As many of us have experienced, writer’s block can be the ultimate frustration. Have I really run out of ideas to express? Excitement to share? What the heck am I actually trying to write about?
The more I focused on my block, the more aimlessly my mind wandered attempting to find some spark of inspiration. Until, hallelujah Bruce Lee! Still wandering but this time on YouTube, I came across this video of the incomparable martial arts genius sharing his philosophical thoughts on life, love and growth.
I fell in love with Bruce Lee in 1974 after experiencing his unfathomable skill in the classic Enter the Dragon (1973) starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. Lee was also one of the film’s writers. This was Bruce Lee’s final film appearance before his death from cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) at the age of 32 on July 20, 1973. The movie was released six days later. Although he had passed before I’d discovered him, and there’d be no future projects to come, I could still immerse myself in his work and cherish his memory.
He epitomized badass with his fine, muscle ripped bod and his “put my foot in your behind” attitude. Considered one of the greatest martial arts films of all-time, in 2004 Enter the Dragon was deemed “culturally significant” in the United States and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
Born Lee Jun-fan (November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973) Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong American martial artist, actor, teacher, philosopher, and filmmaker who is widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of all-time; founder of Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). A cultural icon of the 20th century, he’s credited with changing the way Asians are perceived in American films.
In March 1961 Lee enrolled at the University of Washington where he studied drama, philosophy, and psychology. There he met his future wife Linda Emery. They had two children, Brandon Lee (1965–93) and Shannon Lee (born 1969). Brandon followed in his father’s footsteps as a martial arts actor. It was crushing to learn that he was accidentally killed in a firearms accident on the set of his fifth film, The Crow (1993). The movie was completed and released in 1994 using a stunt double and effects.
Enter the Dragon made Bruce Lee an international star and cemented his legacy as an innovator in both martial arts and the martial arts film genre. This scene showcases his agility, strength and quiet contemplation.
He didn’t subscribe to the dogma of fighting styles but instead believed the moves should be fluid, not set positions. Those ideas were met with resistance from the sport but soon became respected after Lee proved his approach, not with words but with his emphasis on “practicality, flexibility, speed, and efficiency”; resulting in moves which had never been seen at that time.
Watch him here in all his glory, from his feature films – The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee, Warner Brothers’ Enter the Dragon (1973) and his last – Game of Death (1973).
Bruce Lee was truly ahead of his time and a soul taken from us too soon.
Thanks, Bruce for making myself and the world marvel and smile. Next time I’m faced with writer’s block I’ll think back on your philosophy and remember your words.