Teri Tom's "The Straight Lead"

I just took a look at Teri Tom's new book "The Straight Lead." I think that it's a great book, very well researched and well written. Martial arts books tend to be of varying quality, but this one's great. Yes, I know that there are different interpretations of what JKD is, and that there's the camp that believes that JKD is not fixed and each person has to find his/her own path. Most of the criticisms of the book tend to be of this type. But despite these opinions, my point is that the book itself is well researched and well written. Whatever your opinions of JKD, the book is a good book!

thx for info, will have to check it out. saw the BB article book excerpt.

It would be a better book without the comments scattered throughout it referencing how "some so called JKD instructors have been misleading people about JKD for over 30 years." (I am paraphrasing.) I don't agree with her overall philosophy in any case, but the book would at least have been readable for me if she had stuck to a strict discussion of the actual technique and avoided putting forth her and her instructor's agenda. Even Bruce Lee's daughter wrote the intro, which should tell you something.

I have read "about" it. It seems like a book that teaches you the fine points
of a magic trick. Somewhat like the one inch punch books.

"""Bruce Lee described as the most difficult move in Jeet Kune Do- "Only
one in 10,000 can handle it."""

That makes it a move not worth putting the time into (I'm number 68 in
10,000). Not for me for sure but whatever.

"Only one in 10,000 can handle it."

What a joke. Someone here is just trying to feel special. The pole vault is a difficult move. The high jump is a difficult move. The discus throw is a difficult move. Yet HS kids across america can learn and successfully perform these maneuvers.

We are supposed to be convinced that only a select few moderately athletic JKD students can "handle" this particular punch?

I don't understand the hype. I read the article in BB and I wasn't impressed. I'll re-read it...maybe I missed something.

Only 1 in 10,000 can apply the straightlead?

I thought I read in one of Bruce's notes that only 1 in 10,000 can understand his JKD, not the straightlead lol!! How absurd.

And Demi makes a good point: what's the use of learning such a low percentage technique when practically anyone can learn a jab/cross/tackle combination?

I'm not sure who made the comment regarding "1 in 10,000," but I just think of it as marketing hype. Did Bruce Lee say that? If so, and you think that comment is idiotic, there's probably no point for you to be on a forum that discusses JKD. If you haven't taken a look at the book itself, I hope that you will do so.

I don't have an agenda regarding JKD. I think that I can learn from the opposing camps espousing very different interpretations of the art. I can also understand why Ted Wong may have an agenda. After all, he and Dan Inosanto were the ones taught most by Bruce Lee. I have trained under someone who was taught by Inosanto, but I can also appreciate what Ted Wong and his students have to offer.

My point is that whatever your opinions on JKD, the book is still well-researched and well-written, especially considering all the crappy martial arts books out there.

"I'm not sure who made the comment regarding "1 in 10,000," but I just think of it as marketing hype. Did Bruce Lee say that? If so, and you think that comment is idiotic, there's probably no point for you to be on a forum that discusses JKD. If you haven't taken a look at the book itself, I hope that you will do so."

Read my post.

I didn't say it was idiotic that only 1 in 10,000 can get a grip on JKD. I actually tend to agree with this logic (not the math, per se).

I do, however, think that it is idiotic that only 1 in 10,000 can get a grasp of a particular technique. Pure idiocy from certain perspectives:

1) Marketing - If I was selling a car, but I advertise that only 1 in 10,000 can drive it, how many cars do you think I will be able to sell? Bad marketing approach by Teri Tom's people, IMHO.

2) Self-defense - The effectiveness of any technique is based upon the universal laws of physics and human kinesiology. A jab, a toe kick, a takedown, a choke, etc all are effective via knowledge and application of leverage and human mechanics. This means, that through proper instruction, ANYBODY can execute these techniques, whether it's a 12 year old Rockson Gracie (RIP), or a 70 year old Dan Inosanto. Some execute better than others, but ill health aside, nothing should be able to stop any human being from executing any of the above techniques, since they are based on universal scientific principles.

To say that only 1 in 10,000 can have a grasp of a technique...leads one to believe that either a) the technique is not based on scientific principles, or b) it IS based on scientific principles, but is being marketed otherwise.

Either way, I don't see the advantage in a technique that only less than 1 percent of the human population can execute effectively.

I've looked at the book, and found it somewhat interesting. However, I find little interest in books that put so much emphasis on one technique (be it the straightlead or triangle), to the detriment of all others.

And the JKD "camp" that Ms. Tom comes from...is pretty reknowned for focusing too much on too little information, to the extreme detriment of all other departments of martial knowledge.

