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"People see Bruce Lee as an actor, but many don't realize how influential he has been in the martial arts world. People are interested because of what they see on TV, though what is on TV is not always real JKD," he says.

Mougin trained under JKD expert Paul Borrett based in Shanghai at the time, butt after he left, no teacher remained. Mougin asked the French JKD association for a teacher in China, but there was none. They did, however, put him in touch with Assli, who teaches around the world. Assli arrived for a seminar in late 2007.

Assli now comes to China regularly, teaching new techniques and reviewing them every three to four months. The JKD group is small, with about 10 members, including four locals, but the 36-year-old Mougin says Assli's tutelage has benefited the martial arts scene immensely.

"There are so many techniques that are not really known in Asia, and very often you feel that they are a little bit lost, especially in China. The idea is to train a group of people so that the techniques can come back to China," Mougin says.

Where to learn

Date: Every Saturday, 1pm

Venue: Longwu Center, 1 Maoming Rd S.

Budding martial arts enthusiasts can contact Florent Jack Mougin at fmougin0412@hotmail.fr.

What is jeet kun do?

Literally the "Way of the Intercepting Fist," jeet kun do is not a new style invented by Bruce Lee but rather a philosophy that encourages disciples to discard rigid traditional patterns and molds and adapt and incorporate all techniques into a single, fluid style.

JKD was intended to be a dynamic concept that is highly sophisticated, constantly changing and thus extremely flexible.

"When Bruce Lee moved to America from Hong Kong, he had to change his style to adapt more high kicks and big punches," says local instructor Florent Jack Mougin. "In Hong Kong, the streets are narrow, you couldn't execute these moves. Also, the body of a Chinese and an American is very different, so he adapted his style of fighting when he moved."

Professor Salem Assli says the core elements of JKD revolve around kicking, punching, trapping and grappling, while the underlying philosophy or art encourages students to flow like water and move with economy.

(Shanghai Daily November 13, 2008)

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