Learn from a legend: What Bruce Lee can teach you about life
This is going to be an epic post, not just because of its length, but due to its awesome content.
I want to write about Bruce Lee, all-time martial arts legend.
Typically the layman who hears about Bruce Lee (well everyone sure has fucking heard of Bruce Lee) he thinks of mere fighting skills, fighting fitness and several movies… of great fighting skills.
But there’s actually more to physical awesomeness to the master that is Bruce Lee. This post will be an epic one of epic lessons and also a tribute to him.
A short Bruce Lee biography
Born in 27 November 1940, Bruce Lee was in Chinatown, San Francisco. His mother, Grace Ho was half Chinese and half Caucasian.
Bruce Lee’s family moved back to Hong Kong right after his birth. The Lee family stayed in Hong Kong up to 3 years under the Japanese Occupation.
Lee’s mother was from one of the most powerful clans in Hong Kong, the Ho-tungs and as such, he grew up in a very well-off and privileged environment. Despite this, the neighbourhood Lee grew up was over-crowded and full of gang rivalries, mostly due to the mass number of people feeling communist China to Hong Kong.
Lee was often forced to fight the gangs. He being him, he loved challenges and took his assailants head on.
His parents decided that he needed to be trained in martial arts. to stoke his violent nature.
Bruce Lee mastery in his fighting
Lee’s first brush with martial arts was actually through his father, where he learnt the fundamentals of Wu style tai chu chuan.
However, the largest influence on Lee’s art was from Wing Chun. At the age of 13, Lee began training under Wing Chun teacher Yip Man in 1954, after he lost a fight against rival gang members.
An interesting point to note is that after a year in training, many other students refused to train with Lee as his mother was mixed. And the Chinese generally believed it wasn’t right to teach their martial arts techniques to non-Asians.
Despite everything, Lee showed a major interest in Wing Chung, and continued to train privately under Yip Man.
Founding of Jeet Kune Do
After a seemingly controversial match with Wong Jack Man, Lee felt that he failed to live up to his full potential as a real fighter using Wing Chun techniques only. He saw traditional martial arts as too rigid, so much so they do not fit the chaos and unpredictability of street fighting.
Lee decided to come up with his own system of fighting, where he emphasized, “practicality, flexibility, speed and efficiency”.
Calling it, “the style of no style”, it was the way of avoiding the formalized methods and training of other traditional martial arts.
And with that, Jeet Kune Do, or The Way of the Intercepting Fist was born.
Lee’s discipline in trainign consisted of weight training for strength, running for endurance, stretching and many others. He simply adapted to suit his own style and mindset, even taking up fencing and basic boxing techniques.
In view of physical training and fighting, he wrote:
“Training is one of the most neglected phases of athletics. Too much time is given to the development of skill and too little to the development of the individual for participation. … JKD, ultimately is not a matter of petty techniques but of highly developed spirituality and physique.”
Needless to say, Lee was extremely fit and performed many physical feats. We can just let the videos do the talking:
Legendary one-inch punch
Bruce Lee’s 2 fingers pushup
The Bruce Lee philosophy
Okay so we all obviously know Bruce Lee was one hell of a fighter and one fit machine. But beneath this block of muscle, Lee was extremely well-read. He actually studied drama and philosophy while he was a student at the University of Washington.
His philosophical beliefs reflected that in his fighting and martial arts. Lee held that any kind of knowledge would eventually lead to self-knowledge, and said that his personal method of expressing himself was through martial arts.
Lee, when asked in 1972 whether he blieved in God, he responded, “To be perfectly frank, I really do not”.
Quotes by Bruce Lee:
Quotes are always awesome and there are tons by the man himself. Of course they are made powerful because he’s Bruce Lee, you can’t deny that.
I will just lay out a bunch of them. Where you want to go with them is up to you.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one”
“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”
“Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
“Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with escaping safely- lay your life before him!!”
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
“Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.”
“Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality-in your own mind.”
And probably the best: Be Water My Friend
I would definitely love to an interpretation quote by quote, but the thing is, there are just too many and so many things you can take away from Bruce Lee himself. How you want to change or improve your life is always entirely up to you. How it can make several positive effects on you is all in your own power. Whether it’s about trying to get into top physical shape or just being at peace and achieving zen or whatever, you can definitely learn from a master.
If you would to do a little Google search, Bruce Lee has inspired many forms. People have really gone all out to take something away. Check it out:
The list goes on. Just some fine attention-grabbing headers? Whatever it is, people have learnt and taken things away. You can do the same.
Champions in life have real focus
They know what they want.
Bruce Lee certainly knew what he wanted in life.
All that intensive training and focus comes from sheer will, strength and determination, all combined to keep doing what you love and not care about what others think.
Do you think Bruce Lee spent his time training or worrying about his surroundings?
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” From above.
I want you to become like Bruce Lee. Strong, confident and being able to do what you love and be the person you are meant to be.
Sign up for my email-series at the side.
And I’ll teach you to be yourself more than anything in this world.
Want to know what I took away? A T-shirt. And I rock it:
Bruce Lee, the man himself was awesome and is awesome. This is just my mini-tribute to him. Inspiring people, are always inspiring. Here are some Bruce Lee pictures in all his glory.