To present a balanced views of Eastern studies such as Martial arts, qigong, traditional healing, natural healing and meditation.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bruce Lee - The Almost Perfect Mixed Martial Artist

Bruce Lee -The Almost Perfect Mixed Martial Artist
(in my op

Early Life

Bruce Lee Jun Fan was born on 27th November 1940 at San Francisco, United States Of America. A nurse gave him the name Bruce. His father was Lee Hoi Chuen, a well known Cantonese actor (in the Cantonese opera and black and white Cantonese movies in the sixties). His mother was Grace Ho of mixed Chinese German parentage. His parents were doing live Cantonese Opera shows in "China towns" across the world and black and white Cantonese movies in Hong Kong. Bruce was able to get some small roles in Cantonese movies when he was young. 

He was not a very healthy child and was occasionally bullied. It was then that he decided to take up Wing Chun at the age of thirteen. He learned Wing Chun from the age of 13 to 18 from Grandmaster Yip Mun and other Wing Chun instructors. From that moment on, he really loved fighting. Initially, he used Wing Chun in his fights. He was said to have beaten British champion boxer Gary Elms (when he was a teenager) by way of knock out in the third round of the 1958 Hong Kong Inter-School amateur Boxing Championships (by using Wing Chun's traps and high/low-level straight punches). He did not win any boxing competition but was to become part of him (in mixed martial arts later on).

He was involved in illegal gang fights around his school. One day the police warned his father that if Bruce Lee was to be involved in another illegal fight, they would have no choice but to put him behind bars. His father had no alternative but to put him on an ocean liner to San Francisco USA when he was only eighteen years old (to get him out of trouble and for his own good).

He was also good at dancing and had won some dancing competitions (in Hong Kong). When he was aboard the ocean liner heading for America, he used his dancing abilities to earn some extra money. At first he was in the lowest class as he had only $100 in his pocket. Very soon he was able to live among the best (due to his dancing abilities). His life after he landed in America was somehow similar. This time it was due to his martial arts abilities.


According to Linda Lee (his wife), as soon as Bruce moved to the United States, he started to take nutrition seriously and developed an interest in health foods, high-protein drinks, vitamins and mineral supplements. He later concluded that in order to achieve a high-performance body, one could not fuel it with a diet of junk food. If we use "the wrong fuel" for our body, it would not perform properly. Lee also avoided baked foods and refined flour, describing them as providing calories which did nothing for his body. Lee consumed green vegetables and fruits every day. He always preferred to eat Chinese or Asian food due the varieties. He also became a heavy advocate of dietary supplements, including Vitamin C, Lecithin granules, bee pollen, Vitamin E, rose hips (liquid form), wheat germ oil, Acerola — C and B-Folia and etc.

Training Methods

Many Tai Chi Chuan grand masters were asked how long would it take to master Tai Chi Chuan. Many of these grand masters would reply without hesitation, you would probably need 2 lifetime to master it. Bruce Lee was just a Wing Chun student with only 5 years of training (in Wing Chun), some western boxing and street fighting experiences when he landed in San Francisco, United States of America. At that moment of time the American were only familiar with western boxing moves. With that kind of abilities, he would be very ordinary today as most people are used to martial arts and side kicks. Bruce Lee quickly befriended lots of other martial artists from diverse Asian backgrounds such as Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Koreans. They mutually benefited from their relationships such as learning from, practicing with each other and getting associated. His associates and friends taught him karate (including the use of nun cha ku) and jujitsu.

In 1964 Long Beach Karate Championship he met Jhoon Goo Rhee (also known as Jhoon Rhee), a Korean living in America. Jhoon Goo Rhee taught him some Taekwondo kicks. Jhoon Goo Rhee is credited as the founder of several Taekwondo associations under ITF (International Taekwondo Federation founded by General Choi, a North Korean who was the man who started Taekwondo) and is a 10 Dan black belt. Bruce Lee also learned other martial arts from his friends and associates. He had many such mutually benefiting relationships. He set up his first Jun Fan Gung Fu school in 1964. His certified instructors included Tacky Kimura (Japanese), Dan Insanto (Filipino American with Japanese martial arts background) and James Yimm Lee (Chinese) who were also his associates and friends sharing his enthusiasm for martial arts. He was only 24 years old and most of his associates are well verse with karate and jujitsu. Therefore he was actually teaching Karate and not Wing Chun (which he had learned some as a teeager). Neither he nor his students use the Kung Fu salute but just a normal karate bow.

