Bruce Lee

James Kovacich

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Flying Crane said:
I'm actually pretty confident that any version of the story that is floating around in the general public is wrong. Each version may play up the portions that favor their side, but I doubt any of them are telling the whole truth.
I beleive that also.

I know this is your lineage and my lineage is from the Oakland JKD scholl but don't take it as an attack. I found it interesting that we are from these lineages.

It wasn't that long aga that Wong Jack Mans website (or his students I can't remember) posted that the fight was a twenty minute fight which seems to be very long for a fight of any sort. At the time I had printed it out but this was I think the late '90's and it's been a while.
 

charyuop

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Just a consideration...
I don't expect to have the truth nor I claim to know it. Mine is just an idea...
I am sure Bruce Lee was not the only one who had in his head the idea of teaching Kung Fu outside of Chinese community. Did anyone ever think what Master Wong thought about it? What if actually master Wong was one of those who thought that a change in tradition was needed. And if that is true, might not be possible that by his side the fight was, let's say, fought with the intention of not winning?

But of course this is just an idea like many others.
 

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akja said:
I beleive that also.

I know this is your lineage and my lineage is from the Oakland JKD scholl but don't take it as an attack. I found it interesting that we are from these lineages.

It wasn't that long aga that Wong Jack Mans website (or his students I can't remember) posted that the fight was a twenty minute fight which seems to be very long for a fight of any sort. At the time I had printed it out but this was I think the late '90's and it's been a while.

Yeah, my take on it is that they each got some shots in and took some shots, but nothing was really decisive. I suspect it was really closer to a draw than anything else, and it is the later generations that perhaps have turned it into a bigger deal than it really was.

I had read an article by some of sifu Wong's students, describing the fight. It might have been the same one you read. I don't remember a lot of the details, but I do remember thinking it just didnt strike me as the WHOLE truth. It was just too slanted. I think that Sifu Wong has really been very closed about the incident, and very few people, even among his students, know what really happened. Those who wrote the article I also suspect don't know the real story, not directly from Sifu Wong's mouth. I bet what they published was also a lot of heresay.
 

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charyuop said:
I am sure Bruce Lee was not the only one who had in his head the idea of teaching Kung Fu outside of Chinese community. Did anyone ever think what Master Wong thought about it? What if actually master Wong was one of those who thought that a change in tradition was needed. And if that is true, might not be possible that by his side the fight was, let's say, fought with the intention of not winning?

But of course this is just an idea like many others.

Actually, my sifu gave me his understanding of what happened, which may also not be the complete truth, and I don't remember a lot of the details. But according to him, this incident really had nothing to do with Bruce splitting from tradition and teaching non-Chinese.

Apparently there was a third party involved who manufactured a reason for the two of them to fight, I don't remember just what it was, or what his motiviation was supposed to be. So they fought, and also figured out that this encounter was arranged, and so they didn't fight to a decisive end. They actually ended on good terms and distanced themselves from the third party. This is the very abridged version of the story. I will ask my sifu about it this weekend and see if I can get some more clarity, and see if he heard this directly from Sifu Wong, or if this is also a story that was floating around the kwoon at the time and may be suspect.

My sifu described Sifu Wong as very old-school and closed and strict. He shunned the spotlight and fame, and did very very little to attract attention to himself, even to promote his school. I think that this kind of person often cares little about what stories others might be telling about him, and he is not inclined to offer corrections, even when he knows people are saying inaccurate things about an incident like this. I think maybe he is content to just let people believe what they want to.

Unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to meet Sifu Wong, but this is the impression I get, from talking with my sifu.
 

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A bit of clarity please everyone. I had seen Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story several times on VHS. However, I recently got the DVD. I watched the intro by Linda Lee Cadwell. The way she portrays the intro then the movie is supposed to be fact.

The more I read of the subject of Bruce Lee it seems that very little of the movie is true. For instance, if he had beat up Triad then told by police etc. to leave for fear of reprisal then how can the movie say he beat up Australian Sailors at a Disco? Was the fight arranged, was he told to fight as the movie showed?

There are just to many inconsistencies between what I read here on the boards with the movie.

Kind of reminds me of the old saying "Everyone got robbed by Jessee James." Afterall no one wanted to admit to being robbed by anyone else so of course Jessee did it.
 

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There were many inconsistantcies but the ending with the beast coming after him totally threw it in the direction of fiction.
 

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matt.m said:
A bit of clarity please everyone. I had seen Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story several times on VHS. However, I recently got the DVD. I watched the intro by Linda Lee Cadwell. The way she portrays the intro then the movie is supposed to be fact.

The more I read of the subject of Bruce Lee it seems that very little of the movie is true. For instance, if he had beat up Triad then told by police etc. to leave for fear of reprisal then how can the movie say he beat up Australian Sailors at a Disco? Was the fight arranged, was he told to fight as the movie showed?

There are just to many inconsistencies between what I read here on the boards with the movie.

Kind of reminds me of the old saying "Everyone got robbed by Jessee James." Afterall no one wanted to admit to being robbed by anyone else so of course Jessee did it.

I haven't seen the movie, but being a Hollywood production I would certainly place it in the realm of fictional storytelling, or historical fiction at best.
 

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matt.m said:
A bit of clarity please everyone. I had seen Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story several times on VHS. However, I recently got the DVD. I watched the intro by Linda Lee Cadwell. The way she portrays the intro then the movie is supposed to be fact.

