This book was the catalyst for my interest in the art and science of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, and the primary reason why I specifically sought out my teacher Sifu Tim Tackett.
I vividly recall going to Virgin Megastore in London as a kid (must have been around 1985) looking for martial arts books. I was already a martial arts enthusiast and not long before had watched a couple of the Bruce Lee movies for the first time. It was the only book on Bruce Lee, or rather Jeet Kune Do, available in the store so I spent the last few quids I had on the book.
I recall reading the entire thing during this particular trip, completely enthralled with the history, background, techniques and strategies presented in it. Towards the end of the book there was a short section on the various teachers of this art of Jeet Kune Do. I scanned it with interest and saw a small passage about Sifu Tackett (pictured).
Right then I decided that one day I’d seek out Mr. Tackett and study with him.
Simply because it said:
“Tim Tackett is one of the most knowledgeable JKD practitioners.”
And that was according to Sifu Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s friend, confidant, and one of the torch bearers of JKD!
I was sold.
Of course, living in a tiny village in the middle of Norway the chances were pretty slim that I’d find myself half way across the world in California. Let alone finding Mr. Tackett and study with him. Particularly since I had no idea where “Redlands” was located in California.
But, I kept the book and displayed it proudly on my night stand reading and re-reading the book until the pages started to fall out (somehow, after all these years, I’ve still managed to keep all the pages of the book).
Years later, after training and experiencing a variety of martial arts (including other expressions of JKD), I found myself in his garage gym becoming his student, and have had the good fortune to spend countless hours training and discussing martial arts with him. Through him, I’ve been able to meet some amazing martial artists, some that are now some of my best friends. And best of all, I am able to proudly represent his lineage of Jeet Kune Do and share the little bits of knowledge I’ve been able to pick up from him and his instructors.
Sometimes life is serendipitous… or perhaps it’s fate. I happened upon this book that day… and it was the only one I purchased during that stay. And it was this specific book that lead me to my teacher.
Thank you Sifu Dan Inosanto for writing the book. Otherwise I would have never found my teacher.
And thank you to my teacher, Sifu Tackett, for without him I would still be searching for a place to call ‘home’.
In case you can’t read what it says in the little passage on Sifu Tackett, it says:
“Tim Tackett is one of the most knowledgeable JKD practitioners, according to Inosanto. He has studied Hsing-I Kung Fu and various other styles in Taiwan. He also received Escrima and Arnis training from Inosanto, and began in JKD when Dan opened up his backyard to a few individuals following the close of the College Street school in 1969. Tim now has his own school in Relands, California, where he teaches Escrima and JKD to some of his better students.”