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  • Writer's pictureGrace Dabir

Bruce Lee's Legacy on Martial Arts



Bruce Lee was one of the most influential people in the martial arts community in media. He's a cultural icon, and is still one of the best known names in Hollywood today, even after his death. Bruce Lee was originally trained in traditional Chinese martial arts, more specifically, Wing Chun Kung Fu. Wing Chun martial arts is more practical in a sense, and uses deflection of force for defense, and straight on attacking for offense. In a nutshell, the martial art emphasizes being straight forward, and direct with movements and values efficiency over flashiness. From his base of Wing Chun Kung Fu, Lee grew his martial arts knowledge by becoming skilled in Taekwondo, as well as even boxing. Lee eventually created his own mixed martial art called Jeet Kune Do. Jeet Kune Do is taught on the basis of "combat realism" as Lee used his training in Wing Chun Kung Fu to create this new style.

One of the main things that drew me to Bruce Lee as an inspiration was not just that he was a super cool martial artist, but because he and I shared the same core weapon: nunchucks!

In Bruce Lee's arguably most famous film Enter the Dragon he plays special agent Lee. Special agent Lee is recruited to defeat Han, the main antagonist of the film. Interestingly, when Lee was initially approached with the project, he was not supposed to be the main character. Instead, the British lead of the film would have been the protaganist. Being from Hong Kong, and having the movie filmed in Hong Kong, there was tension at the time between them, and the British. Lee pushed to direct the film and cast himself as the protaganist. Because of this directional change, the movie ended up becoming a large success and had a lasting impact on our culture as a whole.


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