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#169521 - 07/20/05 09:32 PM Bruce Lee's Attitude Problem
fightclub Offline

Registered: 06/25/05
Posts: 10

While I am awed by BLs Martial arts prowess as so many people are, there are stories of how his anger got the best of him.

In JOE LEWIS book HOW TO MASTER BL FIGHTING SYSTEM, there is a story told by DAN INOSANTO about how BL lost his temper when he got "nicked" during a training session, and he deliberately hurt the other guy. I forget the names, but you can read it in his book.

Also the alleged kick to Bob Wall that broke his ribs in Enter the Dragon, after he accidentily cut BL hand with the broken bottles.

Such behaviour is not a good example for a Master to hold.

I guess what we can take from this is that even the great BL was a flawed person, despite his great power.

#169522 - 07/20/05 10:07 PM Re: Bruce Lee's Attitude Problem [Re: fightclub]
Neonomide Offline

Registered: 03/01/05
Posts: 37
Loc: Finland
Most definitely he was , Lee himself told that openly in many interviews. During training sessions, he definitely did not like to get hit in the face. Narcistic, perhaps, but then, he didn't get many hits because he was so fast and coordinated. Herb Jackson told, that the only time he ever was scared in his life, was when he hit Lee in the face during a training session. But nothing happened.

There are indeed several stories about his temper. In EtD Bob wall himself told that no ribs were broken, but the chinese guy who was behind him during the kick was filmed, did dislocate his shoulder. According to Wall, this was because he knew how to get hit and he liked it. The other guy was not ready and did not know.

Robert Clouse, the director, actually spread the rumour that Lee was trying to kill him because of the incident with Bob Wall. Wall actually went to Lee's house to ask about it and Lee answered that it was all his fault that he was cut, bad timing. Wall had no idea about the killing thread during the filming, he heard it from elsewhere.

There is other time that Lee got challenged in EtD. The challenger was an extra, who wanted to test if Lee's power was real or not. Lee first ignored it(as was his primary policy anyway, thay were working, after all), but when other extras were starting to get restless he accepted the challenge. According to Wall Lee first played around, but after he saw that the guy was serious, he pressed the guy to wall, pinned him to the ground and hit him a few times and made him give up. Then he told the guy to get back to work.

Lee was awful a car driver, had his things that would anger him up and yea, he was not a great example with all he did. Why should he? His thought system and personal ethics cover a lot about the relationship between individuals and he strongly promoted hippie ideals even though martial arts were not commonly associated with them. He was an educated man, who had a lot more to him than his ability to fight, or his temper in certain cases. After he got famoous in the film business, most of his friends noticed a change in his personality, he became less trustful and calm with people, because he could not be as sure the motifs of the people around him anymore. That happens to anyone, especially to one that gets challenges daily from people who want to "beat you up". Lee whacked one challenger pretty good who had nerve to broke into his apartment during his time in HK(i think).

According to Lee's attourney, while they were eating and discussing about, a really rude and racisttically behaving waiter continuously tried to irritate and provocate Lee. But Lee did not react, just smiled back. Advocate of course asked, how he could take in such dumbass behaviour, Lee simply replied: "I came here in good mood, why should I choose someone to ruin it?". Lee himself stated several times in his thinking, that unpleasant things take effect only when a person allows it to happen. His students have told tons more stories about intellectual, funny and critical Bruce Lee than hotheaded Bruce Lee. Stories are still there, but how should we react to them? He was a human being, after all.
Low aim is the highest crime a man has. Self-imposed limits affect your work, morality, everything.

#169523 - 07/23/05 11:33 AM Re: Bruce Lee's Attitude Problem [Re: fightclub]
Chang Wufei Offline

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 358
Loc: Spokane, WA

Such behaviour is not a good example for a Master to hold.

Says who? Sure, Bruce Lee had a temper, but would you question his authenticity based off of this? Bruce Lee has already proved himself to be a very accomplished martial artist, and until a martial artist has the enlightenment of another, I think it would be an embarrassing mistake to say "Such behaviour is not a good example for a Master to hold."

An example of how I have experienced this is in my training. Personally, I have trained under four martial arts virtuosos who each received a first place ranking in one or more world wide tournaments at some point in their martial arts career. One of them was very well mannered and self controlled, one of them had a bit of a temper, and two of them had uncontrollable tempers. But they for sure knew what the hell they were doing, because every one of us who trained under them experienced their skill first hand, and walked out of the experience having learned to do things we never thought we could do or needed to do. If you believe that you are a master, and that Bruce Lee's behavior was a bad example for others, please feel free to correct me.


I guess what we can take from this is that even the great BL was a flawed person, despite his great power.

Of course he was a flawed person. Nobody is perfect. Bruce Lee was and is a very impactful influence in the martial arts world, but he is not a God, and he is not invulnerable.
If you have to ask, you'll never know.

#169524 - 07/24/05 02:00 PM Re: Bruce Lee's Attitude Problem [Re: Chang Wufei]
fightclub Offline

Registered: 06/25/05
Posts: 10

I don't think I questioned Bruce Lee's authority, or credibility as a Master martial artist. I said i was AWED by him like many other people are.

My point was that even if you are great in your skills, you can be flawed as a person.

I based my opinion of BL on what I have read. When he got hit legitimately in practice he got angry and hurt the other guy. Is that right? Dan inosanto tells how Bruce asked him about the incident later, and Dan did not really respond directly. Bruce then said that it was a problem(his temper) that he needed to control.

So, while I think BL is a superior technician, I think sometimes his character needed to be trained a little more.

Also, I do not claim to be a master at all. Far from it. My own character is flawed as we all are. But I was making the point because BL is such an icon.


#169525 - 07/25/05 01:19 AM Re: Bruce Lee's Attitude Problem [Re: fightclub]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Ive let this one go on as far as Im going to. My biggest problem with this thread is that its very much like the paparazzi. Just because a person is famous do we have to hold them at higher standards than we hold others or ourselves? After all, these people are humans first and famous second.

If you would like to talk about controlling ones temper and its relationship to martial performance than by all means do do in a new thread. And have a discussion instead of pointing out someones flaws.

As always, Chen Zen
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu


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