Bruce Lee is without a doubt the biggest combat sports icon of the twentieth century and most young lads won’t to do a Bruce Lee workout to try and obtain the same unbelievable fighting skills, muscular body and superhuman fitness that he showed in Kung fu movies like Enter the Dragon, Way of the Dragon, the Big Boss and Fist of Fury.
No other martial artist has had more of an influence on martial arts, combat sport or fitness in general than him and it could be argued that UFC or mixed martial arts would not exist today had it not been for his book “Tao of jeet kune do” which stated his philosophy of using the best from all martial arts and disregarding what didn’t work.
His influence has been so phenomenal over the years that for example, the legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard said he developed his amazing speed by emulating the fight scenes of Bruce Lee’s films such as Enter the Dragon. The bodybuilder Dorian Yates is quoted as saying that he was first inspired to start weight training because of his admiration of Bruce Lee’s amazing physique, and the list goes on. In fact if you spend any time reading about sporting legends it soon becomes apparent that Lee is mentioned as an influence more than anybody else.
To develop his incredible martial arts ability he began training in wing chun Kung Fu as a child, under the guidance of wing chun master Yip Man. He then went on to become one of its best disciples before leaving wing Chun and Yip Man to develop his own martial art of jeet kune do. Soon after he began holding classes with his top student Dan Inosanto and taught his students the philosophy of jeet kune do which frowns upon closed thinking and promotes a fighting style that uses anything that works regardless of which school of martial arts it comes from.
The talents of Bruce Lee
Anyone who wants to take part in combat sport should take a look at the fight seen between Lee and Bob Wall in Enter the Dragon as the speed he showed is something that has never been seen before or since. Nobody else has ever managed to move like he could and in some of his movies you have to watch a scene over and over again to actually see what he did, such was his talent. What is even more amazing is he was actually as fast or even faster in real life as anyone who has seen the punching display he did for one of his film auditions will know.
When Lee first came to our attention bodybuilding was not the huge sport it is now and people rarely saw the amazing bodies of it’s competitors. However, anyone who watched Bruce do his now famous Lats pose in the film Way of the Dragon was left dumbfounded at how such a little man could possess such amazing lat development and a level of muscular definition that was scary, in fact he was the original six pack guy.
Everything about Lee from the way he moved when fighting to the way he put together the now famous Bruce Lee workout routine and Bruce Lee diet suggest that he was a master of physical fitness. In fact he seemed to have everything from unbelievable strength to total flexibility and even now I have never seen anyone who has had such control over their body as Lee did.
The mental qualities of Bruce Lee.
Although Lee had the physical gifts mentioned and then some, it was his mental strengths that have made him the biggest combat sports icon in the world and it was these qualities that led him on a path no one else had walked before. The Bruce Lee we see in films like Way of the Dragon and martial arts demonstrations was the result of talents that we sometimes forget he had such as
His original thinking.
To achieve what he did is only possible by those who are original thinkers and refuse to follow the crowd. His jeet kune do concept of taking the best from any martial art and using it to his advantage and his pioneering ideas on the importance of physical training were unheard of at the time but can be seen today in the evolution of the popular ultimate fighting. You only have to look up some of the Bruce Lee quotes on martial arts to see how far ahead of his time he was.
I first realized just how intelligent Lee was when I was 18 and bought a copy of his book Tao of Jeet kune do. What impressed me so much was his total understanding of every fighting system, anatomy, sports science and psychology. It seemed to me that he had thought of and addressed every single aspect of fighting and to this day I have never read a book on Martial Arts that contains the high quality theories of Tao of jeet kune do.
It is well known to anyone who has studied Lee that he lived and breathed his beloved Martial Arts. Many of his friends and colleges describe a man who was so totally absorbed in his quest for perfection that he could watch TV, whilst sitting in the side splits, reading the latest fitness magazine and exercise with a dumbbell all at the same time. Such dedication is both mind blowing and inspirational.
I am sure everyone reading this has heard of and possibly been inspired by Bruce Lee. If you ever get the chance to read his book Tao of Jeet Kune Do I suggest you do and you will get a better idea of how it is possible for a man to understand his field of expertise to such a level. If you have never seen the Bruce Lee films Enter the Dragon, Way of the Dragon, Fist of Fury, or the Big Boss before watch them and see for yourself why he inspired so many. Even if you have seen the films before have another look and get some new inspiration for your training although only watch Game of Death for his fight scenes and fast forward the rest.
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…
No one can be the best ever. Funakoshi was a beast, Bruce Lee was, Mas Oyama karate chopped a bull’s horn off, Musashi fault in over 60 life and death …
Helio revolutionized traditional Ju Jitsu , he created BJJ & he personally proved his system challenging & accepting fights with all comers from all disciplines …
I would say Bruce Lee, of course. But that isn’t blind belief, but careful look at the facts. Start with James DeMile, mag interviews, YouTube views. …
Benny “the jet” Urquidez
I have been a big fan of Bruce Lee for a few years now and have watches all his films and training clips. I have also read his books and know what a great …
Dr. John LaTourrette
He took concepts and data from a variety of fields such as, but not limited to, martial arts (he holds several black belts in various such as judo, kenpo …
Bruce Lee was the best martial artist the world has ever seen. He was an excellent teacher too. Very unfortunate to loose him.
His inspiration will continue to guide us to our personal liberation.
yes it was bruce who inspired me to learn martial art and live life with respect i believe his philosphy of jeet kune do iam runing fit life foundation …
Too fast for film
At the start of shooting the “Green Hornet” series, which he starred as ‘Kato’, the fight scenes had to be reshot because Bruce moved to fast for the cameras …
Bruce Lee did compete. He won the Long beach open martial arts tournament twice in the late 1960’s. He trained and sparred with a number of world champion …
Bruce Lee / Jet Li
Bruce unfortunatly died when i was only 3yrs old he was without doubt the best at that time. I believe Jet Li has been chinese karate champion more than …
Not only did he completely change people’s thinking on what was needed to be a great martial artist, he lived what he taught and taught all he knew. He …
Like so many others, Bruce is my personal hero, and i’ve studied everything i could ever find about him, facts and questionable opinions alike, but there …
Bruce fought the entire western world to establish respect for Asians. That is the biggest fight any body could win at that time.
Inventor of the MMA. That is enough said
I think the most realistic “stage” where fighter can really proof their abilities is in MMA fights. Only there you can proof your complete scope of skills. …
He is the best m. artist that happened to the martial art industry. I wish some one like him lives atleast till the age 90. Imagine what more he will do …
Jeet Kune Do was the art of fighting without fighting, “he never fought to prove it,” his demonstrations at tournaments, and on film were enough to prove …