Jeet Kune Do Symbol Meaning

Jeet Kune Do Symbol Meaning

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A discussion of the symbol that has come to further represent Bruce Lee’s Martial Art must include an explanation of “Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do” and what it means.

JUN FAN JEET KUNE DO  is the official name of Bruce Lee’s martial art. Many are familiar with the short form name, Jeet Kune Do, as coined by Bruce Lee in 1967. However, since Bruce Lee’s passing many people have attempted to teach and capitalize on the name of Jeet Kune Do, as well as Bruce Lee, and a lot of incorrect information about the art has circulated for decades leaving in its wake a confusion about the teachings and the intent of the art itself.

And so, Bruce Lee’s art was renamed Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do as a way of separating it from the chaos that has ensued since his death in 1973.

The name is made up of two parts: “Jun Fan” (Bruce’s given Chinese name) and “Jeet Kune Do” (the Way of the Intercepting Fist). The development of Bruce Lee’s art from 1959 until the end of his life was one smooth and indivisible path.

Jeet Kune Do Symbol Meaning

In the beginning, he referred to his teachings simply as “Jun Fan Gung Fu”. Later he further refined his art as a unique gung fu all its own – Jeet Kune Do.

And now, in an effort to delineate it once more, we at the Bruce Lee Foundation in accordance with the Heirs of Bruce Lee hold out to the world the name of Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do as the guiding light for the authentic teachings of Bruce Lee. Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do refers to the art itself as taught by Bruce Lee and as intended by Bruce Lee in his lifetime. The above symbol represents the wholeness of Bruce Lee’s art as the evolutionary process of one man and his teachings. Wherever you see this symbol, it refers to the authentic teachings of Bruce Lee as continued by his family, select students and the Bruce Lee Foundation.

The official symbol of Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is composed of three elements:

1) Bruce Lee’s Core Symbol: a yin yang with arrows and Chinese characters
2) Bruce’s “Lee Jun Fan” stone chop
3) Bruce’s “Loong” or “dragon” representation

Bruce Lee used this symbol as the representation of his art of Jeet Kune Do, the emblem of his school, and his personal philosophy. Bruce Lee himself describes it best:

“In the yin yang symbol, there is a white spot on the black half, and a black spot on the white half. In JKD, Yang (firmness) should be concealed in Yin (gentleness) as Yin is concealed within Yang. Thus, a JKD man should be soft, yet not yielding; firm, yet not hard. The curved arrows surrounding the Yin Yang symbol represent not only the harmonious interplay of Yin Yang but also the interchangeability of opposites.”

The Chinese characters that Bruce Lee wrote around the Yin Yang symbol and arrows are a phrase he authored and used to represent his philosophy, which translated read:
“ Using no way as way, Having no limitation as limitation”.

The stone chop, or name stamp, with Bruce Lee’s given Chinese name (bottom left of the design) was placed by him on the certificates that he issued to his students as well as other documents and correspondence. The translation of the chop reads: “By the Name of Jun Fan Lee”

The “Loong” character at the bottom right of the design is Bruce Lee’s personal artistic rendition of the Chinese character “Dragon”. Bruce Lee was born in the year of the Dragon and the Hour of the Dragon and was nicknamed the “Little Dragon” from childhood.

Finally, the square look of the overall design for the symbol connotes the building blocks of the art. It is the structure upon which to build – the foundation from which the art lives on. The Chop and Loong positioned at the bottom symbolize that Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do holds as its roots the totality of Bruce Lee’s legacy from the traditional to the individual forms of self expression. The unity of the three elements shows us that if the foundation is maintained, inspiration will be sparked within the individual to work toward their own personal liberation. ~ The Symbol Meaning

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