Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu

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Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu Empty Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:00 am

July 20 was the 34th anniversary of Bruce Lee. He brought a special place in the world for the art of self defense. He was the idol of the young generation. He taught the world how to use the body for defense and it is a sad thing that he died at the young age of 33.

The speed of Bruce Lee's action scenes is stupefying. It was difficult to catch the fast movements of his hands and legs on film. Usually one calculates 24 frames for a second. But to catch Bruce Lee's swift movements, it had to be changed to 34 frames.

Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940 at the hospital on Jackson St in San Francisco's Chinatown area. His father Lee Hoi - Chuen was an actor and his mother Grace was a Catholic.

His parents christened him Lee Yub Fan. In Chinese, it means protector of the world. This name was difficult for the American nurse to pronounce, so she named him Bruce and later, it became his name.


When Bruce Lee was 3 months old, the family moved to Hong Kong. Till he was 12, he studied at La Salle College, a Secondary school. He continued studies at St Francis Xavier's College.

In 1959, Lee was embroiled in a fight with a feared Hong Kong gangster's son. Frightened by this for his son's safety, Bruce Lee's father sent him back to San Francisco.

Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu BirdsHis fame as a master of self defense started to spread. He completed his schooling in San Francisco and Seattle and then joined Washington University to study philosophy. That's where he met his future wife Linda Emery.



Bruce Lee's career as actor started at a very young age. Since his father was an actor, he acted in around 20 films by the time he turned 20. When he was in America, he was spotted by William Dozier, the producer of 'Batman' and this proved to be a turning point in his career.

In America, he appeared in guest appearances in television serials like 'The Green Hornet,' 'Ironside' and 'Here Come the Brides.' When Bruce Lee went back to Hong Kong, he signed a contract with Raymond Chow for films to be produced by his company Golden Harvest. Their first film was 'Big Boss' in 1971 but even before that, Bruce Lee was a famous figure in Hong Kong as a boxing champ as well as 'Crawn Colony Cha Cha' champ. Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu Enterthedragon04

The story of 'Big Boss' is about the clash between drug lords and innocent workers. The fast body action and fire in Bruce Lee's eyes made the film a huge hit. The film made 12 million dollars in Asia.

'Fist of Fury' was released in 1972. The story is of how Bruce avenges the killing of his master. Bruce's taut nerves standing out and his blood curdling yells made the blood race in the veins of the viewers. One of the attractive scenes shows him fighting with about 30 martial art students. The film amassed about 15 million dollars.

'Way to the Dragon' (also referred to as 'Return of the Dragon') written and directed by Bruce Lee was released in the same year as 'Fist of Fury.' This film spread Bruce Lee's fame as well as the art of Kung Fu to the world. Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu Way_dragon01

Bruce Lee's Kung Fu also had its impact on Hollywood. In the climax scenes of 'Way to the Dragon,' Bruce Lee used Chuck Norris, the karate master he had met when he was in America. The climax encounter between Bruce and Norris that was shot in Rome, is one of the most unforgettable scenes in the film, made with much passion and verve.

'Enter the Dragon' was the first film to be produced jointly by Golden Harvest and American production company Warner Bros. This film stunned audiences worldwide.

It made 850,000 dollars at that time in US alone, and that was a huge amount for that time period. It is equal to several millions at the present evaluation. The film grossed 200 million dollars worldwide and made Bruce Lee the king of the art of self defense.

But Bruce Lee did not live to see the success. Three weeks before the release of 'Enter the Dragon,' Bruce Lee died mysteriously on July 20, 1973. That night he had a headache and was given a pill to help him sleep. He never got up after that. He went into a coma and was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Hong Kong but never regained his consciousness. Till date, his death remains a mystery. Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu Way_dragon02

Bruce Lee integrated some karate moves with Kung Fu and this style of martial art came to be called Bruce Lee Kung Fu. Combined with his philosophy on fighting, he introduced that art of JKD (Jeet Kune Do) and even started several schools to impart training.

Bruce Lee's method to shape his body was novel. From 7 to 9am, he used to train to strengthen his stomach and other muscles, weight training and cycling. His favorite mode of exercise was running. He used to run fast for 5 to 6 miles, changing his speed every 5 minutes.

Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu Enterthedragon02Bruce Lee had collected many books on physical fitness. He usually ate only specially prepared meals. Even before a person could open and close his fist, Bruce Lee had the strength to accost the person. It was magnificent, how he strengthened his fingers, especially his little finger and thumb that could wreak havoc.

By the time he was 30, he was a world famous figure but his short temper earned him many enemies. It was very common for those fighting against him in films to break their noses or their teeth.

Bruce Lee - the king of Kung Fu EnterthedragonOn November 27, 2005 2005, the Hong Kong government unveiled a life size bronze statue of Bruce Lee made at a cost of 45 lakhs, to mark his sixty-fifth birthday and as Chinese film's bright star of the century. Bruce Lee was named in TIME Magazine's 100 Most Important People of the Century as one of the greatest heroes and icons, as an example of personal improvement through in part physical fitness, and among the most influential martial artists of the twentieth century.

Bruce Lee is still remembered as a great teacher of how one can love an art form and take it to its height. It is many years since he passed away, but his chair is still vacant. A person to occupy it has not been born and may not be born in the future either!

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