The Single Direct Attack

These notations are the first in a series of short papers on combat philosophy and methods. I recommend you take this information and build upon it. This paper isn’t intended to be a one-stop information resource and all-inclusive, but rather, the information written and the below references themselves are truly a spring board for your own personal research and growth.


In Bruce Lee’s, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) 5 Methods of Attack, the Single Direct Attack (SDA) stands outs for its effectiveness and directness. SDA can be described as an “Attack composed of a single movement to the target by the most direct route.” (1)


In Lee’s book, the Tao of Jeet Kune Do (2), the method (SDA) originally was designated as a Simple Attack. The initial description shares that, all direct and indirect attacks composed of a single movement are called “Simple Attacks” because their object is to go to the target by the most direct route. This combat methods definition of “Simple” was later changed to “Single” most probably due to political correctness.


Lee then shares, that the (SDA) becomes most effective as a “Direct Attack” into the line of engagement or into the opposite line by “Simply” beating the opponent to the punch.


The “Indirect Simple Attack,” a single movement, the first half which causes a reaction by the opponent so that the second half can be accomplished opposite to the original line of engagement. (2) That description is also termed as a Drift Shot. A flowing, not static action intended create an opening by the deception of the initial false line of attack.


Timing can be essential, as any attack made while the opponents line is opening, by default, has a greater chance of being successful because the action of the opponent is committed to opening. The opponent must reverse the action and start to close as the attack is made. That takes longer overall compared to just closing a line from a static position.


A Single Angular Attack (SAA) and its direct relative, Single Direct Attack (SDA) represent the ultimate in JKD sophistication. Both require the good speed and finesse.

There are actually two types of SAA; one with constant rhythm, the other with broken rhythm. Either attack would be decided by the opponent’s actions. (3)


The SDA/SAA, the first of 5 methods, is the easiest approach to understand. Simply put, it’s a Point A to B attack using shortest line possible to your desired target point.


I’ll leave you here with a Bruce Lee quote on JKD that fits the premise of this work; “Jeet Kune Do is training and discipline toward the ultimate reality in combat. The Ultimate Reality is the Retuning to one’s Primary Freedom which is Simple, Direct and Non-classical.” Lee 1967 (3)



  2. Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce and Linda Lee, Ohara Publications, 1975

  3. Jeet Kune Do, The Art and Philosophy of Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, Know How Publishing, 1980

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