Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940, at the Chinese Hospital, in San Francisco's Chinatown. According to the Chinese zodiac, Lee was born in both the hour and the year of the Dragon, which according to tradition is a strong and fortuitous omen. Bruce's father, Lee Hoi-chuen, (李海泉) was Han Chinese, and his mother, Grace Ho (何愛瑜), was of half-Chinese and half-Caucasian descent. Grace Ho was the adopted daughter of Ho Kom-tong (Ho Gumtong, 何甘棠) and the half-niece of Sir Robert Ho-tung, both notable Hong Kong businessmen and philanthropists. There is no proof in any documents that Bruce Lee had a maternal German grandfather as popularly thought, rather his European ancestry came from an English maternal grandmother. His mother had an English mother and a Chinese father. Bruce was the fourth child of five children: Phoebe Lee (李秋源), Agnes Lee (李秋鳳), Peter Lee (李忠琛), and Robert Lee (李振輝). Lee and his parents returned to Hong Kong when he was three months old.
ALI Muhhamad (
Muhammad Ali born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; 1942 – 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is nicknamed "The Greatest" and is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time
Whenever an iconic person dies, a wealth of stories inevitably pour out and help us as we attempt to create a lasting image of that person. Muhammad Ali, without a doubt, falls into that "iconic" category, so there have been tons of stories about him circulating since his death on Friday. The world is mentally preparing for Ali's funeral in Louisville, Ky. on Friday, but before it takes place, there are going to be a lot of great Ali stories that are told.
Laila Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have told a couple of excellent stories about Ali thus far, but one of our favorites comes to us courtesy of Mass Appeal, which dug up an old Ali tale from the 1970s. The story actually comes from the 1987 book, The Making of Enter the Dragon, and it features Enter the Dragon director Robert Clause talking about what Bruce Lee told him once while the two were filming their 1973 movie. At that time, there were many people who debated about what would happen if Ali crossed paths with Lee. Some people thought Lee would be able to dominate Ali in a fight, while others argued Ali would knock Lee out easily. According to Clause, Lee considered both sides of the argument and even practiced fighting Ali by using a full-length mirror. His conclusion? He probably wouldn't have stood a chance.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Another time Yeung, aka [Bolo] went to see Bruce at Golden Harvest Studios. Bruce was screening a Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] documentary. Ali was world heavyweight champion at the time and Bruce saw him as the greatest fighter of them all. The documentary showed Ali in several of his fights. Bruce set up a wide full-length mirror to reflect Ali’s image from the screen. Bruce was looking into the mirror, moving along with Ali.
Bruce’s right hand followed Ali’s right hand, Ali’s left foot followed Bruce’s left foot. Bruce was fighting in Ali’s shoes. “Everybody says I must fight Ali some day.” Bruce said, “I’m studying every move he makes. I’m getting to know how he thinks and moves.” Bruce knew he could never win a fight against Ali. “Look at my hand,” he said. “That’s a little Chinese hand. He’d kill me."
For the record, Lee was 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds, while Ali was 6-foot-3 and more than 200 pounds during their respective heydays. So yeah, Lee was probably right. But more than 40 years later, Lee vs. Ali is still a debate that people love to have.
HASHIMOTO CHIKARA (橋本 力 Hashimoto Chikara, 1933 – 2017, also known as Riki Hashimoto (はしもと りき Hashimoto Riki), was a
Japanese professional baseball player and actor as Hiroshi Suzuki in the 1972 Bruce Lee movie Fist of Fury. The sto itself made fools of the Japanese.
Hashimoto played baseball for Mainichi Orions in the 1950s. He was forced to retire in 1958 following an injury, and then joined Deiei Studios. As an actor, he is known for his roles as Daimajin in the 1960s film.
Lee, James Yimm (1920-1972)
James Lee was born in Oakland, California. During high school, he practiced much weight training, bodybuilding, hand balancing, and acrobatics. In 1938-9, Lee was on the Oakland YMCA weightlifting team and won the Northern California Championship in the 132 pound division. Although he had an avid talent for drawing and art, James began a career in welding and worked in the Pearl Harbor shipyards in Hawaii as a civilian. While in Hawaii, Lee began studying Judo at the Okazaki Gym with Bill Montero and Sydney Yim and also competed in a few amateur boxing matches.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, James Lee returned to Oakland and continued welding until he entered the Army and was stationed in the Philippines, during which time he became infected with malaria and dysentery. His condition became so serious that he was actually shipped to the death ward, but he continued to fight the disease and overcame it. James Lee was a fighter at heart, his most profound quality. In April, 1946 he was discharged and after returning home, Lee begain weight training again for the illness caused him to go from 158 pounds to 116.（He had a thirty percent disability but never tried to exploit it）
He continued to regain his strength and picked up his martial arts training when he studied Sil Lum Gung Fu under T.Y. Wong in San Francisco for four years. James became known for his iron hand/palm training and would routinely perform his specialty at public demonstrations: breaking ten bricks with his bare hands（which were not scarred or calloused, but soft and smooth）. In 1957-8, he authored, published, and distributed（by mail order through his own company, Oriental Book Sales）a book series "Modern Kung-Fu Karate: Iron, Poison Hand Training."
James first heard about Bruce Lee when Robert, James' older brother, told him about how Bruce was teaching a cha-cha class (while visiting from Seattle) and that he was good in Chinese Gung-Fu. Wally Jay and Allen Joe also informed James about Bruce's prowess as a fighter. In 1962, they met after one of Bruce's dance lessons and they hit it off immediately, meeting as often as they could to train and talk. In late 1962, James visited Bruce in Seattle for further training and seriously considered relocating permanently to study with Bruce. But due to other family obligations, James had to put that idea on hold.
