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2012/06/12

Bruce Lee and his Followers

This article has not been inspired by one article or another, instead it has been inspired by people trying to say they could be ‘The Next’ Bruce Lee. In so saying this, they have already disqualified themselves from ever being ‘The Next’ Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee was never ‘The Next’ anything. He never aspired to be anyone except himself. That was what he was trying to teach everyone who would listen. He did not want a group of followers too focused on the name. He wanted martial artists, in their singular, individual forms, finding themselves. He never meant for Jeet Kune Do to become a name that people could join under. I do not think Bruce wanted his students to be followers or joiners of any kind. In my opinion (and that is all this is), Bruce wanted people who would strike out on their own and have their own version of Jeet Kune Do, the name be damned.

Bruce even says in his book, “Let the name Jeet Kune Do be forgotten” because the name is nothing. The philosophy is everything. I think Bruce would be staunchly against people trying to be ‘The Next’ him.

I also think that Bruce Lee would be against all these flip flying, wu shu fools who think that martial arts are about the stunts that they can do. No doubt, I think Bruce would be impressed by their flights, but no doubt he could also cut them down before any of that happened in a real fight. The flips and flying are not real martial arts, they are gymnastics. Real martial arts are the quickest way to the end of a conflict, whether it involves fighting or not fighting.

Martial arts, Jeet Kune Do in particular is more than just fighting, it should be a way of life. Jeet Kune do is also finding the quickest and most effective way through life. Jeet Kune Do is about taking what works and using it and discarding the excess.

Maybe I’m just being too preachy, but I have read his book, I have listened to interviews and all of the flashy flying stuff just seems too cocky for Bruce’s style. I think if Bruce had to choose a successor, he would want that person to move as little as possible and end a fight as fast as possible. He also would not want the person to be on a show that is trying to decide who ‘The Next’ him is.

I think if Bruce wanted a successor, that successor would have to happen organically, without pretense, without cockiness. The successor would have to have no thought whatsoever about becoming ‘The Next’ Bruce Lee. That is when it would happen, and not before.

Discussion: Do you think Bruce Lee would approve of this show or of someone becoming his successor through these means? Why or Why not?

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