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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