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Bruce Lee; 1940 - 1973.

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Bruce Lee; 1940 - 1973

The ‘Little Dragon’- even if you have never heard of Bruce Lee, or even if you have but are unfamiliar with his movies, you will probably have watched and enjoyed many films or TV programmes that might not of been made had it not been for his influence. Can you think of any examples?


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Bruce Lee

  • If you thought of everything from ‘Hong Kong Fooey,’ to ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ to the ‘Rush Hour’ or ‘Matrix’ films, Jackie Chan or Jet Li, then you are still only scratching the surface of how important Bruce Lee was in bringing a whole new type of movie experience to Western audiences.

  • Can you think of any film stars, or films and TV where the martial arts are practised? If so, they probably all owe some debt to Bruce Lee.


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Bruce Lee – what could he do?

  • Lee could spring a 235 lb (107 kg) opponent 15 feet (4.6 metres) away with a 1 inch punch.

  • Lee could snatch a dime off a person’s open hand, then replace it with a dollar before they could close their palm.

  • Lee could perform push-ups using only his thumbs.

  • Lee could throw grains of rice up into the air and catch them using only chopsticks.

  • Lee could thrust his hands through unopened cans of Coca Cola.

  • Lee could break wooden boards 6 inches thick.

  • Lee recommended a food high in nutrition. For instance, he supplemented his diet with vitamins, bee pollen and chocolate-flavoured protein tablets!


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Bruce Lee

  • ‘I’m not a master, I’m a student master.’

  • ‘If someone comes at you with a sword, run if you can. Kung fu doesn't always work.’

  • Bruce Lee’s first breakthrough film was ‘The Big Boss (1971).’ He had tried his luck in the US, but had managed only smaller roles in programmes such as ‘Batman’ and the ‘Green Hornet.’ But ‘The Big Boss’ made him a star throughout Asia.

  • His second movie, ‘Fists of Fury (1972),’ firmly

    established him as an Asian superstar, and the third,

    ‘Way of the Dragon (1972),’ led to his first US Hollywood

    movie, ‘ Enter the Dragon (1973).’

    Lee seemed quicker than all the other martial arts stars,

    he also had the film-star looks and the charisma to

    break box-office records around the world.

    Kung – fu films were here to stay!


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Bruce Lee

  • Bruce Lee died, July 20th 1973. His brain had swollen to many times its real size. He was only 32 years old.

  • At the time, he was making ‘Game of Death,' a film that involved Lee taking on various martial arts experts on his way to solving a criminal mystery…

  • During his short life, he also trained many film stars in the martial arts (developing his own style, Jeet Kune Do – what Lee called ‘the art of fighting without fighting.’)

  • Stars such as James Coburn, Steve McQueen

    and David Carradine all learned a great deal

    from him.

    Later, his son Brandon Lee became a star in

    his own right. During the filming of ‘The Crow,’

    Brandon was tragically

    killed by a bullet which was meant to have been a dummy.


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Bruce Lee

  • Now look at these clips from You Tube, and see for yourself what all the fuss was about. Enjoy!


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