Was Bruce Lee the greatest fighter of all time?

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Pundit

Senior member
Feb 28, 2002
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<< Indeed, there is reason to believe that Lee's most famous fight with Wong Jack Man, portrayed as a victory for Lee in the motion picture "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (1993; Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly), was at best a draw with some feeling Lee had lost ("Bruce Lee's Toughest Fight", Official Karate, July 1980) >>


I knew something was fishy about that scene. It makes me wonder what else was fabricated in the movie for creativity's sake...
 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
18,005
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<< I would really like to know if Bruce ever lost a fight. I read an earlier post that someone did, in fact, beat him before his death. Is there a link you can provide? >>

Several sources describe Lee's childhood in Hong Kong and state that he hated to lose a fight, it made him furious and determined to become better. Clearly, that strongly infers Lee lost more than a few fights in his day.

The movie "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" was a Hollywood telling of Lee's life based on a book authored by Lee's widow Linda Caldwell, entitled "Bruce Lee: The Man I Only Knew". Obviously, between Hollywood's story telling license and Linda Caldwell's interest in seeing that the memory of her beloved late husband be not just preserved, but elevated to legend status, there are lots of historical inaccuracies and romanticized notions in the movie.

The movie was more of a look at what influenced Lee's life, what kind of husband or father he was, what pressures his fame brought on the Lee family, what America had to offer an Asian man in the 1950's and 1960's, and had little to do with martial arts. It was a classic "Rags to Riches Slash Love" story.
 

Anubis

No Lifer
Aug 31, 2001
78,716
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i wouldent say lee was the best fighter ever but he was really good.
i dont know who Coke is so cant comment on him.sopposedely segal is a master of whatever stile he is in.

and yes size does matter ive see an 70 year ols chinese man about 5.4" maby 130 lbs kick the crap out of a 6.6" 280 lb dude. littl ti chi master or some thing like that. dicplins like ti chi and akiedo are all about inertial energy amd redirecting it. and its NOT BS its physics and its true quite simple also. if you redirect the force to somewhere else its not gonna affect you and you can easily strike the apponent.

as for the thing on TLC i was the hole thing this is what i remember
10 -
9 -
8 - jujitsu
7 - ti kwan do
6 - Muy Thai
5- jetku - do
4 - Akiedo
3 -
2 - karatie
1- kung fu
 

UThomas

Senior member
Apr 18, 2000
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A couple more thoughts:

I would bet a dollar there were at least 50 heavy weight Japanese judo players who could have put a hurting on Bruce Lee in his day. Lee's matwork and ground fighting was under developed and he was too light.

Segal is legit with Aikido. But Aikido is not a combat martial art, its self defense. Segal was choked unconscious in under 2 minutes by an American judo national champ (Gene Lebel) on the set of a movie after Segal challenged him.

"dicplins like ti chi and akiedo are all about inertial energy amd redirecting it. and its NOT BS its physics and its true quite simple also. if you redirect the force to somewhere else its not gonna affect you and you can easily strike the apponent."

Maybe true, but where is the proof? Bottom line: no internal art has had any success in mixed martial art competition. Why do you think Bruce Lee moved from Wing Chun to Western Boxing?

Thomas

 

Daniel

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
3,813
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<<
Segal is legit with Aikido. But Aikido is not a combat martial art, its self defense. Segal was choked unconscious in under 2 minutes by an American judo national champ (Gene Lebel) on the set of a movie after Segal challenged him.
>>



Haha, challenging gene lebel probably wouldn't be the smartest thing in the world ;)



<< "dicplins like ti chi and akiedo are all about inertial energy amd redirecting it. and its NOT BS its physics and its true quite simple also. if you redirect the force to somewhere else its not gonna affect you and you can easily strike the apponent."

Maybe true, but where is the proof?
>>


Aikido anyway redirects external as well as internal energy, in that instance it is pure physics, its harder to prove something purely internal. Granted I believe it, hell I've been tossed silly by people showing me the same stuff, tends to help make up your mind, but on a purely scientific level it isn't easy to quantify.



<< Bottom line: no internal art has had any success in mixed martial art competition. Why do you think Bruce Lee moved from Wing Chun to Western Boxing?

Thomas
>>


He integrated them together, along with many other arts, he didn't just leave one and go to another, watch him move does he look like a western boxer?
 

