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Bruce Lee

Birthdate: 27. November 1940
Date of death: 20. July 1973
Other names: 李小龍

Lee Jun-fan , known professionally as Bruce Lee, was a Hong Kong and American actor, film director, martial artist, martial arts instructor, philosopher and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time, and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.

Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco, on November 27, 1940, to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon, Hong Kong, with his family until his late teens. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education, at the University of Washington, at Seattle and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in the US, Hong Kong and the rest of the world.

He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei's The Big Boss and Fist of Fury ; Golden Harvest's Way of the Dragon , directed and written by Lee; Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon and The Game of Death , both directed by Robert Clouse. Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese nationalism in his films. He trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other influences from various sources, in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do . Lee held dual nationality in Hong Kong and the US. He died in Kowloon Tong on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32.

Works

„Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successfull personality and duplicate it.“

—  Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee radio interview with Ted Thomas
Bruce Lee
Context: When I look around, I always learn something: to be always yourself, and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Context: When I look around I always learn something, and that is to be yourself always, express yourself, and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. Now that seems to be the prevalent thing happening in Hong Kong, like they always copy mannerism, but they never start from the root of his being and that is, how can I be me?

„Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.“

—  Bruce Lee

Variant: Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own
Source: Bruce Lee — Wisdom for the Way

Citát „Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one“

„There is no such thing as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing.“

—  Bruce Lee

Source: The Warrior Within : The Philosophies of Bruce Lee (1996), p. 131
Context: There is no such thing as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s the end. That’s when the coffin is closed. You might be deteriorating physically in the long process of aging, but your personal process of daily discovery is ongoing. You continue to learn more and more about yourself every day.

„Fluidity is the way to an empty mind. You must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying.“

—  Bruce Lee

Source: Striking Thoughts (2000), p. 25; Variant: Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose — to accept defeat. To learn to die is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying!
As quoted in Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey (2000)
Context: Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win. But never to accept the way to lose. To accept defeat — to learn to die — is to be liberated from it. Once you accept, you are free to flow and to harmonize. Fluidity is the way to an empty mind. You must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying.

„Whether or not we can get together, remember well that art “lives” where absolute freedom is.“

—  Bruce Lee

Source: The Warrior Within : The Philosophies of Bruce Lee (1996), p. 156
Context: Whether or not we can get together, remember well that art “lives” where absolute freedom is. With all the training thrown to nowhere, with a mind (if there is such a verbal substance) perfectly unaware of its own working, with the “self” vanishing nowhere, the art of JKD attains its perfection.

„Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.“

—  Bruce Lee

Source: Striking Thoughts (2000), p. 121
Source: Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living

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