Tim Tackett’s Commentary
Please check out the full interview on audio with Tim Tackett. In that interview we covered:
How the circus and WWII environment opened some doors for him
How having summers off gave him an incredible learning experience
Tim’s secret book which he mainly wrote, but was not credited for
Why Tim wasn’t impressed the first time he saw Bruce Lee
How a focus mit change his training experience
Why teaching individuals vs. groups changed the way many learn JKD today
Why Bruce Lee never really “trained” in ranges
How many starting using the left lead
The way to gain balance in between original and concepts
History with Cas Magna, Paul Vunak, Larry Hartsell, Chris Kent, and Jeff Imada
How JKD is the built in BS detector
In Social Psychology there is a person who is known as a “Connector”. Obviously, Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto would be known as connectors, or those who seem to know everyone. During my interview with Tim Tackett, I realized I was talking to another connector. This is a man who seems to know a lot of people in the JKD world. This was not name dropping, but specific people he learned from, taught, and highlighted as practitioners and fellow colleagues. His personal stories and experience blew me away, and the time flew in which I interviewed him.
One of the biggest things which I got from the interview was the source of where any structure came from JKD. I mean, Jeet Kune Do is sometimes labeled the “structureless structure”. Being formless has many people scratching their heads, and Tim’s interview shed some light on it. Furthermore, it explained where does certain structure we use to teach come from.
It dawned on me that putting a structure in, was many times an organizing principal, not a deviant plan to change JKD. Many times it was simply created to teach many people – dozens or hundreds – instead of a small group of practitioners. Having a “story” to connect it to, when he talked about the seminars he did with Inosanto, not only made sense, but gave some great history.
I also respected and admired the explanation he gave on experimenting with other arts. To him, there is a big difference in training Thai Boxing with JKD, and calling Thai Boxing JKD. Once again, it made sense to me, and once again, there are some great stories Tim elaborated on. I also loved his story on how JKD is the built in “Bull Sh*t” detector.
I could write another 3-4 pages on my interview with Tim, and I really appreciated the time and stories he told. Getting to know the “man” of his upbringing after WWII, experiences overseas, backyard sessions with Inosanto’s “secret” group, and teaching the unique “Wednesday Nite Group” all painted the picture of a very rich life.