn't find any instructor in my area and since the possibility is a bit low i am thinking about alternatives and right now what i found that i think the best are wing chun and krav maga. The WC instructor is a student (and certified instructor) under sifu randy williams and the KM one studied and is certified under haim gidon from IKMA. I had the chance to try out both for 2 classes and in one hand i was tempted to go to wing chun because i love trapping and it was the base system for the development of jkd but there are some things i really don't like (forms, too much limitation of movement, weird defense techniques etc) and other things that bother me a bit and make me question if what they teach me can actually be useful for a self defense situation. In the other hand krav maga is well known to be a very practical system for self defense and can be learn a bit faster but one of the problems is the class has so much students that we can't move freely without colliding with each other, among some other less good things.

My top priority is choosing which one is more like jkd. is it WC because of being the "core" of jkd and some principles they share in common or is it KM because of being a modern system without wasting time on forms and other useless stuff like jkd does?
My second priority is choosing  something that can help me defend myself and does not build a false sense of confidence. I have trained taekwondo ITF for 7 years and when i quit i did not feel that i could defend myself if a situation arise and felt that more than 80% of the things i learnt were garbage (like forms, pre-coordinated drills, sparring in a straight line etc) and i don't want to feel that again after so much time of training.
Sorry for such a long question, i just need some advice having those things i said in mind, what would you recommend me doing? There are other martial arts around here so you can give your opinion if you feel that there are better options than these.

Thank you very much for your time.

ANSWER: Filipe,
Sorry for the delay in answering but I never received the original e-mail with your question.
You remind me of myself when I was 19 and also training on my own from whatever book or video sources (mostly books and magazines not that much video in the '70s!)
Is it possible to train both the WC and the KM? That'd be optimal in my opinion.
But if not, it sounds to me like Wing Chun is more appealing to you. And if you doubt that it is an effective self-defence art then I suggest you try to get ahold of Sifu Randy's DVD series so you can see how he combatively applies Wing Chun.
You just have to go slow in the beginning and get the hang of it. Sometimes, Krav Maga in an effort to please people with short attention spans, rushes into the training and doesn't develop proper technique... Not all schools are like that but I have heard of some.
Ultimately you could join either school and then use video to teach yourself the other. You've already shown me that you're self-motivated so I don't think it'd be that much of a problem for you.
And you should keep your ears/eyes open for Wing Chun, JKD or KM seminars in Europe that it might be easy for you to attend.
For example, I believe my teacher Dan Inosanto is in Spain every year around US Thanksgiving time

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello, sorry to bother you again but after reading your answer i felt like i needed to know more and after asking the same question to other experts, their answers were a bit more specific but gave similar ideas as yours, however i still can't decide what to pick.
one of the main problems is that i cant fully decide if i want to train specificly for self defense or train something i enjoy more and my personal quest of "trying to get the closest i can of jkd" because i just can't take that thoughts about false confidence and must be functional/practical out of my mind.
i feel that if i had a good jkd instructor in my area (i live in oporto, portugal and only have find 3 but all of them in lisbon) that would be the best of both worlds but as i said i havent been able to find one yet. i know that if i want just self defense probably krav is my best bet but im thinking of contacting whe wc instructor and ask him if he can teach me in a different way (more modern and more "jkd oriented" as sifu randy had lessons from ted wong; less traditional, no useless stuff as i dont care about graduation or belts) but i dont honestly think he will; even if he agrees i think that the wc still has its flaws and my work would be to adapt the material taught to avoid unnecessary limitations being created in me.
so, since i know what to look for if i decide to go just for self defense, i want to ask this: what would be the best bet for me to pick if i forget everything else and have only my pursuit of jkd in mind. which one is "closer or more similar" to jkd? which one has more things in common with jkd?
just wanna thank you very much for your patience with me and my super-long questions.

Go with KM then because it sounds like you'd have less to "change around" while training with them versus how much you'd have to ask the WC instructor to change his approach to suit you.
Do you understand what I mean?
Even though they both have things in common with JKD, it sounds to me like the Krav Maga would be an easier endeavour for you.
And just keep in mind what I said about seminars and DVDs. Perhaps you could even visit the Lisbon instructors? (I must admit I don't know Portugal's geography)
Best regards,
Dwight Woods

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Dwight Woods


I can answer questions relating to training in Bruce Lee`s martial art philosophy, Jeet Kune Do, and its associated disciplines.


I have trained in martial arts since 1973 and in Jeet Kune Do since 1983. I am a Full Instructor in Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do certified by Sifu Daniel Inosanto, Bruce Lee's premier disciple.

Inosanto International Martial Art Instructors Association.
Thai Boxing Association of the uSA.
Wing Chun Kung Fu Association.
Boxe Francaise-Savate Federation of the uSA

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