Bruce Lee Data Essay

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Bruce Lee Data

· Why was Bruce Lee so famous, and why is he still thought of as the Master of Chinese Martial Arts?
Another interesting thing about Bruce Lee is his true ability to perform martial arts. He
criticized Karate for its brocken motions, and Wing Chun for its flashy techniques. Both,
he said, were not ideal to use in actual combat. This is the reason for the creation of
Jeet Kune Do (JKD). JKD was designed to be used in real life situations. It's style is no
style. The goal of JKD is not to master certain techniques, but to let your body express
the techniques in its own way. Everyone has his own style, and JKD is a form of bringing
it out.

· What aspect(s) of Bruce Lee's character made him so famous?
The question remains in many people's mind: What made Bruce Lee so famous? There are
several Martial Arts movies; why is Bruce the one remembered for Chinese Gung-Fu. Bruce
would work himself very, very hard, until he perfected what he was working on. He was a
perfectionist. Another aspect of his success is his ability to really kick some ass. Bruce
remains undefeated throughout his life, except for a lost fight when he was 13 years old
(this prompted Bruce to begin taking Martial Arts lessons). People jealous of Bruce, or
people just thinking they could beat him, would frequently approach Bruce, tap their foot
on the ground (this symbolizes a challenge), and they would begin to fight. Once during
the filming of "enter_the_dragon.html", an extra aproached Bruce, tapped his foot on the
ground, and they began to fight. The extra had some real skill, but instead of trying to
beat Bruce, he was really trying to hurt him. When Bruce realized this, he began to
unleash his lightning quick speed and powerful moves; he smashed the guy right agains the
wall. Bruce later said that he had never kicked a guy so hard before. He really beat the
guy up. But unusually, after the fight was over, Bruce told the extra to get back to his
spot and act. He never fired him.

Facts (and interresting stuff)

Jeet Kune Do
"You see, " Bruce once said, "many people come to instructors and say, 'Like man, like
what is the truth? Hand it over to me.' So therefore the guy would say, 'I'll give you my
Japanese way of doing it.' And another guy would say 'I'll give you the Chinese way of
doing it.' But if you only have two hands and two legs, nationalities don't mean anything.
When you go with a particular style, you're expressing that style. You are not expressing

"Jeet Kune Do was really intended as a means of self discovery or enlightenment. In the
linear notes of his album, Tauhid, saxaphonist Pharoah Sanders describes the process of
self-discovery: 'I don't see the horn anymore. I'm trying to see myself. If you have the
discipline, you can do whatever you want to. You yourself are the key to yourself.'"

Robert Clouse recalls that:
"The first time he met you, you'd expect him to shake hands but instead he'd step back and
flick out his foot so fast you could feel the air move right at the tip of your nose. Then
he'd take your hand and place it on his stomach. It was kind of his calling card."

Bruce's Family Life
Bruce's Parents
· Bruce's father: full-blooded Chinese
· Bruce's Mother: German/Chinese descent. (Her father is German; her mother is Chinese)

Bruce Lee Kicks Ass in Real Life
These are a few of the fights that Bruce participated in the ring and out.
vs. Gary Elms in a tournament. (Won)
1958 or 1959:
Against Chung on a rooftop in Hong Kong. (Won in 2nd Round)
1960 - Seattle:
Bruce backfisted a guy and busted his nose after Bruce saw him harrassing a Chinese Girl.
Bruce was taking a walk. This fight was witnessed by James DeMile.

1960 or 1961:
vs. Uechi. (Won in 10 seconds)
Summer 1963 - Hong Kong:
Bruce snapped a low kick to a punk's shin after the punk and his friend harrassed him during an evening stroll.

An interview with the Green Hornet
These are some of the questions and responses from an interview with Van Williams (Britt Reid in the Green Hornet)
What ever happened to the Green Hornet? Why was it taken off the air?
The show was costing an absolute fortune. It was costing almost as much for the half hour
of the The Green Hornet as a one hour segment of Batman. The special effects, the color,
the amount of production that went into it. The cost was draining William Dozier.
Everything he was making off Batman was going into The Green Hornet, and it wasn't
working. When Dozier demanded and hour slot, and was declined, he took the show off the
air. Now another thing that happened that you might want to know is there's a little
mystery in it. There was an audit done on the show afterwards and they found that there
were double and triple charges being charged to The Green Hornet that were not supposed to

What was Bruce like on the set?
He was used to working with people who knew how to give way when those slaps and backhands
took effect. The guys working on the Hornet didn't know how to protect themselves. A lot
of 'em got kicked in the you know whats. We had to convince Bruce that you could do your
wackety-wack over the shoulder and be three feet apart. We also had to slow him down- it
was a joke! He would go into a room, and all you'd hear, because of the lighting, was all
this yelling and people flying around! We'd replay the scenes later and people would laugh
and that really got him upset. He did NOT want to be laughed at.

