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Bruce Lee Essay, Research Paper

Bruce Lee (Enter the Dragon)

I chose to do my video report on the legend, Bruce Lee. The biography was on A&E at 10:00 Sunday February 1, 1998. It told the amazing life of possibly the greatest martial artist ever. He was a man filled with talent. Unfortunately, he died at a very young age. Here is his story.

Bruce Lee is my personal favorite martial artist of all time. His physical ability was truly amazing and fascinating. He was also gifted in the areas of philosophy, teaching, and movie making. It?s hard to imagine a man of his size doing the things he did. I admire his skills to the greatest degree. I really wish that I could do any of the things that he made look so easy. The world really lost a good person in Bruce. We will always remember him.

On the morning of November 27, 1940(in the Chinese year of the Dragon), Lee Jun Fan was born in San Francisco. The mother, Grace had not planned on an American name, and the father, at the time, was performing a popular Chinese opera in New York. So it was one of the Hospital employees who thought of the name Bruce. The mother concurred and from then on it was Bruce Lee. A legend was born. Shortly afterward, the family returned to Hong Kong.

Bruce?s Hong Kong film career began when he was only six years old. The director of his father?s latest film saw him on the set and was so impressed that he offered him a part in his father?s film. This was the beginning, leading to over twenty motion picture roles and steadily increasing popularity among Hong Kong audiences.

Bruce started training in the martial arts mainly to overcome his fear of being humiliated in a street fight. As a teenager he began to get into more and more fights for no reason at all. And if he didn?t win, he was furious. As a result, under the great master Yip Man?s Wing Chun (meaning ?beautiful springtime?) teachings, Bruce became a proficient martial artist, not to mention a feared street fighter. However, Bruce actually had more than one teacher. As time went by, Bruce grew. His enthusiasm towards martial arts was more apparent. He was young, energetic, and competitive. He soon became acquainted with Wing-chun?s basic Kung Fu. Since he was very clever, Mr. Yip loved him very much and taught him many secret techniques in Win Chun Kung Fu. He became an expert in Wing Chun Kung Fu.

When Bruce was about fourteen, he discovered that ?dancing? could be a great deal of fun. He had a real Knack for it and rapidly became quite polished, never lacking eager partners. Much of the balance and footwork became evident in his later fighting style. His favorite was the Cha Cha, and he spent many hours practicing extremely complex dance routines. He eventually became the Hong Kong Cha Cha Champion.

At the age of 19, Bruce was becoming more and more involved in street fighting. So in 1959, his parents decide to send him to live with friends in the United States, where he would finish high school. While restaurant?s attic in exchange for his services as a busboy and waiter. Bruce finished high school and went on to college. By day he attended the University of Washington and nights he was working in the restaurant. After a few months of this, he decided that this lifestyle was not for him. He quit his job at the restaurant and began teaching Kung Fu. At the age of twenty-two, Bruce authored an extremely unique text, which he titled ?Chinese Kung Fu: The Philosophical Art of SELF-DEFENSE.? This book reflected his preoccupation with spiritual as well as physical development.

Before Bruce finished his Bachelor Degree in Philosophy, he met Linda Emery, a pretty blonde coed, enrolled in his class and in 1964 they were married. Shortly afterward, they moved to California. In 1965, Bruce?s son, Brandon, was born. A couple years later his daughter Shannon was born.

When Bruce debuted to the world giving a demonstration of Martial Arts at Ed Parker?s 1964 internationals, Ed was getting it all down on film. Fate intervened a few years later while Ed was teaching Jay Sebring(one of the people later killed along with Sharon Tate in the Sharon Tate murders). Jay mentioned that his friend Bill Dozier(the producer of ?Batman 1966 T.V. series?) had bought the rights to the ?Green Hornet? and needed a Kato. Parker showed Dozier the film on Bruce and the rest is history. As Kato on the popular T.V. series ?The Green Hornet?, Bruce introduced millions to the beauty, creativity, and power of the martial arts.

