Brother: Bruce Lee would have been 1,000% into MMA


Bruce Lee died on 20 July 1973 in Hong Kong.

When Lee discovered martial arts as a teen, it was a collection of countless strictly organized and controlled contradictory sets of beliefs and practices, each of which believed itself to be clearly superior to the others. It was, truly, a field in which everyone was better than average.

He left a legacy that truth in unarmed combat lay outside of fixed systems. 20 years before UFC 1, Lee showed the world a contest with fighters in fingered gloves, using strikes, takedowns, and tapping out to submissions on the ground.

In short, he left a world that was ready to embrace mixed martial arts.

When MMA came along, a new system was created for the refining of technique. It is as simple as wheels on luggage - to figure out if something works in a fight, just fight. If a technique doesn't work for you, you'll know, because you will get hit in the face.

The name Bruce Lee gave to his approach - Jeet Kune Do, or The Way of the Intercepting Fist - captures that reality.

And if there was no Bruce Lee, you wouldn't be reading this here, as there would be no UG.

Bruce Lee's younger brother Robert and his sister Phoebe were in Singapore to speak at ONE FC’s Asia MMA Summit, a two-day conference for the sport that featured luminaries such as Renzo Gracie and Rich Franklin. If Bruce Lee were still alive, he would be involved in modern MMA, according to his brother.

“Spirit-wise, he would support it 1,000 per cent,” added Robert, 64. “It’s what he came up with."

Addressing an enthusiastic crowd estimated at 400-strong, the Hong Kong-born Lee siblings shared their experiences growing up with Bruce, and discussed the martial artist and film star’s influence on MMA via his philosophy of Jeet Kune Do – which seeks to most effectively synthesize multiple forms of martial arts for various situations.

“He changed me a lot. He loved me a lot. He showed me how to find myself….,” said Robert, softly.

The two also shared a healthy dose of sibling rivalry.

“He was always the star of the party, catching everyone’s attention,” laughed Robert. “I’m always left out, but I don’t mind! That’s how he is. He’s got the charisma.”

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tags: Bruce Lee   video   

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HEMAN site profile image  

5/9/13 6:32 AM by HEMAN

"Unless u know more than them, the vid outlines in great detail about China sending their #1 guy. still have it on vhs somewhere but i'm sure other bruce fans can back me up."Wong Man Jack was born in HK and was teaching for sometime in San Francisco. You are telling US the Chinese government under Mao Zedong would waste time sending a fighter to California? If that was the case then Wong must have immediately declared political asylum to escape being sent back LOL! Either case Wong Man was not a citizen of China...he was a citizen of HK which at the time were still owned by the British. Wong Man Jack was a of the numerous SIFUs that were teaching at the time.

chaplinshouse site profile image  

5/8/13 1:59 PM by chaplinshouse

That book removes all doubt how mixed his martial was.  

DiscipleDojo site profile image  

5/8/13 12:58 PM by DiscipleDojo

People who post anything about Bruce's technique or ability without actually having read Tao of Jeet Kune Do or listened to what competitive martial art champions of the time who trained with him said (i.e. Lewis, Norris, Lebell, etc.) immediately come across as sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher.

MasterofMartialArts site profile image  

5/8/13 12:26 PM by MasterofMartialArts

People are still trying to kill Bruce, even after he's dead.

chaplinshouse site profile image  

5/8/13 11:56 AM by chaplinshouse

can someone put modern mma gear on him? 

