Martial Artist

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Whom is the best martial artist

Bruce Li
Steve Segal
Jean Claude Van Dam
No votes
Total votes : 43

Postby Toisrus » Wed May 24, 2006 7:06 pm

LoL, Bil.

Xanaii is right. There is a huge difference between a real fight and acting the part. A long time ago when I took classes, I remember hearing stories about how farmers with a scythe or something unconventional would sometimes kill master samurai in feudal Japan. Which just goes to show that no matter how uber you may be, you can be dead meat when dealing with the unexpected.
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Postby Criploc » Wed May 24, 2006 9:32 pm

Heres some more about Bruce Lee

Birth name
Lee Jun Fan

5' 7½"

Mini biography
The greatest icon of martial arts cinema, and a key figure of modern popular culture. Had it not been for the amazing Bruce Lee and his incredible movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream western cinema & audiences the way it has over the past three decades.

The influence of Asian martial arts cinema can be seen today in so many other film genres including comedies, action, drama, science fiction, horror and animation.....and they all have their roots in the phenomenon that was Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was born "Lee Juan Fan" in November 1940 in San Francisco, the son of Lee Hoi Chuen, a singer with the Cantonese Opera. Approximately, one year later the family returned to Kowloon in Hong Kong and at the age of 5, a young Bruce begins appearing in children's roles in minor films including The Birth of Mankind (1946) and Fu gui fu yun (1948). At the age of 12, Bruce commenced attending La Salle College, and was later beaten up by a street gang, which inspires him to take up martial arts training under the tuition of "Sifu Yip Man" who schools Bruce in wing chun kung fu for a period of approximately five years (this was the only formalized martial arts training ever undertaken by Lee). The talented & athletic Bruce also took up cha-cha dancing, and at the age of 18 won a major dance championship in Hong Kong.

However, his temper and quick fists saw him fall foul of the HK police on numerous occasions, and his parents suggested that he head off to the United States. Lee landed in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1959 and worked in a relative's restaurant, however he eventually made his way to Seattle, Washington where he enrolled at university to study philosophy, and found the time to practice his beloved kung fu techniques. In 1963, Lee met Linda Emery (later his wife) and in addition he opened his first kung fu school at 4750 University Way. During the early half of the 1960s, Lee became associated with many key martial arts identities in the USA including kenpo karate expert Ed Parker and tae kwon do master Jhoon Rhee. He made guest appearances at notable martial arts events including the Long Beach Nationals. Through one of these tournaments, Bruce met Hollywood hair stylist Jay Sebring who introduced him to TV producer William Dozier. Based on the runaway success of "Batman", Dozier was keen to bring the cartoon character of "The Green Hornet" to TV and was on the lookout for an Oriental actor to play the Green Hornet's sidekick, "Kato". Around this time, Bruce also opened a second kung fu school in Oakland, California and relocated to Oakland to be closer to Hollywood.

Bruce's screen test was successful, and "The Green Hornet" starring Van Williams went to air in early 1966 to mixed success. However, the show was surprisingly terminated after only one season (30 episodes), but by this time he was receiving more fan mail than the show's star. He then opened a third branch of his kung fu school in Los Angeles, and began providing personalized martial arts training to film stars including Steve McQueen and James Coburn. In addition, he refined his prior knowledge of wing chun, plus incorporating aspects of other fighting styles such as traditional boxing and okinawan karate. He also developed his own unique style "Jeet Kune Do" (Way of the Intercepting Fist). Another film opportunity then comes his way, as he landed the small role of a stand over man named "Winslow Wong" intimidating private eye James Garner in Marlowe (1969). Wong paid a visit to Garner and proceeded to demolish the investigator's office with his fists and feet, finishing off with a spectacular high kick that shattered the light fitting. With this further exposure of his talents, Bruce then scored several guest appearances as a martial arts instructor to blind private eye James Franciscus on the TV series "Longstreet" (1971).