From the time he landed in America, his fighting style had evolved from purely Wing Chun and street fighting to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as his perception of martial arts changes. He uses his legs more often. His flying kick was the Tae Kwondo type as the Chinese Wushu normally use both legs (like Ray Mysterio and others of World Wrestling Entertainment) while the Tae kwondo type only uses one leg. His martial arts became more like a mixture of Karate, Taekwondo, Jujitsu and western boxing. Probably that was how the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) started. As people were not used to seeing kicks and foot works, he was outstanding compare to the normal Kung Fu masters. He trained harder than everyone else and became extremely fast and agile. He used the latest methods of training such as making use of gymnasium equipment to build his muscles. The Kung Fu practitioners trained with a traditional "wooden man" and a range of Chinese weapons. His kicks and punches were extremely fast and powerful (enough to send his co stars and stunt men flying) and injured. Prior to him, the Chinese movies displayed martial arts moves at a very much slower pace and  were less realistic.  Previously the stunt-men and stars seldom get injured. Later Jacky Chan brought the injuries list a notch higher with dangerous stunts (not martial arts) which almost killed himself (Jacky) on several occasions.

Bruce was a pragmatic, street wise, western educated intellectual who devised him own training methods targeting to develop certain muscles, strength, speed and agility of his body to help him perform beyond the normal. He trained harder than most people and rightfully reap the fruits of his training. He had a very impressive v shaped body and the agility of an eighteen years old (at 32 years old according to his doctor).   

The weight training program placed heavy emphasis on his arms. He could perform single bicep curl at a weight of 70 to 80 lb (about 32 to 36 kg) for three sets of eight repetitions, along with other forms of exercises, such as squats, push-ups, reverse curls, concentration curls, French presses, and both wrist curls and reverse wrist curls. The repetitions he performed were 6 to 12 times. While this method of training targeted his fast and slow twitch muscles. Lee was documented as having well over 2,500 books in his personal library. Bruce would love to experiment with his training routines to maximized his physical capabilities, and pushing the human body to its limits, beyond human endurance. He employed many different routines and exercises including skipping rope for body-building purposes.

Lee believed that abdominal muscles were one of the most important muscle groups for a martial artist. Virtually every movement requires some degree of abdominal work. Bruce always felt that if the stomach was not developed, you had no business doing any hard sparring. According to Linda Lee, Bruce would frequently perform sit ups throughout the day even while watching the television. Bruce was a fanatic about abdominal training. He was always doing sit-ups,chair movements, leg raises and V-ups.

Lee's training include stomach, flexibility, and running from 7 am to 9 am. From 11am to 12pm, he would do weight training and cycling. A typical exercise for Lee would be to run a distance of two to six miles in 15 to 45 minutes, in which he would vary the speed in 3–5 minute intervals. Lee would ride the equivalent of 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) in 45 minutes on a stationary bike. Lee would sometimes exercise with the jump rope and put in 800 jumps after cycling. Lee would also do exercises to toughen the skin on his fists, including thrusting his hands into buckets of harsh rocks and gravel. He would do over 500 repetitions of this on a given day. Then there were also claims of him doing 800 side kicks per leg. No wonder he was so fit and agile. 

Bruce Lee favorite weapon was the nun cha ku (nun chucks). The Nunchaku (Japanese: ヌンチャク nunchaku often "nunchuks", "danger sticks", "juan-tuo" or "chainsticks" in English) is a  rarely used traditional Okinawan (from Okinawa Island in Japan) martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope. It was ocassionally used by Okinawan nobles, but was not a popular weapon because it was not efficient against the most widely used weapons of that time, and few techniques for its use exist. The two sections of the weapon are commonly made out of wood, while the link is a cord or a metal chain. The nunchaku is most widely used in martial arts such as Okinawan kobudō karate, and makes a good training weapon, since it allows the development of quicker hand movements and improves posture. Many varieties of nunchaku are available.

