(The interview was held on the afternoon of August 17,1993 at the Jeet Kune Do Association Gym at Vito Cruz, Manila)
Greg Garcia: Can you give your personal background, name, age, occupation, name of spouse, children?
Joey Perico: I'm Joey Perico, I'm 29. I used to have a business, a video coverage business. Now I have this martial arts gym. My spouse's name is Eva Marie. I have one kid, a boy.
Greg Garcia: Is he into martial arts already?
JP: Well, since he is only at the age of six, I'm just in the stage of encouraging him to practice, but at this point, at this stage, we sometimes practice just to develop his enthusiasm.
GG: Can you give a history of your martial arts background? What kinds of martial arts did you go through, what kind of training did you experience?
JP: I started at the age of six and I started boxing. And at the age of eight to nine I was introduced by my father to Tae Kwon Do. That was for three years reaching the blackbelt level at the age of 12. And then realizing the strength of Jeet Kune Do, that this martial art is what we're looking for, I am personally looking for, which is more oriented to actual fighting. I decided to shift not because classical or Tae Kwon Do is ineffective, but because I simply want a non-sport martial art to prepare me for actual combat.
GG: So that were the reasons why you chose Jeet Kune Do. This is your present style?
JP: This is my present style. Actually JKD is a martial art which liberates us from the classical bondage. In other words if you see something from other martial arts, you have the freedom to adapt it, to practice it, as long as it is useful and then practical. But the most important thingis not to limit yourself to rules because or to restrict your actions because it is foul. Because sometimes, these foul movements are the ones you really need to apply specially if your life is threatened.
GG: How different is JKD from these other classical martial arts like karate, as you mentioned Tae Kwon Do?
JP: Okay, that's very broad, in fact, let's define first the reason . . .
First, nowadays most of the martial arts are based on the traditional concept.
When you say traditional, they practice the concept of somebody or someone,
from hundreds and thousands of years. For that, we can say that the existing
martial art is and adaptation from the traditional way back from those dynasties.
One thing for sure that those people from the past who established or who
designed the art can never adapt to the kind of environment we have now. The
reason nowadays its not longer a simple disagreement or combat between two,
rather fight between two or three. It is because nowadays, people would threaten
you because they need something from you, and they may use a knife against
you, a gun against you or maybe three against you. You can never say or allow.
. . you can never say that this is sport fighting. If you r life is threatened
then you have to protect yourself by all means. So using the traditional way
we cannot simply say that they can adapt to the kind of environment we have
now. Another thing that can set JKD apart from other martial arts is that
JKD is a non-sport martial arts whereas most of the martial arts nowadays
is based from sport. If you consider sport martial art, they have rules to
follow, they have something . . . restrictions, its not allowed to hit the
eye or hit the groin. Sport martial arts in other words have some limitations
or rules. Jeet Kune Do utilizes all. So lets say we can break the joint, hit
the neck, break the spine, hit the eye of the opponent, hit the groin, well,
those art the things we must really do. We cannot really say that JKD is a
sport martial art. Some martial arts will even say that they are non-violent.
But lets face it, if you're gonna use a non-violent martial art against a
violent opponent then you are limited, you are restricted. You must be violent,
in fact more violent than your opponent to preserve your life. If you're going
to limit your punches or kicks because you are not allowed to then its just
one way of developing false confidence thinking that we can always adapt to
any kind of fight. So basically that is JKD if that's what sets Jeet Kune
Do apart fro other martial arts. It is for reality. We are not oriented here,
we are not practicing just for doing this for sports. We practice to know
and to adapt to reality.