Bruce Lee Gung Fu Lives
Bruce Lee was the martial arts icon of the last century. Ask people what the first thing that pops into their mind when you say gung fu, and they will say Bruce Lee. An interesting question about the Little Dragon is how much gung fu did he really know?
Well, he knew some Tai Chi Chuan, his grandfather taught him when he was a child, that is on record.
And, he was accomplished at Wing Chun Gung Fu, under Yip Man, though probably not a master. He knew the first half of the system, the hard half, but had not delved into the soft half.
And there you go, that’s all the gung fu Bruce knew.
Whoa! You say. That’s all? But…but…but…
So here’s the thing, he grew up in China, and he was immersed in the culture, so he knew ABOUT lots of gung fu.
And, as time went on and he researched, he was familiar with some 26 styles of martial arts. Which is not to say he knew them extensively and in depth, but he was familiar.
But, what people don’t get is the depth of his drive. He was obsessed. He didn’t do ten kicks and think his kicks were good, he did thousands of kicks, and likely thought they were bad!
Thus, he dug deep, and in the depths was where his real gung fu was born.
So it’s not how wide your knowledge is that is important, but how deep.
Now, that said, here’s something else to think about. Bruce was not always using eastern martial arts.
If you look at his movies it looks like eastern stuff, but the fact of the matter is that he was much interested in such things as western boxing and fencing. And, he was a very accomplished cha cha dancer. And he put these things into his moves, and he used eastern discipline to make them shine.
Watch him. When he dances around an opponent, is he using a cha cha step? Think about it.
And when you read his books, like The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, isn’t he extrapolating fencing principles into the classical martial arts moves of the east?
An extremely interesting fighting system is Pan Gai Noon.
There’s a good website called FreeBruceLee.com.