Decoding Bruce Lee

Jeet Kune Do philosophy is ultimately about defending your health. There are no rules when you are defending your health. For the thousands years+ history of martial arts combat the definition of "health" didn't exist. If you made it to Friday still alive you were healthy. Nothing else mattered. Health the way we know it today is less than a hundred years old. Probably because nobody had to think seriously about "health" until we had enough free time to wreck it. 

Bruce Lee lived in a time on the tail end of a analog world where the definition of health barely existed and most people didn't follow it anyways. Nobody knew that genetics obscure true health. Some folks never exercise, eat horrible, drink and smoke like a chimney and live to be 75. Others do everything perfect and drop dead early.

The Art of Health Defense is about behavior, genetics and fate.

Jeet Kune Do in 2030

Bruce Lee was only 32 years old. On philosophy and psychology he was just getting started. Everyone is very busy keeping Jeet Kune Do where it's at. In 1967. That is not a bad thing. Ted Wong said very very few people are teaching it the original way Bruce Lee was. I was way ahead of his time. Imagine where he would have taken it today?

How do I know these things? I don't. I'm projecting where I think Bruce Lee was going. First of all he already took the physical realm way beyond where anybody else could. Secondly he shows in his writings that he was onto psychology and philosophy that he didn't finish expressing and connecting the dots. He was in the analog realm so he couldn't possibly know how different the world is today.

I think he would put focus on health "defense" because that's where Jeet Kune Do pointed me to. We have no way to know what direction he would have gone but we do know that he told us, he inspired us, he wanted us all to go forth and FIND IT for our selves in our own way. At the end of the day what in life is it that matters to you? Health is not just physical.  

Decoding Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee's art of Jeet Kune Do is less concerned with sweeping theories of systems and more with what works on the ground. That's the pragmatism of the physical realm. What about the psychological realm? What did Bruce Lee say about that?

He had a lot to say. There is no shortage of lively discourse, debate and endless discussion about Bruce Lee's fighting system. What you don't hear is what his personal psychology means beyond the easy to understand Bruce Lee-isms such as Be like water my friend. Okay my friends we will look into this.

In our series Decoding Bruce Lee we will try to project where he was going and where he would be today and where will Jeet Kune Do be 25 years into the future.


The algorithm of Digital Literacy

The weaponization of digitized information for verification and authentication is on its way here. You need digital literacy of health psychology so you can hack into you before somebody or something else does.

Charlie Munger thinks that the fundamental algorithm of life is “Repeat what works." That sounds like something Bruce Lee would say about his Jeet Kune Do. Bruce said, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” He said, “It is not daily increase but daily decrease, hack away the unessential. Casting off what is useless."

What are the top three algorithms today? I came up with the essentials as follows:  

1.) Security
2.) Health
3.) Finance

I reduced it down to these three algorithms. In that order. Health is not No.1 because it does no good to be healthy if you are not secure. If finances become so bad they effect security, Finance moves up to No.1 but only until security can come back and switch places. Trading security for finance is called gambling. You never trade security for heath because doing so is unhealthy. If finances are so bad it effects health, then Finance becomes No.2 until health is able to switch places.   


In the analog world you were innocent until proven guilty. In the new digital world it is somewhat the opposite. You are ALL suspect until you can be verified. This is the weaponization of authentication. This is a whole new burden on society. It's like it used to be free to breathe air, but now we're being charged for it. New rules. New reality. We don't like it. We prefer to live in denial.

Eventually computer knowledge will fix itself and not be a such a problem for all of us. In the future the “computer” network will vanish into the woodwork. It will learn to protect itself so that’s not where the action will be in the future. Your future is not there. The action will be in hacking the human. We can see some of it happening today. You need digital literacy. You need health defense. We all need a whole bunch of stuff. You need the digital literacy certificate today. If you read this far you are already literate.

Get your Digital Literacy Certificate here. Pass this 20 question Exam and get your Digital Literacy Certificate.