With his minor success in Hollywood and money in his pockets, Bruce returned for a visit to Hong Kong and was approached by film producer Raymond Chow who had recently started "Golden Harvest" productions. Chow was keen to utilize Lee's strong popularity amongst young Chinese fans, and offered him the lead role in _Tang sha da xiong (1971)_ ( aka "Fists of Fury", aka "The Big Boss"). The film was directed by Wei Lo, shot in Thailand, on a very low budget and in terrible living conditions for cast and crew. However when it opened in Hong Kong, the film was an enormous hit! Young Chinese flocked in their thousands to see this ground breaking film starring a tough, athletic Chinese hero who dispensed justice with his fists and feet. Chow knew he had struck box office gold with Lee, and quickly assembled another script entitled Jing wu men (1972) (aka "The Chinese Connection", aka "Fist of Fury"). The second film (with a slightly improved budget) was again directed by Wei Lo and was set in Shanghai in the year 1900, with Lee returning to his school to find his beloved master has been poisoned by the local Japanese karate school. Once again, he uncovered the evil doers and set about seeking revenge on those responsible for murdering his teacher. The film featured several superb fight sequences, and at the film's conclusion, Lee refuses to surrender to the Japanese law and seemingly leaps to his death in a hail of police bullets!

Once more, Hong Kong streets were jammed back with thousands of fervent Chinese movie fans who could not get enough of the fearless Bruce Lee, and his second film went on to break the box office records set by the first! Lee then set up his own production company, Concord Productions, and set about guiding his film career personally by writing, directing and acting in his next film, Meng long guojiang (1972) (aka "Way of the Dragon", aka "Return of The Dragon"). A bigger budget, meant better locations and opponents, with the new film set in Rome, Italy and additionally starring hapkido expert Ing-Sik Whang, karate legend Robert Wall and seven times US karate champion Chuck Norris. Bruce played a seemingly simple country boy sent to assist at a cousin's restaurant in Rome, and finds his cousins are being bullied by local thugs for protection.

By now, Lee's remarkable success in the Orient had come to the attention of Hollywood film executives and a script was hastily written pitching him as a secret agent penetrating an island fortress. Warner Bros. financed the film, and also insisted on B-movie tough guy John Saxon co-starring alongside Lee to give the film more Western appeal. The film culminated with another show stopping fight sequence between Lee and the key villain, Han, in a maze of mirrors. Shooting was completed in and around Hong Kong in early 1973 and in the subsequent weeks, Bruce was involved in completing over dubs and looping for the final cut. Various reports from friends and co-workers cite how he was not feeling well during this period, and on July 20th 1973 he lay down at the apartment of actress Betty Ting Pei after taking a headache tablet, and was later unable to be revived. A doctor was called, and he was then taken to hospital by ambulance and pronounced dead that evening. The official finding was death was due to a cerebral edema, caused by a reaction to the headache tablet. In other words, death by misadventure.

Chinese movie fans were absolutely shattered that their virile idol, had passed away at such a young age, and nearly 30,000 fans filed past his coffin in Hong Kong. A second, much smaller ceremony was held in Seattle, Washington and Bruce was laid to rest at Lake View Cemetary in Seattle with pall bearers including Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Dan Inosanto. Enter the Dragon (1973) was later released in the mainland United States, and was a huge hit with American audiences, which then prompted National General films to actively distribute his three prior movies to US theaters...each of them was a box office smash. Bruce Lee was an international film star after he had died!

Fans worldwide were still hungry for more Bruce Lee films, and thus remaining footage (completed before his death) of Lee fighting several opponents including Dan Inosanto, Hugh O'Brian and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was crafted into another film titled Game of Death (1978). The film used a look alike actor and shadowy camera work to be substituted for the real Lee in numerous scenes. The film is a poor addition to the line up, and is only saved by the final twenty minutes and the footage of the real Bruce Lee battling his way up the tower. Amazingly, this same shoddy process was used to create Si wang ta (1981) (aka "Game of Death II"), with more look alike and stunt doubles interwoven with a few brief minutes of footage of the real Bruce Lee.

Tragically, his son Brandon Lee, an actor and martial artist like his father, was killed in a freak accident on the set of The Crow (1994).

Bruce Lee was not only an amazing athlete and martial artist, but he possessed genuine superstar charisma and through a handful of films he left behind an indelible impression on the tapestry of modern cinema.

Linda Lee Cadwell (17 August 1964 - 20 July 1973) (his death) 2 children


Trade mark
Often had a scene in his films where in a fight, he gets wounded. Standing stunned, he tastes his own blood and then he goes berserk wiping out any opponent in his path.

Made animal sounds when he fought to unnerve his foes and focus his strength. His characters were often proudly Chinese and battled foes who racially oppressed his people as in when he smashed a "No dogs or Chinese allowed" sign with a flying kick

Use of Jeet Kun Do, a form of martial arts he invented himself in which freedom of reaction was far more important than rigid form


Ranked #100 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Father of Brandon Lee.

