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Dealing with a Bigger, Stronger Opponent? Then Jeet Kune Do is For You!

When you learn martial arts that were designed for tournaments and all types of competition, you learn how to fight by the rules of those martial arts. For example, if you study Tae Kwon Do, then you will spend a vast majority of your time training according to the rules of Tae Kwon Do. You can't hit below the belt or punch the face. If you study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, then you're training by the rules of the sport of Jiu Jitsu. You can't throw punches or kick the head. This is all fine and good if your goal is to compete. Competition is an excellent purpose. But if your goal is to learn how to fight so you can properly protect yourself in case you get forced into a fight, then you need to research, investigate, and analyze what martial art you're possibly getting into. I don't recommend just going to any martial arts school without researching what they teach and figuring out how it may or may not serve your purpose. Keep in mind that if your main purpose is practical self-defense, then a martial art that is based on tournaments or sport may not be in your best interest. In this blog, I'll explain why.

Self-Defense Fighting vs. Sport Fighting

In sport, the goal is to find out who is the better athlete at that specific activity. It's about winning the event. In sport, the goal is also to create parity, as in, making the competition as fair as possible. This is done by establishing a gender class, age classes, weight classes, experience classes etc. Athletes compete against other athletes who are in the same level as they are. It's all about fairness. For example, if you compete in Jiu Jitsu, you will be matched up as evenly as possible. And what happens when you break the rules? You get penalized. A referee is watching the fight to make sure the rules are followed.

However, in real world fights, there is no such thing as fairness. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's all about having an advantage above the other person. In this situation, there will be an aggressor and a target person aka predator vs. prey.

For example, you might have husband who physically abuses his spouse. He constantly beats her, tortures her, and she can't stop him. He's using his advantage over her in many evil ways. What's his advantage? Other than mental abusiveness, he's so much bigger and stronger than her. He's violent. Now in this imaginary situation, where is the fairness of sport? Do you think the husband cares about fighting fair? If the wife wants to defend herself, she has to use the right self-defense system.

Another example would be an adult bully who's a sociopath and has anger management problems. He takes advantage of his co-workers and neighbors. People like this (and there are many of them) take advantage of how people fear him and won't stop him. He becomes physically abusive, sexually abusive, verbally abusive, and spreads misery wherever he goes. We have all encountered people like this at some point and we know they spit at the rules. We all need to stand up to people like this and stop them. Jeet Kune Do can do that.

Sociopaths, bullies, predators, abusers, troublemakers, and all sort of vermin don't care about rules. They don't play martial arts. All they care about is getting what they want and making you unhappy. So why choose to learn sport martial arts that will give you a big disadvantage when you confront people like this?

What does this have to do with Jeet Kune Do? In JKD, we always train as if the opponent is much bigger and stronger than we are. We learn that we cannot fight back by challenging his strength. We cannot simply rely on emotions and adrenalin to put an end to these monsters. Emotions and adrenalin won't do you any good in these scenarios. Why? You're the smaller and weaker half of this fight. He's the elephant and you're the small mouse trying not to get stomped. Never let your ego or your pride dictate how you're going to fight back. You must use your intelligence, experience, and wisdom to tell you what to do.

Avoid His Strengths and Exploit His Weaknesses

You've probably heard of Sun Tzu's famous quote from Art of War that states, Avoid your opponent's strengths and take advantage of his weaknesses.

But what exactly does that mean?


The tank is strongest when you are standing in front of it and you are not moving. You become an easy target for the tank. All the tools he can hurt you with, such as his arms, hands, and legs, only work when you're lined up in a straight line in front of him. Although he might move sideways on you, he still has to get you in front of him to hurt you.

How do you not stay in front of him?



Do not keep retreating in a straight line. This makes it much easier for him to keep coming at you. If you keep moving sideways, he won't be able to line up on you very well. If you circle around him, then even better.


Exploiting his weakness means attacking his EYES, THROAT, GROIN, and KNEES with precision, serious intention and force. No matter who they are, when you go after these four targets, there will be a response from him. Not a knockout. A response. Which is all you need to set up your follow up attacks.

REMINDER: hitting these targets doesn't mean it will automatically end the fight. It may or it may not. But keep in mind that hurting his eyes, throat, groin, or knees is only the initial stage of your attack. After you do this, YOU MUST FOLLOW UP UNTIL HE IS INCAPABLE OF GETTING UP AND HURTING YOU AGAIN. You have to decide what is appropriate according to your specific situation. In some cases, you might let him go after kicking his groin, when you know that he's given up on you. In other cases, you might have to keep hitting him after you kicked his groin because you can tell he's not affected or he's still coming after you. That decision is based on your judgement.

Jeet Kune Do teaches and trains you to attack these weak spots with many different techniques, such as finger jabs to the eyes or throat, straight punches to the throat, kicks to the groin, and kicks to knee. This is part of our basics and we drill them over and over until these techniques become automatic. That way when the time comes, you can rely on them to work under stress.

Bruce Lee was a Small Man

When you recognize that Bruce Lee was only 5 feet 7 inches, and weighed 130 lbs., you understand why Jeet Kune Do was designed the way it was. It was specially designed by Bruce Lee to give you the power to defeat an opponent who is much bigger and stronger than you. JKD is not a sport, where fairness and equality is the goal of every match. It is a self-defense art that accepts the reality of the world, where bad people can take advantage of you if you let them.

If you're interested in training Jeet Kune Do, please contact me at or call us at 408 - 373 - 0204.

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