How Bruce Lee Changed The World

1015 words - 5 pages

This legendary man is one of, if not the most recognizable icon in martial arts cinema of the 20th century and beyond. Millions of people today would acknowledge and agree without a doubt that Bruce Lee is the greatest martial artist who has ever lived in all of history. However, Bruce's unique fighting style and realistic approach in his films is not to be looked at as the only factors of his significance. In his short life but long legacy, Bruce has changed the world by openly teaching ancient, Chinese martial arts to people who were non-Chinese, literally kicking down racial barriers within the filming industries(between Eastern-Asia and Western countries), and by being one of the 20th Century's earliest self-help gurus.
Simply put, Bruce Lee believed martial arts ultimately means honestly expressing yourself in the physical form. In other words, he shows meditation in body movements. Thus, Bruce had a sincere urge to share this art form from his own native culture and have it open to people of all nationalities even if the techniques had been hidden away from outsiders back in Chinese, ancient times. His peers and teachers back in his home country shunned upon his actions of taking in non-Chinese students(Caucasians, Africans and Japanese). In the '60s, Bruce had opened his first school teaching kung fu linked to his own system, Jeet Kune Do ('The Way of The Intercepting Fist'). Students of his who were famous, western actors that included Steve McQueen, Bob Wall, and James Coburn. In 1964, Bruce is challenged into a martial arts duel versus a Chinese martial artist, Wong Jack Man. This may have been a fight to the death as there were no rules or regulations attached. If Bruce were to lose this match, he must agree to stop teaching the Chinese techniques of fighting to the non-Chinese. The fight then took place soon after. It only lasted around three minutes when Bruce finally managed to pin down his opponent and actually made him surrender on the very same spot. Still to this day in the 21st century, Bruce Lee's own system of kung fu is taught to people from many different countries across the world.
Not only did he break racial barriers within the martial arts community, Bruce had also done the same with his films created by both Western and Eastern Asian studios. Believe it or not, Bruce was supposed to have a numerous amount of starring roles in western films as a male lead but studios would not allow him to get the role due to having an oriental background. The western studios were not sure if their targetted audiences, in America, would cater to a Chinese man appearing as the lead role in their films. Ironically, Bruce himself was born in America so he is considered to be a Chinese-American. He was also found to have one quarter of Caucasian blood(German). Even so, this was a major dissapointment to...

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