Below is a short interview with my Sifu Jim Sewell from footage taken for a British documentary on Bruce Lee in 1992.
Sifu Jim was a friend of the late Sifu Bob Bremer who took him to Sijo Bruce Lee’s school in Los Angeles Chinatown in 1967. He had gone with Bob to Ed Parker’s Kenpo school prior to this, but had not been interested until he saw what they were doing at the Chinatown Kwoon of Sijo Bruce. Since he was interested in learning how to fight better, he decided to join the school.
He received his 1st Rank certificate in January of 1968 (January 30th of 1968), and left the school around August of the same year, and didn’t return to JKD until 20 years later when he became a member of Sifu Tackett’s garage group in Redlands, California.
While he never directly taught any of the classes at Sifu Tackett’s garage, he was a constant presence there and was quick to tell me if I was off base with my techniques. Unfortunately Sifu Jim has had some health issues over the past few years and rarely makes it to the garage in Redlands much anymore. I have to say I really miss seeing him and hearing the old stories about the training and people at the Chinatown school.
Occasionally Sifu Jeremy pick him up and bring him over so he can come hang out with all of us.
In this interview, he shares a few short stories about the first time he met Bruce Lee, who he considers his teacher; and also talks about the techniques he feels are the most effective techniques in JKD as he learned it.