Bruce Lee developed an expression of martial arts that was personal to him called Jeet Kune Do (translated: Way of the Intercepting Fist). The art has as its symbolic representation what we call Bruce Lee’s Core Symbol (see below) and uses as its main tenet: “Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation.”

The term Jeet Kune Do was coined and put into use in 1967 by Bruce Lee in an attempt to put a name to his martial expression. Lee wrestled with putting a name to his art as he constantly veered away from any type of crystallization (and thereby limitation) of its essence, however, the simple need to refer to it in some concrete way won out and Jeet Kune Do was born.


Bruce Lee studied Wing Chun, an empty hand form of kung fu under Sifu Yip Man and one of his top students, Wong Shun-Leung, in China before leaving for the United States in 1959. With this training, he developed an understanding of striking through centerline control (protecting the middle so opponents had to attack from the outside). What's more, he gained a dislike for flashy movements and an understanding of how to intercept an attack before it had even started (an unorthodox method of countering). Beyond Wing Chun, Lee also studied both western boxing and fencing.

After moving to America in 1964 (Seattle), Lee opened a martial arts school named the Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute (literally Bruce Lee's Kung Fu Institute), where he taught Wing Chun with some modifications. However, things changed for him and martial arts in general in 1964 after he fought and defeated local Chinese martial arts master Wong Jack Man in less than three minutes in a challenge match. Despite his victory, Lee was disappointed, believing that he had not fought to his potential because of the limits his style of fighting had placed on him. Eventually, this led to the formulation of a martial arts philosophy without limits, one that did not force practitioners to adopt only one style or way of doing things. This new philosophy would eventually allow Lee to incorporate boxing, Wing Chun, grappling, and even fencing into his training.