When James' wife, Katherine, died in 1964, Bruce and Linda Lee moved to Oakland to stay with James and his children. James helped Bruce Lee publish his first book, "Chinese Gung-Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense." They opened a school in Oakland but later moved it to James' garage since the school was not a commercial success. After Bruce moved to Los Angeles in 1966, James continued to teach in his garage. In 1972, James published his last book, "Wing Chun Kung Fu," with Bruce as the book's Technical Editor.
James conducted four classes, during the evenings after work. There was a weekend class in which students came as far as eighty miles away. James was simple and direct with his students: no beating around the bush or attempts to woo them or seek visual/verbal gratitude from them. All he wanted was to train hard and often, try the best one could do without any explanation, and treat each other with due respect, behaving as gentlemen. He constantly told his students to pay attention since James disliked repeating himself when giving instructions. Students were on probation which meant that they could be released if they were a detriment to James or the class. He was a very patient teacher as long as the student put out their best effort. He neither watered down not diluted his teaching methods. Class ran smoothly and efficiently, deliberate and constant in both physical and mental energy. Students would occasionally be allowed to rest, but at the end, they knew they had been through a complete workou
Lee, James (1962). Modern Kung-Fu Karate: Iron Poison Hand Training, Book 1 (Break Brick in 100 Days) (4th edition (April 1990) ed.). ABRAMS Publishing. ISBN 978-0-317-02839-3.
Lee, James (1972). Wing Chun Kung-Fu (First ed.). Ohara Publications. ASIN B0006C4USK.
Bruce Lee : between Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do, Jesse Glover
Black Belt Magazine, Meet...the Man who Helped Make Bruce Lee a Success
Library of Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee’s Reading List
While Bruce’s library contained thousands of volumes, they were primarily centered in a handful of genres: philosophy (the vast majority), martial arts (and other fighting disciplines), and self-help. Below is but a sampling of Bruce’s favorite authors and most interesting titles.
Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume
Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
The Undiscovered Self by Carl Jung
On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers
The Works of Bertrand Russell
The Works of Plato
Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian
Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (and other Campbell titles)
Ethics by Benedict de Spinoza
Maxims and Reflections by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
The Works of Jiddu Krishnamurti (whom Polly notes was “one of his more important influences”)
Tao-Te-Ching by Lao-Tzu
The Way of Chuang-Tzu
The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
The Works of Alan Watts
The Analects of Confucius
Art of War by Sun-Tzu
Bushido: The Soul of the Samurai
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (and many other Hesse titles)
Buddhism by Christmas Humphreys (and dozens of other Buddhism-related titles)
The Chinese Classics compiled by James Legge (all 5 volumes)
Living Zen by Robert Linssen (and many other Zen-related titles)
On Fencing by Aldo Nadi (plus at least 60(!) other books on fencing and fencing theory)
Aikido: The Art of Self-Defense by Koichi Tohei
Advanced Karate by Mas Oyama (and many other Oyama titles)
A Beginner’s Book of Gymnastics by Barry Johnson
Championship Fighting by Jack Dempsey
Book of Boxing and Bodybuilding by Rocky Marciano
How to Box by Joe Louis
US Army Boxing Manual
Efficiency of Human Movement by Marion Ruth Broer
Physiology of Exercise by Laurence Morehouse
Wing Chun by James Lee
Acupuncture: The Ancient Chinese Art of Healing by Felix Mann
Esquire’s The Art of Keeping Fit
Combat Training of the Individual Soldier by the US Army
Modern Bodybuilding by Oscar Heidenstam
The Amazing Results of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (and many other Peale titles)
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Dynamic Thinking by Melvin Powers
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
The Success System That Never Fails by Clement Stone
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Playboy’s Party Jokes & More Playboy’s Party Jokes
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (one of the few novels)
The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
The Story of Civilization by Will Durant (all 11 volumes!)
The Viking Book of Aphorisms
LeBell, Gene (1932-)
Gene LeBell is truly a Judo legend. In 2000, the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation (USJJF) promoted him to 9th Dan in jujitsu and taihojutsu. On August 7, 2004, the World Martial Arts Masters Association promoted LeBell to 10th Degree and in February 2005, he was promoted to 9th Dan in Traditional Judo by the USJJF
LeBell has worked on over 1,000 films, TV shows and commercials as a stuntman or as an actor (including multiple appearances as himself.) LeBell appeared in three Elvis Presley movies as a minor character who starts a fight with the character played by Presley. In addition he also worked on the set of the Green Hornet TV show, in which he claims to have developed a friendship with Bruce Lee. According to Lebell’s claim, Lee was especially interested in exploring grappling with help from him and exchanged ideas on various fighting techniques.
Gene LeBell on Bruce Lee from Black Belt Mag:
I met Bruce Lee for the first time during the filming of the TV show The Green Hornet, on which he played a butler. He was a nice fellow. The stunt coordinator hired me, and I worked on quite a few episodes. During that time, I was able to get to know Bruce a little bit, and we even worked out together. He was the best martial artist of his time.
Bruce and I had a bond with the martial arts, and we would get together frequently. We worked out about 10 to 12 times at his place in Los Angeles’ Chinatown and at my place.
When I went to his place, he showed me what he did, and I showed him what I did. Although he seemed to love the finishing holds of grappling, it just wasn’t commercially attractive at the time. Actually, it was because of my grappling and tumbling background that I was hired to do the television show — because I could take falls for Bruce.
Bruce Lee was an entertaining fellow who was very knowledgeable and very good at what he did. People may wonder just how good a martial artist he was. Well, as I said earlier, he was the best of his time. Also, many of his former students are doing very well today. That’s a sign that he was a good martial artist and that he was able to make his students into good martial artists.
Bruce developed and performed his own style of kung fu, and a lot of the traditional guys didn’t like it because it broke from Chinese tradition. I know what that is like because I had the same trouble when I tried to improve different martial arts by changing things for the better. I believe that anytime you can have an open mind and learn something new, then add it to your repertoire, it’s a good thing. It will only make you and your students more knowledgeable.
