Traditional Arts

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Friday marks what would have been the 80th birthday of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee. Despite having died in 1973, Lee remains a pop culture icon who still makes headlines nearly 50 years after his death.

Just last month his daughter, Shannon, released her book Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee which quickly became the number one selling martial arts book on Amazon. This week, as the anniversary of his birth approached, Nike re-released its popular Kobe Bryant brand of Bruce Lee-inspired sneakers while the Hong Kong postal service will be releasing a special set of Bruce Lee commemorative stamps.

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France showed strong at the 2020 European Judo Championships, held in the Czech Republic this past week, claiming a tournament best 8 medals, including five golds, by dominating the women's divisions. All but one of their medals came in the women's events as they captured five of the seven weight classes.

The French were lead by reigning world champion Clarisse Agbegnenou, who won her fifth European title by overwhelming the competition in the under 63kg class winning all her matches by full ippon, the judo equivalent of a knockout. Several countries, including Britain, had opted out of competing due to Covid-19 concerns.

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Takakeisho claimed the November Grand Sumo Tournament Sunday with a playoff victory over Terunofuji. The pair had already met in the final scheduled match of the 15-day long event with Terunofuji throwing Takakeisho to the ground to win the bout and force the playoff as both men finished with a 13-2 record.

But Takakeisho, 24, came out hitting in the playoff forcing Terunofuji out of the ring to capture the championship, his second Emperor's cup since achieving ozeki status, sumo's second highest rank. The tournament, which had to be moved from Fukuoka to Tokyo due to coronavirus concerns, was contested without grand champions Hakuho and Kakuryu who withdrew due to injuries.

Brazil lead this weekend's Pan American Judo Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico capturing 14 medals including 4 golds. Canada also put up a strong showing with 4 gold medals while Panamanian women's lightweight Miryam Roper captured her nation's first Pan Am gold.

The tournament, originally scheduled for April in Canada but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, saw far fewer competitors than in past years. The women's over 78kg class could only muster a field of four participants.

A JKD Private Lesson With Tim Tackett

Tim Tackett used to be a schoolteacher, but he should have been a principal. Why? Because he knows all about principles — as in, the foundational principles of jeet kune do. You can sense that within minutes of starting an interview with him about Bruce Lee's martial art. You can even sense it when you initiate a discussion about such an interview.

"Lots of articles are based on things like the five kicks of taekwondo," he said while brainstorming. "JKD is different because it's more principle-based. The kicks we do are similar to kicks everybody else does. It's the principles that guide us in the study of Bruce's art. Let's do an interview about the principles."

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