It really was a case were he was so focues on the one thing that he didn't have many hobbies?
He didn't care anything about acting. He didn't care about trying to get rid of his real heavy Chinese accent.
Didn't he joke that he got the part because he could say "Britt Reid"?
Yeah he could say "Britt Reid." Otherwise he had this heavy, heavy Chinese accent that was
very, very hard to understand.

Now he was never much of a partier though . . .
He wasn't here. But I'd heard rumours, which I couldn't believe because he was very into
keeping himself in shape and eating the right foods. He didn't drink alcohol, didn't smoke
pot, or this that 'n' the other. But I heard rumours that he had got involved with pot
smoking, for the pressures and stuff. I didn't know whether that was a fact or not. I just
heard that he'd been involved with dope and that it could have been an overdose, but I
pooh- poohed that. You know, rumours were flying all over when he died. But when he was
here he did not smoke cigaretes. He couldn't stand to be around people who did. He never
took a drink that I ever saw. He took himself, phsyically, very, very seriously because
that was his whole deal.

Can you remember any funny stories about Bruce, or recall any of his raunchy jokes?
Bruce drove everybody nuts around the set doing his Jeet Kune Do. Everybody'd be standing
around, and suddenly you'd feel something tick your ear like a bug hit it or something.
You'd turn around and realize that Bruce had just jumped in the air, kicked out and hit
the lobe of your ear. You knew it was in fun, and he did have a sense of humor, but he was
ALWAYS doin' this stuff. He'd tap you on the shoulder-, you'd turn around and all of a
sudden he'd kick out at your groin. And of course you'd fold up, fall down, back up into
furniture- and he just thought that this was hilarious! Just puttin' everybody to a
disadvantage. Then one day he did that and at the same time the guy looked over to his
right. Bruce hit him and dislocated his jaw. That ended that party! People were impressed
with it at first. But after a while it got to be, "Oh God, he's at it again...."

Bruce's Film Credits
· Golden Gate Girl: (1940) Filmed in San Francisco, CA. Bruce was three months old.
· The Beginning of a Boy: (1946) Bruce was 6 years old.
· The Birth of Mankind: (1946) Bruce was 6 years old. Unicorn was in the movie.
· My Son, Ah Cheun: (1946) Bruce was 6 yers old. Chow Shui was also in the movie.
· It's Father's Fault
· The Orphan: (1958) Bruce's last childhood role in the movie.

Other TV Apearances

· KCTS-Channel 9 (Seattle): Bruce appeared on several TV program giving Kung Fu demonstrations.
· The Green Hornet: Bruce co-starred in 26 episodes as "Kato". It filmed a two-part crossover episode for Batman.
· The Milton Berle Show - (1966 - 1967): The Green Hornet (Van Williams) and Kato
(Bruce Lee) guest starred on the show.

· Ironside - "Tagged For Murder": Brief appearance in which Bruce plays a Karate instructor.
· Blondie - "Pick on a bully your own size": Brief appearance
· Here Come The Brides - "Marriage Chinese Style":
· Longstreet: 4 episodes

Bruce's Motion Picture Credits

· Marlowe (1969)
· "fists_of_fury.html" (1971) (released in the U.S. as Fists of Fury)
· "chinese_connection.html" (1971) (released in the U.S. as The Chinese Connection)
· "return_of_the_dragon.html" (1972) (released in the U.S. as Return of the Dragon)
· "enter_the_dragon.html" (1973)
· "game_of_death.html" (began in 1972, completed after Bruce died)
Bruce Lee Documentaries and Misc Film Footage

· Bruce Lee: The Legend
· The Real Bruce Lee
· Bruce Lee: Kung-Fu Mania

Books by Bruce Lee

· Chinese Gung-Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense
· Tao of Jeet Kune Do (published after Bruce's death, the book was compiled from his varios personal notes)
· Wing Chun Kung-Fu

