Bruce Lee Martial Arts get people thinking of how tough he was, and in so doing, they really miss the point of the man. Yes, The Little Dragon was tough, could do incredible bodyweight exercises, but there was a lot of stuff behind that tough Bruce Lee movies image.
First, Bruce Lee was an actor first. I don’t necessarily mean in his heart, but he was from an acting family, and he was actually a child star in Hong Kong. An actor has to have passion, empathy, and feeling for his characters, and for his fellow man.
Second, he had a profound and large library, but it wasn’t all martial arts. He apparently had thousands of volumes on philosophy. We are talking about a man who understood man’s deepest thoughts on man; we are talking about a man who cared about who he was, and what man was. From Sanskrit to Islam, from Western to Eastern, you can bet Bruce read it.
Third, I want to give an anecdote that was relayed to me by my editor at Inside Karate, John Soet. John had been in Hong Kong when Bruce was shooting Enter the Dragon, and he found himself in a room with Bruce, George Lazenby, and a dozen assorted and well known martial artists.
Most people don’t remember George Lazenby, but he was the fellow played one James Bond, and then was fired. Apparently, he just didn’t catch on.
Anyway, during the conversation George remarked how he had gone from being a star, to ignored. He said something like, ‘Overnight, it was like nobody even liked me.’
The room went quiet, because apparently George felt strongly, and everybody could feel the emotion in his voice. It was one of those awkward moments when nobody knew what to say, and all these tough guy martial artists just sort of looked at the floor.
“I like you, George.” It was Bruce. He had seen the man, had seen that nobody was willing to step forward, and he did what was needed for his fellow man.
Odd, such a simple thing to say, and yet when I thnk of Bruce Lee, I always think of that incident.
Not the Enter the Dragon fight scene, not the Big Boss nor Fists of Fury, but a backroom somewhere where Bruce made the distinction between a tough guy movie artist, and a human being who cared.
Anyway, when you watch a Bruce Lee movie, don’t get distracted by the fantastic fighting scenes and his incredible body weight exercises, and that sort of thing. Remember that he was passionate, compassionate, and loved his fellow man. That is the secret of the real Bruce Lee Martial Arts.
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