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JKD UnderGround >> Analysis of BL fight scenes


6/15/12 9:43 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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It's interesting, looking back at some of the fight scenes.

Now, they look very staged and comedic. In the ice house scene he hits a guy near the wall and you see a human-shaped cut-out like a Wile E. Coyote cartoon.

When Bob Bakker gets him in an armlock and he bites the ankle, his arm is turned the wrong way, no pressure on the elbow (it's a movie, I know), and he bites through the clothes which is ineffective.

Every once in a while he does some good kicks, but in many scenes the kicks are quite bad, especially his back turning kick where he misses the target by a great distance and his leg is bent, not getting full extension. 

Oddly, the trapping hands scenes are obscured. He does virtually the same one he used on Bob Bakker as he did with Chuck in the Colosseum scene.

He was one of the first to use camera angles better, and he blocked out the scenes beforehand. When he does the famous punch to Bob Wall in ETD, we didn't seem to notice that they started from an artificially set up 'wrist to wrist' pose. You don't get to see the real power train in that punch, which was off his back leg, since the scene was filmed from the waist up.

Many of his scenes that are showcased are not even him. The backflip kick in ETD is a stuntman.

BL was a showman. He innovated in some areas, but from the perspective of the modern MMA fighter, he did a lot of things wrong. You never have fights where a fighter lets others form a ring around him (as in the ice house fight). It just doesn't happen outside of Chinese cinema. Yet we were captivated by this in the 70s.

The most puzzling video is his sparring with James Cobern. (this is not his actual voice. An actor dubs it and they made up what they thought was being said)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8KmqQ3o6HU

He does not look good either in his mobile kicking, it's telegraphed. He does not look good on the heavy bag. I spoke to Jess Glover about this and he said that despite that video, it's totally different when you're standing in front of him. We have to remember his kicking was not his forte and his real power was in his hands.

Pretty good interviews here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItYkIhupd5E




6/15/12 9:44 AM
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We can see he did not know the real way to counter an armbar. He could have stepped around rather than biting. So I think his grappling was really non-existent outside of a few 'tricks'.
6/15/12 10:36 PM
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lloydmtz
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I'm still captivated.
6/16/12 11:47 AM
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Nobody's been able to bring it like BL even after 40 years of trying. He had the look, the intensity, the showmanship and some real fighting concepts that were quite mysterious at the time.

Interception, simultaneous attack and defense, closest weapon, strong side forward, minimal hits (vs the 10,000 punches in Chinese cinema), use of, at the time, nontraditional weapons. Everyone was doing block-then-punch stuff back then. He used the idea of making weak aspects strong (then bridge, backfist), using range, multiple dynamic kicking.

Where he was lacking was in a delivery system for his grappling (resorting to isolated tricks), and bringing better opponents to fight. It would have been great to see him against a good grappler, a westler, a good FMA (Dan's stuff was primitive at the time).  Han Ji was laughable in the GoD, imo. Stiff and repetitive. Kareem was also stiff looking though he did OK and looked formiable. Even Sammo Hung looked pretty weak in the opening of EtD. Shih Kien was 60 years old in EtD and past his prime.

I'm being hypercritical, obviously, because as we know his movies worked like no others.

6/17/12 8:13 AM
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^ I understand that. BL had many attributes on film (and in real life) that have not been duplicated even to this day.

I'd go so far as to say nobody has come close. And it's not just technical expertise or body build or attitude. Jackie Chan has done some remarkable moves (though they are not in the same class - they're more gymnastic than high level martial art).

I'd say it's 50% body type - lean and mean and cut to shreds
It's 40% 'knows secret stuff and how to deliver it on screen'  - the Douglas Fairbanks mystique with an asian twist.
And 5-10% intangible, humor, impishness, ability to suddenly bring it (the telephone operator disguise in FoF.

6/17/12 9:46 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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 He was a child actor and his father was an actor. He understood how to take a concept and make it seem larger than life on screen/stage. He could have either sold cooking utinsils or martial arts to the masses. He sold martial arts AND himself very effectivly.

I think his talent lies in his ability to convey the dynamics of the underdog beating Goliath in a very cinematic and exciting way.

