People comment that Bruce Lee’s JFJKD was a prototype for modern MMA with its ranges of combat concept, how most arts specialize in a range, the need to “accept what is useful, reject what is useless”, anti-“dead forms” and pro- “alive” training and so on. So what happened to the trapping hands range? A friend of mine and I often wonder about that. He has spotted the opportunities in matches a lot more than I can do. How did kicking-punching-trapping-grappling turn to striking-clinching-ground and leave out trapping? I assume it’s because the standard bjj tactic skipped past it to get to the clinch to get to the ground, and everything mma really followed bjj and filled in the other spaces bjj consciously deemphasized. So when does the trapping space get filled in again, if ever? I have seen Fedor do it but who knows if he thought if it as “trapping”. Or are “dirty boxing” and muay thai knees from clinch considered part of trapping? I didn’t think so from a jkd view. It’s not really a 1 arm ties up 2 at once advantageous situation. As a rough proxy for what a lot of people might think, Wikipedia said:

The trapping range is usually the least understood of the four combat ranges. In any physical altercation the interaction between two opponents can be classified within the four combat ranges. The natural flow and continuity of a fight can move between ranges very rapidly or slowly depending on the circumstances. An important concept in range classification is that they do not necessarily need to flow in natural order of proximity. Fighters can move between a kicking range to a grappling range immediately, totally bypassing the punching and trapping ranges. The flow between combat ranges was defined as “closing the gap” by martial arts pioneer Bruce Lee. It was Lee who formalized many of the concepts and classification of the combat ranges which he utilized in constructing his martial arts system of Jeet Kune Do. The trapping range falls between the punching and grappling ranges. It differs from the punching range in that the strikes all travel a shorter distance than a full punch. Strikes are usually performed rapidly and with increased frequency. These strikes are usually difficult to counter as they travel shorter distances than punches and kicks and thus leaves less time to react. The trapping range differs from the grappling range in that the grappling range usually does not employ strikes as a means of subduing an opponent.

I haven’t watched a huge amount of bouts but I don’t really see that ever happening. Mainly it’s clinch with knees. I bet the next generation coming up will revisit these possibilities.