Bruce Lee (Born Lee Jun-fan; 27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973) was a Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial arts instructor, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. He is widely to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time, and a pop culture icon of the 20th century.
Lee was born in at the Chinese Hospital, in San Francisco's Chinatown. Lee's Cantonese birth name was Lee Jun-fan(homophonically means "return again"), and was given to Lee by his mother, who felt he would return to the United States once he came of age. Because of his mother's superstitious nature, she had originally named him Sai-fon,(feminine name meaning "small phoenix"). The English name "Bruce" is thought to have been given by the hospital attending physician, Dr. Mary Glover.
Lee had three other Chinese names: Li Yuanxin, a family/clan name; Li Yuanjian, which he used as a student name while he was attending La Salle College, and his Chinese screen name Li Xiaolong (which means "little dragon").
Lee's father, Lee Hoi-chuen, was one of the leading Cantonese opera and film actors at the time, and was embarking on a year-long opera tour with his family on the eve of the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong.Lee's mother, Grace Ho, was from one of the wealthiest and most powerful clans in Hong Kong, the Ho-tungs. She was the niece of Sir Robert Ho-tung, the Eurasian patriarch of the clan. As such, the young Bruce Lee grew up in an affluent and privileged environment.
Lee's first introduction to martial arts was through his father, from whom he learned the fundamentals of Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan. At the age of 18, Lee returned to the United States with $100 in his pocket. 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.
In March 1961, Lee enrolled at the University of Washington,majoring in drama. He also studied philosophy, psychology, and various other subjects. 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 (1965–93) and Shannon Lee (born 1969).
Lee appeared in the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships andperformed 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", 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. Rhee taught Lee the side kick in detail, and Lee taught Rhee the "non-telegraphic" punch. 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 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.
Jeet Kune Do:The Jeet Kune Do emblem is a registered trademark held by the Bruce Lee Estate. The Chinese characters around the Taijitu symbol read: "Using no way as way" and "Having no limitation as limitation" The arrows represent the endless interaction between yang and yin.Lee emphasised what he called "the style of no style".
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. Enter the Dragon was one of the year's highest grossing films and cement Lee as a martial arts legend. 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.
His 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". In 1972, he was asked if he believed in God, and responded,"To be perfectly frank, I really do not".
Many forms of art remain concordant with the artist creating them. Lee's principal of self-expression was applied to his poetry as well. Most of Bruce Lee's poems are categorized as anti-poetry or fall into a paradox. The free verse form of Lee's poetry reflect his famous quote "Be formless ... shapeless, like water."
Certified instructors for Jeet Kune Do
Bruce Lee personally certified only three instructors: Taky Kimura, James Yimm Lee, and Dan Inosanto. Bruce also instructed several World Karate Champions including Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, and Mike Stone. Among the three of them, during their training with Bruce they won every karate championship in the United States.
1969 Marlowe, 1971 The Big Boss Also known as Fists of Fury,
1972 Fist of Fury Also known as The Chinese Connection, The Way of the Dragon Also known as Return of the Dragon,
1973 Enter the Dragon Released Game of Death uncompleted film
1966 The Green Hornet 26 episodes, 1966–1967 Batman 3 episodes,
1966–1967 Ironside Episode: "Tagged for Murder"
1969 Blondie Episode: "Pick on Someone Your Own Size"
Here Come the Brides Episode: "Marriage Chinese Style"
1970 Enjoy Yourself Tonight 2 episodes,
1970–1972 (Hong Kong)1971 Longstreet 4 episodes,
1971The Pierre Berton Show Interview
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