His obsessiveness, his use of steroids, his phyisical fitness, being Asain in a culture that was ignorant of Asian culture at the time, his speed (being such a light weight) and his philosophy (much borrowed from Jidux Krishnamurti) and his understanding of cinematography in the Hong Kong cinema world were a good combination for
the subject matter and the era.

Quentin Tarrantion made Samuel Jackson look like the greatest mob enforcer of all time in Pulp Fiction. However, he is just an actor who can play many parts...

Bruce Lee on the other hand ACTUALLY WAS A MARTIAL ARTIST, independent of the movie stuff. Yet he was NOWHERE near what the movies portrayed. BUT, I've come to understand that most thinking, mature and experienced individuals understand that.

A very respected martial artist once said to me "Don't be so naive to think that Bruce Lee belived for a second he was anything like what was presented on the screen. And even if he did it was no doubt a short lived self deception." - I was pissed! But I was also 23...

Over the past 15 years I've been doing my best to work my way out of the Matrix and help others become aware.

To each his own however... I am not the knower. 


6/17/12 9:54 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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Enter the Dragon is a masterpiece.

My favorite fight scene was where Bruce set the meathead adrift thus teaching him the art of fighting without fighting. Just absolute brilliance.

Have you seen Men in Black 3? I'd like to check it out but we have 4 pugs now and our town has a limit of 5 dogs per household. I'm afraid that if Frank so much as makes a cameo in MIBIII we may go criminal and adopt 4 more.

Pugs are very dangerous in large numbers. The best analogy I can come up with off the cuff would be, "imagine you are attacked by one piranha fish. Not a problem." Now hallucinate a pitbull being viciously mauled by 8 bloodthirsty pugs driven by a pack mentality. Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to correct the spelling. Does it?

Let's just say, it's not the type of carnage I want to be associated with.
6/17/12 11:23 PM
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Demitrius Barbito -  
A very respected martial artist once said to me "Don't be so naive to think that Bruce Lee belived for a second he was anything like what was presented on the screen. And even if he did it was no doubt a short lived self deception." - I was pissed! But I was also 23...

Over the past 15 years I've been doing my best to work my way out of the Matrix and help others become aware.
I agree and disagree. At my peak, I was a better kicker than the movie BL. My TKD 5th degree instructor was another level above me, though he told one of his students he was a little afraid of me when he saw me about 3 years after I left him and had bulked up to about 185, still able to jump kick head height and do full splits.

Anyway, he did know how to set things up to make himself look spectacular, he knew not to try and really spar with Joe Lewis, though in 'instructor mode' both Lewis and Mike Stone respected him and they were NOT known to be sychophants.

 
6/18/12 12:58 PM
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Siciliano
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Steroids? Bruce was on steroids? I never knew that.
6/18/12 2:11 PM
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jrrrrr
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The best fight scene, certainly if you are using a JKD platform, is Brandon Lee vs Prof Leong in Rapid Fire.

Don't get me wrong, I like BL vs Norris as much as anyone else. In terms of a movie fight scene that exhibits what BL would have had with JKD...that was the fight scene...

It could be that BL needed Norris to exhibit what he was doing. Brandon Lee had Prof Leong to be able to play against.
The movie hero is only as good as the movie's bad guy...
6/18/12 2:46 PM
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Edited: 06/18/12 2:48 PM
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>I didn't now BL was on steroids...

OK, BL was a friend of Steve McQueen, and Joe Lewis and his contact guy was (allegedly) Bob Baker (from Chinese Connection, according to Bleeker and others).

What do we know about Joe Lewis. Well you look at his physique and Joe suddenly got huge traps and bulked up. Look at him after he got off of it and he's still husky but doesn't look like a roided out dude he was in his early years in 'full contact'. So BL got the clue from Joe, saw Joe's physique and realize, 'man, I've been working my nuts off drinking beef blood and stuff and the answer is anabolic steroids.' 

Here is a guy, sort of like the prototype of Lance Armstrong, BL left NOTHING to chance if he could help it. He researched everything, and after what he saw in Joe and the West Coast BB scene, there is no doubt he'd want to try 'roiding. BUT he would do it as safely as possible and under deep cover. When you look at his physique in RoD (1972), versus Green Hornet (1965-7) it's a world of difference. He met Joe Lewis in 1967, so I give it a year of researching and maybe some motivation (note he hurt his back in 1970).