Bruce felt certain that ?The Green Hornet? was going to be his ?Big Break,? but after the series went off the air after only one season, Bruce found that parts calling for orientals were few and far between. He landed a small role in ?Marlowe,? a feature film starring James Garner, and also appeared in a few episodes of ?Longstreet,? a television series starring James Franciscus, but for the most part, his career was going nowhere. Then, he decided to open up three Knoons (schools) designed for only the most serious of martial arts students. It was here that he developed and taught what was to become JEET KUNE DO. Which he had a group of students like Steve McQueen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Coburn, and Dan Inosanto.

In the U.S., Bruce knew many good friends in the field of martial arts. One of them was an expert in the nunchaku and Ka-li- Mr. Dan Inosanto. They exchanged their techniques. In a short while, Bruce grasped the essential points in the use of the nunchaku and Ka-li. The beginning of the seventies saw Bruce spending more and more time between Hollywood and Hong Kong. Offers began pouring in from many different sources and he was continually in transit firming up commitments and scouting locations for future projects. In constant demand, his fees escalated accordingly to such astronomical rates as

$275.00 per hour. However, the perpetuation of Jeet Kune Do was still very important to him, so before he embarked for good on his glamorous new profession abroad, he turned the responsibility of his teaching over to his head instructor and friend, Dan Inosanto.

After the ?Green Hornet? and ?Longstreet? television series, Bruce was asked to star in the television series ?Kung-Fu.? Bruce thought about it but decided that he wasn?t a good enough actor for the American market at the time. Instead, he went to Hong Kong to make a series of action movies, which propelled him into international superstardom. As time went on, Bruce was determined to upgrade his films. Eventually, he incorporated his philosophy and Jeet Kune Do into his films. Bruce Lee only made four films about martial arts and another one incomplete (Game of Death).

The first film was ?The Big Boss?. It was a typical low budget ?chop-suey? film. Bruce was reluctant to have this film shown in the western market because of its lack of sophistication. His charisma and martial arts ability overshadowed any shortcomings in the film and instantly catapulted him to superstar status.

The second film was ?The Chinese Connection?. With the box office success of ?The Big Boss? behind him, Bruce asserted himself in each succeeding film. In this movie, his fight scenes were flawless and believable. His simple and direct fighting style of Jeet Kune Do would set the standard for all martial arts films to come.

Bruce?s third film was ?Return of The Dragon?, or originally titled ?Way of The Dragon?. It was a total Bruce Lee production. He wrote it, directed it, cast it, and chose the locations. It was unheard of for a Chinese production company to go the expense of filming in the famed Coliseum in Rome. Chuck Norris, the famous American martial artist, was flown in to make the fight scenes still more exciting and to give this film a true international flavor.

Bruce?s fourth film was ?Enter the Dragon?. It is considered by many to be the ultimate martial arts film of all time. Major motion picture stars along with American cinematography techniques were featured. Bruce also showed his weapons ability with the nunchaku and the Filipino double sticks. This was also the only film using his own voice in English.

The final film in Bruce?s career was ?The Game of Death?. It was to be his crowning achievement and would have been if he were around to complete it. He wanted to show his gratitude to his former students and instructors by including them in this film. Dan Inosanto was his Filipino-Style opponent, Taky Kimura, unable to attend, was to have been his preying mantis opponent, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was his unknown style opponent.

The circumstances surrounding Bruce Lee?s death on July 30, 1973 unleashed a storm of discontent which swept across Asia, and throughout the rest of the world, leaving in its wake a tangled welter of claims and counterclaims regarding the causes of his dying. His physical fitness was too well known for people to accept that he might have simply died of natural causes.

One day, Bruce had complained of a headache, so a friend and actress Betty Ting Pei gave him and aspirin compound that she had used. When Bruce?s producer, Raymond Chow, came back later to check on him, he found him unresponsive. They called for an ambulance, but Bruce was dead upon arrival at the hospital. Bruce Lee was buried in Lake View Cemetery in Seattle. He died at the young age of 32. The world had lost a great person as well as a great artist.


A&E biography

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