For Reading by LeBell
The Handbook of Judo: An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide to Winning Sport Judo by Gene LeBell and Lauri C. Coughran. 1962, 1963, 1969, 1971, 1975, 1996.
Your Personal Handbook of Self-defense by Gene LeBell. 1964, 1976.
Judo and Self-defense for the Young Adult by Gene LeBell. 1971.
Pro-Wrestling Finishing Holds by "Judo" Gene LeBell. 1985, 1990.
Grappling Master: Combat for Street Defense and Competition by Gene LeBell. 1992.
Gene LeBell's Handbook of Self-Defense by Gene LeBell. 1996.
Gene LeBell - The Grappling Club Master by Gene LeBell, Ben Springer, and Steve Kim. 1999.
Grappling and Self-Defense for the Young Adult by Gene LeBell and Bob Ryder. 2002.
How to Break Into Pro Wrestling: "Judo" Gene LeBell's Insider Guide to the Biz by Gene Lebell and Mark Jacobs. 2003.
Gene LeBell's Grappling World: The Encyclopedia of Finishing Holds by Gene LeBell. 1998, 2000(2nd expanded edition), 2005(3rd edition).
The Godfather of Grappling (authorised biography of LeBell) by "Judo" Gene LeBell, Bob Calhoun, George Foon, and Noelle Kim. 2005.
It is a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope. The two sections of the weapon are commonly made out of wood, while the link is a cord or a metal chain. The nunchaku is most widely used in martial arts such as Okinawan kobudo and karate styles and is used as a training weapon, since it allows the development of quicker hand movements and improves posture. Modern-day nunchaku can be made from metal, wood, plastic.
Sun Sign: Aries
Born in: Los Angeles, California, United States
Famous as: Actress, Entrepreneur
Spouse/Ex-: Ian Keasler (m. 1994)
father: Bruce Lee
mother: Linda Lee Cadwell
children: Wren Keasler
U.S. State: California
City: Los Angeles
Shannon Emery Lee, also known as Shan Shan, is an American singer, actress, producer and entrepreneur. She is better known as the daughter of the renowned martial arts fighter and film star, Bruce Lee and his wife Linda Lee. She was four years old when her father died and her mother moved from Hong Kong to the USA. She was brought up in California with her brother Brandon Lee, who also later died in an accident while shooting for a film. People tried to tell her that acting was not good for the family but Shannon decided to maintain the legacy of her father and learnt martial arts from her father’s students. She then made her debut into films and television with movies like ‘Enter the Eagles’ and ‘Martial Law’. She endeavours to preserve and promote the legacy of her father in her capacity as the president of the Bruce Lee Foundation and Bruce Lee Enterprises. She has also hosted shows connected with martial arts and performed as a singer with pop groups. There have been legal issues with her uncles and cousins over the rights of Bruce Lee’s legacy which she has been able to amicably handle along with her mother. She was instrumental in founding the Bruce Lee Action Museum in Seattle.
Shannon Lee was born on 19 April 1969 in Los Angeles, California, USA to the famous martial arts expert and film star, Bruce Lee and his wife Linda Lee Cadwell. She had an elder brother named Brandon Lee. She is the granddaughter of Lee Hoi-Chuen, a renowned Cantonese opera singer. She is of Chinese, German and Swedish decent.
She lived in Hong Kong from 1971 to 1973 with her parents till her father died a sudden death at the age of 32. Her mother moved to the USA after the death of her husband and lived in Seattle, Washington with her children. Later, she remarried twice but always remained close to Shannon.
Shannon was four years old when her father died and did not fully understand the implications of his death. She was brought up with her brother in Rolling Hills, California and attended Chadwick School, from where she graduated in 1978. She went on to study voice at the Tulane University in New Orleans, from where she majored in music in 1991. During her University days she took part in numerous concerts, operas and musical shows.
Her brother Brandon Lee died of gunshot wounds due to an accident while shooting for a movie after which Shannon moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to pursue a career in acting. She was then 27 years old and wanted to carry on with the legacy of her father. She learnt the martial art called ‘Jeet Kune Do’ from Richard Bustillo, who was her father’s student and further improved her martial arts skills with serious training under another of her father’s pupil named Ten Wong.
She also learnt ‘Taekwondo’ and ‘Wushu’ under Dung Doa and Eric Chen respectively. Later, she mastered Kickboxing, which she displayed while shooting for her movie roles.
She made her debut in movies playing a small role as a singer in her father’s biopic titled ‘Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story'. This was followed by her appearance in the movies ‘Cage II’ and ‘High Voltage’ where she had a more significant role.
In 1998, she got a major break with her role in the Hong Kong action movie, ‘Enter the Eagles’, where she appeared with Michael Wong and Anita Yuen. The movie received positive reviews and her rating received a boost on the Hong Kong movie charts.
Her career on television includes a guest appearance in one of the episodes of ‘Martial Law’ with Sammo Hung in 1998 and an appearance in the telefilm, ‘Epoch’, which was broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel in 2001. She also hosted the first season of WMAC Masters that features choreographed martial arts fights on television. Her own training in martial arts gave her the confidence to host the show.
She also sang for the American noise pop band, Medicine’s album titled ‘The Mechanical Forces of Love’ in 2003 and the number ‘I’m in the Mood for Love’ for the film ‘China Strike Force’. She has made a number of other musical performances during her chequered career.
She was instrumental in establishing The Bruce Lee Foundation in 2002 to promote her father’s legacy. The family’s rights to her father’s franchisee were handed over to establish the Bruce Lee Enterprises, of which she is the CEO. This is an agency that licenses anything that is linked to the name of Bruce Lee. With her perseverance, the Foundation raised $ 35 million to build the Bruce Lee Action Museum in Seattle, USA.
