Saturday, July 29, 2023

The Cult Of Bruce.


Although I've been watching his movies since I was in high school I've never been a member of the Cult of Bruce.  I must admit that I do admire what Bruce Lee accomplished in his short life.  I have a great respect for anyone who puts that much work into a thing.  Artists of all genre who have spent lifetimes creating and recreating themselves, who reach that pinacol of greatness deserve the respect and sometimes the honor that they have attained through their hard word and diligence.   That does not include a cult following that walks the fine edge of just another modern day religion. 

Bruce Lee, born Lee Jun Fan, 1940 in San Francisco California, was a Chinese American actor and martial artist.  He was attributed for the introduction of Chinese Kung Fu to the United States which changed the  Chinese Martial Arts and Culture influencing the pop culture of that time.  Bruce still holds several records in the Guinness Book: he is the only human to ever break a 45 Kg (99.3 Lbs) bag with a side kick, he produced 1600 pounds of force by swinging nunchacku, a linked pair of sticks with either a chain or strap, he could punch 9 times in a second, and his one inch punch could force a 75 Kg (165 Lbs) man 5 to 7 meters, (20 to 23 feet) away from him.  These are just a few of the 7 world records he holds.  Considering his physical stature at 5ft8 and 141 Lbs at his heaviest, the above records are an incredible almost mythical event.  And here in lies the rub.

Bruce Lee has taken on Legendary statues.  His accomplishments have launched him into the realms of modern mythology.  He now meets and exceeds the parameters that one would expect of a demigod.  Because of Bruce's feats of strength and prowess, if we re-wrote the beginning of his story just a bit, and it wouldn't take much, we could create a story that would be about the son of some Grecian, Roman, or Chinese god.  We could turn Bruce into an incarnation of the Monkey God from ancient Chinese mythology, and that is how he is treated by the modern Martial Arts Community.  He is Legend. 

There are several self appointed great ones who have taken on the job of deciding if Bruce Lee could defeat this guy or that guy, this actor or that actor, this Fighter or that Fighter, in personal combat.  Many of these self appointed great ones have opinions swaying from one to the other, this side or that, the winner and the loser.  All this supposition and opinionated bickery is absolute BS, and means nada.

Today's competitive martial artist be they a forms man, a push hands guy, a fighter, or just plain ole Saturday afternoon at the Karate tournament for kids, is decades more advanced, especially in The United States, than we were in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  Human beings are bigger, stronger, have more physical potential, and yes on a whole we are a tad smarter due to our technologies.  Today's average Martial Arts instructor has much more hands on experience than we have ever had, and we have a greater range of instructional flavor due to the internet.  So, who's to say?  I do not spend time speculating on the possible performance of a guy who's been dead since 1973.   

Lee Jun Fan died of  cerebral edema after a series of seizures and migraine headaches after given a painkiller that contained an equagesic which is a combination of aspirin and  meprobamate a tranquilizer.  He went to sleep and did not wake up.  He was 32 years old.  This all happened upon the completion of the filming of his movie, "Enter The Dragon."  

It is apparent that Bruce Lee did in fact not survive all the physical stress he put himself through and that he suffered long term injury due to the way he trained.  Tragic.

So, to all the Self appointed great ones, I say, "I don't care one way or the other."  If Bruce would have survived he'd be 83 years old now and stand tall amongst the worlds Grand Masters.  Speculating on any other battles and skirmishes is a waste of time and energy.  Remember him for what he did and get your head out of your...

I've been watching Bruce Lee since I was a teenager.  I am not a member of the Cult of Bruce.  I refuse to speculate about the prominence of a dead man.

Peace and Balance,



  1. He was outstanding -for his time.

    1. He was a once in a millennium sort of artist. Just like many other legends of that ilk, he died way to young. I would have loved to see what he would have accomplished if he had survived. Tragic.