Basic Training wastes no time in getting to the heart of Bruce Lee's training philosophy. Chapter 1 launches into the importance of increasing your aerobic endurance and then proceeds to show you how. This is followed by Chapter 2, entitled The On-Guard Position. A detailed discussion of the importance of maintaining a proper on-guard stance also includes an analysis of classical fighting stances and how many of them hinder efficient defensive movement. Correct body alignment and the importance of maintaining proper balance is also addressed in this chapter. Basic Training then logically proceeds to developing proper footwork in Chapter 3. Bruce Lee’s evasion principles are introduced as they show martial artists how to get out of the way of an attack.

The next two chapters look at power and speed and how to achieve both with the use of training equipment. Bruce Lee’s famous one-inch punch is discussed in Chapter 4 and readers are taught that generating such awesome power requires the coordination of everything from the right way to make a fist, to the proper way to pivot your hip. Using the hands and legs to strike objects like air shields, heavy bags, focus mitts and the makiwara is also demonstrated. Speed Training talks about the importance of building lightening speed without giving your technique away to your opponent. Bruce Lee learned about the importance of not "telegraphing" by observing the art of fencing.