Shannon Lee has proved to be a shrewd businesswoman and entrepreneur. There have been numerous challenges in her life which she has fought using her father’s philosophy to come out an ultimate winner.
Her movies include ‘Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story’ (1993), ‘Cage II’ (1994), ‘Enter the Eagles’ (1998), ‘Blade’ (1998), ‘Lessons for an Assassin’ (2001) and ‘She, Me and Her’ (2002).
She also hosted ‘WMAC Masters’, and appeared on ‘Martial Law’, ‘Epoch’ and ‘I Am Bruce Lee’ on television.
Shannon got married to a lawyer named Anthony Keasler in 1994. They have a daughter named Wren Lee Keasler. She is a strong believer in her father’s philosophy of ‘honestly express yourself, be your best self, cultivate yourself and don’t imitate anyone’. She has dedicated her life to carry her father’s name and legacy forward.
There have always been frictions and legal disputes between Shannon and her father’s other siblings and their children over the rights to her father’s legacy. While she and her mother are based in the USA, the rest of her father’s family are traditionally Chinese. Though the two sides do not communicate much, Shannon has endeavoured to keep the relationship cordial.
When Bruce Lee died, his legacy was divided as 50% to his wife, Linda Lee and 25 % each to his two children, Shannon and Brandon. This became a bone of contention with rest of her father’s family who maintained that they were not kept informed.
In 2010, she took the copyright issue to China and accused companies of using Bruce Lee’s name without the authorization of the Bruce Lee Foundation. She also approached the local authorities of Bruce Lee’s ancestral home to hand over Bruce Lee’s trademark to the Foundation.
Shannon Lee is the president of the Bruce Lee Foundation. She is also the executive producer of the television series ‘The Legend of Bruce Lee’ and the documentary film, ‘How Bruce Lee Changed the World’ which are based on the life of her father. She is also the CEO of Bruce Lee Family Company and oversees the licensing of her father’s name and franchise.
Her Cantonese name is Lee Heung Yee and her Mandarin name is Lee Siang Yee.
Young Sze (1946 -)/simplified Chinese: 杨斯; traditional Chinese: 楊斯; pinyin: Yáng Sī/ ), better known as Bolo Yeung, is a former competitive bodybuilder, martial artist and a martial arts film actor. He is best known for his performances as Bolo in Enter the Dragon (starring Bruce Lee, 1973) He began his martial arts training at the age of 10. In his teens Yeung begun studying a variety of styles, favouring Tai Chi and Wing Chun (he would also later study Jeet Kune Do under the instruction of Bruce Lee). Growing up he took an interest in bodybuilding. In the 1960s he swam from China to Hong Kong 4km through the dirty Dapeng and Shenzhen bays to escape communism. In the early 1960s Yeung took part in the great exodus to Hong Kong in search of a better life.
Luckily Yeung managed to evade capture, and he soon settled into his new life in Hong Kong as a gym instructor.
Later he became know as Chinese Hercules after becoming Mr. Hong Kong bodybuilding champion. He held the title for ten years 1970-1980). Because of his impressively muscular physique he was chosen for several bad guy movie roles, produced by Shaw Brothers Studios, such as The Heroic Ones, The Deadly Duo, Angry Guest and others. He left Shaw Brothers in 1971. ???
Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce Lee, was a Hong Kong and American actor, film director, martial artist, philosopher and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time, and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films. Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco, on November 27, 1940, to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon, Hong Kong, with his family until his late teens. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education, at the University of Washington, at Seattle and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in the US, Hong Kong and the rest of the world.This timeline is a wiki.
However, Lee showed a keen interest in Wing Chun, and continued to train privately with Yip Man and Wong Shun Leung in 1955. Wan Kam Leung, a student of Wong's, witnessed a sparring bout between Wong and Lee, and noted the speed and precision with which Lee was able to deliver his kicks. Lee continued to train with Wong Shun Leung after later returning to Hong Kong from America.
After attending Tak Sun School (德信學校) (several blocks from his home at 218 Nathan Road, Kowloon), Lee entered the primary school division of La Salle College at the age of 12. In around 1956, due to poor academic performance (or possibly poor conduct as well), he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier's College (high school) where he would be mentored by Brother Edward, a teacher and coach of the school boxing team.
The largest influence on Lee's martial arts development was his study of Wing Chun. Lee began training in Wing Chun when he was 16 years old under the Wing Chun teacher Yip Man in 1957, after losing several fights with rival gang members. Yip's regular classes generally consisted of the forms practice, chi sao (sticking hands) drills, wooden dummy techniques, and free-sparring. There was no set pattern to the classes. Yip tried to keep his students from fighting in the street gangs of Hong Kong by encouraging them to fight in organized competitions. After a year into his Wing Chun training, most of Yip Man's other students refused to train with Lee after they learned of his mixed ancestry, as the Chinese were generally against teaching their martial arts techniques to non-Asians. Lee's sparring partner, Hawkins Cheung states, "Probably fewer than six people in the whole Wing Chun clan were personally taught, or even partly taught, by Yip Man".
In 1958 Bruce won the Hong Kong schools boxing tournament, knocking out the previous champion in the final.
In the spring of 1959, Lee got into another street fight and the police were called. Until his late teens, Lee's street fights became more frequent and included beating the son of a feared triad family. Eventually, Lee's father decided his son should leave Hong Kong to pursue a safer and healthier life in the United States. His parents confirmed the police's fear that this time Lee's opponent had an organised crime background, and there was the possibility that a contract was out for his life.
At the age of 18, Lee returned to the United States. After living in San Francisco for several months, he moved to Seattle in 1959, to continue his high school education, where he also worked for Ruby Chow as a live-in waiter at her restaurant. Chow's husband was a co-worker and friend of Lee's father. Lee's elder brother Peter Lee (李忠琛) would also join him in Seattle for a short stay before moving on to Minnesota to attend college.
