Tale of Tim Tack­ett

Didn’t JKD Se­nior States­man Start in Bruce Lee’s Art, Him But That Didn’t Stop of Its From Be­com­ing One Most Re­spected Teach­ers!

Black Belt - - TALE OF TIM TACKETT - W. Young In­ter­view by Robert

As I sat in his im­mac­u­late liv­ing room, lis­ten­ing to the tale of Tim Tack­ett un­fold from the mouth of the man him­self, I couldn’t help but note the par­al­lels be­tween his life and mine. Both of us started our mar­tial arts jour­neys in the United States be­fore go­ing to Asia for non-mar­tial arts rea­sons. Both of us, how­ever, seized the op­por­tu­nity to train as much as pos­si­ble while in Asia. Both of us found that lo­cal masters were flat­tered that a for­eigner had come so far be­cause of his pas­sion for the arts and sub­se­quently were very giv­ing. Both of us re­turned from Asia and built a ca­reer in the mar­tial arts that did not in­volve teach­ing what we’d learned in the Far East. That’s where the par­al­lels end. Tack­ett’s path led him to be­come a prom­i­nent jeet kune do teacher, while mine led me to be­come the edi­tor of Black Belt. And that is why, as I sat on his sofa, Tim Tack­ett was do­ing 90 per­cent of the talk­ing and I was happy to do 90 per­cent of the lis­ten­ing.

Could you tell us how you got started in the mar­tial arts and how Tai­wan fit into it?

I was al­ways in­ter­ested in World War II com­bat­ives when I was a kid. There was a chief of po­lice here in Red­lands, Cal­i­for­nia, named Wes­ley Brown who had writ­ten a book on it, and I futzed around with that for a while. Be­cause I was in the YMCA youth cir­cus at the time, mar­tial arts seemed nat­u­ral to me.

So you had an ath­letic back­ground from the be­gin­ning?

I did. In­ter­est­ingly enough, Bob Bre­mer, whom I learned

jeet kune do from, was also a trampoline guy. He taught Bruce Lee how to do back­flips and stuff. That helps you know where your body is in space.

What came next mar­tial arts-wise?

When I was 12 or 13, a judo guy started teach­ing at the Y, so I be­gan train­ing with him. Then nine months later, he moved, and we were left with no mar­tial arts

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