In modern times, nunchakus were popularized by actor and martial artist Bruce Lee and his associate, actor and martial arts instructor Dan Inosanto, in their respective movies. Dan Inosanto was credited as the person who introduced nun cha  ku to Bruce. He was  a Karate black belt well verse with numerous martial arts. He taught Bruce how to use the nun cha ku. Bruce Lee trained thousands of times daily to master the nun cha ku.  Bruce Lee used the nun cha ku in Fist of Fury (Chin Woo Men in Chinese meaning Chin Woo Association). If you are a real Chinese martial artist, you would laugh at how a Japanese weapon becomes a Chinese weapon. Huo Yuan Jia the founder of Chin Woo would be rolling in his grave as his "disciple" uses a Japanese weapon. Huo Yuan Jia was reported to be poisoned by the Japanese. Have you see Bruce Lee ever uses Chinese swords or weapons ? You should see how Liu Jia Hui (Lau Kar Fai in Cantonese) and his god brothers (Lau Kar Leong and Lau Kar Weng) show off their versatility in using Chinese weapons in Heroes in the East, 36th Chambers of Shaolin and etc Their lineage is directly from Wong Fei Hung to Lam Sai Weng to Lau Cham (Lau Kar Fai's godfather) to them. 

When a doctor warned him not to train excessively, Bruce said that the human brain can overcome anything, even real pain. He was however unable to withstand the pain of strenuous training and frequently took pain killing drugs to bring the pain under control. There was one incident when he lifted a hundred over pound barbell without any warm-up and suffered almost fatal consequences. He was hospitalized. The doctor asked him to take a rest and stay in bed. He was also asked to give up martial arts forever. For several months he followed the doctor's advice. He had problem to even stand up and walk properly. He later decided to take matter into his own hands and made himself well again. He did eventually regain his mobility, martial arts skill and speed. But somehow he would never be the same again. You can numb your nerves with pain killers but your body cannot accept that kind of punishments for long.

His life in United states

After he landed in America in 1959, he worked as a waiter in a restaurant owned by Ruby Chow, a family friend. He also attended high school and graduated in 1960.
In March 1961, Lee enrolled at the University of Washington, majoring in drama according to the university's alumni association information. The other subjects Lee studied included philosophy and psychology. It was at the University of Washington that he met his future wife Linda Emery, a fellow student studying to become a teacher. They got married in August 1964. They had one son Brandon Lee and a daughter Shannon Lee.
He opened his first Jun Fan Gungfu School in 1964 after his marriage with Linda.

In 1964 Oakland, California Chinatown, Lee had a controversial private fight with Wong Jack Man, a disciple of Ma Kin Fung known for his mastery of Xingyiquan, Northern Shaolin, and Tai Chi Chuan. He was now 24 years old with knowledge of karate, jujitsu, western boxing and also just learned some Taekwondo kicks from Jhoon Rhee. His Wing Chun was his past. With modern training, he was now becoming fast and furious like a wild animal. 

According to Bruce Lee, the Chinese community issued an ultimatum to him to stop teaching non-Chinese, Chinese martial arts. Bruce refused to comply and was challenged to a combat match with Wong. If Lee were to lose, he would have to shut down his school. If he won then Lee would be free to teach anyone. 

Wong had a different version of the incident, stating he was only responding to a challenge issued by Bruce Lee during one of Lee's martial arts demonstrations at a Chinatown theatre. Wong himself did not discriminate against any non-Chinese so why would he tried to stop anyone from teaching non Chinese? Beside Bruce was actually not teaching Chinese Martial Arts (Wushu /Kungfu) but mostly karate, jujitsu and some tae kwon do kicks.

Bruce Lee said the paper had all the names of the masters from Chinatown, but they didn't scare him. Most of them did not show up. Honestly his martial arts then were more mixed martial arts than Wushu (Kung Fu) and therefore he had never entered any Wushu competition. Later on his students would enter only Karate competitions. Therefore it does not make sense  to stop him. He only called it Gung Fu and all his instructors are karate /jujitsu
practitioners. He only uses his one inch punch once in a while to show the foreign press that it is Gungfu. He never really show off his Wing Chun in any fight after he landed in America. I am sure all the masters were aware his martial arts were mainly the mixture of several non Chinese martial arts. The fight was only for personal glory.

