How to Use JKD’s Five Ways of Attack

How to Use JKD’s Five Ways of Attack

One of the key methods in Jeet Kune Do that Bruce Lee introduced is the Five Ways of Attack. These fundamental concepts will make it easier for you to practice and excel at JKD. Do not commit the mistake of sticking to only the techniques that you are comfortable with, because you never know what your enemy will throw at you.

When a technique doesn’t work the first time, it’s understandable that you begin to change your speed and/or your timing but that’s not going to solve the root of the problem. Instead, you should try to change the way you initiate your actions.

The Five Ways of Attack are: the Single Direct Attack (SDA), the Hand Immobilization Attack (HIA), the Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA), the Attack by Combination (ABC), and the Attack by Drawing (ABD).

Let’s define each…

1. The SDA is defined as a direct attack that is made up of a single movement. It is straightforward because it targets the opponent by the most direct route. 2. The HIA, on the other hand, traps the opponent’s hand, leg or head. Use this attack when there’s a barrier that prevents you from scoring. You can also use it to add protection when covering a threatening weapon, or when you want to force an opening. This technique has roots that can be traced back to Wing Chun, but with slight modifications for JKD. 3. The PIA is to mimic how your opponent moves then suddenly shift your intention and attack. When using this technique, you are basically setting a wrong expectation so you get to deliver an attack more successfully. 4. Then there’s the ABC, which is a sequence composed of two or more single attacks. Targets could be single or multiple. 5. Finally, there’s the ABD, which is more complex in idea but still simple in execution. What you do when performing this technique is to first draw the opponent in before you attack him. You do this by creating an opening and then you nail the opponent when he is just stepping forward.

How to implement the Five Ways of Attack

So how do you do the each of the Five Ways of Attack?

In the SDA, you start from a standing guard position and then you attack in either a straightforward or angular motion. The sister of the SDA is the SAA or the Single Angular Attack. The difference between the two is that the latter is achieved using the JKD curve-step.

The most common start to the HIA is to grab your opponent’s hand so he is unable to use it to attack you. When you are able to do this, then you have the chance to deliver your blow successfully. The most basic sequence is to feint, grab and then attack.

For the PIA, you feint to the head but you go for the body, and vice versa. However, before you commit to a full attack, you first have to make sure that your opponent reacts to you; otherwise, the attack will fail. You may need to mix direct attacks so that the opponent would fall for the fake.

To perform the ABC, you take advantage of the potential energy in the body – that’s physics at work. Perfect examples of ABC can be seen in boxing, where boxers create an opening in order to deliver the most painful blow to the opponent.

Lastly, there’s the ABD, wherein you drop your leading hand to expose your head to rear hand attacks. But when your opponent uses his rear hand, it creates an opening in his trunk that you can take advantage of.

Remember that Jeet Kune Do is a counter-offensive art that is based on high-level and integrated combat principles. The system was designed to stop an opponent dead in their tracks, and that’s what the Five Ways of Attack does. For more information on completely learning each of the Five Areas of Attack, and how to integrate them into the 5 areas of self-defense, please check out