Jeet Kune Do Master Tommy Carruthers with A Celtic State of Mind – What if the martial arts philosophy was instilled in footballers?

Trying to achieve simplicity is the pinnacle of any sport, even football. To be so simple that you are able to just move enough not using a lot of energy; you’re so efficient when you move you make the other person tire out. Imagine that you are on a football park and you don’t even need to run. That you could take the ball wherever someone passed the ball to you and walk with the ball and no-one could take it off you. You could send the goalie the wrong way with a fake or a feint or just read his intention and just put it the other way.” – Tommy Carruthers

Bruce Lee believed in a positive state of mind. He believed in a focused state of mind. He believed in a quality state of mind. He believed in a mental clarity state of mind. He did all of this when practising, performing and teaching Jeet Kune Do.

In a recent episode of A Celtic State of Mind, Tommy Carruthers was asked whether he believed that footballers could learn from martial arts? He believes that they could and it is difficult to find any fault with his thinking. We have all seen players who make the game look simple and effortless, as if it’s not too much work for them.

When Barcelona and Spain were ruling European and world football, Xavi and Iniesta controlled games with simplicity and knowledge rather than physicality. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Michel Platini made the ball do the work with his vision of where the ball should be. I saw Thomas Müller play for Germany at Hampden a few years back and he never seemed to move but was everywhere at the same time.

Henrik Larsson could find space against any defence, through stealth-like timing. The way he could hang in the air was otherworldly – a state of mind. Ľubomír Moravčík would dip, twist and be ahead of opponents without breaking a sweat. Shunsuke Nakamura, standing over a ball 25 yards out, at one with the ball, we all knew what he was going to do but he had the state of mind to do it. Virgil van Dijk reads the game like a tarot card reader predicting the strikers’ future before they’ve even put on their boots. More recently, our two French strikers, Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele, are in the state of mind that less is more and they use their energy when they see a weakness.

In these two episodes, Paul John Dykes chats to Tommy Carruthers, where they discuss:

Episode One

Discovering Bruce Lee;
Growing up in Carmyle and being obsessed with Bruce Lee’s Martial Art;
How the Jeet Kune Do philosophy could be implemented in football;
Becoming close friends with Jesse Glover;
Travelling the world to teach Jeet Kune Do;
The great uncle who played for Celtic and who was sketched by Pablo Picasso.

Listen to Tommy Carruthers with A Celtic State of Mind 

Listen to “Jeet Kune Do Master Tommy Carruthers with A Celtic State of Mind (Part 1)” on Spreaker.

Episode Two

Travelling to Hong Kong to meet Donnie Yen;
Working as a stuntman for the BBC;
Appearing in Nokia video games;
Teaching Frankie Boyle martial arts;
How do Conor McGregor and Tyson Fury compare?;
Bruce Lee’s Scottish connections.

Listen to Tommy Carruthers with A Celtic State of Mind 

Listen to “Jeet Kune Do Master Tommy Carruthers with A Celtic State of Mind (Part 2)” on Spreaker.

Kevin Graham

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