Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the iconic martial arts legend Bruce Lee. He was a Hollywood star that was quickly on the rise before his sudden death in 1973. Despite his short career, he is an influential figure not only to students of the martial arts - but those who seek a grounded and philosophical approach to the challenges of life. Bruce was determined to achieve his goals despite the obstacles he faced in life, and his teachings offer profound insights into how we can achieve our own dreams through perseverance, discipline, and belief in ones own abilities.
Bruce Lee was born in China and was raised in affluent family, but his neighborhood became the center of gang activity after refugees from Communist China entered the area. After taking part in some of these gang fights, his parents thought it would be a good idea if Bruce learned some form of self defense.
He learned some martial arts techniques from his father before he began to study Wing Chun, a Chinese form of Kung fu. This style is what he would develop and refine into his own style of fighting called Jun Fan Gung Fu which was based on what he had already learned. That style would further evolve into the Jeet Kune Do technique that we are most familiar with from his movies.
Jeet Kune Do was a non-traditional approach to martial arts that reverberated the philosophical nature of its creator, Bruce Lee. It emphasized "practicality, flexibility, speed, and efficiency" for fighting, but took a deeper approach in its teachings. Lee was an intelligent man who studied Asian and Western philosophy while a student at the University of Washington, and thus he incorporated those insights as a basis for his fighting style. Lee believed that any anything learned ultimately led to self-knowledge, and thus martial arts was his chosen method of self-expression.
Perhaps because of his size - he was estimated to stand 5'6" and weigh 141 pounds - Bruce focused on his training and conditioning until it became an advantage which allowed him to overtake larger opponents. Famous for his one inch punch, which knocked down much larger opponents from a near stand still stance, Lee trained and took his diet very seriously as he formed himself into a lightning fast hurricane of devastating kicks and punches.
Throughout his rise to Hollywood stardom, he faced challenges besides his size: Lee was an immigrant who was looked down upon and his thick accent didn't help. In fact, he was turned down for roles because of it. That meant a long road to success, and years as a starving actor who was supported by his wife's income. He was even denied a role as a Shaolin Monk in as series he created - "Kung Fu" starring David Carradine. Lee also married a Caucasian woman in a time when interracial marriage was frowned upon. Lee never gave up on his dreams though, and took turned those challenges into fuel for self improvement.
Here are 10 Quotes and Wisdom's from Bruce Lee on overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals:
"As you think, so shall you become"
"Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory"
"Running water never grows stale. So you just have to keep on flowing"
"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at"
"Cease negative mental chattering. — If you think a thing is impossible, you'll make it impossible"
"Balance your thoughts with action. — If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done"
"There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them"
"Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail"
"Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal"
"Life is better lived than conceptualized"
If you want to learn more about Bruce Lee, visit his official website by clicking here