From Bruce Lee to Dan Inosanto to Sifu Vito to Tann Starr: Jun Fan JDK

Carolyn Tann Starr 2012

Bruce Lee Foundation

Dan Inosanto Martial Arts Academy

Elite Martial Arts

Did you know that the Bruce Lee Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity formed in 2002? They have an interesting mission: "To perpetuate and preserve the legacy of Bruce Lee by creating a home where the totality of his legacy, his martial art, his philosophy, and his life example, can continue to thrive for generations to come." I like that because I'm a huge fan of his work and am the proud owner of his books, photographs and movies.

If you spend some time exploring on the BLF website you will discover some interesting quotes that may trigger an interest in studying JDK. For example:

Quote #1: "Jeet Kune Do’s stance, footwork, and major strategic points come from fencing.  A key principle in fencing, the stop-hit, is essentially the JKD namesake—the way of the intercepting fist.  The idea that you can set up your opponent so that you will be able to intercept him in his most vulnerable state—on the attack—is central to the work of fencing authors Aldo Nadi and Julio Martinez Castello, both of whom are quoted heavily in Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do."

Never heard of Aldo until I became a Bruce Lee fan so I thought you guys might want an introduction to a fascinating individual who was a positive influence for Bruce:

Aldo Nadi bio blurb on "Aldo Nadi (April 29, 1899-November 10, 1965) is considered among the greatest fencers of all time. Aldo was born into a fencing family in Livorno, Italy, and both Aldo and his brother Nedo Nadi were fencers from a very young age. They were both taught in the classical Italian school of swordsmanship by their father, Beppe Nadi, and both were already winning competitions by their teenage years. Nedo is generally considered the better of the two. His opponents include the famous French fencer, Lucien Gaudin. In 1920, at the age of 21, Nadi won gold medals at the Olympics in team foil, team épée, and team sabre. He also won a silver medal in individual sabre, second only to his brother Nedo Nadi. Nadi emigrated to the United States in 1935. He taught fencing in New York City from 1935-1943. In 1943, his book, On Fencing, was published."

Quote #2: "For body mechanics and maximum generation of power, Bruce turned to boxers Edwin Haislet, Jack Dempsey, and Jim Dricsoll."

Never heard of Haislet until I became a fan and discovered some interesting facts about him in the open source Community Books section ( where I downloaded a free Kindle copy of the out-of-print text: "Edwin Haislet, noted Boxing Coach, wrote his seminal book on the subject in 1940. Haislet served as Executive Director for the Department of Alumni Relations, University of Minnesota. His boxing credentials come from his time served as Boxing Coach and Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Recreation there, as well as Director of the Northwest Golden Gloves. Still considered one of the most relevant early 20th Century books on Boxing, Haislet's work is known for his advice on footwork, training, and his inclusion of the Inside and Outside Triple."

From a New-Student-Point-Of-View I think the most helpful quotes on the BLF site regard answering the question WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN INSTRUCTOR?

Quote #3:"...purchase and refer to the books written by Bruce Lee or derived directly from his writings from our reading list to best discern for yourself if your instructor seems to know the basics. Also, the BLF will be putting together a core curriculum Manual for publication..."

Pssst... you do realize Book Club is about to get really interesting, right? Just sayin' I'm reading my a$$ off and looking forward to doing some fun reviews. We might even spoof a few martial arts videos (I've been getting a lot of texts about that ever since I tweeted I joined a Florida JDK martial arts school - evil grin).  This book has the plans on how to build a wooden dummy. I'm thinking PVC dummy so my kids can do the project in The Man Cave with me next month. FYI: you can find it for less money if you try. Just sayin' I got my copy in Manhattan for less than $20 so happy hunting people (silly grin).

Quote #4: Lineage
"Does your instructor have a direct lineage to a first generation instructor of JDK? In other words, did he ever study for a good length of time with one or more original students of Bruce Lee or one of the direct second generation students? This is important because this is one way to be sure that the instructor you are studying with has some basis for his knowledge other than books and movies."

Hmm... let me think: Bruce Lee taught Dan Inosanto who taught Sifu Vito who is now teaching me... Ooooo... I am a baby Jun Fan JDK student with my Bruce Lee pampers on trying to learn how to walk the walk and talk the talk. How scary is that? Thank God my TapoutXT Day Four was Yoga XT (because I might not have been able to function at my first class today - or walk - that DVD exercise set is insane - LOL). I'm glad I started the Yoga XT because it seems I need to work on my flexibility.

By the way, this JDK project may take a while. You know how mentally challenged martial arts babies can be when introduced to something new that makes their brain drool in "Oooooo, shiny" mode. Yup. It's true. I've been drooling all day (but I digress - LOL).

Thank God for YouTube eh? That's where the wee people and I found Sifu Vito and contacted him through his website to take a free JDK class. I love Dan Inosanto. I brought his VHS tapes way back in the day when I was learning how to Fight Like A Girl (and promptly started collecting the DVDs - LOL) but I never got to attend a single function with the man (because I stay on the East Coast and the furthest I've gotten off the I-95 corridor is TX).

Have you ever seen a Dan Inosanto instructional DVD? What a neat treat. I keep saying I want to see this up close and personal but I never do (sigh). This year that's gonna change because the fabulous Dan Insanto does seminars. OMG - can you say one in TX near my girlfriend (squeeeeee) and accepts visiting students in CA. I've never been to CA. It's on my bucket list of things to do before I'm 50 (seriously).

Time to answer my e-mail: this TapoutXT 90 days to a bikini body challenge the boys started is turning out to be a good thing. After all, hubby and the kids want me to get fit, drop the weight and learn how to swim plus be a proper beach bum. Now I have three things to amuse myself with obtaining that goal: Planet Fitness, TapoutXT and JDK. Hot and Home is next on my bucket list. Did I mention I'm supposed to post my Miss October picture online? What a scary thought... Are your virtual eyes bleeding? Now you know why I'm seriously taking my blogger's butt back to the gym. I need structure and discipline to do those overdue music videoes (with liberal amounts of fun thrown in because we all know I'm just a big three year old with a few gray hairs - LOL).

FYI: Life With Wee People is going to be off the hook because Stephen wants a Bruce Lee body too.

Yup. I'm in my happy place. I can't wait to start building a pvc/wooden dummy with my kids. Poor hubby... I see a stellar family vacation coming on. After all, when I win this bet I get to pick the bikini and the beach. Sweeeeeeet. ;-) 

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Comment balloon 18 commentsC Tann-Starr • July 09 2012 07:26PM
From Bruce Lee to Dan Inosanto to Sifu Vito to Tann Starr: Jun Fan JDK
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