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Author of a new book on Bruce Lee on podcast

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by jeffk, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. jeffk

    jeffk Brown Belt

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    Don't know what forum this should be in so I'll put it here.



    Sounds like an interesting book. The general idea of the podcast is that Bruce Lee was a globalist and completely against orthodoxy.

    He taught black and whites Kung Fu and that was like exposing or selling national security weapons. He was big on the idea of taking what works and don't sick to one form of martial arts so he was one of the fixed mixed martial artists or at least one to really push for it.

    Sounds like he was kind of a punk growing up.

    He must have had a lot of confidence in what he could achieve since even his successful friends said his plans are not going to work.

    They talked about how in the US he leaned into trying to be a Chinese hero in movies even though it wasn't too far after WWII and Asians faced discrimination since Americans couldn't tell the difference between Japanese and Chinese. One of his top students was Japanese and was in an Internment camp during WW2.
     
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  2. pookiyama

    pookiyama Purple Belt

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    Hmm.... If the author said the bit about teaching other races Kung Fu was like Chinese treason, he's wrong. It's a huge inaccuracy. Plenty of people did it in that timethe Chinese didn't like him because he was brash and called their Kung fus weak(essentially).
     
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  3. jeffk

    jeffk Brown Belt

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    He talks about that in the podcast. He said the real reason he got into a fight was because he went around and said you guys are teaching junk. That was the primary reason for a fight they talk about but Linda Lee has said it was because he was disliked because he taught Kung Fu. But they didn't like that he taught Kung Fu too but that was about 4th on the list why they didn't like him.
     
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  4. GSP_37

    GSP_37 Steel Belt

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    Was that the short podcast from few months ago where he suggested Bruce died of overheating on one of the hottest days on record not long after having his armpit sweat glands surgically removed?
     
  5. ThunderL1ps

    ThunderL1ps Black Belt

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    Of course he is a globalist.


     
  6. ScarfaceJr

    ScarfaceJr All praise honor & glory to the most High

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    Uhhhh what?
    Sounds like a terrible idea
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  7. jeffk

    jeffk Brown Belt

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    I had not heard that before.

    They don't talk about his death on the podcast. They just say he died when he may just have started. He would have liked to do a big budget film.
     
  8. punky brewster

    punky brewster Black Belt

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    Is there really anything in this book that hasn't been said or recounted in the numerous other books, articles, videos or documentaries that are out there?
     
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  9. bushman505

    bushman505 Silver Belt

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    Kung fu is stupid as fuck. I say that after living in china for 6 years.
     
  10. loyalyolayal

    loyalyolayal Steel Belt

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    Youtube comment level of hero worship incoming.
     
  11. IloveTHIS

    IloveTHIS Silver Belt

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    Bruce Lee is an icon and maybe a top 100 most iconic men to ever live.

    A lot of people in this thread are going to trash him of course. It's the internet and sherdog specifically. But Bruce accomplished more in 32 years than most men do in 10 lifetimes

    He was a pinnacle of human fitness. P4p youd VW hard pressed to find someone stronger/more fit
     
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  12. Big Tuppy Hole

    Big Tuppy Hole Gold Belt

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    He OD on drugs
     
  13. jeffk

    jeffk Brown Belt

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    I cannot say. I have never read any other books about bruce Lee. The author made it sound like no one has really done a serious biography about him (which I found surprising) while guys like Steve McQueen have 6 biographies about him.

    According to the author he spent years to research for the book and tried to make it as accurate as possible. The guy who interviewed him said the book made him more human and pointed out his flaws as well as what he accomplished.
     
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  14. Hard To Tell

    Hard To Tell Brown Belt

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    No one has a problem with Bruce Lee being a cultural icon or anything like that.

    But when you make a statement like this:

    That's what people take issue with. I mean what the hell are you basing this on? Have you ever sen him fight for multiple rounds without tiring for example? Or are you basing this on movies, hearsay, rumor and spurious claims made people with a vested interest in making money from the Bruce Lee legend?