Lee began teaching martial arts in the United States in 1959. He called what he taught Jun Fan Gung Fu (literally Bruce Lee's Kung Fu). It was basically his approach to Wing Chun. Lee taught friends he met in Seattle, starting with Judo practitioner Jesse Glover, who continued to teach some of Lee's early techniques. Taky Kimura became Lee's first Assistant Instructor and continued to teach his art and philosophy after Lee's death. Lee opened his first martial arts school, named the Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute, in Seattle.
Lee's father Lee Hoi-chuen was a famous Cantonese opera star. Because of this, Lee was introduced into films at a very young age and appeared in several films as a child. Lee had his first role as a baby who was carried onto the stage in the film Golden Gate Girl. By the time he was 18, he had appeared in twenty films. While in the United States from 1959 to 1964, Lee abandoned thoughts of a film career in favour of pursuing martial arts.
In April 1959, Lee's parents decided to send him to the United States to stay with his older sister, Agnes Lee (李秋鳳), who was already living with family friends in San Francisco.
In December 1960, Lee completed his high school education and received his diploma from Edison Technical School (now Seattle Central Community College, located on Capitol Hill in Seattle).
In March 1961, Lee enrolled at the University of Washington, majoring in drama according to a 1999 article in the university's alumni magazine, not in philosophy as stated by Lee himself and many others. Lee also studied philosophy, psychology, and various other subjects.
Chinese Gung-Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self Defense (Bruce Lee's first book) – 1963 Tao of Jeet Kune Do (Published posthumously) – 1973 Bruce Lee's Fighting Method (Published posthumously) – 1978
Lee dropped out of college in the spring of 1964 and moved to Oakland to live with James Yimm Lee (嚴鏡海). James Lee was twenty years senior to Bruce Lee and a well known Chinese martial artist in the area. Together, they founded the second Jun Fan martial art studio in Oakland. James Lee was also responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to Ed Parker, American martial artist, and organizer of the Long Beach International Karate Championships at which Bruce Lee was later "discovered" by Hollywood.
At the invitation of Ed Parker, Lee appeared in the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships and performed repetitions of two-finger push-ups (using the thumb and the index finger of one hand) with feet at approximately a shoulder-width apart. In the same Long Beach event he also performed the "One inch punch." Lee stood upright, his right foot forward with knees bent slightly, in front of a standing, stationary partner. Lee's right arm was partly extended and his right fist approximately one inch (2.5 cm) away from the partner's chest. Without retracting his right arm, Lee then forcibly delivered the punch to his partner while largely maintaining his posture, sending the partner backwards and falling into a chair said to be placed behind the partner to prevent injury, though his partner's momentum soon caused him to fall to the floor. His volunteer was Bob Baker of Stockton, California. "I told Bruce not to do this type of demonstration again", Baker recalled. "When he punched me that last time, I had to stay home from work because the pain in my chest was unbearable".
It was at the 1964 championships where Lee first met Taekwondo master Jhoon Goo Rhee. The two developed a friendship – a relationship from which they benefited as martial artists. Rhee taught Lee the side kick in detail, and Lee taught Rhee the "non-telegraphic" punch.
In Oakland, California in 1964 at Chinatown, Lee had a controversial private match with Wong Jack Man, a direct student of Ma Kin Fung known for his mastery of Xingyiquan, Northern Shaolin, and T'ai chi ch'uan. According to Lee, the Chinese community issued an ultimatum to him to stop teaching non-Chinese. When he refused to comply, he was challenged to a combat match with Wong. The arrangement was that if Lee lost, he would have to shut down his school; while if he won, then Lee would be free to teach Caucasians or anyone else. Wong denied this, stating that he requested to fight Lee after Lee boasted during one of his demonstrations at a Chinatown theatre that he could beat anyone in San Francisco, and that Wong himself did not discriminate against Caucasians or other non-Chinese. Lee commented, "That paper had all the names of the sifu from Chinatown, but they don't scare me". Individuals known to have witnessed the match include Cadwell, James Lee (Bruce Lee's associate, no relation), and William Chen, a teacher of T'ai chi ch'uan. Wong and William Chen stated that the fight lasted an unusually long 20–25 minutes. Wong claims that he had originally expected a serious but polite bout; however Lee had attacked him very aggressively with intent to kill, straight from the beginning of the bout when he had replied to Wong's traditional handshake offer by pretending to accept the handshake, but instead turning that hand into a spear aimed at Wong's eyes. Forced to defend his life, he had nonetheless refrained from striking Lee with killing force when the opportunity presented itself because it could earn him a prison sentence. The fight ended due to Lee's "unusually winded" condition, as opposed to a decisive blow by either fighter. According to Bruce Lee, Linda Lee Cadwell, and James Yimm Lee however, the fight lasted a mere 3 minutes with a decisive victory for Lee. In Cadwell's account, "The fight ensued, it was a no-holds-barred fight, it took three minutes. Bruce got this guy down to the ground and said 'Do you give up?' and the man said he gave up". Mental Floss magazine's Jack Rossen said author Rick Wing, a dedicated student of Wong's, presented a somewhat different account after Wing interviewed Wong and several eyewitnesses to the fight for Showdown in Oakland: The Story Behind the Wong Jack Man – Bruce Lee Fight, Wing's book on the bout:
However, a martial arts exhibition on Long Beach in 1964 eventually led to the invitation by William Dozier for an audition for a role in the pilot for "Number One Son". The show never aired, but Lee was invited for the role of the sidekick Kato alongside the title character played by Van Williams in the TV series titled The Green Hornet.
In 1964, at a demonstration in Long Beach, California, Lee had met Karate champion Chuck Norris. In Way of the Dragon Lee introduced Norris to movie-goers as his opponent in the final death fight at the Colosseum in Rome, today considered one of Lee's most legendary fight scenes and one of the most memorable fight scenes in martial arts film history. The role was originally offered to American Karate champion Joe Lewis.
