Profile of Bruce Lee

Name: Bruce Lee (Lee Jun Fan)
Date of Birth: 27 November 1940 (until 20 July 1973, age 32)
Height: 5’7” (1.71m)
Weight: 135lbs (62kg)
Birth sign: Sagittarius
Country: USA (San Francisco, California)

Training background

  • Tai chi (learned from his father, Lee Hoi Chuen).
  • Wing Chun from age 13 with Master Yip Man.
  • Boxing.
  • Dancing (Cha cha champion of Hong Kong, 1958).
  • Developed and evolved own Martial-art, Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist) which essentially rejects the idea of fixed styles and embraces the entire sphere of universal combat, fighting arts and techniques available to any human being.

Main influence

  • Parents, Ip Man (his Wing Chun, master)

Bruce on training

  • “Above all, never cheat on any exercise; use the amount of weight that you can handle without undue strain.”
  • “Martial Arts include all the combative arts like karate, Judo, Chinese kung-fu, Aikido…some have become sport, but some not, such as kicking to the groin, jabbing fingers to eyes.”
  • “Since weight training involves repetitions, a great deal of energy must be exerted. Therefore, weight training should be practiced only every other day.”

Why Stretch?  Bruce Lee’s Rationale and Top Reasons To Stretch

  • Stretch for improved health and fitness. Strong and supple joints are essential to being healthy and fit.
  • Reduce injury. A greater range of motion means that you are less likely to put the weakest points under too much strain when working out or competing.
  • Stretching is a good way to warm up and prepare the muscles for the task ahead.
  • Stretching after a workout can reduce muscle soreness and quicken recovery.
  • Being more flexible makes you a better athlete.
  • A good stretch routine should be a pleasure to perform and is a great way to start or finish the day.
  • When stretching, you should apply constant gentle pressure that increases over time. Do not bounce. Always relax into the stretch. When doing seated forward stretches look forwards, not down, to avoid hunching the back.

Bruce Lee’s favourite stretches

These stretches are performed as a warm up by most martial art schools today. These were also Bruce’s standard stretches:

  • Seated Hamstring Stretch – stretches the rear thigh muscle.
  • Hurdlers Stretch – stretches the hamstrings and groin.
  • Seated Groin Stretch – opens the hips and stretches the groin and inner thighs.
  • Standing Hip Stretch – stretches the hip and buttocks.
  • Lunging Stretch – stretches the hips, buttocks and front thighs.
  • Thigh Stretch – stretches the large muscles on the front of the thighs.
  • Calf Stretch – stretches the back of the lower legs.
  • Lower Back Stretch – vital stretch to warm up the lower back before exercising.
  • Side Stretch – stretches the muscles along the core.
  • In addition to stretching muscles, it is also wise to “limber up” before exercising. This involves loosening the muscles with small gentle exercises. Typically the neck, shoulders, wrists, knees and ankles are limbered up and gently stretched. This helps to get the blood flowing and warm the tendons.

Bruce on philosophy

  • “Be like water making its way through cracks.  Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water.  If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and 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.”
  • “When you’re talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you’d better train every part of your body!”
  • “Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.”
  • “All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge.”
  • “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”

Quotes about Bruce

I remember many times my father, Ed Parker, saying that pound for pound, Lee was the best martial artist, he´d ever seen. –Ed Parker Jr.

Bruce Lee is my Idol.  I need to learn some techniques of Bruce Lee, especially the quickness of his hands and legs. –Manny Pacquiao

I wouldn’t have put a dime on anyone to beat Bruce Lee in a real confrontation. Bruce Lee was the best street fighter I ever saw, even to this very day, and not just pound for pound — but against anyone in a real fight. -James Demile

Bruce Lee did a one-inch punch demonstration on Fist of Fury co-star Bob Baker at the 1967 Ed Parker USA Long Beach Nationals tournament and sent Bob flying, and almost split his sternum (breastbone)! -Bey Logan

Did you know…?

  • At one point Bruce was the highest paid karate instructor in the world at around $300 US per hour!
  • Bruce Lee was so into fighting as a youth that he used to dress in traditional Chinese clothing to the confusion of conventional fashions of the time.  When people dared comment, Bruce would invite them to a duel.  Therefore he practiced his art on different types of people and took brawling to the street from a young age!  Police warned his mother that her son’s impulsiveness had to be curbed lest he get arrested!
  • Hollywood actor, friend and student, Steve McQueen, took Bruce for a ride in his Porsche up a winding mountain road, because Bruce so badly wanted one too.  After the ride (which was fast and perilous!), Bruce swore never to let Steve ever drive him again!
  • In filming the last fight scene for the movie, The Big Boss, Bruce had sprained his right ankle doing a high jump onto a slip mattress -before his thigh was slashed, you can visibly see his right leg limping.
  • In 1970, Bruce was badly injured while doing a barbell exercise loaded with 57kg.  This damaged his fourth sacral nerve and he was forced to rest in bed for 6 months after being told he would never do kung-fu again!
  • While filming Fist of Fury, Bruce’s adversary Bob Baker, wasn’t responding as he was meant to, then Bruce really bit him in one take so that Bob would pull his leg away and get the right reaction needed! (Biting to escape has been used in Longstreet TV series, John Saxon also did this to Bolo Yeung in Enter The Dragon and Donnie Yen did it to Bey Logan (who played Petrov, Bob Baker’s character) in the Fist Of Fury TV series.
YEARTITLEROLE
1971The Big Boss (aka Fists of Fury)Cheng Chao-an
1972Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection)Chen Zhen
1972The Way of the DragonTang Lung/Dragon
1973Enter the DragonLee
1978The Game of Death (incomplete)Billy-Lo
Selected TV Shows
1966The Green HornetKato
1967Ironsideguest star
1971Longstreetguest star

Raj, a wing chun student, enjoys spending time studying various aspects of the martial arts, from theory to practically applied skills. He enjoys interviewing prominent and dedicated martial artists from all over the world, who have something inspiring and stimulating to share. He also manages projects in terms of filming, reviews of movies/books and other quality features.

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