    You really thing Bruce Lee was stronger and fitter than professional boxers or MMA fighters? That is just absurd and based on pure fantasy and blind idol worship.
     
  15. IloveTHIS

    IloveTHIS Silver Belt

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    Based on what I've read, seen, and studied, I know with out a doubt Bruce was an extremely special physical specimen. He studied endlessly to figure out how to maximize his physical potential.

    Maybe I shouldnt have used the word fit. I'm sure there were plenty of people with equal or better endurance. I was mainly talking about p4p strength and speed
     
  16. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    For people on here who don't know, I'm an academic (PhD in film studies), and in addition to publishing a few articles on Bruce's movies (with a couple more in the pipeline), my PhD supervisor and I recently hosted an academic conference on "Bruce Lee's Cultural Legacies" out here at Cardiff University (for a conference report: https://chinesemartialstudies.com/2018/07/19/conference-report-bruce-lees-cultural-legacies/) and Matt Polly came by to give a keynote talk. Aside from being super cool and super funny, Matt absolutely knows his shit when it comes to Bruce Lee, and, as someone who knows more about Bruce Lee than probably anyone that's ever posted on this forum, I can say without hesitation that his biography is the definitive Bruce Lee biography in which he collects together all the information that fans have likely scraped together from various sources over the years and adds tons of new information backed up by solid sources.

    The early portions of the biography detailing Bruce's parents' lives and then detailing Bruce's childhood are the most fascinating portions since so little (correct) information is out there. Polly interviewed a number of Bruce's childhood friends and fellow Wing Chun students and got several really cool and funny stories that I'd never come across. And yeah, he was a little shit growing up :D

    Bruce wrote this in a letter to Pearl Tso (his high school girlfriend back home) in 1962:

    "When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they encompass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action. Right now, I can project my thoughts into the future, I can see ahead of me. I dream (remember that practical dreamers never quit). I may now own nothing but a little place down in a basement, but … I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over setbacks, achieving “impossible” objectives ... I feel this great force, this untapped power, this dynamic something within me."

    Taky Kimura.

    Yeah, it was Bruce's attitude that got him almost as many detractors as acolytes. In the 1993 documentary The Curse of the Dragon, Alex Ben Block (a film critic and the author of the first English-language Bruce Lee biography, The Legend of Bruce Lee, published in 1974) pointed out the following:

    "You have to go back and remember what kind of guy Bruce was. If he didn't like your traditional method, he told you so, and he didn't care if he was on television or on top of the Empire State Building. He said what he thought ... The martial arts [represent] very traditional forms, and those traditional forms had been done over hundreds and thousands of years. Now, along comes Bruce Lee, [who] says, 'I'm going to take a little bit of this form and a little bit of that form and mix it with some kickboxing from Thailand and with some American boxing and I'm going to use this and that and I'm going to shorten my strokes and I'm going to do this and that, and I know better than all of you' ... It doesn't go over real well."

    Haven't listened to the podcast yet, but Polly does make a detailed (and more than just a little plausible and convincing) argument in his biography for the cause of Bruce's death being heatstroke.

    Yes. And not just one or two things - a lot of things. And not just a lot of trivial things - a lot of very interesting things, from his ancestry and his early Wing Chun training to his troubled home life with an opium-addicted father and his difficult departure back to the States to his time in Hollywood (which included a couple of affairs which have been substantiated and detailed for the first time, including one that'd literally never even reached the status of rumor yet is given detailed accounting by Polly thanks to his interview with the actress in question who'd never before gone on record) to his untimely death.

    No matter how hardcore a Bruce Lee fan you think you are, you literally have a zero percent chance of closing that book without learning at least half a dozen new facts about the man.