Students and Training Partners of Bruce Lee

· James DeMile
· Sue Ann Kay
· Linda Emery
· Daniel Inosanto
· James Yimm Lee
· Howard Williams
Los Angeles
· Daniel Inosanto - Asst Instructor
· Ted Wong
· Jerry Poteet
· Daniel Lee - schools first student in 1967
· Herb Jackson
· Chuck Hill
· Gary Fineman
· Lee Hong
· Melvin Kwan
· Leo Duffin
· Larry Hartsell
· Bill Bremer
· Mike Cochrane
· Robert Lujan
· Peter Rosas
· Al Wolin
Celebrity Students
· Lew Alcindor "Kareem Abdul Jabar"
· Steve McQueen
· James Coburn
· Roman Polanski
· Stirling Silliphant
· Tom Tannenbaum
· Joe Hyams
Private Students
· Mike Stone
· Chuck Norris
· Joe Lewis
Other persons he worked with
· Wally Jay
· Jhoon Rhee
· Bob Wall
Bruce's School/Training Locations
· Seattle, Washington: Backyards, Garage, Chinatown Basement location, Ruby Chow's
parking lot, University of Washington , Wayne Chan's Pharmacy

· Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute - 4750 University Way, Seattle, WA (Taky)
· Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute - 628 College Street, Los Angeles, CA (Insonato)
Bruce Lee ( Lee Jun Fan)
November 27, 1940 at 7:12 am ( San Francisco, Ca.)
Passed Away: July 20, 1973 in Hong Kong ( brain edema)
Education: Philosophy Major at the University of Washington
Height: 5' 7" & 1/2
Weight: 135 pounds
Sometimes credited as:
Little Dragon Lee
Siu - Lung Lee
Xiaolong Li
JKD Instuctor of The Year 1972
Man of The Year 1974
||: : : ||
November 27 1940 - San Francisco - The Year of the Dragon,
Lee Jun Fan is born at the Jackson Street Hospital in the Chinatown section of San
Francisco. Later to be known as Bruce Lee. His father, Lee Hoi Chuen, a performer with the
Cantonese Opera Company, was touring in America at the time.

1941 - Hong Kong - Bruce and his parents return to Kowloon, their family home.
1946 - Hong Kong - At the age of six, he makes his professional screen debut in The
Beginning of a Boy. During the later years of his childhood, Bruce appears in 20 more
films in Southeast Asia. Lastly, being the film The Orphan at age 18.

||: : : ||
1953 - Hong Kong - After being involved in numerous street fights in Hong Kong, Bruce
begins training under Sifu Yip Man, a master of the Wing Chun system of Gung Fu.

1958 - Hong Kong - Being an expert dancer, Bruce wins the crown colony Cha-Cha Championship.
||: : : ||
1959- Hong Kong - After more fierce street fighting ending in police involvement, Mr. and
Mrs. Lee decide that Bruce should exercise his American citizenship and return to San
Francisco. San Francisco - Seattle - Bruce arrives in the U.S. and stays with Arnold, a
friend of his father's. He works odd jobs around the various Chinese communities. Later
moves to Seattle to work for

Ruby Chow, another friend of his father's. He lives in a room above her restaurant while
working as a waiter downstairs. Eventually enrolls at Edison Technical School and earns
his high school diploma. Starts teaching Gung Fu in backyards and city parks.

||: : : ||
1961- Spring - Seattle - Enrolls at the University Of Washington.
Major - Philosophy. Teaches Gung Fu to students at school.
||: : : ||
1963 - Summer - Hong Kong - Returns to Hong Kong for the first time since his arrival in
the U.S. Returns to Seattle at the end of summer to continue school.

- October 25 - Seattle - Bruce takes out Linda Emery (the future Mrs. Linda Lee) for their
first date. Dinner at the Space Needle.

- Fall - Seattle - Moves the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute into a building (4750 University Way) near the university campus.
||: : : ||
1964 - Summer - Oakland - Bruce leaves Seattle to start a second school in Oakland. His
good friend, Taky Kimura, takes over as head instructor.

- August 17 - Seattle - Bruce returns to Seattle to marry
Linda Emery. Residing afterwards back in Oakland.
Oakland - Several months after he begins teaching, he is challenged by a leading Gung Fu
practitioner in the Chinatown community. If Bruce lost the challenge, he was either to
close his school or stop teaching Caucasians. At that time, the Chinese were reluctant to
teach Caucasians their martial arts. Bruce accepts and dispatches his opponent in only a
couple of minutes. Later he is bothered on why the fight took so long and begins to
reevaluate his style. Thus, the early concepts of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee's own style, are