The more I read of the subject of Bruce Lee it seems that very little of the movie is true. For instance, if he had beat up Triad then told by police etc. to leave for fear of reprisal then how can the movie say he beat up Australian Sailors at a Disco? Was the fight arranged, was he told to fight as the movie showed?

There are just to many inconsistencies between what I read here on the boards with the movie.

You mean like the fact that he hurt his back weight lifting rather than in a fight?

That he never fought at an IKC, he just did a demo.

That much of the Tao of JKD is regurgitated philosophy from other authors, including the much vaunted "water/teacup" quotes.

That Lauren Holly was WAAAAY hotter than the real Linda Lee. :D
 

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Syn said:
in all honesty I believe Jet Li to have much better Kung Fu than Bruce Lee.

Jackie Chan impresses me much more than Jet Li, fwiw.

Li's rope trick stuff completely destroys my "willing suspension of disbelief" in that many of the sequences look like a man hanging from a string instead of someone leaping with extraordinary power.

Chan, on the other hand, is still doing some amazing stuff even though he is starting to get up in years.

Back on topic: too many people who were around at the time say Lee was an extraordinary fighter for me to second-guess his abilities.
 

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I just wanted to interject this. Robert Smith and Don Dragger visited Ip Mans school before his death and looked through his records and talked to many of Bruce Lee's contemporaries. According to the records, Lee was a mediocre student. Now one thing I am not saying is that Lee didn't contribute, he really came into his own eventually, just not in his younger days.

The accounts from his contemporaries suggest he did not get into street fights to test his WT, but was actually very nervous even to do the "roof top" sparring.

Don't get me wrong, I hold Lee in a very high regard, but he didn't start off as some super Wing Chun expert who would take on all comers.

Jeff
 

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Scott,

I asked dad about Lee was about 100 yrs ago, you were still a white belt in TKD. Anyway, he said that Lee had kicks that were so fast that the cameras couldn't focus, so he had to slow them down.

Same question to GM Hildebrand, he said the same thing and noted that the destroying light bulb from hanging lamp is an incredible feat.

I want it noted that I for one have never questioned his ability. I only wander what is true and what is false.
 

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matt.m said:
he said that Lee had kicks that were so fast that the cameras couldn't focus, so he had to slow them down.

I heard something like that too. Not just about kicks, but about all his techniques...that he was directed to slow everything down so it could be seen for television.
 

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Jade Tigress said:
I heard something like that too. Not just about kicks, but about all his techniques...that he was directed to slow everything down so it could be seen for television.

This seems to be a problem for many Chinese martial artists that do movies here. Jet Li and Jackie Chan had the same problem with filming in America, they were just to fast.

But there were allegedly out takes of one of Bruce’s movies that he made in Hong Kong that were actual challenges and they were filmed. Also allegedly Bruce beat every challenger but the movie producer felt that they were of no value to the movie so no one knows where they are.

Bottom-line, the film Dragon has Hollywood fantasy loosely based on fact but no matter how you want to look at the man Bruce Lee had great skill.
 

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Xue Sheng said:
This seems to be a problem for many Chinese martial artists that do movies here. Jet Li and Jackie Chan had the same problem with filming in America, they were just to fast.

Yep. That doesn't surprise me. :asian:
 

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Flying Crane said:
quote=Rook
Though he never completed Wing Chung (only getting down about one third of the syllabus), every Wing Chung leader I have heard commenting on him said that he was among the very best at the parts he knew.

I have heard this several times, and was wondering if you know what of the formal curriculum he did not learn? It is a small system compared to many. Just three hand sets, the wooden dummy set, two weapons sets, chi-sau with hands and chi-gerk with feet, and some other useage and sensitivity drills that vary from school to school. Which parts to you believe he never learned?

As for the challenge match, it was against a man named Wong Jack-mon who was a Tai Chi expert recognized in San Francisco as a grandmaster at 32 (his age when he fought Lee). He engaged Lee head to head for less than ten seconds before he took off running - and it took Lee almost two minutes to catch him. When he did, Lee brought him to the ground with a western wrestling take down and proceeded to chain punch him for a few seconds, then stopped and asked if Wong wanted to give up, which he did. Lee said later that he should have been able to knock out Wong within the 10 seconds they were fighting head to head and shouldn't have had to chase him

This is not true. My sifu studied under Wong Jack-Man for about ten years in the 1970s, and Sifu Wong just recently retired from teaching. While Wong does teach Tai Chi, he is a kung fu master from the Jing Wu association. My sifu feels that the fight was really much more of a draw, with Wong and Lee ending on a friendly note, and the few people who were actually there to witness it have kept quiet about it. The true story of what happened is only known to a few, and all kinds of speculation has grown about what really happened. I saw an article written by other students of Wong who claim that Wong actually won the fight, but held back and declined to injure Lee, and even suggested that his defeat to Wong lead Lee to begin overtraining, which ultimately lead to his early death. Perhaps this is also speculation. The story changes depending on whose side you hear, and I don't pretend to have the answer. At any rate, my sifu feels that Wong was one of the rare, truly exceptional and gifted martial artists, and extremely capable in fighting. My point is that you should exercise a bit of caution when reciting these stories as Truth.

My opinion of Bruce Lee: He was a talented martial artist, very innovative and perhaps even truly gifted, but he was a lousy actor. Enter the Dragon was a horrible movie, with second-rate acting at best.

Man, you come right out of a comic strip.
 

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Josh Oakley said:
You missed the joke, man. That's a bad quote from Enter the Dragon, which demonstrates your point.

Oh my god, that is actually really funny, and I did miss it.

another one I loved: "I'll be too busy lookin' good!"
 
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