chaplinshouse site profile image  

5/8/13 11:50 AM by chaplinshouse   Challenge and Change In Oakland, everything was going well, until James Lee's wife died suddenly. Linda took over the cooking, cleaning, and care of his two children, and though it was a bit overwhelming, the second Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute was covering the bills, and Bruce and Linda were excited about the upcoming birth of their first child. Then in December 1964, leaders of the Chinese martial arts community who objected to Bruce teaching martial arts to non-Chinese students visited his studio with an ornate scroll stating that if he refused to stop teaching other races, he would have to fight their challenger, Wong Jack Man, a kung fu master recently arrived from China. If he lost, he would have to close down his studio or stop teaching non-Chinese students. Bruce approached the challenger and asked him if he wanted to do this. Linda, who was there at the time (eight months pregnant with Brandon), says the challenger was apologetic and said, "No, but I'm representing these people," motioning to the community leaders. Bruce agreed to fight. The leaders hadn't expected him to. The challenger said "No hitting in the face. No kicking in the groin." Bruce refused and said "You've made the challenge -- so I'm making the rules. So, as far as I'm concerned, it's no holds barred. It's all out!" Linda described the fight as follows: In James Bishop's Remembering Bruce, Wong Jack Man reports that Bruce offered a supposedly friendly hand and when he accepted it, Bruce turned it into an attempt to gouge out his eyes. "He really wanted to kill me," recalled Wong. The Way of the Intercepting Fist This fight was momentous for Bruce Lee. He won, but not as easily as he would have liked. He found himself winded and embarked on more extreme fitness training. This fight marked the beginning of Bruce's concept of Jeet Kune Do Kung Fu -- or, "The Way of No Way." Up until then, Bruce had been basically teaching the form of Wing Chun Kung Fu he had learned from his only master, Yip Man. Bruce began in earnest reading all he could of other martial arts and all forms of combat, including philosophy, psychology, and motivation books -- anything to help him grow as a martial artist and a human being. Bruce was to amass a library of more than 2,500 books. In Jeet Kune Do, jeet means "to stop or intercept," kune means "fist," and do means "the way or the ultimate reality." His definition of Jeet Kune Dogradually became "The Way of the Intercepting Fist." Bruce came to believe that most of classical training was not helpful -- that you do what you have to do as quickly as possible in a fight. Jeet Kune Do was actually a minimizing of form, rather than an elaboration. "If somebody attacks you," Bruce said, "your response is not Technique No. 1, Stance No. 2, Section 3, Paragraph 5. Instead, you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation." Or, more concisely, "the proper method is the one that works." Bruce's attitude stepped on a lot of toes in the martial arts community. Bruce's good friend, Jhoon Rhee, known as "the father of American Tae Kwon Do," said "There were a number of people who didn't like Bruce, but when you are as frank as he was, you cannot avoid offending people." Bruce even went so far as to have a tombstone erected in his L.A. Studio that said "In memory of a once fluid man crammed and distorted by the classical mess." "That describes my attitude perfectly," he said.

chaplinshouse site profile image  

5/8/13 11:45 AM by chaplinshouse

doing some research in case some facts are off! u have me wondering now

chaplinshouse site profile image  

5/8/13 11:41 AM by chaplinshouse

  I've watched every documentary on Bruce.  The one I'm pulling info from featured Bruce's brother and wife.  So I'm assuming what I say is legit.  Unless u know more than them, the vid outlines in great detail about China sending their #1 guy.  still have it on vhs somewhere but i'm sure other bruce fans can back me up   Silly? It was very well documented the Chinese martial arts community HATED that a Chinese was teaching non Chinese.  I may be getting Seattle mixed up with SF (i don't think so but possible), but not the fact China knew who he was and hated him Of course he's going to be impatient with Coburn that's easy to believe.  He was a physically awkward man. The point you're missing is he was teaching.  maybe he taught because he hated teaching, it could happen!+ In any case i didn't know the man.  i just tried to read and watch everything i can on him done by reputable sources  

HEMAN site profile image  

5/8/13 11:35 AM by HEMAN

Chaplinshouse. I'm not sure where you got the he loved to teach from. I read several interviews from Dan and Taky that stated he was pretty impatient with guys like Coburn etc...China never sent their no. 1 guy over...Sifu Wong Man Jack had live in San Francisco for sometime. Seattle??????????????China didn't hate on Bruce because no one knew who he was at the time in the late 60's. This was before Green Hornet. That is just SILLY.

chaplinshouse site profile image  

5/8/13 10:22 AM by chaplinshouse

^^i dunno man, he never stopped training he loved to teach.  not sure where you get the leaning to "street fighting concepts" angle unless u mean he approached martial arts like anything goes, not just specific art vs specific art, which only serves to cement his mma godfather role.  he had 3000+ books of different fighting styles he studied in his library according to his wife Linda and he fought the Chinese #1 guy that China sent over because they were pissed he was teaching non Chinese, the martial arts which was unheard of back then.  Plus he called their way a "classical mess" because it was mostly choreographed moves that wouldn't really work in real fighting.  he knew this back then and made a huge deal over it.  China hated him for it.  So they send their #1 to Seattle to fight him.  the deal was, if he lost he had to shut down and stop teaching.  he beat that dude, but barely, and it made him send his training into overdrive because he didn't like how close it was and realized he could be in much better shape.  not saying movies weren't a huge interest for him but he put way more time and passion into martial arts and he was always in fighting shape all year round because of it, not just at movie time