Lee’s father forced him to move back to America when he was 19 after getting into a fight and severely injuring his opponent. Upon returning to the States, he moved to Seattle and began teaching martial arts. He modified what he had learned and improvised techniques in an effort to develop his own system with an emphasis on practicality, flexibility, speed and efficiency.
By 1965, he originated Jeet Kune Do whose symbols indicated that ‘using no way as the way’ and ‘having no limitation as a limitation’. He threw out the formalised approaches that he felt held back the traditional styles of martial arts. He adopted and emphasized ‘the style of no style’. He lived his life and taught his students how to exist outside of parameters and boundaries.
Lee met and taught several famous people in his studios, including:
Lee’s philosophy and exceptional training program meant that he was able to achieve a phenomenal level of fitness and perform exceptional physical feats, which included:
* Achieving striking speeds of five hundredths of a second from three feet away with his hands down by his side.
* Lifting a dime off a person’s open palm and leaving a penny behind before they could close their hand.
* Performing push-ups using only his thumbs.
* Performing up to 50 repetitions of one arm chin-ups.
* Throwing a grain of rice in the air and then catching it in mid-flight with a pair of chop sticks.
* Thrusting his fingers through unopened steel cans of Coca-Cola.
Lee began acting (if you can call it that) at the age of only three months and continued throughout his entire life. He died shortly after filming completed for ‘Enter The Dragon’.
Here is a list of his film credits:
1940 – Golden Gate Girl
1946 – The Beginning Of A Boy
1946 – The Birth Of Mankind
1946 – My Son, Ah Cheun
1958 – It’s Father’s Fault
1958 – The Orphan
1969 – Marlowe
1971 – The Big Boss / Fists Of Fury (US)
1971 – Fists Of Fury / The Chinese Connection (US)
1972 – Way Of The Dragon / Return Of The Dragon (US)
1972 – Game Of Death (completed and released after his death)
1973 – Enter The Dragon
Lee was believed to have more than 2500 books in his personal library and his eclectic philosophy was a result of borrowing something from everything that he read or studied. Ultimately, he believed that any knowledge led to self-knowledge and that each person had a chosen method of self-expression based on their knowledge.
“A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.”
“A glass that is half empty is better than a fully broken glass.”
“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
“Balance your thoughts with action. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
“Cease negative mental chattering. If you think a thing is impossible, you will make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.”
“Don’t fear failure. Not failure but low aim is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
“If you always put a limit on everything you do, it will spread into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.”
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
“Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. To realise that something is just an unpleasantness is part of coming into your own, part of waking up.”
“Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”
“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”
“Take inventory of everyone with whom you have contact.”
“To be perfectly frank, I really do not. I believe in sleeping.”
– When asked if he believed in God.
“To me, the function and duty of a quality human is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”
“Use only that which works and take it from any place you can find it.”
“We all have time to spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.”
“We are always in the process of becoming and nothing is fixed.”
“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”
“Your best move is the one you regret not doing.”
Kick or chop here to listen to the Bruce Lee mix.
01. Bruce Lee Speaks (Part 1) :: Bruce Lee
02. The Dragon :: Homeless Balloon
03. Bruce Lee :: Underworld
04. Bruce Lee Speaks (Part 2) :: Bruce Lee
05. Kung Fu Fighting :: Karl Douglas
06. Martial Beat Arts :: The Quiet ft DJ Silent
07. Bruce Lee Speaks (Part 3) :: Bruce Lee
08. China :: Red Rockers
09. Karate Stance :: The Combovers
10. Bruce Lee Speaks (Part 4) :: Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco in 1940 and grew up in Hong Kong. He was introduced to martial arts by his father and began formal training at the age of 13. He excelled in Wing Chung Gung Fu and was eventually trained privately for several years by his master, who greatly influenced him. In addition to studying Gung Fu, he also boxed and became a champion at the age of 18, beating many of the best amateur fighters his age in Hong Kong. Lee’s brother, Peter, was a champion fencer and Bruce learned the techniques of the sport from him. This wide range of influences and abilities helped Lee formulate his own style of Kung Fu later in life.