As 2013 draws to a close, we take a look at this icon's life and legacy, examining four of his essential books and why they matter for your martial arts training and philosophy development.

This article is for the new martial artist — the young student who saw Enter the Dragon on Spike TV recently and said, "Whoa! I wanna do that!" It's for the young man or woman who keeps hearing the name "Bruce Lee" and doesn't quite know who people are talking about (yet). It's for the parent who's wondering what serious, high-quality martial arts technique and philosophy books to buy for his or her young son or daughter. (Or you can give them cash via the new Black Belt Store E-Gift Card and let them choose their own, of course!) After having worked here at the one-and-only Black Belt magazine for more than a decade, I've been staring at Bruce Lee day in and day out for a long time. So I thought it was time to take a look at exactly why these Bruce Lee training and philosophy books were so well-regarded, what they offered readers and why martial artists should have them in their collections as go-to references for their continuing evolutions as combatants, self-defenders and martial practitioners on all three levels: spiritually, mentally and, of course, physically. NOTE: All these Bruce Lee books are available in print and as digital e-book downloads!


ESSENTIAL BRUCE LEE BOOKS #1 — Chinese Gung Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense — Revised and Updated

Why you need it in your Bruce Lee training library:
  • digitally restored Bruce Lee pictures from the early 1960s, before he was "Bruce Lee: martial arts icon at large"
  • previously unpublished Bruce Lee pictures with handwritten annotations
  • contains an early glimpse at the early evolution of Bruce Lee's philosophy before his later work in Tao of Jeet Kune Do
  • new editorial entries by Shannon Lee and Linda Lee Cadwell for the 2008 edition, offering context for the refurbishment project itself and the new content added by Black Belt as provided by Bruce Lee Enterprises
  • original sketches and handwritten Chinese characters by Bruce Lee himself, painstakingly scanned and cleaned for maximum clarity in print

One of Bruce Lee’s most respected students shares his
modern take on his master’s art in this FREE download!
Dan Inosanto on Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do Techniques for
Grappling and New Directions for JKD Training

ESSENTIAL BRUCE LEE BOOKS #2 — Bruce Lee's Fighting Method: The Complete Edition

Why you need it in your Bruce Lee training library:
  • one word: economy ... this is four Bruce Lee training books in one
  • the most explicit, step-by-step, detailed presentation of Bruce Lee's training methods out of all the Bruce Lee books available on the market
  • references many of the concepts later found in the Bruce Lee philosophy book Tao of Jeet Kune Do and shows you Bruce Lee's training methods for experiencing them on a physical level
  • it's certainly the largest of the Bruce Lee training books available, clocking in at nearly 500 pages
  • more than 900 Bruce Lee pictures featuring jeet kune do founder Bruce Lee training, working out, executing stances and drills, fighting — you name it, it's in there

ESSENTIAL BRUCE LEE BOOKS #3 — Tao of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition

Why you need it in your Bruce Lee training library:
  • Bruce Lee philosophy pulled from hundreds of sources in his personal library and from his personal notes on life, martial arts and their real-time intersection
  • original Bruce Lee sketches painstakingly scanned for maximum clarity in print
  • editorial commentaries by Linda Lee Cadwell, Shannon Lee, Tim Tackett, Jerry Poteet, Richard Bustillo and many others
  • the best glimpse into Bruce Lee's mind, where all the books Bruce Lee read and all the training Bruce Lee went through came together into an epic treatise referred to and studied by martial artists of all styles around the world

Ten JKD masters share their experiences with Bruce Lee's training concepts, martial philosophies and life ideas in this FREE download! Bruce Lee Quotes: 10 Jeet Kune Do Masters Examine Bruce Lee’s Philosophy

ESSENTIAL BRUCE LEE BOOKS #4 — Bruce Lee: Wisdom for the Way

Why you need it in your Bruce Lee training library:
  • ideas from Bruce Lee's philosophy paired with Bruce Lee pictures, woven into beautiful artistic displays reflective of the concepts presented in his quotes
  • perfect for meditation practice
  • the smallest of our Bruce Lee books — it can fit in your pocket
BRUCE LEE is a registered trademark of Bruce Lee Enterprises LLC. The Bruce Lee name image and likeness are intellectual property of Bruce Lee Enterprises LLC.
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