Can Bruce Lee's Kung Fu philosophy be used on other martial arts?

tifire

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I am a big fan of Bruce Lee. Yesterday I watched one of his interviews online. He said:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

How much can it be applied to martial arts? For example, it seems to me this philosophy doesn't work so well on boxing.
 

jezr74

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I am a big fan of Bruce Lee. Yesterday I watched one of his interviews online. He said:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

How much can it be applied to martial arts? For example, it seems to me this philosophy doesn't work so well on boxing.

Is there a site that has his philosophy explained in more detail? I'm guessing it can be understood differently since it's metaphorically spoken.
 

hoshin1600

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You do realize in the interview he was repeating some lines from his appearance on a TV show,
 

Badger1777

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When I studied kung fu years ago, our grand master (who I was lucky enough to be trained by for a short while as he came over for a visit), said words to that effect. He explained that water just flows. It shows no aggression, yet it can destroy the hardest granite builder, simply by relentless and tirelessly flowing.

I see much of that philosophy in tang soo do too, where almost every move seems to be counterbalanced and very fluid.

If you think about human anatomy, all our muscle groups come in pairs. One to pull a limp one way, another to pull it the other way. If we are tense, the two muscles will be competing against each other so you can't develop as much power but will expend more energy (and increase your risk of injury). Whereas if you are relaxed, then only the muscles that need to contract will do so, without resistance from their opposites, so things just flow. In theory at least.
 

mook jong man

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I am a big fan of Bruce Lee. Yesterday I watched one of his interviews online. He said:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

How much can it be applied to martial arts? For example, it seems to me this philosophy doesn't work so well on boxing.

Not really relevant to the topic at hand.
But do think you would be able to change your name please , my eyesight is not so good and I keep reading your name as Tit fire.

Or maybe that says more about me than what it does you.
 

Transk53

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I am a big fan of Bruce Lee. Yesterday I watched one of his interviews online. He said:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

How much can it be applied to martial arts? For example, it seems to me this philosophy doesn't work so well on boxing.

Will have to disagree with this one. My instructor believes heavily in a boxing core along with gunting. Last nights sesh, he demonstrated gunting along with jabs and crosses in the same fluid movement. It works along with blocks as well. The only bits from Wing Chun incorporated are Pak Sau and Luk Sau.
 
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tifire

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When I studied kung fu years ago, our grand master (who I was lucky enough to be trained by for a short while as he came over for a visit), said words to that effect. He explained that water just flows. It shows no aggression, yet it can destroy the hardest granite builder, simply by relentless and tirelessly flowing.

I see much of that philosophy in tang soo do too, where almost every move seems to be counterbalanced and very fluid.

If you think about human anatomy, all our muscle groups come in pairs. One to pull a limp one way, another to pull it the other way. If we are tense, the two muscles will be competing against each other so you can't develop as much power but will expend more energy (and increase your risk of injury). Whereas if you are relaxed, then only the muscles that need to contract will do so, without resistance from their opposites, so things just flow. In theory at least.

Thanks, that does make sense. I also see that in Tai Chi. I also play tennis. If the muscle is relaxed, the swing speed of the racket is fast just like a whip.
 
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tifire

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Not really relevant to the topic at hand.
But do think you would be able to change your name please , my eyesight is not so good and I keep reading your name as Tit fire.

Or maybe that says more about me than what it does you.

LOL...the name is exactly the same as a tennis racket. Maybe that's why the company discontinued it.
 

Blindside

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[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica] I suspect the source of Bruce Lee's quote came from Sun Tzu, he was a philosophy major after all:

[/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]"Military tactics are like unto water, for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards. So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing. Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions. He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain."[/FONT][/FONT]
[/FONT][/FONT]

I think most martial arts would do that, if the guy has a strong defense in a particular area, don't attack the strength of his D, attack something else to injure or to make him defend the other location. In boxing if the guy is turtled up and defending his head? Attack the body. Options increase as the tools of the martial arts increase.
 

Xue Sheng

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I am a big fan of Bruce Lee. Yesterday I watched one of his interviews online. He said:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

How much can it be applied to martial arts? For example, it seems to me this philosophy doesn't work so well on boxing.

Yes it can because basically it is "don't think, do"

You don't worry about form in a fight if you train it or in the case of JKD drill it enough it becomes natural and you adapt to the situation
 

Badger1777

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Yes it can because basically it is "don't think, do"

You don't worry about form in a fight if you train it or in the case of JKD drill it enough it becomes natural and you adapt to the situation

At our club, the teachers frequently point out that we will never use a single technique we learn in class in a real fight. Just as the newbies start looking at each other wondering "well what you teaching us it for then", the teacher continue that we might use a bit of this technique, and a bit of that technique, and through conditioning and muscle memory we will fluidly mix and match and adapt the various techniques to suit the situation. I like that.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup.
IMO, this kind of thinking is too conservative. How about when you pour lava in a cup, that cup become lava?

If you are a grappler, you don't want your striker opponent to lead you into his striking game (water becomes cup). You want to lead your striker opponent into your grappling game (cup becomes lava).
 
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Xue Sheng

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IMO, this kind of thinking is too conservative. How about when you pour lava in a cup, that cup become lava?

If you are a grappler, you don't want your striker opponent to lead you into his striking game (water becomes cup). You want to lead your striker opponent into your grappling game (cup becomes lava).

Not if the cup is made of tungsten

lava can have a temperature from 500C. to about 1500C, about 900F. to 2700F, Tungsten has a melting point of about 3400C, about 6150ºF
 

Hong Kong Pooey

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Not if the cup is made of tungsten

lava can have a temperature from 500C. to about 1500C, about 900F. to 2700F, Tungsten has a melting point of about 3400C, about 6150ºF

Now I'm really confused, what am I supposed to be like? Water, lava or a tungsten cup?
 
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