Open the exam here:


The War On Health

Jesus just left Chicago
and he's bound for ,, New Orleans
Working from one end to the other
and all points in-between

Took a jog through Mississippi
Well, muddy water turned to wine

Then out to California through the forests and the pines
Oh, take me with You, Jesus

You might not see him in person
But he'll see you just the same

You don't have to worry
Because taking care of business is his name

Jeet Kune Do and the Art of Health Defense

Chapter 1 - Know What You Don't Know 

Here we are in the future. Let's ask where was Jeet Kune Do going? I learned JKD in the Army 40 years ago. I was interested in the psychology and the philosophy right from the start. It took me decades to get really deep into it. In The Tao of Jeet Kune Do I get a sense of the philosophy and psychology as opening a door.

Dan Inosanto said Bruce was always changing and adapting. The JKD of 1968 was not the JKD of 1970. Right before he passed Bruce closed his Schools and handed everything over to Dan Inosanto. He wanted to  espouse his concepts, philosophies, and psychology through movies. We tend to think he would have kept everything under the JKD umbrella. I'm not so sure. What is for certain is that the JKD we know today would be vastly different than JKD 2040.    

How can you know what you don't know?

You don't have to. As long as you do all you possibly can to the utmost of your ability then then whatever happens is meant to be. This is easier said than done because how do you know? Bruce Lee said it is very difficult to express one's self honestly. For him there was no separation between life and Jeet Kune Do, he lived it. But he said it was just a tool. He was always evolving.

Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.
 - Bruce Lee

I recently saw a article asking if Martial Arts "need to evolve" lest they become obsolete. All of them. This is like asking me if my use of a Handgun needs to evolve. It depends on what I'm trying to do. What if each Pistol is a different Martial Arts style? The Army used the Colt M1911 pistol for 70 years until 1986 it got replaced by the less powerful Beretta M9 because it could hold twice the rounds. After 30 years the M9 got replaced with the more powerful Sig Sauer because it's more modular and adaptable. At the end of the day it's just one of the soldiers Tools, an excellent Handgun. Today the war is Cyber. Information is the battlefield.

Jeet Kune was developed in a analog world. Today all the rules have changed. In the analog world you are innocent until proven guilty. In the new digital world it is somewhat the opposite everyone is suspect until verified. The government, the police, the Food Chain, Healthcare, the school system, none of it can keep up with Facebook, Google, Amazon, that's why those CEO's are under threat of being broken up. Our whole way of life can't seem to keep up.

Jeet Kune Do translates to "Intercepting Fist." If you had to pick one -POWER or PREDICTABILITY, which would you choose? Hollywood would have you picking Power every time. FIGHTING FIGHTING FIGHTING. That's what everybody wants. Power sounds good but it's not predictable. With predictability you get power, for free, it's like two for one. Predictability is about the path you're on. Power is about Obstacles. Power leads to always wanting (needing) more. If you seek predictability then life is no longer about obstacles, it's all about which "paths" to take. Life is about paths. Predictability is a form of interception.    

Young people want to manipulate control, rather than investigate the source of instigation. To pursue control is a like a dog chasing his tail. The closer you get just pushes you farther away. Stop running. When you're stuck on a Escalator just get off. Alan Watts told me once you get the message hang up the phone. It's power vs predictability. Modern cognitive science is only 30 years old. We've been stumbling around in the dark ages just making stuff up. Today we can begin to see why we couldn't see why. This opens up previously unknown aspects of our health, security and finance.

Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never see the light.

 - Bruce Lee

How do we stop tripping over everything and constantly bumping into stuff? You can't take your blinders off if you don't know they are on. Come out of the darkness. The dark side is to falsely believe, "If I don't know - it won't hurt me." That's click bait for your soul. When you live like that is when knowledge, truth, and science becomes your hindrance. Know that your mind puts on blinders. It's ok, it's very natural. It's the default, just take them off. Right now.

