Belgium Seminars #1 and #2 - 2009
Seminar 1: Didier Coppens is my student and host for these two events. The first seminar I did there was just trying to straighten things out; get the guys on the right road and set them off so that when I returned they had a solid base from where to go. It's always the same doing a seminar; there's tons of versions of JKD, but, sadly not many of them are following Bruce's principals. If they did then JKD would not be in such a mess as it is today. So, footwork, basic kicks and punches, and body mechanics are the things that usually I teach. I don't always teach combat fight type drills till the folk have the basic instruments down, then when that job is completed we can move to the next level. So, the first seminar was just getting them aligned to what I teach and what I expect my students running groups to teach under me.
Seminar 2: The second seminar was a lot easier since most of the attendees were there at the first seminar; although, there were a few others who had come from other versions of JKD. So, when it came to doing stuff in a real aggressive environment they couldn't pull any of the stuff off for real. That certainly is of no surprise to me at all. Again, when properly following the principals Bruce left us it is possible to make JKD work for you. However, these other versions seem to have forgotten about the principals or they do not know them. The best education is trying the stuff at real time speed and intensity, then the funny thing is you can see folk change what they were doing before because it doesn't work. One guy I asked, "So why aren't you putting your arm down when your opponent kicks?" He says, "Well he would break my arm kicking like that", to which I replied, "Then I say to him but you did that before". He said, "Well I did it before because we weren't kicking full speed or power, it was slow like we do in the class I attend." Then he laughs because he realises that what he has been doing in the past looks good but has absolutely no real value. Funnily enough, after the seminar the same guy came to tell me, "You know Sifu Carruthers, I did that bullshit for three years and just after this seminar I realise I have been wasting my time." I told him, "Well its better late than never, but now you have learned a valuable lesson about Bruce's art; KEEP IT SIMPLE DIRECT AND ECONOMICAL."
So, we have the other group at the seminar. Now, these guys are teachers running schools; but haven't been taught JKD by any teacher, just self taught. They're totally useless and wouldn't even stand a chance in my beginners classes; yet, hey have schools with 30 odd students. I cannot see the point to going to a teacher who has no line nor even the basics of what JKD is. I was shocked when the host told me this guy and that guy are running schools. Again, this is another reason JKD is in such a mess. So, lets hope we can expose these folk or get them to go be taught by somebody to get them on the right track at least. If they would, again, just follow Bruce's principals, they would have a chance. Ha, amen.