Top critical review
3 of 5 people found this helpful
Very much of its time
on 29 August 2013
I know the dangers of criticising Bruce Lee, but this is a review of a book, not a person. If you are looking for a book on self defence, you should really go for something more recent than this. Lee's Jeet Kune Do is known to have changed in the time since he wrote this book, so this is a snapshot of JKD at a specific moment in time. As an introduction to the principles of JKD which, given the nature of the art, are more important than specific techniques, I would recommend the excellent Tao of Jeet Kune Do.
Bruce Lee's Fighting Method is exactly what it says: Jeet Kune Do as Bruce was able to make it work for him. If you don't have impeccable timing and razor sharp reflexes, most of the defensive techniques fall flat. If you are a martial artist of many years training, you may be able to modify them to work for you, but I would not recommend anything here for the novice. The value of this book is largely as an historical document and a collector's item for the fans. Those same fans will probably react negatively to such a lukewarm review, but to do so is to forget Bruce's own belief that everyone should find their own style. It is not that the book is bad as such, just that better introductions to JKD and general self protection have been published in the time since this was written.
There really is no substitute for attending a martial arts class. If, for whatever reason, you are not able to attend a class, solo practice is better than not having any fighting skill at all. In that situation, look for books which teach you the detailed mechanics of how to kick, punch, knee and elbow as a starting point and practise through repetition.