Home / Living in China / Expat Tales Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
You take the concepts and make them your own
Adjust font size:
In addition to heading the French association of JKD, Assli is also credited with popularizing the French martial art of savate, or French kickboxing. Most martial arts fans are more familiar with the explosive muay Thai (Thai kickboxing), but Europeans, especially those weaned on a diet of Tintin comics growing up, lean towards the Gaellic stance.  

"One of the reasons it (savate) was not popular was because it was never professional - always amateur the heyday of savate was from 1860 to 1930. It's only in France where you get televised fights," says Assli.

Assli's mastery of these different styles (he is also skilled in the ways of Filipino kali (stick fighting) distills the essence of JKD into an accessible art. The notion of cross training has led to JKD being labeled as the precursor to Mixed Martial Arts - an immensely popular style practiced in events such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

"Lee incorporated all the styles of martial arts and made it individual his JKD is different from Dan Inosanto's JKD, which is different from my JKD," says avid Tintin buff Assli. "It's all different according to your attributes and morphology, your mind, whatever. You take the concepts and make them your own.

"The philosophy could be your own philosophy, but the 'Jun Fan' (Bruce Lee's eponymous style) philosophy is to absorb everything that is useful. You can apply this to anything in your life, not just martial arts. It's not just your style, but it's also an expression of your own ability."

The Inosanto Academy attracts students from all walks of life, from Hollywood actors to soldiers to sportsmen some just go there to learn something different. The school has about 20 full-time instructors and 300 resident students.

This figure is deceptive, however. As with the renowned Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, martial arts exponents from around the world make pilgrimages to LA each year to learn the way of Bruce Lee's most famous protege.

"We have people from France, Japan, Australia. I'm hoping some day we'll have people come over from China. Lee was Chinese, and I think it would be good for the Chinese people to learn his way," says Assli.

Aiding Assli in spreading the word here is Florent Jack Mougin. The Frenchman is a fine wine buyer for ASC Fine Wines and seems about as far removed from pugilism as you can get looks, as they say, can be deceiving, and Mougin is currently head of the local JKD association.

     1   2   3    

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read Bookmark and Share
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Chinese martial arts spectacle to be staged on Broadway
- Wisdom of life through martial arts
- Chinese martial arts on display
- Martial arts -- Chinese 'Gongfu'