The Attack by Combination

This is the second short paper, in the series of six on combat philosophy and methods. I recommend you take this information and build upon it using the previous paper on Single Direct Attack (SDA) as a reference as you work through this information and your own research material. As we move forward with the remaining papers, keep building upon the previous information and truly create a foundation for your own success.


In Bruce Lee’s, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) 5 Methods of Attack, the Attack by Combination (ABC), is a legitimate platform for flow and control. ABC is described as a series of thrusts that follow each other naturally and are generally thrown to more than one line. (1)(2) The ABC is created by a series of set-ups that maneuver the opponent into such a position or creates an opening that the final blow of the series will find its intended target.


In Lee’s book, the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, the method (ABC), the term “Set-Ups” denotes a series of strikes and/or kicks delivered in a natural sequence. Again the object being to maneuver the opponent into a vulnerable spot for the finishing blow or kick. (2)


Lee also discusses the concept, “Compound Attack.” Compound Attacks consist of more than one action and may be initiated first by feint, a preparation of the hand or an attack on a closer target, followed immediately by the real attack. (2) This sounds much like another Method of Attack, Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA) and will be discussed in a future paper.  (PIA) uses fakes and feints along with actual strikes to get to its desired target. For this discussion, please feel that the use of more than one technique in a flow is a combination.


Timing again with the (ABC) is essential, as each progressive element of the combination is the opening/set-up for the next strike. With the (ABC), the opponent also plays a role in the attack, based on their responses of movement and counter attacks, our combination will evolve into what it needs to become.


Training becomes vitally important as these combinations are a developed and taught attribute, will require practice individually and with a training partner to execute and understand their cause and affects.


The ABC, the second of 5 methods, is the next step in combat development. Driving on past the single attack attributes and scenarios into multiples where the concept of flow and continuous movement is added to your tool kit.


I’m leaving you here with a Bruce Lee quote about JKD that fits the premise of this work; “In Primary Freedom One Utilizes All Ways and Is Bound by None, and likewise uses any technique or means which serves its end. Efficiency Is Anything That Scores.” (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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