It was at the University of Washington that he met his future wife Linda Emery, a fellow student studying to become a teacher, whom he married in August 1964.
Lee had two children with Linda Emery, Brandon Lee (1965–1993) and Shannon Lee (born 1969).
At 173 cm (5 ft 8 in) and 64 kg (141 lb), Lee was renowned for his physical fitness and vigor, achieved by using a dedicated fitness regimen to become as strong as possible. After his match with Wong Jack Man in 1965, Lee changed his approach toward martial arts training. Lee felt that many martial artists of his time did not spend enough time on physical conditioning. Lee included all elements of total fitness—muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. He used traditional bodybuilding techniques to build some muscle mass, not overdone as that could decrease speed or flexibility. At the same time in balance, Lee maintained that mental and spiritual preparation are fundamental to the success of physical training in martial arts skills. In Tao of Jeet Kune Do he wrote,
The show lasted only one season of 26 episodes, from September 1966 to March 1967. Lee and Williams also appeared as their respective characters in three crossover episodes of Batman, another William Dozier produced television series.
Lee appeared at the 1967 Long Beach International Karate Championships and performed various demonstrations, including the famous "unstoppable punch" against USKA world Karate champion Vic Moore. Lee allegedly told Moore that he was going to throw a straight punch to the face, and all he had to do was to try to block it. Lee took several steps back and asked if Moore was ready. When Moore nodded in affirmation, Lee glided towards him until he was within striking range. He then threw a straight punch directly at Moore's face, and stopped before impact. In eight attempts, Moore failed to block any of the punches. However, Moore and grandmaster Steve Mohammed claim that Lee had first told Moore that he was going to throw a straight punch to the body, which Moore blocked. Lee attempted another punch, and Moore blocked it as well. The third punch, which Lee threw to Moore's face, did not come nearly within striking distance. Moore claims that Lee never successfully struck Moore but Moore was able to strike Lee after trying on his own; Moore further claims that Bruce Lee said he was the fastest American he's ever seen and that Lee's media crew repeatedly played the one punch towards Moore's face that did not come within striking range, allegedly in an attempt to preserve Lee's superstar image.
Jeet Kune Do originated in 1967. After filming one season of The Green Hornet, Lee found himself out of work and opened The Jun Fan Institute of Gung Fu. The controversial match with Wong Jack Man influenced Lee's philosophy about martial arts. Lee concluded that the fight had lasted too long and that he had failed to live up to his potential using his Wing Chun techniques. He took the view that traditional martial arts techniques were too rigid and formalistic to be practical in scenarios of chaotic street fighting. Lee decided to develop a system with an emphasis on "practicality, flexibility, speed, and efficiency". He started to use different methods of training such as weight training for strength, running for endurance, stretching for flexibility, and many others which he constantly adapted, including fencing and basic boxing techniques. Lee emphasised what he called "the style of no style". This consisted of getting rid of the formalised approach which Lee claimed was indicative of traditional styles. Lee felt the system he now called Jun Fan Gung Fu was even too restrictive, and eventually evolved into a philosophy and martial art he would come to call Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist. It is a term he would later regret, because Jeet Kune Do implied specific parameters that styles connote; whereas the idea of his martial art was to exist outside of parameters and limitations.
This was followed by guest appearances in three television series: Ironside (1967), Here Come the Brides (1969), and Blondie (1969). At the time, two of Lee's martial arts students were Hollywood script writer Stirling Silliphant and actor James Coburn.
In 1969 the three worked on a script for a film called The Silent Flute, and went together on a location hunt to India.
In 1969, Lee made a brief appearance in the Silliphant-penned film Marlowe where he played a henchman hired to intimidate private detective Philip Marlowe, (played by James Garner), by smashing up his office with leaping kicks and flashing punches, only to later accidentally jump off a tall building while trying to kick Marlowe off. The same year he also choreographed fight scenes for The Wrecking Crew starring Dean Martin, Sharon Tate, and featuring Chuck Norris in his first role.
In 1970, he was responsible for fight choreography for A Walk in the Spring Rain starring Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn, again written by Silliphant.
Michael Hunter theorized that Lee died of adrenal crisis brought on by the overuse of cortisone, which Lee had been taking since injuring his back in a 1970 weight lifting mishap. Dr. Hunter believes that Lee's exceptionally strong "drive and ambition" played a fundamental role in the martial artist's ultimate demise.
There are a number of stories (perhaps apocryphal) surrounding Lee that are still repeated in Hong Kong culture. One is that his early 1970s interview on the TVB show Enjoy Yourself Tonight cleared the busy streets of Hong Kong as everyone was watching the interview at home.
In 1971, Lee appeared in four episodes of the television series Longstreet, written by Silliphant. Lee played the martial arts instructor of the title character Mike Longstreet (played by James Franciscus), and important aspects of his martial arts philosophy were written into the script.
According to statements made by Lee, and also by Linda Lee Cadwell after Lee's death, in 1971 Lee pitched a television series of his own tentatively titled The Warrior, discussions which were also confirmed by Warner Bros.
Producer Fred Weintraub had advised Lee to return to Hong Kong and make a feature film which he could showcase to executives in Hollywood. Not happy with his supporting roles in the US, Lee returned to Hong Kong. Unaware that The Green Hornet had been played to success in Hong Kong and was unofficially referred to as "The Kato Show", he was surprised to be recognised on the street as the star of the show. After negotiating with both Shaw Brothers Studio and Golden Harvest, Lee signed a film contract to star in two films produced by Golden Harvest. Lee played his first leading role in The Big Boss (1971) which proved to be an enormous box office success across Asia and catapulted him to stardom.
