Parker or Lee

Kenpobuff

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Did anyone see the movie on AMC last night I think it was called "Bruce Lee, A Warriors Journey". I'm sure it has been aired before but it's the first time I really watched it with Kenpo eyes. I think it is on this afternoon too.

During one of the early interviews they filmed, titled curiously "The Journey", of Mr. Lee, I think they said it took place in circa 1965. He described his new art (JKD) as the first comprehensive martial art using the principles of economy of motion, low kicks, etc. He spoke of many of the same concepts Mr. Parker spoke of and EPAK relies on. I'm not sure when it was produced but it made mention only once of Kenpo's influence and that was when he had Mr. Insanto appear in one of his movies because of his Kenpo skills, among others. Obviously this movie was made with bias and I realize that. They made it sound like Mr. Norris and Mr. Wallace were Bruce's student's and what they learned only came from him. They also made a point alluding to Mr. Lee was the only one teaching movie celebrities at that time.

My question of the elders on this forum that may have been around back then is what came first "the Parker or the Lee"? Or maybe they collaborated on many things in those early years and Mr. Lee took credit for the concepts Mr. Parker enlightened him on.

On another forum, I don't like to visit very often, the relationship between these two men was mentioned but not in the context of the dynamics of how or when their two styles affected the martial arts world as they were being brought to the mainstream at the same time.

I would be very interested in the history. I don't remember Mr. Tracy or anyone else hitting this side of the history of Kenpo.
 

parkerkarate

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Well Bruce Lee came to the Long Beach Internationals to show his new style of Jeet Kun Do (I think I spelt it right), or JKD. So I would have to say that Mr. Parker came first.
 

Doc

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parkerkarate said:
Well Bruce Lee came to the Long Beach Internationals to show his new style of Jeet Kun Do (I think I spelt it right), or JKD. So I would have to say that Mr. Parker came first.
After about 2 years of Wing Chun training, Bruce came to this country to enroll in college at the age of 19 and became his own instructor. Although a quick study and a gifted athlete, Lee was not very knowledgeable in the arts.

By this time Parker had been in the military, finished college, opened 2 schools, was married with three kids, wrote and published 2 martial arts books, and had many students and was continuing to study with significant Chinese Masters of the day.
 

kenpoworks

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It's all up there Doc, you just carry them around with you in between the ears....... answers.
Rich
 

bushi jon

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If I am not mistaken it was Ed Parker that gave BL his irst big break in the Movies. I remember Ep had a production company at the time and he turned Bl over to the producers of the Green Hornet and several smaller roles.I could be wrong though
 

donald

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It is very well documented that Parker, and Lee shared ideas. Then again those ideas have been around in one form or another for many years. Therfore I don't think that anyone person can lay claim to them as their own.
 
O

OC Kid

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Mr Parker also recieved his training in Hawaii and moved to the LA area where he opened up his school (If Im not mistaken Doc Please help me if Im mistaken) .
Bruce Lee on the other trained in Hong Kong and moved to Seattle. Where he opened his school up. it wasnt from what I read after Bruce got into a fight with a Japanese karate instructor ( Yoshi Nakachi according to one of Dan Innosantos orginal students I know, but other than that it was a no name guy) that he started to experiment and change his way studying other arts.
When Bruce moved to Calif no doubt he had some inter actions with Mr. Parker.

But Kempo as was being taught by Mr Parker at that time ( again Doc Please help me with this) according to some old movies of Mr Parker that Mr. White had and showed at his studio one day... Kempo looked like a hard style Karate, not as hard as a trad japanese karate by no means but alot harder than it is today.
kempo has evolved alot since then.
 

Doc

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donald said:
It is very well documented that Parker, and Lee shared ideas. Then again those ideas have been around in one form or another for many years. Therfore I don't think that anyone person can lay claim to them as their own.
Documented? Where? If you mean they talked, then you are correct. If you mean Parker took some of Bruce's ideas and implimented them than you would be quite incorrect. Bruce was a sharp kid and loved to hang out and shoot the breeze about the arts. He was a regular here in Southern California once he relocated, and it wasn't hard to bump into him at a tourny or event before Parker got him the Hornet gig. Bruce would philosophize with anyone and everyone, but it was he who sought out Ed Parker, as much as he would seek out anyone he thought could add to his skill and knowledge.

