what level of skill did brandon lee have in the martial arts ?

Daniel Sullivan

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He certainly had all the right moves in Showdown in Little Tokyo, but I have no idea what his practical skill level or any rank would have been. I don't believe that he had any competition record or video, so short of having known him personally (I sure didn't) his movies are the only means of evaluating him to my knowledge.

Daniel
 

kaizasosei

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I still remember the news of the shooting that day. I was a manic kid at the time as usual a little outof it when it comes to celebrity names and news so when it was clearly explained to me by my best buds older brother, who exactly had passed away, i was dumbfounded to say the least. After that, we all had a time of grievance and rented out many brandon lee movies and the whole time kept saying, -what a shame..what a shame that such talented and promising martial artist found his end so soon-
His skill level is apparent in his movies, impressive to say the least. There's no telliing how much better and greater he could have become. But i bet quite a bit because it is in the nature of his fathers martial arts concepts to constantly improve, perfect and learn new things, he himself also seeming to me to be a bit of a perfectionist, knowing also well how to show himself in a good light.

j
 

Omar B

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We have so little tape of him it's really hard to tell. Plus what we do have is from movies where he's the hero so of course he's gonna look good. Does Bruce being his father have some influence on his physical abilities, I hope so, plus he had great teachers.
 

Steve

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I don't know about his actual martial arts skill, but there was a lot of great choreography in that. This is one of my favorite fight scenes in any MA movie.
The best part starts at 1:20 in the clip. (link:
)

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Gordon Nore

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I read an interview several years back with Dan Inosanto, who said he trained Brandon. I found snippets of it on another board, assuming its quote correctly:

BB: Is it true that you taught martial arts to Bruce Lee's son. Brandon Lee?

INOSANTO: As a young boy, Brandon came in for training just once. But as an adult, he came in earnest to study and train. He really became serious, and he was truly talented. I trained him with the idea that perhaps someday he could take over [his father's system]. When he began to train, I told him "Brandon, you can train strictly in Jun Fan kung fu; you don't have to take the kali, silat, muay Thai, savate or shootwrestling [I teach many of my other students]. You can train in whatever you want here. "I thought he would train strictly in his father's arts, but he said he wanted to train in everything. Brandon was very open to anything he could use, and one day I said to him "It is so hard following your father. Some people say I'm doing this right, and others say I'm doing this wrong, and this is all so hard for me." Brandon's response was "Tell me about it! I know what you are going through."

BB: Brandon Lee asked you to be in several of his movies, yet you declined. Why?

INOSANTO: I didn't want to do it because people would say I was riding on the shoulders of Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee. Brandon thought this was ridiculous, but I know how people in the martial arts community talk.

BB: Were you like a father figure to Brandon?

INOSANTO: Brandon would always come by my house and talk to me about problems he was having. But he really developed a close relationship with my wife, Paula, and talked with her about more personal issues.

BB: How would you rate Brandon's abilities as a martial artist?

INOSANTO: He excelled at everything he trained in. He became certified in Thai Boxing, as well as his father's arts.
http://kampforum.no/forum/index.php?topic=15231.0
I found this interview with Lee, apparently given days before his death, but I can't swear to it:

MAL: Do you have a regular exercise schedule?
Lee: Yes [pausing]. It includes working out at the martial arts academy, the Inosanto academy, the same one I have been going to since I was about 13. And then the rest of it pretty much depends on the film I am doing.

MAL: So your primary martial arts instructor is still Dan Inosanto? He was one of your father's students, wasn't he?
Lee: He was one of my dad's students and he was a real close friend of the family when I was growing up. After my dad died and we moved back to the United States, I didn't really train at all for about 5 years. And then when I felt the urge to get back into it I naturally went to Danny's school.
http://stickgrappler.tripod.com/articles/brandonlast.html
 

James Kovacich

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I still remember the news of the shooting that day. I was a manic kid at the time as usual a little outof it when it comes to celebrity names and news so when it was clearly explained to me by my best buds older brother, who exactly had passed away, i was dumbfounded to say the least. After that, we all had a time of grievance and rented out many brandon lee movies and the whole time kept saying, -what a shame..what a shame that such talented and promising martial artist found his end so soon-
His skill level is apparent in his movies, impressive to say the least. There's no telliing how much better and greater he could have become. But i bet quite a bit because it is in the nature of his fathers martial arts concepts to constantly improve, perfect and learn new things, he himself also seeming to me to be a bit of a perfectionist, knowing also well how to show himself in a good light.

j

I remember that day too. I trained under my brother-in-law back then and was on my was to class and on the radio they said Brandon had been shot during filming. When I got to the school my sister was at the front desk and I told her "did you hear that Brandon was shot"? She replied "you didn't hear, Brandon died". I was very sad.

I started MA in '73 and waited all that time for Brandon to grow up hoping he would folow his fathers path. Although not as accomplished, his path is strikingly similar to Bruces in that JKD was important to them but acting was also very important to them and then the mysterious death in the middle of a movie.

It truly was a sad day.
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

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The way he fought in Rapid Fire was a good representation of how his father talked about how he would fight in the street as opossed to on film.

He knew his stuff for sure.

It was a great loss.
 

BLACK LION

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I was around 14 and I was ironing when it came on the news.

He was murdered. I still believe that to this day and training with a propmaster who worked strictly on movie set guns solidified the theory even more.

A f------ shame.