Now BL would not just pop Dianabol, he'd want to use the very best roids, not bulk up but get cut and get strong. Winstrol (Stanolozol) was invented in 1962, so it would have been fairly widely available in 1969-70. So now he had a reason (hurt back) and a desire (to get a little bigger, more defined and stronger).

Though cortisone would have been something to help his back, I wouldn't be surprised if BL talked an MD into giving him cortisone and winstrol injections. Though he got the information in the BB world, he would be loathe to do anything 'illegal'. 

The question that doubters bring up is BL's 'body as temple'. That's a bit silly. He abused his body, over trained, and drank odd Chinese concoctions (even Linda says he drank animal blood). Can you imagine him seeing Joe Lewis looking big and muscular and not at least researched the best, safest method (MD prescription) and safest type of 'roid? So even if you don't think he took them, are you prepared to say he totally ignored this incredible method/short cut to getting strong and cut? No way. After a lot of researching, finding a doctor (he hated needles, yeah, right, he might hate injecting himself, but he'd put up with an injection of 'medicine' cortisone for his back and a little winstrol for his back muscle recovery).

Then, I suspect, he found that he was one of those that is a fast/strong responder to even a little Testosterone/steroid, and used the ones with low androgenic effects (female bodybuilders prefer winstrol for that reason) so he wouldn't get 'big'.

So that's my take on how it could have happened, and not been as huge a surprise as some imagine. It was a slow process of discovery (Joe Lewis and the west coast BB scene, Steve McQueen (a connection to a sympathetic hollywood doctor), and lots of research and then a back injury (which would respond to cortisone and steroids) and there you go. Also look at the physique in RoD.

IMO, FWIW.


  
6/18/12 7:43 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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WidespreadPanic - >I didn't now BL was on steroids...

OK, BL was a friend of Steve McQueen, and Joe Lewis and his contact guy was (allegedly) Bob Baker (from Chinese Connection, according to Bleeker and others).

What do we know about Joe Lewis. Well you look at his physique and Joe suddenly got huge traps and bulked up. Look at him after he got off of it and he's still husky but doesn't look like a roided out dude he was in his early years in 'full contact'. So BL got the clue from Joe, saw Joe's physique and realize, 'man, I've been working my nuts off drinking beef blood and stuff and the answer is anabolic steroids.' 

Here is a guy, sort of like the prototype of Lance Armstrong, BL left NOTHING to chance if he could help it. He researched everything, and after what he saw in Joe and the West Coast BB scene, there is no doubt he'd want to try 'roiding. BUT he would do it as safely as possible and under deep cover. When you look at his physique in RoD (1972), versus Green Hornet (1965-7) it's a world of difference. He met Joe Lewis in 1967, so I give it a year of researching and maybe some motivation (note he hurt his back in 1970).

Now BL would not just pop Dianabol, he'd want to use the very best roids, not bulk up but get cut and get strong. Winstrol (Stanolozol) was invented in 1962, so it would have been fairly widely available in 1969-70. So now he had a reason (hurt back) and a desire (to get a little bigger, more defined and stronger).

Though cortisone would have been something to help his back, I wouldn't be surprised if BL talked an MD into giving him cortisone and winstrol injections. Though he got the information in the BB world, he would be loathe to do anything 'illegal'. 

The question that doubters bring up is BL's 'body as temple'. That's a bit silly. He abused his body, over trained, and drank odd Chinese concoctions (even Linda says he drank animal blood). Can you imagine him seeing Joe Lewis looking big and muscular and not at least researched the best, safest method (MD prescription) and safest type of 'roid? So even if you don't think he took them, are you prepared to say he totally ignored this incredible method/short cut to getting strong and cut? No way. After a lot of researching, finding a doctor (he hated needles, yeah, right, he might hate injecting himself, but he'd put up with an injection of 'medicine' cortisone for his back and a little winstrol for his back muscle recovery).

Then, I suspect, he found that he was one of those that is a fast/strong responder to even a little Testosterone/steroid, and used the ones with low androgenic effects (female bodybuilders prefer winstrol for that reason) so he wouldn't get 'big'.