Health Is The New Wealth

The main goal is to build what I call your own "Personal Baseline." That is a solid Self Health Reference (Health Defense) that is there for you anytime you need to use it. It's like a friend who has your back. One of its most important jobs is to jar you out of complacency. Complacency is a form of blindness. Bruce Lee talked about this quite a bit in his own cryptic way. You have to read between his lines. When he said, "Your greatest enemy is the element of surprise. To defeat that enemy don't be surprised" he meant that you can overcome most problems if you know it's coming or you are ready to not know.

The other day I saw a sign in front of a Shoe Store it said we're, "Like a Health Food Store for your feet." I thought that's great but where is the Health Food Store for my Food!? When I was knee high to a grasshopper in the 1960's my Mum worked at the, "Health House" and it was a health food store. It was part GNC part Grocery part old school drugstore. That never really caught on. When the 1970's hit everything was about live fast die young. That worked for awhile, seemingly. But soon everyone was living longer as medical advances exploded in the 90's and today the problem is wreck your health and -you don't die. You linger in poor quality of life.


The Australian health care system generally gets pretty good marks! You can see that in the most recent Commonwealth Fund rankings of international health care systems. Australia came in second out of the 11 countries included. The United States, unsurprisingly, came in last. In the USA we live by emotion, superstition and politics. We often vote against our own SHI (self health interest).

Some people abuse themselves and live to be 80, others do everything correct and drop dead at 60. You don't really know. Why tempt fate? Nobody is perfect, everybody picks their poisons, and that being the case when you do have chances to do the correct thing take advantage and do it. Score some points to defend your health. Look for ways to gain a little here and there. Formulae One Teams shave off a bolt or a plate just to get a tiny gain of less weight. It's like saving for a rainy day. 

The benefits of Transcendental Meditation are well documented. I personally don't use meditation but I use it's concept every day. One of the main benefits of Meditation and "Mindfulness" is that it gives you a beneficial "reference" that is outside of your current bubble. Sometimes we all get stuck in that mode where everything is a huge trauma drama and we need some outside perspective. I need to see that the world does not revolve around my latest illusion or doubt or fear or whatever it is. It doesn't have to be anything. When your mind is free it is not owned by anything. The good news is we live in the Information age. The bad news is we live in the Information age. 

And like martial arts the trick it is to get the whole thing into "Muscle Memory" so it works on auto-pilot. Bruce Lee said when you get in a situation if you have to THINK its gonna be too little too late. He trained relentlessly. Very few of us can afford to train all day every day. Think of the 10,000 hour Rule. Who has time? You can makeup for physical limitations because psychological training is more important than physical training and its available to everyone, for free. Just by living it. 

In the physical sense I think Bruce Lee was a victim of his own success. His training routine was intense yet he always said Jeet Kune Do was not supposed to be limiting. I would point out that training with that intensity is very limiting. Having a physique like he had is very limiting. Not for him, for us. Because we can't do that. On the other hand his psychological instruction is something we can all get much closer to achieving.

He closed his studios and he gave Jeet Kune Do over to Dan Inosanto. His goal was to make movies that could incorporate his philosophies and ideas. Sometimes you hear famous people say we can all make Hitchcock films if we try harder than everyone else, or we can all be like Tiger Woods if we try real hard, we can all be Cindy Crawford if we try blah blah ah yeah yeh sure we can. Trying harder and putting in more hours is important. What's more important is finding out what works for you. That's the hardest thing of all. Because once you do that then its Game On as you are in your element. Is that what Bruce meant when he said it's very hard to express your self honestly?

I take it to mean once I figure out what I can do that FITS what I can do, then everything is in it's right place. What can be more natural than defending your health?

Humans spent 10,000 years trying to gather up as much data as possible. Then here comes the internet with as much information as possible. Now we know that's not what we want. We want to manage information. We hit the point where management can't keep up with collection. Hoarding information seemed like a good idea. We're flooded with shiny objects and bullshit. What you do not learn is becoming more important than what you do learn. We need to block out most of the information flows. Most of it is counterproductive. Like a dog chasing his tail. Do you think young people want to investigate the source of instigation? No, they usually do not. Are young people the same in every generation? No, they are not.