If the other masters were against him teaching non Chinese, they would all be around. The fact that most of them couldn't be bothered about the match means it was only a private match as pointed out by Wong Jack Man. It was probably Bruce Lee's way of drawing attention to himself. Everything was in Chinese, so Bruce Lee probably made use of the occasion to make himself famous. It was their words against his. His mother was half German and his wife was a white American so naturally they would want to side with him. Actually he was more American than Chinese at that moment of time.

Individuals known to have witnessed the fight included Linda Lee, James Lee (Bruce Lee's instructor and associate) and William Chen, a teacher of Tai Chi Chuan. According to Linda Lee the fight was a no holds barred fight which lasted only three minutes. Bruce got the man down to the ground and the man gave up. Bruce Lee was upset that it took so long to make the man yeild.

Wong Jack Man later published his own version of the fight in the Chinese Pacific Weekly, a Chinese-language newspaper in San Francisco. Wong and witness William Chen stated that the fight lasted around 20–25 minutes. Wong requested for a public rematch. Bruce did not respond to Wong's article nor were there any further public announcements by either party. Bruce had continued to teach non Chinese without any harassment from anyone. Bruce Lee could have ignored the first challenge as well if he had wanted to. Everything was probably sensationalized as a ploy to get more students. Master Wong Jack Man and other masters were teaching non Chinese real Kung Fu/ Wushu (long before Bruce started his school) so what was the big deal? Beside, he was teaching the westerners mixed non Chinese martial arts. For instance how did Karate and some Japanese martial arts came into existence? Some Japanese learned from some Chinese and the rest is history. Till this day the Japanese are still using many Chinese words together with Japanese words in their written language.

You must remember that Bruce had just got married and open his first martial art school. They were also expecting their first child (Brandon Lee February 1965) due in several months. He needed money to live. Therefore he needed more students and publicity. Once that was achieved, there was no need for any fight. If it had been an easy fight, Bruce would had gleefully agreed for a rematch as he would had really love to fight. 

As his circle of acquaintance grew, he was able to meet people in the film industry. He was given a small part in a Television series Green Hornet after the director saw his martial art abilities. In the movie, his role was Kato a Japanese who follow the order of his master like a dog. There were lots of discriminations against Asians actors. They did not dare to take the risk on him and offered many movies meant for him to others like David Carradine. 

Not satisfied with the discrimination against Asian actors, he move back to Hong Kong. He managed to land a contract for two movies from Golden Harvest Production, a newly established studio owned by Raymond Chow (who was a key personnel for Shaw Brothers the largest Asian Movie Producer at that moment). Bruce used the Chinese screen name Lee Xiao Loong (meaning little dragon Lee). His English name remained as Bruce Lee (but Xiao Loong instead of Jun Fan). His first movie "The Big Boss" was a huge success becoming the first Hong Kong / Chinese movie to gross over HK$3 millions in Hong Kong in 1971. At that time there was very few usage of legs in karate or Chinese Kungfu. Even if there is any kicks, it is just the front kick, double leg flying kick and the sweeping legs. His 3 flying kicks (the Taekwondo/ Karate type as the Chinese normally use both legs) was credited for the HK$3 million grossing.  His next movie was Fist of Fury an even bigger hit of HK$4.5 millions. The story was about Chin Woo Athletic Association after Grandmaster Huo Yuan Jia was poisoned by the Japanese. Bruce Lee played the student Chan Charn (a fictitious disciple) using Nun Cha Ku an Okinawan Karate weapon. It is just like someone making a movie of President Obama wearing British royalty costume as his official dress. This movie should had some influence on his perception of martial arts. Legendary Master Huo's Mizhong Chuan talk about formless martial art as opposed to set moves of traditional wushu. All his other movies were very successful catching the interest of even Hollywood. His next movies were "The Ways of the Dragon", Enter the Dragon" and "Game of Death" (which he was unable to complete before he died). He never went back to his root which was Wing Chun or see his master Yip Mun according to some Chinese newspapers which openly criticized him at that time. However Grandmaster Yip Mun did become famous when it became known that Bruce Lee learned Wing Chun from him. To date, Donnie Yan Chi Tan has starred as Yip Mun in 2 movies which were well received by fans making Yip Mun almost legendary. There were lots of demands for Wing Chun classes after Bruce's death especially from Grandmaster Yip Mun's lineage.