Bruce was beginning to learn the arts and step outside of the box of his limited Wing Chun experience. When he demonstrated at the IKC, he did mostly Wing Chun. Alot of sensitivity, trapping, blocking drills, and some even done blindfolded to illustrate his point.

You must remember Bruce pissed off the traditional Chinese martial arts community, and all of his "teachers" were non Chinese after he left Yip Man at the age of 19. Parker however, was embraced by and had been deep into the Chinese arts for years before he met Bruce Lee with legitimate and acknowledged masters like Ark Yuey Wong, Humea Lefiti, Lao Bun, Jimmy Woo, etc. Parker has published one book on "Kenpo Karate" and another on the Chinese Arts over 3 years before he even met Lee while Lee had opened up his own kwoon and began teaching full time after he dropped out of college.

Parker explained the importance of structure to Bruce for the purposes of teaching. In truth, Bruce wasn't interested in teaching but in learning himself. This is why JKD is not a style but simply a training concept. A philosophy of personal self expression and exploration. Parker felt that was fine and encouraged it, but also felt any exploration had to start from a firm base of structured information.

I remember Bruce dismissed forms training, and Parker reminded him he did forms in Wing Chun. "The reason you can dismiss some of the forms ideas, is because you did them first." Parker told him. The only reason Lee had students was to reach his goal of being a "movie star," pay the bills, have training partners, and learn from his real students. Even Bruce's most famous student Danny Inosanto, (a Parker black belt) taught Bruce much more than the other way around.

Bruce philosophized with Parker, while Wally Jay began to teach him jiu-jitsu, Sea Oh Choi was teaching him how to kick, and Gene LeBell was teaching him to grapple as his primary stuntman on the Hornet series.

Bruce was a sponge and a tremendously gifted athlete at 5'6', but he was not a great teacher, nor was he trying to be. What Bruce was, was a philosopher on a mission to be a movie star and he was using his martial arts to that end. Oddly enough Bruce really wanted to be taken seriously as an actor. He saw himself as the next "Steve McQueen." But Bruce had a kinda "whiney nasal" voice and thick accent that Hollywood would never use. Even his first hit movies from Hong Kong, "Big Boss, and Fist of Fury" when dubbed to English didn't use Bruce's real voice.

No, Bruce was a sharp kid who took what he could from those around him who willingly helpped him, but Bruce wasn't this pillar of martial arts knowledge and information. Just a kid with a lot of talent who didn't even graduate from college.
 

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OC Kid said:
Mr Parker also recieved his training in Hawaii and moved to the LA area where he opened up his school (If Im not mistaken Doc Please help me if Im mistaken) .
You are correct sir. Specifically 2 schools in Pasadena.
But Kempo as was being taught by Mr Parker at that time ( again Doc Please help me with this)
It was during this time period Mr. Parker was deep into his "Chinese Kenpo" phase.
according to some old movies of Mr Parker that Mr. White had and showed at his studio one day... Kempo looked like a hard style Karate, not as hard as a trad japanese karate by no means but alot harder than it is today.
kempo has evolved alot since then.
You are correct sir. The primary influence in the islands on Chow and others was from the Okinawa / Japanese branch of the arts. What was callled "Kenpo Karate" by Chow was in many ways essentially "Okinwan kempo" or what became "Okinawa Te" with some Chinese influence from Chow.

Although basically linear in many aspects, the circular and multiple strike aspects of the Chinese Arts was definitely present, along with a healthy dose of the locks, holds, and mat work of Henry Okazaki's DanZan Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. The early days of "Kenpo Karate" on the mainland as taught by Parker saw students learning breakfalls as beginners just like in traditional jiu-jitsu. Most techniques done in those days ended with students being thrown or knocked to the floor with the appropriate breakfall exercise as part of the technique.

Parker left this phase quickly and moved to the "Chinese Kenpo" (dropping the word karate) when he began training with Chinese Masters. In the sixties he went "commercial" and created his motion based concept of "Kenpo Karate, going back to the original name recognizing he needed the word "Karate" to sale the product. This comercial diversion is the dominant Parker vehicle today, in part, because it is the least disciplined. Parker however continued to develop and Americanized his Chinese Kenpo as his personal art while promoting motion kenpo to sale.
 

