Bruce Lee - A Few Notes

As I already study Judo, I wanted to learn about other types of martial arts to become more well-rounded. My first pick was Jeet Kune Do which as it turns out, isn't actually a martial art to begin with but a philosophy which I would soon start to pick up.

In my quest to learn the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, I have found that there are many that are just plain confused about what it is. Many people believe it is a style which it is not. Others think that it's a special way to fight and that is wrong as well.

From what I have read, Jeet Kune Do is a philosophy in which you take what you need from certain styles and rid yourself of the rest. There is no such thing as a Jeet Kune Do fighter. As Lee puts it, "It's just a name." Still, with all the confusion on the interwebs, it was still hard to find someone that knew what the real meaning was.

And so I decided to find out from the man that invented it - Bruce Lee. There is probably no better way to find out what he meant other than to actually obtain his book: "Tao of Jeet Kune Do." 

The book is simply excellent. I haven't read it in it's entirety but it is well worth picking up for it's sage advice on life itself even if you don't plan on learning about Jeet Kune Do.

That's enough of that though. The real reason of this blog is to show some of what he was known for: his movies. He was deceptively fast and powerful but he was definetly a great actor as well. So I thought I would go ahead and post a few scenes that I liked.

The first two are from episodes of a show that aired on ABC called "Longstreet." Bruce's job was to teach this man, a blind insurance investigator how to fight. These aren't action packed by any means, but they are powerful.

Bruce Lee on the Pierre Burton Show December 1971

It was annoying the way the interviewer acted to say the least but it was nice seeing Lee. It's also interesting that in the second vid, when Lee punches, the camera can't even keep up. The third features the interviewer becoming a douchebag...

And now Lee practicing the art of butt whoop;

Bruce Lee in: Fists of Fury

Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris in: Way of The Dragon

Bruce Lee in: Enter The Dragon


  • 7 years ago


    Here is a huge picture of the front cover to help you find it.  Laughing  It was published in 1994 by by Frog LTD. Berkeley, California.  I suspect you might have more luck online

    As for Chuck, it was the beard.  Or lack of it, Chuck's mighty beard was elsewhere, saving the universe I imagine.  Laughing

  • 7 years ago


  • 7 years ago


    Yeah the Jeet Kune Do thing has gotten way out of hand. A lot of people are teaching it to try and copy Lee which sort of defeats the purpose of the whole idea. A quick google search will get you all kinds of "fight like Bruce Lee" videos. It's getting pretty bad out there.

    Anyway, I have never heard about that book by Bruce Thomas. I gotta get it though. Laughing The Tao book though was mostly notes on how he liked to fight I suppose. I think it was more of a blueprint for how other people should try to personalize their own style of martial arts.

    As for Judo, it was how I first learned martial arts so I always stuck with it. But there are definetly stances there you sort of had to know at first to get certain techniques to work. After reading the Tao book, I started doing my own thing with it. I never knew anything about Wing Chun though except that Lee was pretty good at it. Smile

    There isn't much flowery stuff in Judo though. Just a lot of grabs with very long names lol. Although flowery stuff can be useful when scaring off some bad dudes or something. Girls seem to dig it. Laughing

    I doubt there will ever be a better fight than that Chuck Norris one. It was the only movie where he'd lost a fight. I guess it was the chest hair thing hehe.

  • 7 years ago


    Hey, I'm a big fan too.   

    Did you ever read a book called "Fighting Spirit" by a guy called Bruce Thomas (he used to be the bass player touring with Elvis Costello)?  It's all about the life of Bruce Lee. 

    Bruce Lee regretted ever coining the phrase Jeet Kune Do.  It happened like this.  

    Bruce Lee was walking along a beach with his friend Dan Inosanto, they were discussing fencing techniques.   Bruce had said that the most effective technique in fencing was the stop/hit technique.  It's a parry/counterattack.  Dan asked 'What would that be in Cantonese?'.  Bruce said "Jeet Kune Do".  Which as I'm sure you know translates as 'The way of the intercepting fist.'.  Or in this case 'sword'.

    As I understand it there are a lot of people who teach Jeet Kune Do but most of these are suspect.  Dan Inosanto is the only person alive I'd listen to with regards to Jeet Kune Do.

    I've got The Tao Of Jeet Kune Do.  The problem with this book is that although the notes are written by Bruce Lee I think it has contributed to the misleading fact of Jeet Kune Do being regarded as a style of martial art.  Plus he didn't actually authorise this book.  It's just a compilation of notes and observations he has made while working on his own philosophy.  Some useful as you say, some not so useful. 

    I don't know how deep the rabbit hole goes with regards to Judo but to achieve a better understanding of Bruce Lee the martial artist, the martial art you want to study is Wing Chun.  This is where he developed the skills we see on screen.  It is also in an odd way the very essence of Jeet Kune Do.   

    One Jeet Kune Do principal involves stripping away fancy techniques, nothing flowery or artistic, attacks are very centralised to the body, kicks are no higher than the waist.   Very similar to Wing Chun which Bruce was very adept at. 

    The truth is Jeet Kune Do is something that seasoned martial arts experts may take something from.  It's not about learning how to fight like Bruce Lee.  I think this is a common misconception and it's nice to see somebody pointing that out. 

     Laughing  Great Vids!  The Chuck Norris fight was the best screen fight of all time. 

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