His Philosophies

Let us examine some of the popular sayings that came from his mouth. Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You pour water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or creep or drip or crash! Be water, my friend. In the ancient days, wushu follow set patterns/moves and this notion about being formless and shapeless probably came after he acted in the "Fist of Fury" or "Chin Woo Mun" (Chin Woo Association} where he played the fictitious Chan Charn a student of Legendary Master Huo Yuan Jia (read my article on Huo Yuan Jia, Father of Wushu (modern Chinese Martial Arts)) and get to know Mizhong Chuan (mysterious fist). If he was really following what he uttered, I honestly believe that he might be still alive today. The Taoist and Tai Chi Chuan are asking people to be like water or cloud. Their movements are like the clouds, slow and graceful. You need to be really "soong" or loosened /relaxed to be able to do this. This in opposition to the powerful kicks and punches of Bruce Lee. He fought and trained with the aggression of a wild animal. To be like water means one must be able to react and adapt to situations. Water may be soft but it is able to break through rocks which happen to be in its way. To be like water is hence the target of Taoist (as shown in the Tao Te Ching by Master Lao Tze). Water does not instantaneously break down all rocks but together with momentum slowly eroded the rock until it is able to eventually break through.

Bruce also said that we must use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it. This is evident in his learning of other martial arts from his friends and associates such as Karate, Taekwondo and etc. He have over 2500 books in his library about martial arts. His training methods was no longer like those when he learn Wing Chun from Grandmaster Yip Mun. He modernized his training methods to get the most out of his body. He took care of his nutrition to ensure he eat the right kind of food. 

He also said that, All types of knowledge, ultimately leads to self knowledge. In Buddhism and Yoga, the quest for self realization, only comes when you have reached a high level of meditation. You need to do meditation and seek within yourself to know yourself. If he did have self knowledge, he would had limited his training to what his body and mind could accept. His inability to adapt to the pain of over-training and insufficient rest ultimately lead to his over reliance on pain killing drugs. He tried to have the perfect body, limbs and the speed and physical power to make himself an extraordinary human fighting machine. Ultimately, it is self survival that is most important. No matter how good you are, it would be pointless if you don't survive. Machine can be repaired but human cannot. Human beings can die. Learning  martial art without learning to cultivate the mind leaves much to be desired. There is an old Chinese saying "Shuah wu pu shuah qi, tao lao it chern khong" - Learning martial arts without learning qi, when old it is emptiness. It means even at an old age you have still achieved nothing. 

He should realize that all man will grow old and die. No one can reverse the aging process. Bruce's doctor said that he had an eighteen years old body just before he died. But this is modern science. It tells you how to get the perfect shape, muscles and the required nutrition (and what to avoid) to make you almost perfect physically. Suddenly he was dead. It does not make sense. It does not understand the mental aspects of a human. Eastern health science developed several thousands of years earlier are much clearer in such matters. The pain is a way for the body to tell him something is not right. Taking pain killer might numb the pain but it does not solve the problem!!!! Yet it is the only way the western doctor/specialist know how to deal with pain. I have cured many people who had to rely on pain killers (because the doctors said these problems are incurable). They have to take the pills until they are lucky enough to find someone with the ability to heal them. It is karma.

His Death 
His love for fighting and his fame always get him in trouble. Frequently he would be stopped by someone either a martial artist or someone trying to be famous and get into a fight. When someone taunted him, he would accept a challenge from that person. Most master would like to avoid fighting if possible. He really did enjoyed fighting. While he was mostly victorious in his fights, he would definitely got hit sometimes. This coupled with his tight filming schedules and stringent training methods would stretched his mind and body beyond human endurance. Injuries was common for a martial artist. His tight filming schedules left him with little time to rest and get rejuvenated. He was always in pain. His over reliant on painkilling drugs took its toll. His body could not take the pain any more and he went into a coma. Bruce Lee died in actress Chin Pei's house on 20th July 1973 at the age of 32 years 8 months.

There were lots of speculations on how he died. Even today many people find it difficult to believe that he died from a swelling in his brain caused by consuming too much pain killers (drug). Elvis Presley died of similar circumstances when he consumed drugs to keep his nerves under control due to his wife eloping with his karate instructor, his singing career and other worries. Then there was this Indian marathon runner in his forties who just collapsed and died during one of his routine run. A marathon runner is someone who is very fit and have plenty of endurance. So you see what a western doctor see as healthy might just be a death trap. 