- August 2 - Long Beach, Ca - Ed Parker, known as the Father of American Karate (Kenpo),
invites Bruce to give a demonstration at his first International Karate Championships. In
the audience is Jay Sabring, the hair stylist for Batman producer William Dozier who is
looking to cast a part in a TV series he was developing. Sabring then gives a film of
Bruce's demo to Dozier who is impressed at what he sees. Bruce later flys down to Los
Angeles for a screen test.

||: : : ||
1965 - February 1 - Oakland, Ca - Brandon Lee is born.
- February 8 - Hong Kong - Bruce's father passes away.
||: : : ||
1966 - Los Angeles - Bruce and family move to Los Angeles where he begins working on a new
TV series called The Green Hornet as Kato. Later opens third branch of The Jun Fan Gung Fu
Institute in Los Angeles' Chinatown.

||: : : ||
1967 - 1971 - Hollywood - During this time, Bruce lands bit parts in various films and TV
series (Marlowe, Longstreet). He also gives private lessons for up to $250 an hour to the
likes of Steve McQueen,

James Coburn, James Garner, Lee Marvin, Roman Polanski, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. 1969 -
April 19 - Santa Monica, CA - Daughter Shannon Lee is born.

||: : : ||
1970 - Los Angeles - Bruce injures his back while training. The following period of
inactivity he starts to document his training methods and his philosophy of Jeet Kune Do.
Later after his death,

The Tao Of Jeet Kune Do is published by his wife.
||: : : ||
1971 - Hong Kong - Takes a short trip back to Hong Kong to arrange for his mother to live
in the U.S. Unknowingly to him, he had become a superstar for The Green Hornet was one of
the most popular TV shows in Hong Kong. Later is approached by Raymond Chow, owner of a
new production company, and offered the lead role in a new film called

The Big Boss. He accepts.

- July - Thailand - Filming begins for The Big Boss (released as Fists Of Fury in U.S.)
Opens in Hong Kong to great reviews and mobs of fans. Proceeds to gross more than $3.5
million in little than three weeks.

||: : : ||
1972 - Hong Kong - Fist of Fury (called The Chinese Connection in the U.S.) is released.
Grosses more than The Big Boss and further establishes Bruce as a Hong Kong superstar.

- Rome, Italy - Location shots are made for Bruce's third film
The Way Of The Dragon (later called The Return of the Dragon), which he writes, directs
and stars in. Chuck Norris is Bruce's adversary in the final fight scene. Again, this film
surpasses all records set by his previous two films.

- Hong Kong - Bruce begins work on Game of Death and films several fight scenes including Danny Inosanto and
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
||: : : ||
1973 - April - Hong Kong - Filming of Enter the Dragon is completed.

- July 20 - Hong Kong - Bruce Lee dies in Hong Kong of an apparent Cerebral Edema
(swelling of the brain). Enter the Dragon premieres a month later to much success.

- July 25 - Hong Kong - A funeral ceremony is held for friends and fans in Hong Kong
consisting of over 25,000 people. Bruce is dressed in the Chinese outfit he wore in Enter
the Dragon.

- July 30 - Seattle - After a smaller second ceremony, Bruce Lee is buried at Lake View
Cemetery. His pallbearers included

Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Danny Inosanto, Taky Kimura, and his brother, Robert Lee.
Bruce Lee Is Gone But Not Forgotten

by Richard Seven - Seattle Times staff

A COOL SPRING WIND lunges across Capitol Hill's Lake View Cemetery, sending Taky Kimura's
grimy dust cloth flapping in his hand.

The Seattle grocer has swept the regal side-by-side grave markers of Bruce and Brandon
Lee, and rearranged the earrings, flowers, coins, seashells, rocks, paper hearts left on
them the past few weeks. He steps back and views his handiwork, leaning his left leg
against a stone bench that holds an engraved message: "The key to immortality is first
living a life worth remembering."

Bruce Lee, only 32 when he died, is as remembered, as immortal, as ever. Visitors, some
born after his death, still stream to the martial artist's grave. It is important to
Kimura not just that they come, but why they come. Is this a stop on some pop-culture tour
or have they been inspired?

Friendship, true and lasting, is why Kimura comes here and has spent much of his life
since Lee's death looking after not only his grave, but his legacy. Lee inspired Kimura to
try to live a life worth remembering and Kimura, in return, is doing what friends do.

He was Lee's closest friend, the best man at his wedding, his first assistant gung fu
instructor, his confidant toward the end when Lee finally got the fame he craved but
desperately wondered whom he could trust. Kimura was one of the pall bearers who carried
Lee to this grave.

