Who is the greatest expression of a JKD Concepts approach today? My vote would go to Jacare - seemlessly blending Judo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Wrestling together into a devastating fighting style.
Ah dude, we're talking MMA here. I don't think Jacare's the total package.
I'd go for Fedor, Vanderlei and Couture.
Why would we be talking MMA?
I vote for Tony Hawk.
He found his individual "way" by thinking outside of the existing paradigm.
Innovation + Adaptation
Siciliano, I see your point and those are good candidates, but I have to disagree for a few reasons:
Randy, Fedor, and Vanderlei, while devastating fighters haven't mastered or demonstrated the level of expertise in a 2nd or 3rd martial art like Jacare has. Fedor is largely combat sambo with very little else (and it is this base which allows him to have the most effective ground and pound known to man as well as avoid submissions). Randy is largely greco roman wrestling. His boxing, kickboxing, and jiujitsu are not that impressive (he could never compete in these arts as a solo sport). Vanderlei is a tough thai boxer but likewise he couldn't compete in jiu-jitsu and has never submitted an opponent.
Jacare has demonstrated unbelievable mastery of bjj, judo, and wrestling and has combined them seemlessly, sometimes going for a devastating judo throw, sometimes going for a wrestling ankle pick, sometimes jumping for a flying triangle or armlock, whatever the situation dictates.
Jacare is adding striking to his arsenal I believe by training with Chuck Lidell and has passed up the worlds to focus soley on his MMA career. He has won his last two MMA fights. If he can competently add striking to his grappling base he will be an animal as such the world has never seen (yes, I am jock riding, but in this case it is appropriate!).
Wouldn't it have to be BJ Penn? Excellent in all ranges: MT, wrestling and BJJ.
To me, combat proficiency is a relatively small part of the JKD formula.
Aside from being combat efficient, they have to:
constantly seek out knowledge for further self-refinement
seek out humility
have the ability to pass on their knowledge so that their students improve as fighters, teachers, and human beings.
Guro Dan gets my vote.
He has the knowledge, the capacity to teach, his humility, and is constantly looking to improve himself.
I recently found out from Roy Harris that it was Guro Dan who got him into kettlebell training. Guro Dan trains kettlebells at 70 years of age!
Now, if we're talking just about combat efficiency, I wouldn't vote for any of the MMA fighters.
High level SEALs get my vote.
Guro Dan for sure, he never stops learning or training
"- seek out humility "
Without humility, you won't be aware of your strengths AND your weaknesses; you'll only be aware of your strengths.
Knowing only your strengths, without addressing your weaknesses invites stubborness, rigidness, and false pride. It leads to all types of rigid thinking like "I only need this martial art" or "I have a black belt in this art, therefore I can fight anybody", etc.
With humility comes the awareness that you don't know everything, which often leads to seeking others for further knowledge, thereby improving and honing your skill further.
"SAS guys are better than SEALs, and neither of them are particularley good at unarmed combat compared to MMA fighters."
MMA fighters aren't particularly good at room clearing, jumping out of airplanes, or demolitions. So what's your point?
Best expression: Frank Shamrock, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Crocop, GENKI FUCKING SUDO
Worse expression: Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Dan Severn
The best guys know every range and aspect of fighting and flow seemlessly for them. These are the smart fighters who are able to learn what is useful and discard what is useless FOR THEM. Crocop may not be the best submission guy around but adapted what is useful, (sprawl, clinch wrestling) to stay on his feet and do what he does best. Genki Sudo does all the above and added what is his own.
The worse guys such as Ken and Royce just stuck to what they knew from their youth and refuse to learn what is useful. Hence their poor performance.
"Since when was JKD about any of that?"
Since when was JKD about getting down to your MMA fight shorts and fighting using rules, a ref, and judges?
"MMA fighters aren't particularly good at room clearing, jumping out of airplanes, or demolitions. So what's your point? "
"Since when was JKD about any of that?"
I have to agree with 4Ranges: JKD is about truth in combat.......NOT just one-on-one sport combat under agreed upon rules, conditions, times, and purses.
"Royce crosstrains, obviously he doesn't advertise that fact but he isn't mindlessly sticking to pure GJJ."
This is an excerpt from an interview from MMA weekly, very recent.
MMAWeekly: Touching on Hughes, did you learn anything from the fight? Did he surprise you?
Royce Gracie: No, we knew what he was planning to do. We worked out his gameplan before the fight, and he did exactly what we expected. I over-trained for the fight. That was all. I started training too much, too hard, for too long. He did exactly what we expected.
MMAWeekly: With the training for the fight, who did you work with for stand-up?
Royce Gracie: Fairtex.
MMAWeekly: Did you adjust your training specifically for Hughes? Did you bring in any wrestlers to roll with?
Royce Gracie: No, we only trained with Fairtex outside of our team.
MMAWeekly: Did you not feel that training with a strong wrestling camp would have benefited you?
Royce Gracie: No.
Yes, he does train Muay Thai with Fairtex. I give him that. But he didn't wanna train with strong wrestlers? So he's doing crosstraining but not enough crosstraining. Not training smart there. No offense.
"Bruce Lee said martial arts were the art of expressing the human body..."
overtrained my ass
I think you are misunderstanding Bruce's quote, because it is out of context.
Bruce DID say that martial arts are the art of expressing the human body. He also said that all techniques are just movements. These movements, when isolated from context, are just personal expression (In fact, even IN context, they are personal expression), because each of our bodies is different.
So when I execute a jab, a jut sao, a double leg, or a rear naked choke, I do so in a way that expresses MY body's ability to do so (and it will be subtly different than yours, because your body is not the same as mine).
THIS is what he was discussing. He was not excluding weapons. In fact, he advocated weapons training (FMA, anyone???).
"Weapons aren't the human body."
These "weapons" are nothing WITHOUT the human body.
"So someone who flies a B-52 is expressing their body...?"
Do you think the B-52 is expressing itself?
It doesn't matter to me whether you agree with me or not.
JKD is the study of combat, in all its forms.
"Right, so how much do you know about antibiotics and bacteriophages?"
LOL! Now you're just trolling. Nice.
"why isn't combat on a microscopic level also relevant?"
It's not relevant to ME.