There were people who speculated that he was killed by the triad when he refused to cooperate with them by helping them earn some money in the lucrative film industry. There were also people (especially Malay and Indonesian) who actually believe that Bruce was killed by an Indonesian who challenged him to a duel. In the process of the fight, Bruce managed to win but he was hit by an Indonesian version of delayed Dim Mak technique (where the injury only surfaced several days later).

There were also speculation in the Chinese media that he died while making love with sexy actress Ting Pei. It was quite common for people to suddenly die while making love due to stoke (chung fung).

As far as I am concerned, these are all mere speculations and cannot be proven. 

With so much attentions on nutrition and exercises, he should be very healthy and in perfect conditions. Theoretically, he would have been very perfect. However our modern health science is sometime paradoxical. Looks can be deceptive. Nature has never intended anything to be perfect. There is so much western science does not understand. For something so perfect, you need to go beyond human endurance. To do this would be fatal when you have not mastered the spiritual side. Using your mind to ignore the pain is foolhardy and so is the continuous consumption of painkilling drugs. I remembered I almost went crazy and had nose bleeding everyday for several years. It was hell. He was my idol and inspired me to train harder than everyone around. I had learned my lesson that there is a limit to human endurance. He found it out too late and paid the price.

Bruce looked awesome and very impressive especially to someone with a western perspective. He had a v shape and agile body. His doctor claimed he had the body of an eighteen years old. So how can such a healthy body according to modern western science be so fragile? It irrefutably prove that there is much that modern western science does not know. Jacky Chan who frequently did his own stunts when he was younger and nearly died on numerous occasions managed to survive death due to being not so perfect as Bruce. No doubt Jacky was a perfectionist when he injured his head while trying to swing down from a mountain in Yugoslavia that almost took his life. However, Jacky did not train like Bruce.  

Ironically, the internal martial artists from Wu Dang and Tai Chi Chuan with pot bellies and imperfect bodies seems more healthy. Somehow the balance of Yin and Yang is more important than a beautiful body. Too much of anything is bad for us. There must be moderation in everything.

If you look at the external martial artist and their hard qigong, many of them have injuries which only surfaced later on. For instance the Muay Thai exponents can break tiles and bricks with their shin as a result of constantly hitting the areas with something hard. The Shaolin monks can break iron rods with their heads using similar method. The pain is very real and no amount of Iron Shirt or Iron Head Kung fu can take the pain away (it only get numb after numerous hits). They try to cut off the pain like Bruce did. Eventually these people would have all kind of problems like Mohammad Ali, Bruce Lee and etc. There are people who lost the ability to walk, move and all type of blockages due to previous injuries not properly treated. 

Mohammad Ali did not have the hardest punch but his ability to withstand pain was legendary. George Foreman's punch was reported to be able to break the skull of a small cow. Joe Frazier and  Ken Norton could go the full distance of 15 rounds with Mohammad Ali but could not even last 2 rounds with Foreman. 

Mohammad Ali on the other hand was able to withstand the punches thrown at him and became the first person to defeat George Foreman (in 8 rounds at Zaire). Prior to that fight no one had managed to last more than 2 rounds with George Foreman. Most people would have been killed by just one punch from George Foreman. Now Mohammad Ali have lots of problems arising from his previous fights. The pain is very real. For more on Mohammad Ali (in Legends And Heroes), please click here

By now Bruce Lee had managed to get the attention of people all over the world to respect Kung Fu and become a martial art legend. His martial arts would hardly qualify as Chinese Wushu or Chinese Martial Arts. His favorite weapon was nun cha ku (a Japanese weapon occasionally used in Okinawan Karate). None of his students ever enter a Wushu competition. Bruce had instructed several World Karate Champions including Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, and Mike Stone. Between the three of them, during their training with Bruce, they won every Karate Championship in the United States. Many celebrities were his students. He charged USD275 per hour and was one of the most expensive martial arts instructor at that time. His ideas of martial arts was westernized and modernized. He came out with his own version of martial art calling it Jeet Kune Do, the way of the intercepting fist. The idea here is to anticipate and intercept your opponent's moves and counter attack. For instance you anticipate your opponent is about to kick you with a side kick, you just jam his leg with your leg (place your feet just on top of his shin and he cannot kick out with that leg) and counter attack with a punch to his face/throat/vital parts etc. It is kind of like Muay Thai kicking your opponent's legs to make him less mobile (by injuring the legs). Here you prevent your opponent from attacking you with blocks and quick counter attacks.
Nowadays, everyone uses legs whether in Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai, Shaolin, Wudang and etc. So it is no longer so fearsome or special as before. About 30 years ago, most martial arts were afraid of legs as hand to hand combats were more common at that time. 