So that's my take on how it could have happened, and not been as huge a surprise as some imagine. It was a slow process of discovery (Joe Lewis and the west coast BB scene, Steve McQueen (a connection to a sympathetic hollywood doctor), and lots of research and then a back injury (which would respond to cortisone and steroids) and there you go. Also look at the physique in RoD.

IMO, FWIW.


  

 One of the all time greatest responses/posts on this forum eva...
6/18/12 7:50 PM
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 Heh. You guys should look at Bleeker's Youtubes.

He talks about how he took 'roids and showed some of the same aspects that BL had in terms of personality, uh...I hesitate to say, disorder.

Part two talks about roiding specifically. Three parts. I'm watching two now.


6/18/12 8:01 PM
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What DB is saying about 'feeling invincible' is something ALL martial artists hope to inculcate into their feelings about their skill.

You don't go out and win contests wondering if you're second best. It doesn't mean you are unbeatable. It just means that your hormones and neurochemicals and your practicing and preparation are at a razor's edge.

Now add a very driven personality and some artificial confidence to that and BL is going to look like a GOD to guys who were second rate boxers, pugs and tough guys in the Oakland area, and he's going to look like a god to guys like Ed Parker who, though a great man in many ways, was not a good martial artist. He was more of a thug type personality than a consummate technical martial artist and he was physically tough and willing to fight. So in the 1960s and 70s you just didn't cross Ed Parker, but BL got up in his face in a rather casual way and scared Ed with his speed (again, BL was great like a stage magician at setting himself up).

But to deal with REAL talent in martial arts, he had to be very careful. He had to use concepts with the guys who were talented and physically good, but not that great on the conceptual level. With guys who had good concepts he would counterpose his technical attributes and speed. So he could bring just what would stymie the guy in front of him. It was remarkable.

He would also know when to seem to be 'overly polite and even a touch condescending' to someone who might actually be better than he was, and thus avoid getting out on the mat with them. I wonder if he knew about the Gracies and knew about Wrestlers and said 'let me get a guy in like Larry Hartsell, who can be my 'enforcer' and then I can talk ABOUT wrestling and jiu-jitsu and judo but have Larry be the tackling dummy, and still claim JKD had that range. 

Then BL did the 'collection of tricks' which he put in his movies so he could lay claim to that expertise and it wasn't until we understood aliveness and rolling and how to really do BJJ that we could see he was doing a dead form of it. 

Nevertheless, he still was a TREMENDOUS innovator and brought all this stuff together and was a tour de force, dabbling in all the aspects that we have now and then some. There are even some things in JKD that we don't really know about. (his kill-switch which he got from James DeMile, for example, and until recently the 'roiding which gave him some of his confidence and his bodybuilder body'. Remember, as the youtube above states, steroids were not really illegal back then and it was easy to get a doctor to inject you and keep it legal.

FWIW.

6/18/12 11:31 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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demi is hilarious
6/18/12 11:37 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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I watched part of the video clip above. To me the guy in the flowered shirt comes off as a tweeker scumbag
6/19/12 10:39 AM
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Stickgrappler
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Edited: 06/19/12 11:09 AM
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interesting points so far! thank you.

i just wanted to add that in the fight vs chuck norris:

1) BL does classical first... finds it doesn't work

2) adapts and goes non-classical... feints, broken rhythm, psychological, etc

3) Chuck sees his classical doesn't work now vs BL's non-classical and adapts and tries to go non-classical

4) conditioning was done back in 60's and 70's but not to the point that BL did... shows this message in this fight

yeah, some of BL's movie kicks look bad... especially the spinning kicks. but some of them look great - sidekick, the 4 or 5 'hook' kicks (roundhouse) to Chuck

wanted to mention that if you check the alley fight scene in WotD/RotD - he sees multiple attackers, whips 2 'chuks out... as he sees he can handle them and also the ranks thinned out, he goes to one 'chuk

people were captivated in the 70's cos king hu movies had fight scenes that had actors who were not MAists and it was all 'wavy hands' scenes. BL comes along and energizes the fight scenes with his intensity and energy.

