Friday, May 22, 2009

Bruce Lee

Nearly 36 years after the Death of Bruce Lee,we are still feeling his impact on the Martial Arts & there is still a great deal of interest in his life by new generations. This is partly due to him passing away at the prime of his the life,which essentially immortalized him in the public mind as forever being the person they saw on the silver screen. But, Lee's movies were only one small dimension of the totality of the Man himself and the contributions he made.
Bruce Lee was the first prominent advocate of hybrid/eclectic martial arts as well for the need for physical fitness & cross-training for the martial artist. He labeled his art Jeet Kune Do, but always fretted over it since a name implies a way or path & he didn't like to have set parameters.A great majority of the tactics & techniques of Jeet Kune Do have held up pretty well over time and still relevant,but Lee's real genius lied not individual techniques or in systems, but in the broad & sweeping idea of concepts that he outlined.I'm sure that his individual art would look very different now than it did in 1973,but many stubbornly adhere to Lee's exact methods that he used at that particular point in time.I don't feel Lee would have wanted it that way.Use the outlines to help guide you to develop an art that's best for you & that is always open to modification or even a complete overhaul if needed.Lee's art was always evolving & progressing. Lee's Jeet Kune Do was Bruce Lee's personal art & his Jeet Kune Do might ultimately look very different from your Jeet Kune Do since you are an individual just as he was. And what you see Lee doing in the Movies is very different from how he would(an did) fight in real life. It could be said that Lee was "the Einstein of the martial arts",that he was ahead of his time & that it was he alone who set in motion a revolution in martial arts that has continued to this day. If one is willing to explore the Man beyond just the movies,they might see why real martial artist hold Bruce Lee is such high regard and how important he truly was to the widespread acceptance & progression of the Martial Arts .
There are several good books by Lee as well as other media which feature his Martial Art methods & philosophy........

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do(book)by Bruce lee
The Bruce Lee Library(book 5 volumes of Lee's personal notes/journals)by John Little
Bruce Lee's Fighting Methods(Book,now in one volume)by Bruce Lee

1964 & 1967 Long Beach International Karate Tournaments(Demonstrations by Lee)
Long Street(TV Show)Lee appeared on 4 episodes
The Pierre Berton Show(Interview with Lee)
Bruce Lee- The Legend 1977 Documentary
How Bruce Lee changed the World

Jeet Kune Do Training-
Dan Inosanto is as close as you can get to training with Lee himself and whom Lee handpicked to be the keeper of the JKD legacy.
Paul Vunak
Richard Bustillo
Burton Richardson
Ted Wong
Larry Hartsell
Taky Kimura

Also see