Centerline Theory is a concept within JKD that comes from Bruce Lee’s training in Wing Chun Gung Fu under the direction of Yip Man. The centerline refers to an imaginary line running down the center of one’s body. Along this line are vital points that are targets for attack. Posterior targets such as the eyes, throat, solar plexus, groin, knees, shins and metatarsals. The best defense to guard your centerline is to occupy it. It’s simple physics, no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. If you maintain control of the centerline, you control the fight. The Bi Jong stance in JKD structurally sets us up in a manner where our centerline is not exposed and our guarding hands are occupying it. Due to this, if our opponent wants to step in and strike us they must step to the outside and expose their own centerline to our counter attack or interception. The idea is to exploit, control and dominate your opponent’s centerline while guarding your own. All attacks, defenses, stances and footwork are designed to preserve your own centerline and open your opponent’s to attack.
Three basic rules are:
- The one who controls the centerline will control the fight.
- Protect and maintain your own centerline while you control and exploit your opponent’s.
- Control the center line by occupying it.