The man, the myth and the legend? It is an incontestable fact that Bruce
Lee was a great martial artist. His on and off screen persona oozed with
charismatic flair making him one of
the most popular action hero's of his time. In death, his popularity seemed
only to grow as legends. Bruce trained hard and had objectives for himself.
In a letter he wrote, he pledged in 1969 to become the highest paid Asian
actor, to become well-known and financially independant by 1980 and to achieve
inner harmony and peace. Bruce had goals and ambitions that drove him to
levels of physical agility, strength and flexibility that none have been
able to compare to as of yet.
Bruce started his carreer as an actor on the defunk series
'The Green Hornet'. As many of you probably know or have guessed, the
character of 'Kato', played by Bruce Lee, stole the show. When the show
was later cancelled due to a lack of ratings, Bruce moved on to other
things. In fact, Bruce helped formulate and develop the popular 'Kung
Fu' series. A series that was, as some have said, made for Bruce; yet,
David Caradine, a caucasian actor, played the role of the oriental Kung
Fu master. Did Bruce let network and Hollywood prejudice get in the way
of furthering his carreer?
Bruce was affected by Hollywood's and American television's
lack of respect for Asian actors. He felt that if he remained in the U.S.A.,
directors and produces wouldn't look on him as a martial artist or an
actor; they would rather see an Asian and be blinded by prejudice. Bruce
took a sabbatical and went to Hong Kong where he received a hero's welcome.
'The Green Hornet' known as the 'Kato show' in Hong Kong was very popular
because of Lee. His popularity got him the attention of prominent movie
producers who begged Bruce to star in their features which he did. From then on the world was introduced to 'The Big Boss a.k.a
Fists of Fury', 'The Chinese Connection', 'The Way of the Dragon', and
'Game of Death' which was never completed by Lee.
Finally receiving the attention he deserved, Bruce was
invited to star in the Warner Brothers production entitled 'Enter the
Dragon' which brought him the super stardom he never had the chance to
experience. Bruce Lee's death in 1973 is shrouded in mystery...many theories
have been put forward ranging from Ninja Assassins to the Chinese mafia.
The official report claims that Bruce took a pain killer containing an
ingredient he was allergic to. But actually no one really knows how he
died. It's ironic that the country that had originally rejected him now
mourned him. But that is sometimes the way of life. We never realize the
treasures that some individuals offer us until it is too late.
The official cause of Lee's death was recorded in the
autopsy report as cerebral
edema, or brain swelling. This was supposedly due to his hypersensitivity
to a painkiller called equigesic that he had taken that day. But further
research suggests the kung fu idol may have died from an epileptic
condition first recognized more than 20 years after his death.
died of a condition called sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, which
was only recognized in 1995. The condition involves a seizure which stops
the heart or lungs. It
kills around 500 people a year in Britain, is most common in men aged
20 to 40 and can be brought on by lack of sleep and stress. At the time
of his death, Bruce
was under a great deal of physical and mental distress.
For more info, click HERE.
Why Bruce Lee is the Best!
Bruce Lee realized that big muscular builds slow you down. He trained
for speed. His speed was definitely beyond average.
Bruce had timing. He would observe his opponent and counter-attack at
the precise moment. Again, speed allowed him to come in and out.
Two Fingered One Armed Push-ups. He did those with great ease. Two inch
punches capable of doing more damage than regular punches. Bruce had the
power to bring down any opponent.
Bruce Lee believed that if two opponents were equal in skill, speed and
power, the competitor who could use feinting techniques would be the clear
victor. Bruce Lee accentuated the use of feinting in his movies and in
never any wasted movement in Lee's techniques. This makes him a force
to be reckoned with.