Brandon Lee was highly trained and versed in various styles. There are some interviews out there where this is expressed in more detail as well as some other snippets. Google is your friend
 

kaizasosei

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For those that don't know what exactly happened for Brandon to get shot, i can explain.
On the set of the movie 'the crow', there was plenty of shooting as one can clearly see.

At some point prop ammunition was needed. There was fake ammunition needed to put in a revolver so that the revolver cylinder would look loaded.
The problem was that there were no such props available so what one man did was to take live ammo, crack it open and scrape out all the powder and then stick it back together.

During the shooting of the movie, the gun was loaded with the home-made prop ammo and fired. Now what noone noticed was that when the gun was emptied of the fake ammunition, one of the bullets was gone, all that was left was the shell. At this point someone should have noticed.
Whatever the case, the shells get tossed away and the gun is emptied. Where is that missing bullet though? What happened was that the fake ammo still had traces of gunpowder sufficient to fire the bullet just enough to have it come to a rest in the barrel of the gun.
The next day, the believed unloaded gun is loaded with blanks. Blanks sometimes contain more powder than live rounds. So because the barrel was not checked, people failed to realize that there was a live round in the barrel. So with the blanks there, it was equal to a live round going off.
Apparently there was so much shooting and most was done from the hip without really aiming. It was just one bullet. So i doubt it was an all out planned murder. If anything, it was unproffessional and negligent of the firearms experts.

Brandon was struck in the midsection and the bullet stuck in his spine. He died and came back a number of times before making it to the hospital....



j
 

Ray B

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Just to clarify a few things.

At some point prop ammunition was needed. There was fake ammunition needed to put in a revolver so that the revolver cylinder would look loaded. The problem was that there were no such props available so what one man did was to take live ammo, crack it open and scrape out all the powder and then stick it back together.


*** A movie set needs to hire a Gun Master for all gun props for just this reason. Dummy bullets should NEVER be made from live rounds. They should have been made from scratch.***


During the shooting of the movie, the gun was loaded with the home-made prop ammo and fired. Now what no one noticed was that when the gun was emptied of the fake ammunition, one of the bullets was gone, all that was left was the shell.


***This happened because the primer that initiates the burning of the gunpowder was still intact. What they had was a very weak LIVE round. The primer was just strong enough to expell the slug from the cartriage and lodged it in the barrel of the gun.***


At this point someone should have noticed. Whatever the case, the shells get tossed away and the gun is emptied. Where is that missing bullet though? What happened was that the fake ammo still had traces of gunpowder sufficient to fire the bullet just enough to have it come to a rest in the barrel of the gun. The next day, the believed unloaded gun is loaded with blanks.

***This is what a Gun Master does, he accounts for all ammo and dummy bullets. He also checks the gun prior to use.***

Blanks sometimes contain more powder than live rounds. So because the barrel was not checked, people failed to realize that there was a live round in the barrel.

***This was not a LIVE round but a lodged slug.***

So with the blanks there, it was equal to a live round going off.
Apparently there was so much shooting and most was done from the hip without really aiming. It was just one bullet. So i doubt it was an all out planned murder. If anything, it was unproffessional and negligent of the firearms experts.

Brandon was struck in the midsection and the bullet stuck in his spine. He died and came back a number of times before making it to the hospital....

j


What happened was criminal. I named my 2nd son after Brandon Lee.
I too, waited all of his life for him to grow-up and become the star he was so close to being.

RIP Brandon.
 

BLACK LION

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I saw it as criminal and negligent on behalf of the gunmaster or propmasters behalf whish is what was relayed to me by one. There was no way that should have happened...none. That was a blaitant disregard for one the most crucial safety rules of firearms, prop guns , airsoft, pellet guns etc.... check the chamber, bore and muzzle for any obstruction.

So F------ stupid.....

I am still bent by his death for some reason.
 

Jimi

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I was under the impression that the Gun Master (the guy in charge of all props related to fire arms) had been released from his responsibilities on set during the films wrapping up phase with no more need for him. As an after thought 2 weeks later someone involved in the film decided that a shot of the gun showing the guns cylinder with the bullet was needed, and with the Gun Master dismissed it was irresponsible of the film makers to fudge this scene together to hurry the film being a wrap. I may be mistaken, but I believe that somewhere it was stated that one of the Imada brothers (Long time martial artists, and martial arts movie stunt workers) was noted as the last person to handle the prop fire arm before the tragedy happened. I was also under the impression (Since both Imada brothers were involved with Guro Inosanto's academy at one time) that there was a falling out between the Imada's and Inosanto after Brandons death. This may all be hear say. This is all sad, I feel for Linda, Shannon, and all other loved ones of Brandon. May he rest in peace
 

Joab

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I have no idea really, but when watching a clip from "The Crow" on a local tv station many years ago, the anchorman said Brandon Lee's skill level was considered a seven on a scale of ten by martial arts experts, for what its worth. Probably not a lot...
 

kaizasosei

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Compared to his own potential before his untimely death, i would say his level would be even lower than seven.
There is no point really rating him, because he was /is the son of bruce lee.
Plus, he was just getting warmed up. I personally believe that he would have gotten a hell of a lot better. I think, In some ways, Brandon was better than his dad even- some of his combos were new and his style was unique and well rounded.
Bruce Lee definately was a genious of a fighter and ahead of his time, however, much of what he was discovering and putting together was common sense. Brandon seemed to me to truly be taking everything further. Actually, i think that it was downright exciting to see him develop.



j
 
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