Died of brain edema in Hong Kong at age 32.

He is considered the greatest martial artist of the 20th century.

Developed his martial art style called Jeet Kune Do (Way of the Intercepting Fist) which is more of an idea of being flexible and practical with learning martial arts

Father of Shannon Lee

Interred at Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington, USA.

While the "The Green Hornet" TV series was in production, Bruce made several promotional appearances as Kato, but made a point to never do the standard martial art stunts like breaking boards which he felt had nothing to do with what the martial arts are about.

Bruce Lee Jun Fan Yuen Kam (Bruce Lee's full birth name) was born in the year of the dragon (1940), at the hour of the dragon (between 6:00AM- 8:00AM).

Was an accomplished dancer and Hong Kong cha cha cha champion.

A noted brawler in Hong Kong, Lee received formal training in wing chun under legendary sifu Yip Man. He later trained in a variety of arts before creating his Jeet Kune Do style.

Weighed only 128 pounds at the time of his death.

Suffered a serious back injury while attempting a good-morning. During his recuperation, he wrote several books on the martial arts.

His students in Jeet Kune Do martial arts included 'Kareem Abdul- Jabbar' , Steve McQueen and James Coburn.

His ancestry is German and Chinese. His father is a full-blooded Chinese, while his mother is of German-Chinese decent (her father is German; her mother is Chinese).

His development of Jeet Kune Do came partially out of an incident with his school. A rival martial artist challenged him to a duel over his decision to teach non chinese students. Bruce Lee accepted the challenge and won the duel, but he later thought that the fight took too long because his martial art technique was too rigid and formalistic. Thus he decided to develop a better system with an emphasis on practicality and flexibilty.

Was constantly challenged by movie extras and other men seeking to gain fame by beating him in a fight.

Left for Seattle in 1958 with $100. Gave cha cha cha lessons to first-class passengers to earn extra money during ship ride to US.

Was sought after for instruction by established martial artists such as Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris.

Faced discrimination from other Chinese kung fu masters when trying to learn other martial arts styles. Would usually go to the number 3 or 4 man in a certain system to learn it in exchange for teaching what he knew.

Demand for his private lessons grew so high, his hourly rate soared to $275 per hour.

His last movie, "Game of Death", was the first film to be filmed with sound, unlike most of his earlier films which were filmed without sound and were later dubbed in by the actors. Some of the lost footage was later shown in "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey." You can hear Bruce's own voice speaking English and Cantonese. Had he not died, his character's name in this movie would have been Hai Tien.

Spoke English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese.

Was able to name every single karate term and performed them with dead accuracy.

Adopted his legendary nunchaku routine in his movies from the legendary karate master Hidehiko "Hidy" Ochiai. The two met at the Los Angeles YMCA in the mid 1960s.

Earned $30,000 for his first two feature films.

Developed a trick for showing off his speed: a person held a coin and closed his hand, and as he closed it, Lee would take it and could even swap the coin for another.

His death was considered to be under 'extraordinarily bizarre' circumstances by many experts. Many people claimed that it was the work of 'Oni' (Japanese for Demons or evil spirits), while others claimed he was cursed. The theory of the 'Curse of Bruce Lee' carried over to the extremely bizarre death of his son, Brandon Lee, who was shot and killed during the filming of 'The Crow' in 1993.

Before hitting it big as a movie star, he often trained with the martial arts world's biggest stars - many of whom would latter become celebrities in their own right, such as world karate champion Chuck Norris. Despite several misreported stories, Bruce was never Chuck's instructor. They trained together, often trading techniques and ideas, but never had a student-teacher relationship.

One of his martial arts students was James Bond star George Lazenby.

In his first and only meeting with Enter the Dragon composer Lalo Schifrin, Bruce told him that he often trains to the "Mission Impossible" theme.

Mastered a technique called "The One Inch Punch", in which he could deliver a devastating blow yet have his fist travel a mere one inch (2.54 cm) in distance before striking an opponent.

His first major U.S. project was the role of Kato in the television series "The Green Hornet" (1966). He joked that he got this role because he was the only Oriental actor who could properly pronounce the name "Britt Reid."

Mortal Kombat character "Liu Kang" was inspired by him, complete with the characteristic animal noises.