UThomas

Senior member
Apr 18, 2000
251
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Wrist locks, joing locks, etc as taught by small circle jiu jitsu, aikido, hapkido, hosinsul, etc, do not work against a trained fighter. Thats it. It sounds good on paper to say "Well, I'll just redirect his force back against him and overcome his superior strength" but that is the difference between in theory and in practice. I'm not saying that they are not valuable to train for self defense or cool for flipping your friends around, but you can't pull them off against a trained fighter in a ring (or the street).

Lee was heavily into the footwork and hand movement of western boxing (and fencing among others). He talked a lot about it in Tao. This is one reason he moved away from Wing Chun. None of us have really seen Lee really fight, we can watch him in movies though. Van Dam does 4 jump spin kicks in a row in Blood Sport and fights with his eyes closed. That doesn't mean it works or thats how he fought when he was a kick boxer.

Thomas

Edit: The reason I say moved away from Wing Chun to boxing is that they are not compatible. You cannot blend the two, they are too different in their aproach. Wing Chun is kinda an odd ball as far as martial arts goes.
 

Wingznut

Elite Member
Dec 28, 1999
16,968
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"Wrist locks, joing locks, etc as taught by small circle jiu jitsu, aikido, hapkido, hosinsul, etc, do not work against a trained fighter."

Have you ever seen a MMA competition (UFC, PRIDE, etc...)???

These are the best in the world at what they do. And joint manipulation submissions happen in every event. Armbars, keylocks, ankle locks, knee bars, achilles locks... you name it. They work.
 

kgraeme

Diamond Member
Sep 5, 2000
3,536
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<< Well like I said before if the other guys are only going to play at their own stuff how can they prove it? I remember seeing an olympic tae kwon do match in the last olympics and it was absolutely the most retarded thing ever. Those people weren't fighting, they were prancing around like morons. Watch a professional tae kwon do match and you'll see what an absolute farce that sport is at the competitive level. Take the top tae kwon do guy and watch him smacked into bitch land in UFC. Most martial arts are so incredibly controlled that they are incredibly unlike any real fight. >>



LOL! As someone who spent a fair part of his wilder years as a fighter, I can both agree and laugh at you for this kind of comment. I've done those tournaments and you are right that they are a load of bull compared to a real fight. When we are in a ring like that we are more concerned with rules and not hurting the other person than in actually cutting loose and finishing the fight. I used to spend thirty-minutes or more at a time in the ring when I was training for a 3-minute match. It was about endurance, blocking and finding an opening to score a point. Real fighting never entered the picture.

I really got tired of it when I tried to start integrating softer styles of kungfu. Their kicks and punches appeared to the judge to be landing, but there was no energy behind it because I had diffused it. It worked great! Except that it also gave the other guy all the points. And in reference to Wingznut's post, joint manipulation worked great against these very trained fighters. But that got me banned because I was "grappling". Of well, put me into a brawl any day.

So yeah, you're right that it's kinda lame. But at the same time, these same people and I had no problems ending a real fight in just a few seconds, making sure the other guy stayed down. The situation makes all the difference.


Oh, and I just want to say hi to Wingznut PEZ since he so rarely chimes in these days.
 

Quaggoth

Senior member
Jun 23, 2000
800
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I don't mean to blow my own whistle but here goes -
One time a black belt in Aikido (The Sensei from another Dojo in town), came to our Dojo and asked Sensei if he would let him test against one of his fighters. Being the best white belt in the class at the time I got the call (If he beat me the Sensei would tell him when to come back (or right then if he wanted to) and he would have been matched against our best Blue). He tapped in about 20 seconds. I practice Jiu-Jitsu. I am sure that if I knew nothing of my art and had stayed on my feet I would have been waxed, but after the takedown (Which he was obvoisly expecting this being a Jiu-Jitsu Dojo) he was like a fish out of water. As far as Grecco Roman, we have a lot of state champ type wrestlers come in and for about 5-6 months they get it handed to them because they don't know submissions and they constantly turn their backs....

One time three Police officers came in (Subordinates of one of the students, A 3rd degree brown) and asked to try some of their techniques. Again, being the best white at the time, I got the call. After 15 minutes of all three of them trying to pin me (I tapped one in about 10 seconds, they didn't expect me to go for a double leg) the sensei walked over and tapped me in about 5 seconds. Later in a joking mood I asked him when I gave them a chance to call for backup. He said "You didn't, but they needed it."

I have only practiced this art, but from what I see, the practice is a LOT more like a real fight. You go all out right up until that moment before their shoulder/elbow/knee/ankle/wrist/bone/neck pops or they tap because they are getting dizzy (MY favorite :)). The name of my game is to control my opponent. If I'm doing that (And sometimes I'm not :)), the fight goes at my pace and all I have to do is twist until I feel a certain amount of pressure. That is the ONLY time I hold back is that split second. In a real fight, I just wouldn't give a chance to tap. In other styles I see people "Sparring". It seems fairly useless to me.