Kimura carries Lee along even now, teaching his martial art and the philosophy behind it
so Lee stays more than a cartoonish action figure from old movies. Kimura refused to take
money when he ran Lee's Seattle gung fu club in the mid-1960s and he refuses to cash in to
this day.

A tall, strong man strides to the grave, immediately recognizing Kimura from a documentary
done on Lee several years ago. Kimura wastes no time; he asks the man why he came.

The question rattles the visitor. His face contorts with sadness. He stammers and fidgets.
There is clearly a whole story to it, but he finally just motions to Lee's headstone and
says, "paying my respects."

Kimura asks how much he knows about Lee's martial art, Jeet Kune Do.

The reply tumbles out. The guy is a 33-year-old kick boxer who has idolized Lee since
third grade. He starts with tired Bruce Lee trivia, about how the old TV show, "Kung Fu"
was written with Lee in mind, but suddenly he admits he's searching for help. He says he
has made a lot of bad choices and woke up only after getting a .45-caliber handgun shoved
in his face. He is seeking maturity and peace of mind now, he says, through martial arts
and specifically through Lee's message of being responsible to and for yourself.

Kimura, 74 and graying, and small like Lee was, looks right at the former college football
player. He does what Lee did to him: He challenges the guy by replying in a man-to-man
tone, "You're saying all the right things to me, but now you gotta go live it or it's no
use, right?" The man eagerly nods yes and eventually asks if he can sit and talk with
Kimura someday or maybe work out at his club.

They talk more and swap names and phone numbers. The man bows and rushes off toward his
car, energized by the meeting, but relieved to be leaving. He reappears in less than five
minutes, asking Kimura for more advice. They spend the next 15 minutes standing a few
paces from Lee's grave, Kimura talking and the visitor fighting back tears.

"That happens quite often," Kimura says later. "I just give it to them straight like Bruce
did. I don't help them. Bruce does."

Kimura eventually admits him into the gung fu club, but only after making sure he
understands it is more about the soul than the fist.

Every Monday since Lee died, Kimura has opened the basement of his First Hill grocery
store and taught the principles of Lee's early martial-arts philosophy to select students.
Grocery carts line one wall. A Bruce Lee shrine of posters and photographs line another.
Men and women of various shapes and skill spread out across the concrete floor and amid
wooden pillars, doing calisthenics and fighting drills. It's called the Jun Fan Gung Fu
Club, after Lee's Chinese name.

Its beauty is its simplicity. There are no fancy outfits or macho posing. It is informal
but down-to-business. Although Kimura never asked them to, club members head outside after
each session and clean up his parking lot.

Kimura charges $30 a year, about 60 cents a week, just enough to pay for club picnics and
supplies such as punching bags. He does not make a dime. He does not advertise. He does
not want fame. He does not want champions or wannabes.

"I interview everyone who wants to be part of this," he says. "If they want to be a
champion I tell them I can't help them, but if they want camaraderie and perhaps become a
better person then we might have something for them."

Kimura teaches what Lee taught during his Seattle years, between 1959 and 1964. Lee's
style was ever-evolving but its foundation took shape here. Kimura emphasizes Lee's
philosophical side, hidden from popular view by his startling speed, power and grace.

Kimura says he has two left feet and doesn't know all that much, but anyone who has felt
the force of his controlled punch or seen him do close-quarters combat called "sticking
hands" knows that's not true. Chris Sato, one of his assistant instructors, knew Lee and
says it is the purity of Kimura's purpose that makes the club unique.

"Taky feels a closeness to Bruce and a responsibility to him," Sato says. "He teaches
without the pollution of money or belts. It's funny, but when you walk down those stairs
and into that modest basement you feel honored to be hearing Bruce's words."

Lee was both a maverick and a pragmatist. He borrowed from all kinds of fighting
disciplines, including fencing and boxing. He incorporated what worked and tossed what
didn't. He criticized established fighting systems as being too rigid, stifling and
impractical for the street. He, in return, was criticized by some martial artists as
lacking respect.

He eventually created his own style, Jeet Kune Do, but refused to call it a style because
he feared once he did, it would become limiting. He expected students to use the
principles he provided and then experiment, using only the parts that worked for them.

Kimura, though, became concerned that instructors who never had contact with Lee were
claiming to be experts in Jeet Kune Do. Three years ago, he helped start the Jun Fan Jeet
Kune Do Nucleus, a group of Lee's family, key students and friends, dedicated to ensuring
the principles of his art don't become too fragmented.

Continues for 23 more pages >>