Progressive Indirect Attack

This is the fourth short paper of six on combat philosophy and methods. Take this information, build upon it using the previous papers on the Methods of Attack for reference, as you work through this information and your own research material. Keep building upon the previous information and create a foundation for your own success.


In Bruce Lee’s, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) 5 Methods of Attack, the Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA) is described as a feint or an uncommitted thrust designed to misdirect the opponent's actions or reactions in order to open a line for the real attack which follows instantly. The principal use of the PIA is to overcome those whose defense is strong enough and fast enough to deal with HIA and SDA. It is also used to offer variation to one's own pattern of attack. (1)(2)


In Lee’s book, the Tao of Jeet Kune Do it states; Remember, though PIA uses feints and disengagements, each PIA is executed in a single, forward motion. It’s progressive to gain distance. To shorten the distance, the measure/gap has to be closed by a good half with the first feint. (2)


Lee continues; Prolong the feint long enough to allow your opponent time to react. Leave to your second movement only the second half of the distance. Do not wait for the opponents block before completing your attack; keep ahead of it.


More, it is during the time the opponent’s arm is in motion to block that you must start your offensive action. That means, momentarily, his defense is moving in the opposite direction to your attack. Your attack therefore, is made with a disengagement.


And except in rare cases, all movements should be made as small as possible, meaning with the least amount of deviation of the hand necessary to cause the opponent to react. Disengagements, also, should pass very close to the opponent’s hand. (2)


Distance and timing are key words in the PIA. Although the objective might be a knockout punch to the face, the JKD practitioner knows that he must take an alternate route in order to arrive at the final destination. PIA usually combines the elements of Hand and Foot Immobilization as an end result of “Bridging the Gap.” (3)


Teaching at Jet City JKD, I’ve always shared with my students, PIA is defined as “A series of fakes or feints, along with real strikes, to get to the desired target.”

Dan Inosanto shares; During the hand to hand encounter itself, one is seldom fortunate enough to be presented with a primary target right off the bat. Sometimes you have to attack a minor target in order to get to a major one; that is you have to inflict pain on a minor target to open up a major target or vital spot. (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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