Filmed using the Holga Toy Camera.
A real coffee table read. Every Hotel and reception should have a copy of Randy Couture's 'The Last Round'
July 20th 2012 – The 38th Anniversary of the death of Bruce Lee - The Martial Way:
Bruce died on July the 20th 1973 which will be 38 years ago. His legend still lives on. People are still fascinated by his life and his achievements. It’s truly amazing the impact one person can have on the whole world. Bruce gave us the martial arts movie genre and used the movie industry to express himself.
Why did he have this burning desire to bring Kung Fu to the West? Because martial arts are not just about punching and kicking it’s also about sharing, passing on ones knowledge to the next generation, teaching. Bruce chose the movie industry as his platform to catapult himself into the limelight.
It has been well documented how he had to struggle against racism in Hollywood but he persevered. He had a purpose. He believed in his art and he could see that the wow factor in the martial arts would give him exposure.
Bruce was from the streets. He got into street fights in his youth to the point where the police gave his parents a final warning. The next stop for Bruce would be prison if continued his street activities. His parents decide to pack him off to the USA as he was born there.
Bruce landed in America and settled. He studied and made a new life for himself. He then began to teach/share his knowledge through his Jun Fan
Institute in 1963. The streets of Hong Kong were now long behind him. His martial art became his life. He was invited by Jhoon Rhee (the Father of American Tae Kwon Do) to perform Kung Fu demonstrations and was spotted by Jay Sebring, hair-stylist for the popular "Batman" TV series starring Adam West. Following a screen test he was chosen to play the character “Kato” in the “The Green Hornet” TV show. It was the first time Chinese Kung Fu was ever seen in a major TV show where it was the main focus of a character. Bruce Lee saw how the martial arts could benefit everyone. Not for any particular sex, age, race, colour and creed. It’s about unity and togetherness, inclusion and not exclusion.
"I personally do not believe in 'style'. Because of 'styles', people are separated. They are not united together because styles became law."
Unity through martial arts
Martial arts brings togetherness. I think Bruce would be happy to see the impact his success has brought. People from all nations practice martial arts for different reasons and it’s great. Martial arts can bring about a greater understanding of the self and the ego, understanding that no one is bigger than life.
I can see that martial arts can touch inner feeling and can help people interact with one another. It’s about sharing with others the “Tao” or “Way” helping to inspire their minds and their spirits positively. At the moment we are surrounded by negativity. People are confused, frustrated and stressed, have, no respect, no self awareness, and no self control. I believe martial arts can help.
Code of conduct
In martial arts there is a code of conduct and a mental awareness or mindset. True martial arts teach you how to deal with the extreme. How do you handle the stress of being on the battlefield? Facing a soldier who has a bigger weapon than you? When death is staring you in the face, how do you cope? This is the martial way.
“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
We must be aware of the ego and remain grounded in what we do. We must highlight the disciplines of martial arts, conduct and respect for others. Don’t be selfish with your system, teach it honestly. Let’s not sell violence lets sell self discovery and sportsmanship.
We have a physical platform for full contact arts in sports such as Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and other contact sports which are great. But we must remember to teach it a way that is gentlemanly and respectful. When you meet the Muay Thai Champions in Thailand you will see a balance of humility and explosive skills with awesome power. Out the ring they are courteous, respectful, playful and in the ring some of the most dangerous fighters in the world.
I remember growing up and being too young to watch Bruce Lee films. My dad was a huge Bruce Lee fan. He would tell me stories of watching his movies in Jamaica in an open air cinema. My Dad passed that martial arts buzz onto me. For me Bruce Lee's image symbolised strength, justice, reason, love, protection and skill. I still have Bruce Lee posters up in my house. It reminds me to train, to not be lazy. The first Bruce Lee film I saw was Big Boss. What I loved about Bruce’s films is that they demonised the negative and celebrated the hero. Therefore as a child I could understand that martial arts should not be used to bully or take advantage of those weaker.
I wanna be Bruce
Growing up I wanted to be like Bruce, strong, just, loving and respectful. There is a beautiful scene in “Way of the Dragon” when he fights Chuck Norris at the end of the movie. The fight scene stills stands today as one of the best ever filmed. The emotion, the setting, the tension between the two combatants is electric. Chuck is beaten and Bruce gives him a chance to surrender. Chuck has too much pride and lunges at Bruce. Bruce then is forced to end his life. At that precise moment the emotion of Bruce’s face is one of regret. He then honours the fallen warrior by laying him down gently and covering him over with his Gi. It’s a beautiful moment in the movie.
“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”
Bruce used his art to capture the attention of the public and show them the strength of Kung Fu and his culture. He inspired me and so many others. His influence has touched advertising, movies, clothing, music, education, books, nutrition, fitness and sport.
For those Bruce Lee fans out there that will remember Bruce Lee on the 20th July remember that it’s not just about punching and kicking it’s also about unity, respect and honor. Let’s also remember the true martial way.
Bruce Lee’s influence today
Bruce Lee R.I.P.
The Martial Way – 38th Anniversary of the death of Bruce Lee: By Esmond Francis & Ronnie Green.