During a December 9, 1971 television interview on The Pierre Berton Show, Lee stated that both Paramount and Warner Brothers wanted him "to be in a modernized type of a thing, and that they think the Western idea is out, whereas I want to do the Western". According to Cadwell, however, Lee's concept was retooled and renamed Kung Fu, but Warner Bros. gave Lee no credit. Warner Brothers states that they had for some time been developing an identical concept, created by two writers and producers, Ed Spielman and Howard Friedlander. According to these sources, the reason Lee was not cast was in part because of his ethnicity, but more so because he had a thick accent. The role of the Shaolin monk in the Wild West, was eventually awarded to then-non-martial-artist David Carradine. In The Pierre Berton Show interview, Lee stated he understood Warner Brothers' attitudes towards casting in the series: "They think that business wise it is a risk. I don't blame them. If the situation were reversed, and an American star were to come to Hong Kong, and I was the man with the money, I would have my own concerns as to whether the acceptance would be there".
He soon followed up with Fist of Fury (1972) which broke the box office records set previously by The Big Boss. Having finished his initial two-year contract, Lee negotiated a new deal with Golden Harvest. Lee later formed his own company, Concord Production Inc. (協和電影公司), with Chow.
For his third film, Way of the Dragon (1972), he was given complete control of the film's production as the writer, director, star, and choreographer of the fight scenes.
Apart from Game of Death, other future film projects were planned to feature Lee at the time. In 1972, after the success of The Big Boss and Fist of Fury, a third film was planned by Raymond Chow at Golden Harvest to be directed by Lo Wei, titled Yellow-Faced Tiger. However, at the time, Lee decided to direct and produce his own script for Way of the Dragon instead.
Lee is best known as a martial artist, but he also studied drama and Asian and Western philosophy while a student at the University of Washington and throughout his life. He was well-read and had an extensive library dominated by martial arts subjects and philosophical texts. His own books on martial arts and fighting philosophy are known for their philosophical assertions, both inside and outside of martial arts circles. His eclectic philosophy often mirrored his fighting beliefs, though he was quick to claim that his martial arts were solely a metaphor for such teachings. He believed that any knowledge ultimately led to self-knowledge, and said that his chosen method of self-expression was martial arts. His influences include Taoism, Jiddu Krishnamurti, and Buddhism. On the other hand, Lee's philosophy was very much in opposition to the conservative worldview advocated by Confucianism. John Little states that Lee was an atheist. When asked in 1972 about his religious affiliation, he replied, "none whatsoever", and when asked if he believed in God, he said, "To be perfectly frank, I really do not."
Bruce Lee personally certified only three instructors: Taky Kimura, James Yimm Lee, and Dan Inosanto. Inosanto holds the 3rd rank (Instructor) directly from Bruce Lee in Jeet Kune Do, Jun Fan Gung Fu, and Bruce Lee's Tao of Chinese Gung Fu. Taky Kimura holds a 5th rank in Jun Fan Gung Fu. James Yimm Lee held a 3rd rank in Jun Fan Gung Fu. Ted Wong holds 2nd rank in Jeet Kune Do certified directly by Bruce Lee and was later promoted to Instructor under Dan Inosanto, who felt that Bruce would have wanted to promote him. Other Jeet Kune Do instructors since Lee's death have been certified directly by Dan Inosanto, some with remaining Bruce Lee signed certificates. James Yimm Lee, a close friend of Lee, certified a few students including Gary Dill who studied Jeet Kune Do under James and received permission via a personal letter from him in 1972 to pass on his learning of Jun Fan Gung Fu to others. Taky Kimura, to date, has certified only one person in Jun Fan Gung Fu: his son Andy Kimura. Dan Inosanto continued to teach and certify select students in Jeet Kune Do for over 30 years, making it possible for thousands of martial arts practitioners to trace their training lineage back to Bruce Lee.
Prior to his death, Lee told his then only two living instructors Kimura and Inosanto (James Yimm Lee had died in 1972) to dismantle his schools. Both Taky Kimura and Dan Inosanto were allowed to teach small classes thereafter, under the guideline "keep the numbers low, but the quality high". Bruce also instructed several World Karate Champions including Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, and Mike Stone. Between the three of them, during their training with Bruce, they won every karate championship in the United States. In Japan, Junichi Okada is a certified Japanese instructor in Jeet Kune Do.
From August to October 1972, Lee began work on his fourth Golden Harvest Film, Game of Death. He began filming some scenes including his fight sequence with 7 ft 2 in (218 cm) American Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a former student.
Production stopped in November 1972 when Warner Brothers offered Lee the opportunity to star in Enter the Dragon, the first film to be produced jointly by Golden Harvest and Warner Bros.
It was made for US$850,000 in 1973 (equivalent to $4 million adjusted for inflation as of 2007). To date, Enter the Dragon has grossed over $200 million worldwide. The film sparked a brief fad in martial arts, epitomised in songs such as "Kung Fu Fighting" and TV shows like Kung Fu. Robert Clouse, the director of Enter the Dragon and Golden Harvest revived Lee's unfinished film Game of Death. Lee had shot over 100 minutes of footage, including out-takes, for Game of Death before shooting was stopped to allow him to work on Enter the Dragon. In addition to Abdul-Jabbar, George Lazenby, Hapkido master Ji Han-Jae and another of Lee's students, Dan Inosanto, were also to appear in the film, which was to culminate in Lee's character, Hai Tien (clad in the now-famous yellow track suit) taking on a series of different challengers on each floor as they make their way through a five-level pagoda.
Filming began in Hong Kong in January 1973. One month into the filming, another production company, Starseas Motion Pictures, promoted Bruce Lee as a leading actor in Fist of Unicorn, although he had merely agreed to choreograph the fight sequences in the film as a favour to his long-time friend Unicorn Chan. Lee planned to sue the production company, but retained his friendship with Chan.