    Polly found it surprising, too, which is why he wrote the book. He joked at the conference that, in addition to wanting to write about Bruce for his own fan reasons, the other big reason that he wanted to write the book was because he felt insulted on Bruce's behalf :oops:

    The thing with Bruce Lee is that he was so famous and people wrote about him so much that it's just been assumed that everything that there is to know or say about him is already known and has already been said. But the truth is that the few biographies out there are light on facts (and even lighter on correct facts and legit sources) and narrowly focused on the time between The Green Hornet and Enter the Dragon.

    Polly's biography really is the Bruce Lee biography.

    He spent 7 years working on the book. And it paid off.
     
  17. Agent Mulder's Hair

    Agent Mulder's Hair Banned Banned

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    I always thought John Little was the authority on Bruce. And I think I've read everything he ever wrote about him. I'm a Bruce fanatic and I thought I knew pretty much everything that we could know about him. But as I get older there are things about him that I've never heard anyone say but I've just starting to assume myself, based on common sense and an understanding of how people REALLY are, compared to their personas. For example, it seems fairly obvious to me that Bruce was having affairs with some of his actress co stars. Most of those chicks were extremely hot though so I get it. It also seems fairly obvious dude was on some sort of steroids. I don't hold that against him though. I mean he set out to achieve peak physical condition, and steroids will do that. And it's not like he was in competition or he was cheating or anything, so yeah why wouldn't he take steroids? I also get the impression he was probably sort of an asshole and a smartass. And cocky. I would love to meet him but I think honestly if I did meet him he'd probably irritate me, lol. But again, I don't really hold any of that against him. What all he achieved in his short 32 years is amazing by anybody's standards.
     
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  18. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    In the sense of the question "Who knows the most about Bruce Lee?" then yes, John Little is the Bruce Lee authority. He was also Polly's main "fact-checker." But Little never wrote a true chronicle of Bruce's life and times. His book Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey is a fantastic philosophical chronicle of Bruce's intellectual development, and his companion documentary is easily the best Bruce Lee documentary out there, but he was primarily concerned with publishing Bruce's writings and elucidating their philosophical dimensions, not documenting Bruce's life. That's where Polly comes in.

    Then you'll enjoy Polly's book, as it'll give you the opportunity to say to yourself as you come across certain portions, "See, I knew it," or, "Whoa, I didn't know that."

    He wasn't anywhere near McQueen's level of basically trying to fuck anything that moved, but he had his flings, and Polly's accounts of them and of Bruce's and Linda's relationship amidst Bruce's rise to fame are fascinating.

    According to Polly, there's no actual evidence of any steroid usage on Bruce's part. However, at the first Martial Arts Studies conference that we held out here at Cardiff University in 2015, we had a keynote presentation from a physician which unfortunately wasn't recorded, so I'm fuzzy on the details of his presentation, but he offered a pretty convincing "diagnosis" of Bruce's physical development and condition as attributable in part to anabolic steroids and diuretics.

    Smartass, yes. Cocky, yes. Asshole, I wouldn't go that far. He had a hell of a temper, and if you pissed him off or if he felt slighted, he could come at you hard, but from most accounts he was too friendly, had too good a sense of humor, and had too much charm to warrant the asshole label.
     
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  19. GSP_37

    GSP_37 Steel Belt

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    The podcast I was referring to was like 30 min on iTunes and you can find it via searching the book author's name.

    As the Bruce Lee Sherdog expert, did you watch the made in China "Legend of Bruce Lee" 50 episode or abbreviated 30 episode series where I think the 30 episode version is available on subtitled DVD? If so, how much of that was true vs. fake?
     
  20. Fedorgasm

    Fedorgasm Silver Belt

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    I don't necessarily think Bruce had to be on steroids.

    He didn't have big muscles. In fact his muscle size was very average. It's just that he had such low body fat that you could see every muscle.

    Maybe he used something to help him get his body fat so low, I don't know. But it's completely believable that he didn't use roids.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now compare that to other small dudes with very low body fat..

    Brad Pitt isn't that far off.

    [​IMG]


    Jared Leto
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018

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