Linda returned with Bruce's body to her hometown in Seattle. He was buried at lot 276 of Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers at his funeral on 31st July 1973 included Taky Kimura, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Chuck Norris, George Lazenby, Dan Inosanto, Peter Chin, and Lee's brother Robert.


The above is my view of Bruce Lee, my idol and a real life person. You have the absolute right not to agree with my views. He is probably the most important person in martial arts in the 20th century after the founding of Chin Woo Athletic Association by Master Huo Yuan Jia. Master Huo Yuan Jia tried to revive wushu by incorporating all types of wushu (Chinese Martial Arts such as Shao Lin and Wudang) into Chin Woo and also invited Masters from other schools to teach there. This revolutionized Wushu and allow everyone to learn all types of martial arts. This view was also shared by Bruce when he said use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.

Bruce Lee on the other hand learn Karate, Jujitsu, western boxing and Wing Chun. He also learned some Taekwondo kicks from Jhoon Rhee. He uses modern methods of training to keep himself agile, fast and powerful. He was probably the person who popularized mixed martial arts in the west. Many martial artist especially in the west were inspired by his skill and agility. It is common for people to learn many types of martial arts like Bruce Lee. He uses his kicks (taekwondo) in attack, he throw/ floor/lock with his Jujitsu, he punches with western boxing and slash/chop/punch with karate. This is mixed martial arts.  There is no doubt in my mind that he would have achieved much more for martial arts if he had lived longer. Bruce Lee show us there is a limit to everything. He was definitely one of the best mixed martial artist of his time. He was probably the most perfect external martial artist. in term of physical appearance.  The point is you cannot go beyond human endurance. You need to have patience. External martial art use of physical strength must be balanced by the introduction of internal martial arts. Then, he would be able to reached a higher stage. He tried to portrayed himself as an educated, physically attractive and modern intellectual using the latest technology in training like any modern educated man would do. But modern science is flawed and cannot explain lots of things. The doctor give him an excellent health status and claim he had the body of an eighteen years old. Yet very soon he died. There are many diagnosed with incurable diseases yet get healed (including myself). Over reliance on something flawed is also a problem. Eastern science has gone through thousands of years of trials and errors is more reliable in certain aspects. It is just one side of the coin. It is your choice to accept or reject it. In ancient times, the master would always goes into seclusion to improve their abilities in martial arts by way of meditations. This involve the mastery of the physical body and the spiritual body. Therefore it was not uncommon for grandmasters of the past like the legendary Wudang founder Chang San Feng to live well past a century and founded Tai Chi Chuan in his golden years while in seclusion.

Despite all his short comings, Bruce is still one of the most popular and famous martial art superstar of the 20th century. Never has martial arts being so popularly promoted. He know how to market himself and be adored by millions of fans worldwide. His name will always be remembered as the man who revived interest in martial arts and ironically Kung Fu. Of course other film stars such as Jacky Chan (with Chinese opera background), Jet Li (was Shaolin 18 weapons champion) and others also contributed to the popularity of Chinese martial arts. But they were never near his level of perfection. Chinese martial arts have now become a global product not confine to the Chinese community. Even Hollywood use action superstars and directors from Asia (especially Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Taiwan. Chin Woo have also promoted Chinese martial arts through its branches all over the world making it one of the biggest wushu association in the world. The interest in Wudang and Shaolin martial arts gather huge demands and earned much tourists revenues as a result. Opening of Wudang and Shaolin temples all over the world also help to fan interests in Chinese wushu.

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At September 22, 2015 at 7:11 AM , Blogger lewis said...

Nice Information
Mix Martial Arts


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