On May 10, 1973, Lee collapsed during an ADR session for Enter the Dragon at Golden Harvest in Hong Kong. Suffering from seizures and headaches, he was immediately rushed to Hong Kong Baptist Hospital where doctors diagnosed cerebral edema. They were able to reduce the swelling through the administration of mannitol. The headache and cerebral edema that occurred in his first collapse were later repeated on the day of his death.
On July 20, 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong, to have dinner with James Bond star George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee's wife Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. (HKT) at home to discuss the making of the film Game of Death. They worked until 4 p.m. and then drove together to the home of Lee's colleague Betty Ting Pei, a Taiwanese actress. The three went over the script at Ting's home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting. Later Lee complained of a headache, and Ting gave him an analgesic, Equagesic, which contained both aspirin and the tranquilizer meprobamate. Around 7:30 p.m., he went to lie down for a nap. When Lee did not come for dinner, producer Raymond Chow came to the apartment, but was unable to wake Lee up. A doctor was summoned, who spent ten minutes attempting to revive Lee before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. By the time the ambulance reached the hospital he was dead. He was 32 years old. There was no visible external injury; however, according to autopsy reports, Lee's brain had swollen considerably, from 1,400 to 1,575 grams (a 13% increase). The autopsy found Equagesic in his system.
Pallbearers at his funeral on July 25, 1973 included Taky Kimura, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Chuck Norris, George Lazenby, Dan Inosanto, Peter Chin, and Lee's brother Robert.
However, only a few months after the completion of Enter the Dragon, and six days before its July 26, 1973 release, Lee died. Enter the Dragon would go on to become one of the year's highest-grossing films and cement Lee as a martial arts legend.
Although Lee had formed a production company with Raymond Chow, a period film was also planned from September–November 1973 with the competing Shaw Brothers Studio, to be directed by either Chor Yuen or Cheng Kang, and written by Yi Kang and Chang Cheh, titled The Seven Sons of the Jade Dragon. Lee had also worked on several scripts himself. A tape containing a recording of Lee narrating the basic storyline to a film tentatively titled Southern Fist/Northern Leg exists, showing some similarities with the canned script for The Silent Flute (Circle of Iron). Another script had the title Green Bamboo Warrior, set in San Francisco, planned to co-star Bolo Yeung and to be produced by Andrew Vajna who later went on to produce First Blood. Photo shoot costume tests were also organized for some of these planned film projects.
Around the time of Lee's death, numerous rumors appeared in the media. Lee's iconic status and untimely demise fed many wild rumors and theories. These included murder involving the Triads and a supposed curse on him and his family. Donald Teare, a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard who had overseen over 1,000 autopsies, was assigned to the Lee case. His conclusion was "death by misadventure" caused by an acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the combination medication Equagesic. While there was initial speculation that cannabis found in Lee's stomach may have contributed to his death, Teare refuted this, stating that it would "be both 'irresponsible and irrational' to say that [cannabis] might have triggered either the events of Bruce's collapse on May 10 or his death on July 20". Dr. R. R. Lycette, the clinical pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, reported at the coroner hearing that the death could not have been caused by cannabis. At the 1975 San Diego Comic-Con convention, Bruce Lee's friend Chuck Norris attributed his death to a reaction between the muscle-relaxant medication he had been taking since 1968 for a ruptured disc in his back, and an "antibiotic" he was given for his headache on the night of his death.
The project was not realised at the time; but the 1978 film Circle of Iron, starring David Carradine, was based on the same plot.
In a controversial move, Robert Clouse finished the film using a look-alike and archive footage of Lee from his other films with a new storyline and cast, which was released in 1978. However, the cobbled-together film contained only fifteen minutes of actual footage of Lee (he had printed many unsuccessful takes) while the rest had a Lee look-alike, Kim Tai Chung, and Yuen Biao as stunt double. The unused footage Lee had filmed was recovered 22 years later and included in the documentary Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey.
On October 15, 2005, Chow stated in an interview that Lee died from an allergic reaction to the tranquilizer meprobamate, the main ingredient in Equagesic, which Chow described as an ingredient commonly used in painkillers. When the doctors announced Lee's death officially, it was ruled a "death by misadventure". Lee's wife Linda returned to her hometown of Seattle, and had him buried at lot 276 of Lake View Cemetery in Seattle.
Though Bruce Lee didn't appear in commercials during his lifetime Nokia launched an internet based campaign in 2008 with staged "documentary looking" footage of Bruce Lee playing ping-pong with his nunchaku and also igniting matches as they are thrown towards him. The videos went viral on YouTube creating a confusion as some people believed them to be authentic footage.
On January 6, 2009, it was announced that Bruce's Hong Kong home (41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong) will be preserved and transformed into a tourist site by philanthropist Yu Pang-lin.
In 2010, producer Paul Maslansky was reported to plan and receive fundings for a film based on the original script for The Silent Flute.
Bruce Lee was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In April 2013, he was posthumously awarded the prestigious Founders Award at The Asian Awards.
A Bruce Lee statue was unveiled in Los Angeles' Chinatown on June 15, 2013. It stands at 7-foot (210 cm) tall and was made in Guangzhou, China.
Bruce Lee was voted as the Greatest Movie Fighter Ever in 2014 by the Houston Boxing Hall Of Fame. The HBHOF is a combat sports voting body composed exclusively of current and former fighters and Martial Artists.
In April 2014, it was announced that Lee would be a featured character in the video game EA Sports UFC, and will be playable in multiple weight classes.
Bruce Lee Foundation Bruce Lee on IMDb Bruce Lee at the Hong Kong Movie DataBase Bruce Lee at AllMovie Bruce Lee at Rotten Tomatoes Article on Bruce Lee and bodybuilding "Bruce Lee". Find a Grave. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
In a 2017 episode of the Reelz TV series Autopsy, forensic pathologist Dr.