i've thought that if BL didn't pass away at such a young age, he would've had more time to investigate grappling... we know he talked/learned from gene labelle, wally jay, probably dan for judo and/or hayward nishioka (sp?) for judo, etc

re: TBB icehouse cutout on wall, thought that was intentionally meant to be funny… just like kareem’s footprint in GoD yellow tracksuit
6/19/12 11:10 AM
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Stickgrappler
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the art of fighting without fighting scene was based on a true samurai story... don't recall the names involved offhand
6/19/12 11:50 AM
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Edited: 06/19/12 12:16 PM
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IMO, BL had about a dozen great kicking scenes. The ones in RoD, 'Dragon seeks Path', 'Dragon Whips its Tail'. were epic and stunning, great camera angles and great set up (just the right bad guy). 

The series where he attacks Wall, does a double roundhouse, and an interception sidekick to the gut was another great scene.

There were a couple in EtD where Bob Wall is set up and as he's raising his right leg, BL, does a spin kick and interrupts his technique. 

Back in the 70s we all thought he was a super kicker, but did not know his main ability was in the bridge and straight punch (vertical fist), and being able to get in and touch the opponent's hands and then do a run by touch.

Jess Glover and James DeMile both said that after the initial classes, when BL moved to Oakland in 63-64, he was actively hiding his stuff, showing the result but not teaching how he developed it.

As far as his kicking, I think he was at a tournament with Dan and saw one of the Japanese Karate kicking specialists kicking straight up in the air and told Dan he wanted to be able to do that.
6/19/12 12:44 PM
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Edited: 06/19/12 12:44 PM
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To Stickgrappler:

One of the scenes in RoD, the Norris fight has some parts which have been a plague to all those who trained in traditional martial arts and it's 'reaching to block a kick' (or anything).

That whole idea is a bad idea and we now know that you need to shield your head (like a boxer does, primarily) and use a guard like in Crazy Monkey (Rodney King) if bare handed, a peek-a-boo defense, with active movement and NOT be reaching for a kick to block it. In fact in that scene he misses a block and goes for a move that Chuck makes and would have been hit had they really been going for it.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if Chuck might have actually been able to beat BL in a match like the kind you do in a standard tournament. BL would have beat Chuck in standing-start confrontations (i.e. eye-jab self-defense) just due to speed and infighting emphasis, but in a match with gear and in a ring, I think Chuck would have been a tough opponent even back in 1972.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYHZEu7Y7DU
At 4:14 Chuck hip fakes low and draws his block and kicks high. In a real 'match' (not a fight), BL would have gotten kicked in the head because he was still trying to block in the air like TMA, reaching for it. So though some say he went non-traditional, I beg to differ on several accounts.

 
6/19/12 6:30 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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Paul Hopkins - demi is hilarious

 True dat...

I loved that video. It's so important and refreshing to talk about BL - The Real Human Being...

"""Sometimes it makes me wonder if Chuck might have actually been able to beat BL in a match like the kind you do in a standard tournament."""

No doubt in my mind.

Lot's of good insight, very well articulated by WSP. Example: "He would also know when to seem to be 'overly polite and even a touch condescending' to someone who might actually be better than he was, and thus avoid getting out on the mat with them."

Good articulation of the obvious mind set of the BL personality type. 



6/19/12 6:42 PM
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One way to understand the framework of 'skill in the martial arts' is to divide it up into various venues.

Rather than say BL was a great martial artist, you could say 'in the venue of quick life or death self-defense, where the attribute needed was blind killer rage and a super fast eyejab on an unprepared opponent', BL was unbeatable. I think I feel comfortable saying that.

But he did not have the skill set needed to be good in tournament martial arts, where there is a specific set of skills you needed, even when they were more rough and tumble, and not so much about point fighting. Even a good martial artist, a good 'fighter' could get smoked easily in a tournament.

In cage fighting, it's similar. I'm sure Raymond Daniels was a threat in a little skirmish, like a semi-serious street fight, due to his fast kicking and low skill of most opponents. But he didn't realize that fighting in a cage where you could get taken down might mean none of his kicks would work. Period. I don't think he got off one kick in his cage match.

But if you saw him training, working out, you'd be in awe. 

