Bruce Lee Big Boss

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When I was 16, taking 30 pills/day and in the hospital every three months, my doctor said I'd be dead in five years from cystic fibrosis (CF), a deadly disease that robbed me of my breath and ability to digest food. Moments away from death by suicide, I saw Bruce Lee's Big Boss (1971) and during his first fight when Lee venomously decked a thug with two lightening kicks, I howled like a banshee. In that moment, I went from being depressed and waiting to die, to wanting to live and learn what Lee was doing. I vowed that if I survived, I'd pay homage to Lee like no other.

Through martial arts, I knew that I had one chance to survive, an ancient Chinese healing skill never taught to outsiders, chi gong. In 1979, against doctors' advice, couldn't speak Chinese, and with no job, money or place to stay, I moved to the chaotic, under strict martial law and distrusting-America Taiwan, where mixed-race love was vilified with forbidden fruit furor. At Chiang Kai-Shek Airport, the military charged me with weapon smuggling (wooden sticks), drug trafficking (CF pills) and threatened me with the death penalty.

Weeks later, I met Silvia, a devout Catholic and volunteer at a leper colony; it was love at first sight and three months later we were secretly engaged. Tearfully aware my death anon, she committed sociocultural suicide by pledging her love saying, "Little time with you, better no time with you."

As a token white dude on Kung Fu TV Soaps, butt-kicking fodder for the Chinese stars, I met an ascetic chi master who during the monsoons subjected me to a perilous, 30-day test of perseverance, endurance and worthiness on Monsoon Mountain. Coughing up blood, clinging to life and heartbroken by the loss of my soul mate, I faced ceaseless biblical rain, entities, an earthquake and a mudslide ate me for lunch. Five months later I was off all medication.

Kung Fu TV Courtesy of Craig Reid

A year later, my final test occurred amid a violent typhoon where after being chased by cat-sized rats through waist-deep sewage flood waters, I practiced chi at a construction site rife with body-damaging flying debris. The sounds of spear-like bamboo poles whistling toward me with impaling force was a harrowing experience.

Days later, a serious lung infection gave me a 105o F body temperature. Years prior would require upping antibiotics, a long hospital stay, intense therapy and months to fully recover. I completely recovered in three days without medication.

To prove chi helped me overcome CF, in 1986, with both lungs 30% deteriorated, I walked 3000 miles (marathon/day for 115 days) across America to Seattle, WA, to pay my respects to Lee's grave. President Ronald Reagan awarded me with a letter of bravery. I've been off all medication for 41 years, married 40 years and since 1987, Silvia and I have used chi healing to help others, including working with seven Olympic teams.

You're only limited by what you think you can't do.

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