Jeet Kune Do Blog

Insights from Sifu Joel Ledlow

Bruce Lee's Straight Blast

All Roads Lead to Straight Blast


For most fights against most opponents, straight blast is all you need.

Sifu Jerry Poteet told me that if a person didn’t know anything and only had 2 weeks to train for a challenge duel (old school Kung Fu challenge!) then he’d just teach them straight blast.

But not straight blast like most people do. It’s not a wing chun straight blast, because like everything else, it’s JKD and NOT wing chun.

Heck, it’s not even like what most of the “JKD” world would call straight blast.

And that’s a huge problem. Most JKD instructors don’t understand straight blast. Or even how important it is.

I had a student in LA years ago who was amazing at energy drills. One day in training, I said to her, “It all leads into straight blast. Everything we do is to get into straight blast.” She stood there rocked for a minute. She had gotten it the other way around in her mind. Once she made that transition though, her JKD got even better.

Straight blast is stance, footwork, hitting, energy drills, trapping all come together.

Straight blast properly applied is invasive. It takes distance and time away from your opponent and puts the violence of battle nearer and nearer to them, making it more and more immediate. It forces them to defend from the goal line.

When I see the one hit wonders of the JKD world posing after a single kick or punch, I shake my head. That punch was to get you into straight blast. The footwork and stance must be able to hold up to the intensity of close quarters with an aggressive and powerful opponent. It’s not a movie, it’s a fight!

Far too many who say they are JKD people are really just fans who like to pose and pretend. Some genuinely try but lack either the teaching, mindset, or experience to have a fighter’s outlook.

If your life isn’t on the line and if there is no real danger, then it isn’t a fight. When I say fight, I’m referring to a street scenario. It isn’t sport where there are rules, but it also isn’t war where there are weapons.

Straight blast is at the core of JKD and one of the goals of Jeet Kune Do as a martial art (and I think this is true for any martial art) is to overcome a powerful foe.

Jeet Kune Do is to be applied against skilled opponents. Powerful foes. Ones that have the very real capacity to defeat you. An opponent that will demand everything you have.

You know why Muhammad Ali was considered “The Greatest” in boxing? Because he fought against powerful opponents!!

Most of the energy drills and trapping in the JKD world look like garbage because the people teaching them fundamentally don’t understand that it’s a fight. That you won’t have time to “do” that flowery stuff. You have to hit!! Your opponent won’t be standing there complacently in a real altercation! You have to hit!

And all hits lead to our most efficient form of hitting, straight blast.

Straight blast is the full embodiment of the principles Bruce Lee gave to my teacher, Jerry Poteet.

  1. Always Think Hit!

  2. Simplicity

  3. Efficiency

  4. Longest Weapon to the Nearest Target

When it’s done well, it cuts through all attempts to block. It is the raging river of hits that overwhelms an opponent the instant an opening appears.

A little bonus for you. Straight blast is not a flurry of 3, 4, 8, 10 hits done super quickly. It is one hit delivered from stability with complete awareness of the opponent so that the next hit can be delivered as efficiently as possible. It is not the machine gun on fully automatic spraying out randomly. It is the precise firing of single hits to a viable target over and over and over until the opponent is destroyed.

So if that kick isn’t being trained to get you into straight blast, if that pak sao isn’t being worked as a transition into straight blast, if the road you’re on doesn’t lead to straight blast, if the way you fight doesn’t work toward straight blast, then you are not on the Way of the Intercepting Fist.

In Jeet Kune Do, all roads lead to straight blast.