Actually, the way that the marketing might work is that if only 1 in 10,000 can grasp a particular technique, and the technique is worth learning (which Bruce Lee seems think), you can be that that 1 in 10,000 by reading the book. Anyway, I don't want to focus on this since that wasn't the original intent of my post.

If Tom chooses to focus her book on one particular technique, that isn't to the detriment of others, especially if she intends to write more books on JKD. When people study something and focus on one particular thing, that doesn't take away from anything else. That's how knowledge works. Just look at all the research done in our universities.

I am trying to get people to see from a scholarly point of view that the book is a good product, well-researched and well-written. Scholars who don't necessarily agree with their colleagues can still appreciate their peers' work.

anodize:

"Actually, the way that the marketing might work is that if only 1 in 10,000 can grasp a particular technique, and the technique is worth learning (which Bruce Lee seems think), you can be that that 1 in 10,000 by reading the book."

I have a better chance of winning the World Poker Tour, given my odds.

"Anyway, I don't want to focus on this since that wasn't the original intent of my post."

Cool.

"I am trying to get people to see from a scholarly point of view that the book is a good product, well-researched and well-written"

I appreciate what you're trying to achieve. However, I don't think you can necessarily compare it to a peer-review type of study, because the book itself is not written as a scientfic study up for peer review. In fact, it contains statements (as quoted by one post above) communicate political bias.

Furthermore, she belongs to an organization that isn't as peer-friendly as you would like us to be, since they themselves have closed off their curriculum and limited it only to what they have coined "Original JKD."

Lastly, to further the peer-review analogy, has the subject of the study been tested (the straightlead) under stressful circumstances? Has it been tested in MMA conditions? Boxing conditions? Muay thai conditions? Street conditions? Was the data collected, and presented in an unbiased manner in the book? Did it show rates of success? Postulated theories on the cause/effect of the studies?

As mentioned before, I've looked at the book, found some interest in it, then realized that much of the knowledge being offered is from the "Original JKD" curriculum that, as far as I know, hasn't been updated in years (which is why they call it "original.").

The greatest selling point of any piece of martial knowledge is it's RELEVANCE to the type of combat scenarios people face TODAY. Street assaults by multiple opponents (often armed), attackers who are on steroids, sports events like MMA or muay thai, hard/uncooperative sparring against trained-athletic opponents, etc. And a technique can ONLY be relevant if...it has been tested under these (though not all) current scenarios.

As far as I know, the straightlead, as espoused by Ms. Tom, hasn't been tested under these circumstances. I know, from personal testing, that the straightlead, as it is currently taught, is outdated material.

Who isn't biased? Everyone on the planet is biased because we're each separate individuals. Even though I can appreciate the teachings and ideas of different JKD camps, I am still biased. Are you biased?

Has the straight lead been tested? Bruce Lee and Ted Wong have tested it. But does it really matter? Does a martial art have to be the ultimate, undefeatable martial art before a person can write a good book on it? People write all sorts of books on all sorts of martial arts. What makes the book good or not is not due to the martial art itself. If capoeira isn't as effective as BJJ for MMA, does that mean that all capoeira books are not good? If someone writes a good book on a traditional martial art like karate, is it "outdated?"

"As far as I know, the straightlead, as espoused by Ms. Tom, hasn't been tested under these circumstances. I know, from personal testing, that the straightlead, as it is currently taught, is outdated material."

If you say that the straight lead has not been tested under these circumstances, then how do you know it won't work in those situations? Have you personally tried it out under these circumstances? If it didn't work for you, for whatever reason, does that automatically mean that it won't work for someone else?

"Only 1 in 10,000" is either two things.

In the context of Bruce writing that statement and presenting it to another person in the form of a letter, telephone call, whatever he is either:

a.) Speaking literally and clinically.
Extending the quote within the context:
That is, out of 10,000 people only one person can do this and I mean what I am saying with no exaggeration.

b.) Speaking in hyperbole and/or illiteration (sp?) to make an enthusiastic point.

Out of 10,000 people only one person can do it, when you see it, it'll knock your socks off.

In the above context, when you put the flow of 'one in 10,000' and combine it with 'knock your socks off,' one in 10,000 is seen as the illiteration that it is because we know that no ones socks are going to get knocked off for real. That is just a figure of speech.

"Only one in 10,000 can do it."
"You're one in a million."
"Out of all the people on this planet [actual number unknown], you are the last person I'd trust with my car."

Etc, etc, etc..........

They say that they've got the Original JKD so...

Where's the power? And if they don't have it, where did Bruce get it
from?