When Elvis Presley's and Ed Parkers' unfinished martial arts film New Gladiators, was found in 2003, there was 20 minutes of Bruce Lee's demonstration at a martial arts display in the mid-60s found along with it.

Is often honored in video games. In Mortal Kombat games, the character Liu Kang was an obvious tribute to Lee. Then, in Super Street Fighter II, a character named Fei Long was introduced, also bearing incredible resemblance in both looks and fighting style to Bruce Lee. A lesser game, World Heroes, also copied Lee as Kim Dragon. And lastly, the Tekken games did the tribute to him not once, but twice. First with Marshall Law, then with his son Forrest Law for the third installment of Tekken. Along with this, his fighting style was honored in Virtua Fighter with Jacky Bryant, in Dead Or Alive with Jann Lee, and in the Soul Calibur series as Maxi.

Has a statue placed in the country Bosnia. After many years of war and religious splits, Lee's figure is to commend his work, to successfully bridge culture gaps in the world (2004 September).

His father, Lee Hoi Chuen (b. February 1901, died 8 February 1965) was a popular stage actor, and died 8 days after Brandon Lee was born.

Lee was trained by Yip Man from 1954-1957 & Wong Shun-Leung from 1957-58.

Defeated British boxer Gary Elms by knockout in the 3rd round in the 1958 Hong Kong amateur boxing championships. Before he met Elms in the finals, he knocked out three boxers in the first round. Hawkings Cheung, his fellow Wing Chun street fighter, witnessed the event.

Bruce Lee knocked out Wong Jack-Man in Oakland, California in a 1965 no-holds barred challenge match. It was Lee's last official fight. It lasted three minutes.

Lee knocked-out Chung, a Choy Li Fut fighter, in Hong Kong in a 1958 Full-Contact match. The match was refereed by Wong Shun-Leung.

Lee knocked-out Uechi in 10 seconds in a 1963 Full-Contact match in Seattle. It was refereed by Jesse Glover.

Had four siblings, two sisters and two brothers: Phoebe Lee (b. 1938), Agnes Lee, older brother and fencing champion Peter Lee, and younger brother and musician Robert Lee.

Son of Hoi-Chuen Lee

He was a gang leader in his teenage years. The name of his group was known as "The Tigers of Junction Street".

UFC President Dana White considers Bruce Lee as "the father of Mixed Martial Arts".

Alongside Muhammad Ali, he is cited as a major influence by many K-1 and MMA champions: Bas Rutten, Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons, Wanderlei Silva, Emilianenko Fedor, Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Rob Kaman, Ramon Dekkers, Frank Shamrock, Murilo and Mauricio Rua, Jerome Le Banner, Carlos Newton, Remy Bonjasky, Jeremy Horn, David Loiseau and Tito Ortiz among others.

To mark the occasion of what would have been Lee's 65th birthday (27 November 1940), a bronze statue of a topless Bruce adopting a martial arts stance was unveiled in Hong Kong, effectively kicking off a week-long Bruce Lee festival

Buried in Lake View Cemetery in Seattle.


Personal quotes
"Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own"

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

"Simplicity is the last step of art."

"A teacher is never a giver of truth - he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst."

When an opportunity in a fight presents itself, "I" don't hit, "it" hits all by itself.

"Empty your mind. Become formless and shapeless like water. When water is poured into a cup, it becomes the cup. When water is poured into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Be water, my friend."

To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. If you want to understand the truth in martial arts, to see any opponent clearly, you must throw away the notion of styles or schools, prejudices, likes and dislikes, and so forth. Then, your mind will cease all conflict and come to rest. In this silence, you will see totally and freshly.

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

"The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering."

"Don't think, feel! It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory."

"A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough."

"I don't believe in different ways of fighting now, I mean, unless human beings have 3 arms and 3 legs - then we will have a different way of fighting. But basically we all have two arms and two legs so that is why I believe there should be only one way of fighting and that is no way."

"If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it'll spread over into the rest of your life. It'll spread over into your work, into your mortality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you."

"There's no challenge in breaking a board. Boards don't hit back."

"Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential."

"Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable."

"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind."

And one of my favorites.....

