JKD Curriculum

Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do

The Five Ways of Attack

Jeet Kune Do, unlike many other methods, is not a defensive type of combat. JKD follows an approach explained with an expression used in modern sports; 'The best defense is a good offense.' JKD favors a hit first and ask questions later approach rather than letting the opposition dictate one's course of action.

From Bruce's research into the art of combat, he concluded that there are ultimately five methods of attack. These five ways are not meant to exclude any of the infinite number of specific attacks that are possible. He wrote them aiming to generally categorize all modes of attack.

The 'Five Ways of Attack' are as follows:

SDA- Single Direct Attack
ABD- Attack By Drawing
ABC- Attack By Combination
PIA- Progressive Indirect Attack
HIA- Hand Immobilization Attack


An SDA, or Single Direct Attack, is one single strike, taking a direct path to the target. Although it is probably one of the most difficult attacks to land, it is definitely the most important to master. Strong SDAs make strong fighters. If you were able to land an SDA with successful consistency, you would obviously out class your adversary. An SDA takes precise timing, distance, and a keen awareness.
Examples of an SDA:

1.) A straight lead to the head when they drop their guard.
2.) A front lift kick to the groin area.
3.) A side kick to the open ribcage.

An SDA is a very simple attack, involving no set up or preparation. It is an attack that takes advantage of holes in an opponent's defense.


ABD stands for Attack By Drawing. It is a set up. It draws the others into a situation that enables you to strike. You can draw them to make an attack that you plan to counter. They can be led a certain direction so that you can intercept or simple get them close enough to hit. Most ABD type attacks require a level of comfort that can only be achieved through numerous sparring sessions. It is necessary to be able to think clearly during the confrontation. ABDs are preplanned; they are a manipulation of your opponent's actions.
Examples of ABD:

1.) To close the gap, you back away. As they follow, shorten each of your steps gradually so that it goes undetected. With each step getting shorter, they come into your range without noticing. As soon as they are in striking distance, attack.
2.) Purposely leaving the right side of your head unguarded, you attempt to draw a jab out of them. When they throw the jab, you counter with a slip and a strike to the ribcage. (Distance is important in this. If you stand out of his punching range, you are likely to get kicked in the head while waiting for the jab)


An ABC is an Attack By Combination. It is, as it sounds, an attack that utilizes a series of strikes together as one. They are designed to overload the opposition with a few, or possibly several, strikes to fend off. ABCs can be combinations involving hands, feet, or the two together.
Examples of ABCs:

1) A straight lead to the head, a cross to the body and a hook to head.
2) A Side kick to the knee, a straight lead to thee head, then a hook to the head.
3) A straight lead to the head, a hook kick to the groin, followed by another straight.

The amount of possible combinations is endless. With practice on your own, you will find the combos that flow best for you.


PIA or Progressive Indirect Attack is the preferred method for a JKD man. It is an attack that is planned from start to finish. Both Feints and fakes are used along with real strikes to set up your final blow. Unlike an SDA, which is thrown directly towards the desired target, with a PIA you may throw a fake, feint, or a real attack, towards another target, drawing their attention to that attack. When they respond, it will open the target you originally intended to hit. Planning a PIA, you will chose a striking point and progressively work your way in.
Examples of PIAs:

1) Throw a fake low punch to the stomach. When they drop their hand to block, strike to the face.
2) You notice your opponent drops his hands when you attack low, and raises both when you attack high. Lead with a low kick to the groin. When they block it, follow with a lead to the head. If they block that too, throw another kick to the groin while their hands are covering their face.
3) For someone who backs away frequently; Throw a Straight lead as a feint, when they step back, Double up on the lead, catching them in recovery from their first step.


A Hand Immobilization Attack is a way to force an opening through a tight defense. HIAs, also known as trapping hands, may also be a way of tying up the opponent's weapons so they cannot be used against you. The origin of trapping in JKD is from Wing Chun Gung Fu, the style Bruce practiced when he was young.
Examples of HIA:

1) Lead with a low punch to the stomach, When they block, slap their forearm (Pak Sao) with you're rear hand, preventing it from moving while you take advantage of the opening, hitting with a backfist to the head.
2) While fighting inside, you throw a hook to the head. If they block the hook, as soon as contact is felt, hook their forearm and jerk (Jut Sao) the arm downwards (Like pulling the lever on a slot machine). Immediately spring off their arm with the same hand and strike to their head.

Trapping can get very complicated. For effective HIAs it is best to stick to simple traps, steering away from those that involve several movements.

The Five Ways of Attack outline five distinct strategies that can be helpful to any martial artist regardless of experience or style. Each strategy works together as well as on it's own. After practicing them individually you will begin to realize that all are inter- related. An HIA can also be a PIA, ABCs are made up of a series of SDAs, or you may use an ABD to pull off a PIA. I know it looks confusing using all those acronyms. Attacking can be quite simple having the Five Ways of Attack to label your options.

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.