Possible James Y. Lee Wisdom?


3rd Black Belt
Jul 5, 2007
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Southern Kalifornia

From James Lee’s book: “Modern Kung–Fu Karate Iron, Poison Hand Training” - this was written just after he met Bruce Lee.

Here are some time proven "gimmicks" the sharp operator used to stall for time in order to collect the monthly fee:

1. First deceive by names-Call yourself Doctor, Professor, Master- or give yourself a high rank Black Belt if teaching in a Black Belt system.

2. Convince your students you studied under a real Monk in some obscure area- the longer you were associated with this mythical master, the better. Better yet make a composite photo showing you and the past master-this will be ‘’visual’’ proof.

3. Never spar with your students. Tell them it is too deadly. If self defense can be compared to the knowledge to swim, and the opponent the equivalent to deep rough water, convince him that to spar with the master they will drown easily. They are not proficient enough yet.

4. Teach Shadow Boxing only (forms only)-never the actual application-teaching only the dry land motions of swimming- never let them get into the water . Don’t let them know you can’t swim. This will kill time –hence more monthly dues are collected

5. Tell students that through "shadow boxing" only one can develop enough "internal mysterious" strength to shatter two score of bricks. Never demonstrate this feat, of course! –because it is a bold face lie. Through the practice of dry land swimming, can one develop the endurance to swim the Atlantic? The truth is you will drown the minute you hit the water.

6. Teach a lot of useless forms using ancient, obsolete weapons. This will kill time and cover up your lack of skill in unarmed combat.

7. Never let the students spar with each other-then they know the techniques don’t work. Tell them it will ruin their natural reaction.

8. After 5 to 6 years, teach them pre-arranged form of sparring. Let them think this is the true art. Let them go wading after 5 to 6 years. Tell them they are now accomplished ‘’swimmers’’. (Since no two styles or men fight alike, pre arranged is not the answer to actual combat.)


MT Senior Moderator
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Lifetime Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2007
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Georgetown Texas
I have seen some of these so called Masters have their butts handed to them on the floor and in the street.
Years ago in my DoJo we kept extra Gi’s for visitors. Anyone that came through the door and said they were in the area from another DoJo, in town or out, and was passing through, was invited in for some fun. That was in the bad boy days, may not fly today. Good post, thanks.