bruce lee jeet kune do

Black Belt's entertainment blogger has a personal story to tell about Bruce Lee, and it has the potential to benefit all martial artists.

On July 20, 1973, Bruce Lee passed away at age 32. After so many years, there’s very little anyone who didn’t know him on an intimate level can add to any conversation about his legacy. Yet on a personal level, everyone has a story to share about the “Little Dragon.” Mine is the subject of this blog. I actually have two Bruce Lee stories to share. One you may know, and the other you probably don't. The 75th anniversary of Bruce Lee's birth is celebrated in the August/September 2015 issue of Black Belt. When I was 16, I was forced to down 30 pills a day and required to report to the hospital every three months. My doctor said I'd be dead in five years due to cystic fibrosis, a progressive, incurable disease. Death by malnutrition, suffocation, dehydration and lung infection was what I had to look forward to. Two weeks later, I watched Bruce Lee kick butt in Fists of Fury (aka The Big Boss). It was 1973, and all of a sudden I was no longer depressed and waiting to die. All I could think about was learning what Lee was doing. As I immersed myself in the martial arts, I found that their real purpose is not to convey ways of fighting but to spread the art of healing. And I needed to heal myself. I discovered one chance for survival: an ancient Chinese healing skill that was seldom taught to outsiders.

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From the pages of Bruce Lee's Fighting Method: The Complete Edition, the martial arts icon is shown executing this martial arts staple in a self-defense situation on the street!

When you study violent encounters, one fact tends to stand out time and again: The prepared fighter almost always wins. But being prepared requires more than just training. Long before self-defense experts and military analysts adopted the phrase "situational awareness," Bruce Lee taught us that we must always be aware of our surroundings. Or as Lee would say, "The best surprise against a surprise attack is not to be surprised."

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While the expanded edition of Tao of Jeet Kune Do was still in production, Black Belt reached out to some of Bruce Lee's friends and colleagues and asked them to submit their thoughts about his most influential book. Richard Bustillo, one of the contributors, turned to his students and asked them what the Tao has meant to them. The following are letters  from Bustillo's students, expressing their own experience with the Tao, what it has meant to them, and how its shaped their lives.

—Editor Note

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“One must be ready to act without knowing what situation will present itself.” —Bruce Lee In the following technique sequence from Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, the “Little Dragon” shows you how to react to an ambush from behind.

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