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kenpoworks said:
It's all up there Doc, you just carry them around with you in between the ears....... answers.
Rich

I just can't seem to stop the voices Mate. Man have I got some stuff for you in May. Guaranteed to make you say, "s**t the bed."
 

Doc

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donald said:
I thought documented, meant uhhh, documented. Like in books,magazines, uuhhh, etc..

Well I can understand the confusion. Bruce Lee was great for the business of the martial arts, (and still is) and everyone made a ton of money. Magazines always promote what initiates sales. If you go by the mags, Lee taught everybody, or at the very least, gave them some pointers. In the media world, any connection they could create with Bruce Lee gave them another article.
 
O

OC Kid

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Thanks Doc one of these days Im gonna have live on the edge get on the fwy and drive out to LA and have a sit down with ya...Im to old for anything else except a cup of coffee or a soda :>)
 

MA-Caver

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Hrmm, I thought that I had replied to this thread and found out that I must've cancelled it. Oh well.
I have posted something in an earlier thread relating to this topic.
It may help or may not :idunno:
Martial Talk has a fine fine search engine... it bodes well to use it sometimes. :D :asian:
 

Doc

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OC Kid said:
Thanks Doc one of these days Im gonna have live on the edge get on the fwy and drive out to LA and have a sit down with ya...Im to old for anything else except a cup of coffee or a soda :>)
You're on, and I'll buy. Say when.
 
O

OC Kid

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Yea I used to train with Big T and Chicken. I saw the bird a while ago and he looks pretty good. he is doing alot better too.
 

donald

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Doc/Sir,

I did not mean to imply that Mr.Parker Sr. was a student of Mr.Lee's. I attempted to answer a question of sorts from another poster to this site. My information is drawn purely from other sources. As I was not there. Some of my so-called info comes from Mr.Parker Sr.'s own books, or articles about him. What my conclusions are. Is that they(Mr.P.,Sr.&Mr.Lee)shared ideas. Some of which. I am of the belief, they each used respectively. Once again this is purely conjecture on my part. As I was not there.
 

punisher73

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Even Bruce's most famous student Danny Inosanto, (a Parker black belt) taught Bruce much more than the other way around.
I agree, it's amazing that more people don't notice that what Inosanto teaches today is HIS version of JKD using filipino arts at one time and now influenced by BJJ and Muay Thai. Thus sparks the big battle of OJKD vs. JKD Concepts.

Go to www.karateconnection.com and go to the articles section and there is an article title "The night I met Bruce Lee". It is written about one of Mr. Parker's early students on one of the nights BL came by.
 

MA-Caver

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punisher73 said:
I agree, it's amazing that more people don't notice that what Inosanto teaches today is HIS version of JKD using filipino arts at one time and now influenced by BJJ and Muay Thai. Thus sparks the big battle of OJKD vs. JKD Concepts.

Go to www.karateconnection.com and go to the articles section and there is an article title "The night I met Bruce Lee". It is written about one of Mr. Parker's early students on one of the nights BL came by.
Wow, thanks for that. Makes for a very interesting read. Just too bad that he (the author) couldn't remember what "minor thing" Lee was talking about. I'm sure it would make for an interesting discussion today. :asian:
But I think the article (which goes on about GM Parker) shows just what great innovators Lee and Parker were in their day. That they were willing to allow arguments on a set precept and continually learn and realize that maybe they're not always (totally) right about one idea, that an idea or a technique can be done a hundred different ways by a hundred different people. Awesome.
 

Doc

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donald said:
Doc/Sir,

I did not mean to imply that Mr.Parker Sr. was a student of Mr.Lee's. I attempted to answer a question of sorts from another poster to this site. My information is drawn purely from other sources. As I was not there. Some of my so-called info comes from Mr.Parker Sr.'s own books, or articles about him. What my conclusions are. Is that they(Mr.P.,Sr.&Mr.Lee)shared ideas. Some of which. I am of the belief, they each used respectively. Once again this is purely conjecture on my part. As I was not there.
Don't sweat the small stuff sir.
 

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