1940 - November
27 - San Francisco: The
Year of the Dragon, Lee Jun Fan is born at the Jackson Street Hospital
in the Chinatown section of San Francisco. Later to be known as Bruce
Lee. His father, Lee Hoi Chuen, a performer with the Cantonese Opera Company,
was touring in America at the time. 1941 - Hong Kong:
Bruce and his parents
return to Kowloon, their family home. 1946 - Hong Kong:
At the age of six,
he makes his professional screen debut in The Beginning of a Boy. During
the later years of his chilhood, Bruce appears in 20 more films in Southeast
Asia. Lastly, being the film The Orphan at age 18. 1953 - Hong Kong:
After being involved
in numerous street fights in Hong Kong, Bruce begins training under Sifu
Yip Man, a master of the wing chun system of gung fu. 1958 - Hong Kong:
Being an expert dancer,
Bruce wins the Crown Colony Cha-Cha Championship. 1959 - Hong Kong:
After more fierce street
fighting ending in police involvement, Mr. and Mrs. Lee decide that Bruce
should exercise his American citizenship and return to San Francisco. 1959 - San Francisco - Seattle:
Bruce arrives in the
U.S. and stays with an old friend of his father's. He works odd jobs around
the various chinese communities. Later moves to Seattle to work for Ruby
Chow, another friend of his father's. He lives in a room above her restaurant
while working as a waiter downstairs. Eventually enrolls at Edison Technical
School and earns his high school diploma. Starts teaching gung fu in backyards
and city parks.
1961 - Spring - Seattle:
Enrolls at the University
of Washington. Major - Philosophy. Teachs gung fu to students at school.
1963 - Summer - Hong Kong:
Returns to Hong Kong
for the first time since his arrival in the U.S. Returns to Seattle at
the end of summer to continue school. 1963 - October 25 - Seattle:
Bruce takes out Linda
Emery (the future Mrs. Linda Lee) for their first date. Dinner at the
Space Needle. 1963 - Fall - Seattle:
Moves the Jun Fan Gung
Fu Institute into a building (4750 University Way) near the university
campus. 1964 - Summer - Oakland:
Bruce leaves Seattle
to start a second school in Oakland. His good friend, Taky Kimura, takes
over as head instructor. 1964 - August 17 - Seattle:
Bruce returns to Seattle
to marry Linda Emery. Residing afterwards back in Oakland. 1964
- Oakland: Several months after he begins teaching,
he is challenged by a leading gung fu practitioner in the Chinatown community.
If Bruce lost the challenge, he was either to close his school or stop
teaching Caucasians. At that time, the Chinese were reluctant to teach
Caucasians their martial arts. Bruce accepts and dispatches his opponent
in only a couple of minutes. Later he is bothered on why the fight took
so long and begins to re-evaluate his style. Thus, the early concepts
of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee's own style, are born.
- August 2 - Long Beach, CA: Ed
Parker, known as the Father of American Karate (Kenpo), invites Bruce
to give a demonstration at his first International Karate Championships.
In the audience is Jay Sebring, the hair stylist for Batman producer William
Dozier who is looking to cast a part in a TV series he was developing.
Sebring then gives a film of Bruce's demo to Dozier who is empressed at
what he sees. Bruce later flys down to Los Angeles for a screen test.
1965 - February 1 - Oakland, CA:
Brandon Bruce Lee is
born. 1965 - February 8 - Hong Kong:
Bruce's father passes
away. 1966 - Los Angeles:
Bruce and family move
to Los Angeles where he begins working on a new TV series called The Green
Hornet as Kato. Later opens third branch of the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute
in Los Angeles' Chinatown. 1967-1971 - Hollywood:
During this time, Bruce
lands bit parts in various films and T.V. series (Marlowe, Longstreet).