One other thing... My Sensei also teaches Shotokan Karate. The Karate students call us "Pit Sniffers", not to our faces though. I asked the Sensei why he thought that was and he honestly replied to me "They are afraid of you, even the apprentices"

I am fairly sure that anyone who doesn't train for grappling will be absolutely toasted by someone who does. Afterall, the grappler has gravity working for him AND against his opponent....

so basically, if Lee's grappling techniques were not strong, I think that Helio Gracie (To pick someone from near the same time) would mop the floor with him (No pun intended).

 

hardass

Senior member
Apr 10, 2002
492
1
81
lets be realistic, movie stars cant compare to the real deal. Vanderlei Silva gets my vote, he's beat some of the best MMA fighters out there, Sakuraba is also a very good fighter.
 

Aquaman

Lifer
Dec 17, 1999
25,054
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Probably not the best martial artist but the guy who put martial arts into the hearts & minds of many western people :) A great infulence & ambassador for the martial arts :)

Cheers,
Aquaman
 

Koing

Elite Member <br> Super Moderator<br> Health and F
Oct 11, 2000
17,090
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Originally posted by: Bignate603
There are many ways to reach the same end point (the other guy lying in a bloody heap) and Lee took one way(speed) while the guys in UFC mostly all took the other ( enough strength to pop somebody's arm off and use it as a toothpick).
the guys in UFC use *leverage* to get the arm bar and shoulder locks. Easy as long as you know how to get it done. ANYONE can do it and once your on and unless your a total n00b NO ONE is EVER going to get out of the shoulder lock. Its someone SHOULDER muscles against your legs and hips. NO CHANCE in hell. And 'not much' strength to it at all.

The guys in UFC are good (I am a big UFC fan) but they have *rules* that stop from certain things. But in a fight there are no rules. You gouge the eye attack at the throat etc. Bruce Lee wouldn't be doing so well if he wasn't able to do some of this. Also stricking at joints isn't allowed in UFC.

I say Bruce Lee is a great fighter and I'd say he'd do well against the guys in UFC. Its harder to bring someone down to the ground also. Have you tried with a guy thats got some balance and is pretty good? Also theres 'Weight Categories' in UFC so Bruce wouldn't be fighting ANY of the main fighters people have named as they'll be in a different class :) Tank wouldn't be in the same class.

Like someone pointed out Jeet Kune Do isn't a Martial Art in itself. But its the thinking and philosophy. Its how you do things and now this strike is this and this is that.

Koing

ps anyone in England want to grapple?:D
 

Koing

Elite Member <br> Super Moderator<br> Health and F
Oct 11, 2000
17,090
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Wing Chun is less to do with internal energy but straight line attacking, centre line blocking and attacking, no fancy stuff, low kicks to knee/shin.

Its more to do with structure and the forms you can make with your arms and legs to make power and strike. Striking to neck and other points. It does have a lot of things with using yoru opponents force against them but nothing about *internal* energy to do things. No *chi* here.

About those old 70yr old guys. They are 'GRANDMASTERS' and few and far apart and have trained for many years. I'd still favor myself to have a good fight, might kill me or just beat the crap out of me but until then I'm not so in to the *internal* energy of things my self personally.

The day I see a 70yr guy take me on that is 5"5 and about 140lbs that is the day I believe. Like people with other things, its just that I don't believe until I see it real for myself. If I go at him and he kicks the crap out of me then I BELIEVE.
 

her209

No Lifer
Oct 11, 2000
56,352
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I thought Jeet Kun Do was a combination of martial arts based on Win Tsun but has no stances.

Win Tsun is more about the impact of a punch. Punches usually end up an inch behind the target. But I'll tell you that it ain't the prettiest thing in the world. BTW, Win Tsun was the name of a woman who was taught the martial arts. :eek:
 

UThomas

Senior member
Apr 18, 2000
251
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"Have you ever seen a MMA competition (UFC, PRIDE, etc...)???

These are the best in the world at what they do. And joint manipulation submissions happen in every event. Armbars, keylocks, ankle locks, knee bars, achilles locks... you name it. They work. "

None of the submissions you listed are from the styles I listed. Do you ever see wrist locks in King of the Cage? No. You see judo, sambo, and BJJ submissions. As I said, not joint locks "as taught by small circle jiu jitsu, aikido, hapkido, hosinsul, etc"

Thomas
 

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