Bruce Lee is possibly the greatest martial artists who ever lived. All martial arts have their founder or renowned Master but Lee has become an icon. Made famous by his movies and by his tragic death at a such young age, his legacy lives on. Many people talk about his martial art style but I believe Bruce Lee was the ultimate street fighter.
When Bruce Lee began to develop his own fighting style many of his fellow martial artists turned their back on him. What he developed was a street fighting style of Gung Fu. Lee’s personal fighting style, popularly known as Jeet Kune Do, has also been called “scientific or sophisticated street-fighting”. If we watch films like Game of Deatch we see many impressive flourishes and moves which were of course created to add to the mystery of Gung Fu. The fact is Jeet Kune Do is a highly effective combat system and a skilled user would do very well in competitions like MMA.
The common question is always what is Bruce Lee’s fighting secret? The answer is a complex one and one most people don’t want to hear. He had an incredible level of fitness due to his disciplined training regime. His daily training regime would put most people off how ever a skilled fighter it would lead them to become.
As a fighter, Lee used a very practical, direct method of facing an attacker. This is why I argue Bruce Lee was a street fighter and that we can still learn from him today. Lee had a very tough background and he grew up in the streets. He came from a gang background where street gangs carried chains, pen-knives and other weapons. Sadly in many parts of the world this is still the case today. Although he had an interest in traditional forms of Gung Fu this environment meant he needed a practical fighting style to survive real attacks. Lee was forced to use street fighting moves that get the job done!
Lee understood the principle of attacking your opponent at his weakest points and this is something we need to employ today. He also understood the value of the basic aikido principles of throwing an opponent off balance and applying leverage principles so that his body, and the limbs of his body, are used to defeat him.
Although finding a Jeet Kune Do class isn’t possible for most of us we can use some of Lee’s core principles from his combat system and use them in street self defence.
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