Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do: 5 Ways of Attacking

In Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, there are 5 categories in attacking your opponent:

  1. Single Direct Attack (SDA)
  2. Attack By Combinations (ABC)
  3. Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA)
  4. Attack By Draw (ABD)
  5. Hand immobilization attack (HIA)

Single Direct Attack (SDA)

A single direct attack is a strike utilizing a single technique aiming at a specific target. Preferably the strike should be traveling in the shortest path possible with enough leverage and power to do its job.

Some SDA’s to Consider

  • Kick to the nuts
  • Jab
  • Overhand right
  • Leg kick
  • Back kick

A Single Direct Attack is usually used more often than the other 4 ways of attack. It’s less risky and can add variety to keep your opponent guessing. But it’s the hardest to master.

Later on in your training I recommend prioritizing SDAs. By refining and constantly improving your SDAs, it will also improve the other 4 ways of attack.

Attack By Combinations (ABC)

An Attack By Combinations are two or more striking techniques that are executed in sequence.

Some Combinations to Consider:

  • Jab, Straight Right
  • Jab, Left Hook
  • Left Hook, Leg Kick
  • Jab, Straight Right, Switch Kick to the nuts

Executing a single direct attack (SDA) effectively by itself will do some damage, but strikes in sequences (ABC) of 2, 3, or 4 can be more devastating.

When Defending an attack by combinations, it is much more difficult than defending a SDA. You may be able to slip, bob and weave a SDA fairly easy, but you will have much more difficulty when they come in bunches.

When first starting out, ABCs are usually the best way of attack to install boxing punches. Don’t go crazy practicing 10 hit combos. I recommend ABC’s in 2s, 3s, and 4s when training.

Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA)

A Progressive Indirect Attack is initiated with a false or fake strike to create an opening for a second strike. The “progressive” part is how the motion of the initial fake is also part of the beginning motion of the second attack. Therefore, your second attack should be half way to its target by the end of your fake.

Common PIAs:

  • Low Jab Fake, Left Hook
  • Straight Right Fake, Left Hook
  • High Jab Fake, Side Kick

PIAs play a huge roll in a fighters game because of its effectiveness. But the opportunity for it is limited. If you utilize PIA’s too often you can easily be countered. Use them wisely.

Attack By Draw (ABD)

Attack By Draw is used by intentionally leaving yourself open to bait a specific attack with the intentions of countering it. ABD can also be used by initiating an attack to bait a counter/defense while being ready to answer it with a re-counter.

Some Common ABDs:

  • (Hands down face forward bait) snap back, straight right
  • (Jab to bait the counter jab) slip-out, Straight Right

Just like PIAs the opportunity for ABDs are very limited and should be used with caution. Its always good policy to develop a variety of counters against one technique. This will help your ABDs more effectively and will also help prevent ABDs being used on you.

Hand Immobilization Attack (HIA)

HIA is more related to the kung fu art, Wing Chun. Also known as trapping, HIA is executing a strike while controlling your opponents upper limbs in the classical Jeet Kune Do method.

Some Classical HIA in JKD:

  • Pak Sao, Biu Gee (finger Jab)
  • Lop Sao, Back fist
  • Double Pak Sao, Head-butt

Today, I think this category should not be limited to trapping or Wing Chun Techniques. It should also include clinching such as Wrestling,  Muay Thai, or Dirty Boxing.

Some Examples of immobilizing other elements:

  • Stepping on the foot to prevent a retreat
  • Tying up the neck to throw a punch or a knee
  • Catching a Kick and counter with some punches

Clinching is a very important part of fighting and HIAs are necessary when striking from the clinch. I recommend developing HIAs from the overhook and underhook positions. Which covers most of the striking in the clinch.

Prioritizing the 5 ways of attacks

Your techniques and methods for striking should be mostly consist of SDAs and ABCs. While PIAs, ABDs, and HIAs have a huge roll in your fighting game, they should only be responsible for about 10%-20% of your striking. But, the stronger your SDA & ABC game is, the more effective the rest will be and can be used more often.

Five Ways of Attack Boxing Examples

My Thoughts & Comments on Video Above

SDA – 1:02

The examples of SDA favors the classical JKD lead hand jab. As a concept, SDA can be any single strike that hits its target with effectiveness.

11:38, 12:47. 12:54, – is an example of a strong SDA. Mayweather’s SDA game is strong and has a high percentage rate in landing his straight right. And it hardly gets countered.

HIA – 8:40

  • 8:54 – The HIA examples are very useful for anyone into boxing or kickboxing.
  • 10:10 & 11:09 – A good example of punching from the clinch

PIA – 13:18

  • 14:00 – In the fight between Mosely & Mayweather. Is a great example of a strong PIA. But, if you watched the whole fight it only worked once. use your PIA wisely.
  • 14:44 – Because Pacquiao has a strong SDA & ABC game, He can PIA more often.

ABD – 17:46

  • 19:30 – Good Example of using pressure & head movement to set up the ABD
  • 20:36 – Nice ABD by Bernard Hopkins
  • 21:37 – Common Snap Back & counter (in boxing & mma)
  • 22:00 – Nice example of ABD with initiating the attack to bait the counter

Recommended Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do Books

Bruce Lees’s Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is not just fighting principles but also principles to accelerate learning and understanding in the art of fighting. A few books on Jeet Kune Do that I recommend:

Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do 5 Ways of Attacking

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”






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