Bruce Lee's books

Discussion in 'The Library' started by PhotonGuy, May 15, 2019.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Bruce Lee is best known for his phenomenal ability and devotion to the martial arts but he also wrote some really good books. He was a good writer and wrote some excellent books on his art of JKD and how it's done. I've got some of his books. Anybody else like his books?
     
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  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Read a few, liked Chinese Gung Fu : The Philosophic Art of Self Defense and I liked Tao of Jeet Kune Do. But also own the Bruce Lee fighting method, complete edition
     
  3. Christopher Adamchek

    Christopher Adamchek Blue Belt

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    i like his books, his descriptions, drawing, and life quotes
     
  4. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    Be warned his hand writing leaves some to be desired for the tao of jeet kune do written notes. Might just be because i cant read cursive so well, but its a bit and bit gesture. :p

    Im making my way through the above, but i have a on and off reading style.
     
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  5. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    The Tao is a tough read. Not surprising, as it was his notebook and worked on by others after his death. It's difficult to do that - have different writers work on one book project. Especially when some of the contributors aren't exactly Martial Artists.

    And Bruce Lee wasn't really a talented writer.

    But the end of The Tao says it best, in my opinion.

    “If people say Jeet Kune Do is different from “this” or from “that,” then let the name of Jeet Kune Do be wiped out, for that is what it is, just a name. Please don’t fuss over it - it’s a philosophy of the individual, and not something that has ironclad forms and techniques and rules. It is a journey, not a destination.”
     
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  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    For what’s basically a compilation of a ton of different things he had laying around and some people having to make sense of it all and present it in a way that can be read, I think they did a great job with it. If I had to go through my wife’s stuff and do what they did, it would be an absolute disaster.

    He wasn’t the most talented writer. I’ve read his various Fighting Methods books; they were separate ones when I first came across them. But I remember the technical stuff to be quite good - it was written in a very simple and direct manner without any unnecessary hoopla. “Make a fist like this. Keep your hand and body loose until right before impact. Strike a few inches past the target. Hit with these two knuckles.” type stuff. That’s paraphrased, but that’s basically what I remember it was. Nothing mystical nor magical. Dry in a sense, but it wasn’t intended to entertain or motivate.

    So yes, not very talented. But at the same time very talented in the sense that there wasn’t many unanswered questions. Kinda like technical/scientific writing. At least his technique stuff anyway. His philosophy stuff was pretty typical of others’ IMO.
     
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  7. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    A bunch of the material in Tao of JKD was copied directly from an old boxing manual Bruce was reading, only with right and left switched since he preferred to fight southpaw. I forget the name of the original work, but I've seen scans and it's pretty much a straight copy.
     
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  8. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Interesting. He was probably taking notes from it, then going to put his spin on it. He obviously ran out of time if he even intended on that being in a book in the first place. If it was published while he was alive I’d call him out. Posthumously, there’s no way to tell what anything was truly intended as.

    Same for Hendrix’s countless posthumous albums.
     
  9. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Most of Bruce Lee's boxing in the TAO was lifted from either Edwin Haislet's Boxing, or Jack Dempsey's Championship Fighting.
     
  10. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    how come Bruce get more kudos than Jacki chan, there much the same as far as I can see, apart from Jacki is the better actor
     
  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Lee was first. Kung fu movies weren’t known well, if at all outside of China and Far East Asia. Lee crossed that barrier and brought the genre into the mainstream internationally. When Chan got in, it wasn’t groundbreaking.

    None of that has to do with who’s better. Better and greater aren’t one in the same. Muhammad Ali is considered the greatest boxer of all time pretty much unanimously by the experts and the general public. Most experts say there were several boxers, before and after him, that were better.
     
  12. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    jacki chan was in enter the dragon, so they did it together at the same time

    he definitely has iconic status, but so has fred astair, who wasnt a great dancer, or marilyn monroe was whasnt a great actor,

    comparing him with Ali, isn't really on, ones a professional athlete of the highest order, one did make believe with compliment partners,
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    My understanding is that those notes were intended mostly for his own use and possibly for developing into a full-fledged book, but he never got past the note-taking phase. After he died, his wife decided to organize them for publication. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and guess that she didn’t recognize which notes were copied from existing books that Bruce was studying.
     
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  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I wasn’t comparing anyone to Ali. It was an analogy.

    And Chan was little more than an extra in that movie, if my memory serves me correctly. In no way shape or form did they peak at the same time.

    Great and good aren’t interchangeable terms. Ali and Monroe transcended their respective athlete and actress statuses. Both were icons far bigger than their professional talent. So did and was Lee. Chan hasn’t done much outside of acting to attain the icon status of Lee.

    Is Chan better than Lee? I’m not a movie critic and nor am I a MA movie fan. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and agree Chan is better. But that doesn’t make him greater. Lennox Lewis was a better boxer than Ali, according to some experts. Does that mean he’s greater? Not a chance.

    Let’s say Lewis is the better boxer. Lewis and Ali are both at the same fan convention, but in separate rooms. Which room are people fighting to get into?

    Let’s say Chan is better than Lee, and both are at the same convention (not with Lewis and Ali), but separate rooms. Which one are people fighting to get into?

    Better doesn’t mean greater.
     
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  15. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    but Bruce didn't do anything outside of acting to achieve icon status, did he ..? if he hadn't been an actor no one but his mum would have heard of him, so ... actor could fight a bit, maybe, like John wayne
     
  16. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    nb analogy 8s a comparison !
     
  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    English, please. No idea what you're saying. If you're saying it's not an analogy, you're wrong. Nothing else to say.
     
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  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Lee developed his own MA system. Chan did not. Lee wrote books on his MA system. To the best of my knowledge, Chan did not. Most notably, Lee was an enigmatic character and a high profile MA teacher to Hollywood stars and pro athletes. To the best of my knowledge, Chan is not. And Lee died tragically and young; that adds a bit of legend status somehow. Chan is a well respected MA actor; he hasn't made a pop culture statement anywhere close to the others. I don't know about your side of the pond, but over here people aren't joining MA schools in droves because of Jackie Chan movies like they did with Bruce Lee movies.

    Sure Lee got his start as an actor. Just like Monroe. Just like Ali with boxing. Sure no one would've know any of them if they didn't. But they all went past their respective "day job" and into icon status.
     
  19. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Bruce made a lot of notes from many books he read. John Little took the many notes he attributed to Bruce and formed them into a couple of books not realizing much were copied from other authors.
     
  20. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    I think its always been in existence like that anyway, you seek the best martial practice for yourself and situation. I also think its kind of evolved into MMA as they train to be hybrid fighters. He was kind of at the time the most popular proponent of being a hybrid fighter and what works for you and your situation. (i think anyway)
     

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