Bruce Lee Possible Judo Background

Discussion in 'Jujutsu / Judo' started by PhotonGuy, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Not sure if these pictures are authentic but its possible that Bruce Lee had a background in Judo.

     
  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    No clue if he was a black belt or not, but I thought it was established, that he had at least trained in it for a while. Unless I'm getting him mistaken with someone else?
     
  3. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    He may have done it but he 100% wasn't a black belt
     
  4. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    He had some training and exchange of ideas with guys like Wally Jay and Gene Lebell. Do you really think that 45 years after he died, people would be just finding out he had a black belt in judo?
     
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  5. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Yeah judo instructors would be using it like crazy to promote their schools
     
  6. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Possibly. There is still much mystery surrounding the man. Partially because he died so young I think that's why there's still some unanswered questions about him.
     
  7. LastGasp

    LastGasp Orange Belt

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    He was curious about all martial arts, as are many of us, so I don't find it surprising that he would have exchanged ideas and techniques with many that he met from different disciplines. Seems to me he was just better at understanding unfamiliar ones than many other people, but then, he dedicated his life to it. Most don't get that opportunity.
     
  8. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    In both Dynamic Jujitsu and Small Circle Jujitsu, Wally Jay discusses his relationship with Bruce Lee, starting in 1962. Both books were written after Bruce Lee died, (1981 and 1989 respectively). In neither book is there any mention of Bruce having a black belt, so it seems reasonable to assume he didn't get it from Wally Jay. According to Gene LeBell, Bruce trained with him off and on for about a year. So it would seem the black belt didn't come from him. When Bruce was in Seattle, he never trained at any of the local judo dojos, but would have judokas come to his dojo. So we can assert he didn't get a black belt in Seattle. His Hong Kong years have been thoroughly covered, and I have never seen a mention of anything other than Wing Chun being mentioned. So it is pretty safe to assume he didn't come to America as a judo black belt.

    The video you posted has been discussed and debated for about 5 years. In that time, no one credible has stepped forward and said they gave Bruce his judo belt. Why not? Any association with Bruce is money in the bank for a martial arts instructor. We have a local "kung fu" instructor who advertises his lineage to Bruce Lee while omitting the actual instructor he learned from (James Demile).
    Again, in the 45 years since Bruce Lee died, no one has claimed to have awarded him a black belt. His major grappling influences (Wally Jay and Gene LeBell) both acknowledge training with him and exchanging info, but neither awarded him a belt. If you want to believe that the most discussed, dissected and analysed martial artist in history was somehow able to train in judo long enough for him to be awarded a black belt, while keeping same hidden from his good friends, go ahead. I will let common sense dictate my beliefs.

    Just a thought, maybe he got his belt in the time honored tradition of batsugan? Beat a black belt and be awarded same. Great. So who did he beat at a competition, and who awarded the belt? It would mean that Bruce had actually competed. Yet no one has ever said they have seen Bruce at a shiai. You would think there would be witnesses. Just like there would be fellow students who would be bragging about either being beaten by or better yet beating Bruce Lee in judo. Where are they? Crickets.
     
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  9. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I think the previous post covers it all. Just to add a little bit, in the "Tao of Jeet Kune Do", which is just a collection of BL's notes put together and sold as a book. He has notes on Judo and in John Little's book that expands on the Tao of JKD there are more of BL's notes on the pros and cons of Judo. Enter the Dragon has a grappling scene in the beginning where he performs some Ne-Waza and does an armbar.

    BL exchanged ideas with a lot of people and took what he liked. But, he never ranked in any art.
     
  10. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    And word is he never received any official teaching rights/whatever from anyone, including Ip Man. That could be viewed as a rank.

    I’m sure Bruce Lee worked out with no judoka and the like than we know. And it’s obvious he was after knowledge rather than ranks, belts and titles.
     

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