Jerry Poteet, American martial arts instructor, died he was 61,
(November 29,1936 – January 15,2012)
Jerry Poteet was known by many as “the conscience of Jeet Kune Do.”
After the death of his teacher, Jerry stood firm, refusing to water down
the art that had such an enormous impact in his life. In fact, Jerry
credited his teacher, Bruce Lee, with giving him the tools to survive,
“the fight of my life”, when he was compelled to undergo a liver
transplant in 1995. Until his death, Jerry taught Jeet Kune Do to the
next generation of students and instructors, who will keep the flame
alive. Sifu Poteet taught martial arts for over 40 years. Like many
young men in the 1960s, Jerry began his martial arts career in Kenpo, and became a black belt under renowned Kenpo Instructor Ed Parker.
Poteet was also selected to be in a “closed door” group of five
students. In the years since, Jerry used his martial arts expertise to
train the Dallas Cowboys football team, executive bodyguard Hollywood celebrities, and choreograph the fight scenes of several motion pictures.
His proudest achievement was that he was chosen as the person best
able to train the actor who would portray his teacher, Bruce Lee, in “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story“.
Over the years, Jerry refined a teaching method that, like the art of
Jeet Kune Do itself, strips away the inessentials. It was this method he
used to train actor Jason Scott Lee for the role. For Sifu Poteet, it was his way of giving something back to his teacher, “Bruce, for all he gave me.”
Some of Jerry’s notable students were Jason Scott Lee and Kevin
Sorbo. In addition to choreographing Jason Scott Lee’s key fight scenes
in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Jerry worked with him on Soldier and
Time Cop 2: The Berlin Decision.
The last years of Sifu Poteet’s life was dedicated to preserving and
refining the precious legacy he received from his Instructor, Bruce Lee.
His students are noted for amazing skills, all attributable to Jerry’s
unique teaching method and curriculum.
He died on January 15, 2012.
Today, Poteet’s legacy is being kept alive by protege Sifu Fran Poteet
Joseph through the Jerry Poteet Jeet Kune Do Association.
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