That's another venue - working out or 'gym fighting'. LOTS of MA look great in the gym, on the pads, jumping rope, sparring. But they end up sucking badly in a real match. This is true of some boxers, too, Great in the gym, smoking everyone, but can't bring it in the ring.

Though I'm seeming to be critical of BL, I'm just trying to be specific. He was great in several departments, but would not have been that good in other. To his credit he knew his limitations and made sure they never, or rarely got exposed. He also realized that trying to make money in 'fighting' was not a good idea and went for movies and it was a brilliant move. People might say he was a theatrical martial artist, but he made himself a legend by careful self-marketing. That's a level of genius in and of itself.

6/19/12 6:56 PM
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Sometimes I wonder what BL would think if he could have looked into the future and seen some of the UFC matches. 

I know some old time karate 'masters' reacted in odd ways. For example Bill Wallace, an intelligent man, seemed unable to accept that UFC fighters would run over him and all those from his generation like they were children, being semi-skilled in only one range. He actually was in self-denial.

I think BL would be amazed at first then probably very depressed realizing that compared to a skinny guy like Royce Gracie, he'd have been toast, just like every other TMA guy who challenged them. Of course BL would have been 'too smart' to have contested and would have done his 'polite, you're great' personna, while behind the scenes trying to figure out how to train for that.

But as we've seen lots of egos get exposed when people realize they are tiny fish in a big pond and their illusions are shattered. Lots of big tough black belts try one BJJ class and get schooled by a blue belt girl and grab their stuff and never go back.

On the other hand, I'm sure after the shock wore off, BL would have been a great coach and been able to grasp the whole idea of 'aliveness' and how to transition and find holes in your game, and realized how necessary it was to have a standup game, a clinch game, a takedown game, and a ground game (etc.) and been able to help upcoming fighters prepare. He was right on the verge of realizing this but I think he secretly realized that wrestler and judo guys were formidable, and so he found ways to 'avoid them'. He went looking for 'kung fu guys' and masters in China, but great judokas were right there competing in the Olympics and he never sought them out. But that's OK, because he did more than almost anyone else to try and bring TMA into the modern age, even if he didn't quite get it himself.

6/19/12 7:18 PM
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When you look at all the famous MA and trainers out there, ask yourself, who would you like to train under?

Let's say we look at a couple famous Masters:
1. O Sensei - he was a phenom, but he only had a couple students who he really explained how to do what he did. I think he hid a lot of his base training. Sadly, one of the greatest MA and we really couldn't have learned how to be like him. He was a great teacher in many ways, but he was a bit opaque for the real stuff.
2. Angelo Dundee - he was a great trainer but not a great fighter. I'd think he would be a good guy to study with, along with Eddie Futch, the guy who did a lot of the basic training regimes.
3. BL - before he started hiding stuff about his methods, he would also have been great. He really tried to show Dan and Jessee some of his inner stuff. But in order to make JKD work, you had to 'first be BL', have his attributes. If you looked closely and used your brain, though you could see where you might best optimize your talents.
4. Rickson Gracie - he would have been the ultimate guy to train under in many ways, but he was also a phenom and had inner skills that are hard to duplicate.
5. Roy Harris - to me Roy is the best trainer one could ever ask for. He was open, he knew BJJ, escrima and other arts and worked them all together and would tell the student anything they wanted to know.

So, we have phenoms, visionaries, actual fighters and great trainers and in Roy a bit of all of that rolled into one. But wouldn't it have been great to bring all of them together and have a round table? That would be awesome. Maybe O-Sensei would even explain just how he did what he did?
6/20/12 1:20 AM
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Stickgrappler
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Edited: 06/20/12 1:39 AM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 24310
WSP,

my sincerest apologies, i wrote wolfman jack... meant chuck.

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due to my inactivity on this site, i lost my mod-hood.

any bluenamer care to help me out? much appreciated in advance.

whipped these up quick... not perfect, but the 2 kicks vs wolfman jack (showing my age, although i suspect many on this forum would know who i'm talking about lol) -- animated gif's

http://i.imgur.com/42JFp.gif

http://i.imgur.com/Swit3.gif



thank you and enjoy!

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