He also gives private lessons for up to $250 an hour to the likes of Steve
McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner, Lee Marvin, Roman Polanski, and Kareem
Abdul Jabbar. 1969
- April 19 - Santa Monica, CA: Daughter
Shannon Lee is born. 1970 - Los Angeles:
Bruce injures his back
while training. The following period of inactivity he starts to document
his training methods and his philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. Later after his
death, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do is published by his wife. 1971
- Hong Kong: Takes
a short trip back to Hong Kong to arrange for his mother to live in the
U.S..Unknowingly to him, he had become a superstar for The Green Hornet
was one of the most popular TV shows in Hong Kong. Later is approached
by Raymond Chow, owner of a new production company, and offered the lead
role in a new film called The Big Boss. He accepts. 1971- July - Thailand:
Filming begins for
The Big Boss (released as Fists of Fury in U.S.). Opens in Hong Kong to
great reviews and mobs of fans. Proceeds to gross more than $3.5 million
in little than three weeks. 1972 - Hong Kong:
Fist of Fury (called
The Chinese Connection in the U.S.) is released. Grosses more than The
Big Boss and further establishes Bruce as a Hong Kong superstar. 1972 - Rome, Italy:
Location shots are made for Bruce's third film The Way of the Dragon (later
called The Return of the Dragon), which he writes, directs, and stars
in. Chuck Norris is Bruce's adversary in the final fight scene. Again,
this film surpasses all records set by his previous two films. 1972 - Hong Kong:
Bruce begins work on
Game of Death and films several fight scenes including Danny Inosanto
and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 1973 - February - Hong Kong:
Filming of Enter the
Dragon begins. It is the first-ever production between the U.S. and Hong
Kong film industries. Game of Death is never completed. (Later completed
after his death using a stand-in for Bruce's un-shot scenes.) 1973 - April - Hong Kong:
Filming of Enter the
Dragon is completed. 1973 - July 20 - Hong Kong:
Bruce Lee dies in Hong
Kong. But nobody really knows how he died.Enter the Dragon premieres a
month later to much success. 1973 - July 25 - Hong Kong:
A funeral ceremony
is held for friends and fans in Hong Kong consisting of over 25,000 people.
Bruce is dressed in the Chinese outfit he wore in Enter the Dragon.
1973 - July 30 - Seattle:
After a smaller second
ceremony, Bruce Lee is buried at Lake View Cemetery. His pallbearers included
Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Danny Inosanto, Taky Kimura, and his brother,
would like to thank the many "Bruce Lee" websites, whose links are listed
here and by clicking" on any of the pictures for their information
and pictures. Please visit their websites for more specific information
and to find additional pictures on this great legend!
Chinn (a 39 years old San Francisco resident and letter carrier) who
has one of the largest Bruce Lee collections in the world.
San Francisco retrospective includes diary entries, sketches, memorabilia,
Lee's philosophical notes in English and Chinese, an homage from his funeral
in Hong Kong are part of six collections, including that of Lee's widow,
Linda Lee Cadwell. The largest number of items in this particular exhibit
are from Yuri Nakamura, a Japanese collector who resides part-time in
a 2000 Fund-Raiser
Dinner that includes his retrospective, a new documentary, ``Bruce
Lee: A Warrior's Journey'' that contains 41 minutes of unseen footage
from Lee's last, unfinished film, "The Game of Death" will be shown. For
further info, click HERE.
opponent expand, I contract, When he contracts, I expand, And when
there is an opportunity, I do not hit--it hits all by itself."
this fully, one must transcend from the duality of 'for' and 'against'
into one organic unity which is without distinctions."
cause of failure is lack of concentration."
tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but
flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being
wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may
Men, Military, Monarchy, Reading, Sleeping, War
is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."
want to do your duty properly, you should do just a little more than
love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of."
are the beginning of all achievement."
Achievement, Beginnings, Goals, Men
your mind, be formless, shapeless--like water. Now you put water into
a cup, it becomes the cup, You put water into a bottle, it becomes
the bottle, You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water
can flow or it can crash! Be water my friend."
as we separate this 'oneness' into two, we won't achieve realization."
teacher protects his pupils from his own influence."
is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something
to aim at."