Bruce Lee

04/22/2012 01:53

Bruce Lee is a legend of the martial arts community. In his time, Lee not only trained in the ancient art of Wing Chun, but he also put it to use in both traditional and questionable means. Lee was always known for getting in to fights when he was living in Hong Kong. He even once beat up the son of a Triad leader. According to one Bruce Lee bio, this was the last straw, as some talk was going around thereafter that Lee had a contract out on his life. Lee's parents sent him to live with his older sister in San Francisco pre-1960. While there, he would refine his craft as a martial artist and eventually found his own style that borrowed philosophies from many of the ancient arts that had turned Lee into such a master. Lee's new style was called Jeet Kune Do, or "the way of the intercepting fist."Unlike many of the traditional teachers of martial arts, who urged against combat unless entirely necessary, Lee seemed to welcome it. According to the Bruce Lee bio, he got in to many fights throughout his short time on the earth. He was a frequent target of criticism from the Chinese community for teaching the ancient arts to Caucasians. It even led to a confrontation between Lee and another master with the stipulation that if Bruce lost he would have to cease teaching the art to the western world. Lee fought the challenger in a highly contested bout, which occurred in private. The challenger claims that he did not lose and that the fight went on for 20-25 minutes, while the Bruce Lee bio said that the challenger was vanquished in just 3 minutes. Neither man relented in their telling of the story. He did challenge Lee to a public rematch that was never accepted. Lee continued teaching his martial arts.Lee's unique skills eventually earned the attention of Hollywood, who put him to work right away in features such as "Way of the Dragon," "Enter the Dragon," and "Game of Death," that would change the way that people thought about the martial arts movie. He was also noted for a starring role in the classic "Green Hornet" TV series as sidekick Kato, who stole the show with his unique fighting abilities. In spite of his devotion to western culture, Lee was railroaded out of the lead role in "Kung Fu" due to his race.Lee died in 1973. His official cause of death was cerebral edema, though there have been many theories over the years from a reaction to cannabis to Triad murder to a curse over his family backed by the untimely death of son Brandon. Depending on which Bruce Lee bio you read, the cause of death seems to be different!    Find more at Bruce Lee