"You lose Carl Miller!!" :punch:
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Postby Lyannah » Thu May 25, 2006 2:05 am

Criploc wrote:"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Wow if he was alive I bet he'd be super-scared of my monky flying kick by now :l33t:
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Postby Naiin » Fri May 26, 2006 9:20 am

Just one event seems missing here....... There was a fight, between Lee and a member of the "Tong", in San Fransico. He lost, the fighter that defeated Lee was a man named Chui-Kau(its only rumored that this was the opponent as it is not readily discussed with ppl outside the Tong). But the fact was he was defeated, his spine was broken to be exact. He spent many, months in recovery, this was his penalty for teaching the "Gui-Lo"(direct translation = Foreign Devil or Round-eye Devil, but used as a racial slur denoting non-Chinese) how to fight. It was Lee's recovery and refusal to give in that garnered him the respect of the Tong and to be left alone to teach.

The point I am trying to make here is that all of a mans life isnt captured on film, or in a book; but it is captured in what others think and say about him. There is no question that Bruce Lee was one of the premier Martial Artist of our time, but last I checked there are 4 Hung-gar schools in my city..... and not one place to learn Jeet Kun-do. There are 20 million visitors a year to the Wong Fei-Hung mueseum in Guang Tong Provence(might be in Fukien, I get my chinese geography mixed up somedays). Some even come and worship at the statue..... never seen people praying to Bruce Lee before.... have you? I thnk Bruce Lees acomplishments were easily overshadowed by the life of Wong Fei-Hung.

Drunken Master I&II= Jackie Chan playing a teenage Wong Fei-Hung
Magnificent Butcher = Samo Hong playing Sifu Wong's most famous pupil learning his art at Bao Zhi-Lin, Lam Sai-Wing.(btw the guy playing master Wong is the last appearance of Kwan Tak-Hing portraying Sifu Wong)
Once upon a time in China I,II,& III = Jet Li(whom IMHO smokes Bruce Lee also) portryaing the traveling healer WONG FEI-HUNG!!!
52 movies made in Hong Kong and loved by the Chinese populace = Kwan Tak-Hing playing Wong Fei-Hung, a man that is considered a living embodiment of Sifu Wong.

So, anyone please..... tell me a Martial Arts star from asia... and Ill bet I can find a movie where they are displaying the style Sifu Wong made famous(HE DID NOT FOUND THIS STYLE THO... it was founded 300 years before he was born by a tea merchant who adopted the name Hung Tze-Kwan after his family was killed by the Chi'ing in 1644AD) or actually portraying the man himself. Name a martial artist and Ill trace his lineage to the Shao-lin Temple fighting styles (Btw Kara-Te means "The Way of the Kara"...... Kara = Chinese. Look it up and prove me wrong, anthropologically and historically the Japanese have adopted almost all their ideology from mainland Asia.). Ask any Chinese who the greatest martial artist was..... Wong FEI-HUNG!!!! is the way they will say it.... and quickly too. There are many great Martial men that have existed, both in our time and before. It pains me to hear Bruce Lee bantered about as the greatest, when some of the truly greats are not even mentioned..... prolly not even known by most readers of this. Anyone who knows anything about the martial world knows..... its not how much you can destroy, but how well you control your destruction and the ability to heal the damaged you have done:

You can not beat a man into loyalty, BUT if you give him your honest heart; he MAY give you his. It is the hearts of men that free nations and win battles............. very ancient chinese quote(paraphrased, because the exact translation is confusing at best, anyone that has played Romance of the Three kingdoms has heard a slightly different version of this quote when you give your generals $$..... and BTW dont get me started on Guan-Yu.... the man is a bonna-fide god to the Chinese.... hows that for Martial excelence!?! to be held in high esteem 2000 years after the fact.... Jesus is the closest thing we have in Western Culture and thats not a real good analogy, but it is close.)

Mastered a technique called "The One Inch Punch", in which he could deliver a devastating blow yet have his fist travel a mere one inch (2.54 cm) in distance before striking an opponent.

BTW this is a common technique in the Wing Chun repetiore, there is even a book Lee put out detailing the physics behind the technique and nice practice methods..... Kung-fu does not retract to strike, but strikes from where ever "it" happens to be, the possibilities are endless. These parlor tricks dont really impress me, but it is a nice technique to have.

Well, as a martial artist, I feel thats all I can add to the conversation with out violating my Wu-Te, feel free to disagree any and all.

Edited by Naiin because he is a no spelling dork!!
The Way of the soft and yielding overcomes the Way of the strong and hard,
yet few are the number of those who follow this Way. -Tao Te Ching
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