I think there was something a lot more basic to wing chun than the
"trapping hands" that everyone in that camp seems to be caught up in.

And more to it than just power side forward and explosive speed. I
think fundamentally there was a real, different kind of power developed
through the wing chun basic form, done correctly.

I don't say this lightly either. But there is something to the one inch
punch way beyond the Demille book. I've experienced it at the hands
of a friend of mine and one of his teachers and it's some serious heat.

It's ironic that this message hasn't gotten though to the OJKD people.

The other thing with this kind of power is it seems like you can put it
into a different box, i.e. you can learn it in wing chun and then use a
different exterior form but be powering it with the same stuff.

This is NOT a cue for A&B to jump in either. I know it sounds flaky and
woo woo but it is a trainable and repeatable skill.

"Who isn't biased?"

That's my point. You can't have a "scholarly point of view" (your words) with regard to this matter because the source itself is biased.

"Does a martial art have to be the ultimate, undefeatable martial art before a person can write a good book on it?"

LOL! No one said anything about it being ultimate undefeatable anything. All I said was "has it been tested under pressurized circumstances." That's all. :)

"If someone writes a good book on a traditional martial art like karate, is it "outdated?"

I never said it was a bad book. Read my posts. There are lots of good books on sorcery, alchemy, liquid diets, and extending you chi....

"Have you personally tried it out under these circumstances?"

In a word, yes. I found other techniques to be more useful.

"If it didn't work for you, for whatever reason, does that automatically mean that it won't work for someone else?"

Not automatically, but it does increase the likelihood that it won't.

"You can't have a "scholarly point of view" (your words) with regard to this matter because the source itself is biased."

Since all persons are biased, including yourself, all scholarly points of view are biased. I think that Teri Tom has documented very well that the source of the straight lead is Bruce Lee, so yes, I guess the source itself is biased.

"No one said anything about it being ultimate undefeatable anything. All I said was "has it been tested under pressurized circumstances." That's all."

You implied that the value of martial arts books lie on their relevance to today's combat situations. That in itself is not true. Martial arts books that are not necessarily relevant to today's combat situations can be of great quality and can also sell well. And not selling well doesn't mean anything. Lots of things sell well precisely because they are crap.

"I never said it was a bad book. Read my posts."

I never said that you said that it was a bad book. Read my posts.

"There are lots of good books on sorcery, alchemy, liquid diets, and extending you chi...."

Yes, and there are lots of ignorant individuals.

"Not automatically, but it does increase the likelihood that it won't."

Just because it doesn't work for you, it doesn't increase the likelihood that it won't work for others, unless somehow you are representative of the entire human race or a large segment of it.

The book presents the straight lead as taught and practiced by Bruce Lee. The technique is well- presented, the text is well-written, and the history is well-researched.

"Since all persons are biased, including yourself, all scholarly points of view are biased. I think that Teri Tom has documented very well that the source of the straight lead is Bruce Lee, so yes, I guess the source itself is biased."

Correct. People are biased; DATA is not.

"Lots of things sell well precisely because they are crap"

You took the words right out of my mouth, bro'.

"I never said that you said that it was a bad book. Read my posts."

I never said that you said that I said it was a bad book. This is fun! LOL!!

"Yes, and there are lots of ignorant individuals."

Yes there are.

"Just because it doesn't work for you, it doesn't increase the likelihood that it won't work for others, unless somehow you are representative of the entire human race or a large segment of it."

My results don't represent a large segment of the human race, you are correct.

However, when my results mirror the results of many others, then it begs the question.

From my tests, and the tests of several individuals whose opinion I respect, the straightlead has not held up under pressurized circumstances.

"The book presents the straight lead as taught and practiced by Bruce Lee. The technique is well- presented, the text is well-written, and the history is well-researched."

Your opinion is well-taken.

"The greatest selling point of any piece of martial knowledge is it's RELEVANCE to the type of combat scenarios people face TODAY. Street assaults by multiple opponents (often armed), attackers who are on steroids, sports events like MMA or muay thai, hard/uncooperative sparring against trained-athletic opponents, etc. And a technique can ONLY be relevant if...it has been tested under these (though not all) current scenarios.

As far as I know, the straightlead, as espoused by Ms. Tom, hasn't been tested under these circumstances. I know, from personal testing, that the straightlead, as it is currently taught, is outdated material."

So, just to make sure I understand correctly, you have personally tested the straight lead in all of the above circumstances and found that it did not work, is that correct? Also, as a point of curiosity, from whom did you learn the straight lead, if I may ask?