Monday, April 07, 2008
Bruce Lee - information and facts
Bruce Lee felt that many martial artists of his day did not spend enough time on physical conditioning. Bruce included all elements of total fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. He tried traditional bodybuilding techniques to build bulky muscles or mass. In his book The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, he wrote "Training is one of the most neglected phases of athletics. Too much time is given to the development of skill and too little to the development of the individual for participation." "JKD, ultimately is not a matter of petty techniques but of highly developed spirituality and physique".
The weight training program that Lee used during a stay in Hong Kong in 1965 at only 24 years old placed heavy emphasis on his arms. At that time he could perform bicep curls at a weight of 70 to 80 lbs for three sets of eight repetitions, along with other forms of exercises, such as squats, push-ups, reverse curls, concentration curls, French presses, and both wrist curls and reverse wrist curls. The repetitions he performed were 6 to 12 reps (at the time). While this method of training targeted his fast and slow twitch muscles, it later resulted in weight gain or muscle mass, placing Bruce a little over 165 lbs. Bruce Lee was documented as having well over 2,500 books in his own personal library, and eventually concluded that "A stronger muscle, is a bigger muscle". However, Bruce forever experimented with his training routines to maximize his physical abilities. He employed many different routines and exercises, which effectively served his training and bodybuilding purposes.
Lee believed that the abdominal muscles were one of the most important muscle groups for a martial artist, since virtually every movement requires some degree of abdominal work. Perhaps more importantly, the "abs" are like a shell, protecting the ribs and vital organs.
He trained from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., including stomach, flexibility, and running, and from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. he would weight train and cyce. A typical exercise for Lee would be to run a distance of two to six miles in 15 to 45 minutes, in which he would vary speed in 3-5 minute intervals. Lee would then ride his stationary bicycle for 30-45 minutes at full speed immediately after running. Next, Lee would do some skipping rope for 800 jumps non-stop.
According to Linda Lee, soon after he moved to the United States, Bruce Lee started to take nutrition seriously and developed an interest in health foods, high-protein drinks and vitamin and mineral supplements. Bruce later realized that in order to achieve a high-performance body, you could not fuel it with a diet of junk food. With the wrong fuel, your body's performance would become sluggish or sloppy. Lee's diet included protein drinks; he always tried to consume one or two daily.
Linda recalls Bruce's waist fluctuated between 26 and 28 inches. "He also drank his own juice concoctions made from vegetables and fruits, apples, celery, carrots and so on, prepared in an electric blender". He consumed large amount of green vegetables, fruits, and fresh milk everyday. Bruce always preferred to eat Chinese or other Asian food because he loved the variety that it had.
Although Bruce Lee is best known as a martial artist and actor, Lee majored in philosophy at the University of Washington. Lee's books on martial arts and fighting philosophy are well-known both for their philosophical assertions both inside and outside of martial arts circles. His philosophy often mirrored his fighting beliefs, though he was quick to claim that his martial arts were solely a metaphor for such teachings. His influences include Taoism and Buddhism.
The following are some of Bruce Lee's quotes that reflect his fighting
"If I tell you I'm good, you would probably think I'm boasting. If I tell you I'm no good, you know I'm lying."
"Fighting is not something sought after, yet it is something that seeks you."
"Be formless... shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, and it can crash. Be like water, my friend..."
"Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."
"The more relaxed the muscles are, the more energy can flow through the body. Using muscular tensions to try to 'do' the punch or attempting to use brute force to knock someone over will only work to opposite effect."
"Mere technical knowledge is only the beginning of Kung Fu. To master it, one must enter into the spirit of it."
"There are lots of guys around the world that are lazy. They have big fat guts. They talk about chi power and things they can do, but don't believe it."
"I'm not a master. I'm a student-master, meaning that I have the knowledge of a master and the expertise of a master, but I'm still learning. So I'm a student-master. I don't believe in the word 'master.' I consider the master as such when they close the casket."
"Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there."
"Jeet Kune Do: it's just a name; don't fuss over it. There's no such thing as a style if you understand the roots of combat."
"Unfortunately, now in boxing people are only allowed to punch. In Judo, people are only allowed to throw. I do not despise these kinds of martial arts. What I mean is, we now find rigid forms which create differences among clans, and the world of martial art is shattered as a result."
"I think the high state of martial art, in application, must have no absolute form. And, to tackle pattern A with pattern B may not be absolutely correct."
"True observation begins when one is devoid of set patterns."
"The other weakness is, when clans are formed, the people of a clan will hold their kind of martial art as the only truth and do not dare to reform or improve it. Thus they are confined in their own tiny little world. Their students become machines which imitate martial art forms."
"Some people are tall; some are short. Some are stout; some are slim. There are various different kinds of people. If all of them learn the same martial art form, then who does it fit?"
"Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself. It is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky so I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly enough; that my friend is very hard to do."
"Using no way as way; Having no limitation as limitation."
Death by "misadventure"
On July 20, 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong, due to have dinner with former James Bond star George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee's wife Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. at home to discuss the making of the movie Game of Death. They worked until 4 p.m. and then drove together to the home of Lee's colleague Betty Ting Pei, a Taiwanese actress who was to have a leading role in the film. The three went over the script at her home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.
A short time later, Lee complained of a headache, and Ting Pei gave him an analgesic. At around 7:30 p.m., he laid down for a nap. After Lee did not turn up for dinner, Chow came to the apartment but could not wake Lee up. A doctor was summoned, who spent ten minutes attempting to revive him before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. However, Lee was dead by the time he reached the hospital. There was no visible external injury; however, his brain had swollen considerably, from 1,400 to 1,575 grams (a 13% increase). Lee was thirty-two years old. On October 15, 2005, Chow stated in an interview that Lee was allergic to Equagesic. When the doctors announced Bruce Lee's death officially, it was coined as "Death by Misadventure."
Another theory is that he died from an allergic reaction to marijuana, which he was consuming at the time in hashish form.This is controversial, but it is confirmed that the coroner did find traces of the substance during his autopsy.
However, the exact details of Lee's death are controversial. Bruce Lee's iconic status and unusual death at a young age led many people to develop many theories about his death. Such theories about his death included murder involving the triads, a curse on Lee and his family, etc. The theory of the curse carried over to Lee's son Brandon Lee, also an actor, who died 20 years after his father in a bizarre accident while filming The Crow.