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Thread: Did Bruce Lee really break his back?

  1. #1

    Did Bruce Lee really break his back?

    is his life in any way similar to the way it is in the movie "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story"?

    Did he get his back broken, and who was that guy he fought that did it?

  2. #2
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    Bruce hurt his back lifting weights. He was doing good mornings with close to his body weight.

    That movie "Dragon" is an entertaining movie but it is mostly fictional.
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  3. #3
    Yeah, what Chief Fox said. "Dragon" was a fictional movie "based" on the life of Bruce Lee, not a biography.
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    He injured his lower back doing Good Mornings with bodyweight without warming up. There's a lesson in there, somewhere . . .

    Don't warm up and you'll die.
    "Who dies first," he mumbled through smashed and bloody lips.

  5. #5

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    Interesting point. According to Linda Lee when Bruce was resting after the back injury in the summer of 1970 he began a study of Indian guru Jiddu Krishnamurti. Much of the JKD after 1970 was influenced by Bruce's conversion to Krishnamurti thought. The September 1971 article "Liberate yourself from classical Karate" was based on the Krishnamurti philosophy of gaining freedom from classical thought. Lee closed his JKD school in 1971 and JKD became a philosophy based very much on the way of Jiddu Krishnamurti (JKD). The back injury in 1970 marks the transition from original art to the beginnings of the JKD concept. Some could argue that had it not been for the back injury Bruce would never have had so much down time in which to read, study, interpret and adapt J.Krishnamurti "do" to JKD and JKD would still be represented by what is now called the "Original art".

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    Thanks very much for the information!
    "Who dies first," he mumbled through smashed and bloody lips.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Aikia
    Interesting point. According to Linda Lee when Bruce was resting after the back injury in the summer of 1970 he began a study of Indian guru Jiddu Krishnamurti. Much of the JKD after 1970 was influenced by Bruce's conversion to Krishnamurti thought. The September 1971 article "Liberate yourself from classical Karate" was based on the Krishnamurti philosophy of gaining freedom from classical thought. Lee closed his JKD school in 1971 and JKD became a philosophy based very much on the way of Jiddu Krishnamurti (JKD). The back injury in 1970 marks the transition from original art to the beginnings of the JKD concept. Some could argue that had it not been for the back injury Bruce would never have had so much down time in which to read, study, interpret and adapt J.Krishnamurti "do" to JKD and JKD would still be represented by what is now called the "Original art".
    "Liberate yourself..." is just as much Alan Watts and Taoism as Krishnamurti.

  8. #8
    Compare "Liberate" to "Pathless land" and other Krishnamurti works and you will see the strong union of Lee and Krishnamurti. Some passages almost word for word. Google.com Jiddu Krishnmurti/Bruce Lee or just Krishnamurti and observe the likeness.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Aikia
    Compare "Liberate" to "Pathless land" and other Krishnamurti works and you will see the strong union of Lee and Krishnamurti. Some passages almost word for word. Google.com Jiddu Krishnmurti/Bruce Lee or just Krishnamurti and observe the likeness.
    Dr Beasley, I don't deny the influence of Krishnamurti on Bruce Lee's later JKD philosophy, but I think to say that that's all it is, is to put all eggs in a single basket. Any seekers of truth are bound to have some commonalities, and just as Bruce Lee was searching for commonalities and truth in combat, I think he was dong the same in philosophy and spirituality. I do feel that the idea of the individual is most influenced by JK, though.

    Here are some parts of the Tao Te Ching that are quite similar to JKD and some ideas in "Liberate...".

    THe most obvious that is a direct rip-off:

    Lee:"The usefulness of the cup is in its emptyness."
    TTC:" ...it is the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the clay pot
    lies."

    Lee:Its teaching simply cannot be confined within a system."
    TTC:The ways that can be walked are not the eternal way; the names that can be named are not the eternal name."

    Lee:"To understand this fully on emust transcend from the duality of for or against into one organic unity which is without distinctions. Understanding JKD is direct intuition of this unity."
    TTC:" THe Way gave birth to unity. THe myriad creatures bear yin on their backs and embrace yang in their bosom. They neutralize these vapors and thereby achieve harmony."

    Lee:Truth cannot be percieved until we come to fully understand ouselves and our potentials."
    TTC:"Understanding oneself is enlightenment."

    Lee:In JKD we begin not by accumulation but by discovering the cause of our ignorance-a dicovery that involves a shedding procees."
    TTC:"The pusuit of learning results in daily increase, Hearing the Way leads to daily decrease."

    Lee:You must accept the fact that there is no help but self help."
    TTC:"Without going out of doors one may know all under heaven."



    I could pick apart the entire esaay and give like comparisons from Taoism and Zen, without ever considering JK. I don't really have the time or disire for such a chore though. Krishnamurti was just putting forth old ideas in a new light, personally I prefer to study the old and form my own new light.

  10. #10
    I agree with Aikia. While I'm sure Taoist and other eastern thought played a role in Bruce's life, nearly everything I read of JKD sounds almost exactly like JK. Before I was ever exposed to JK, I had already read a lot about Bruce and Taoism/Confuscious/Buddhism/etc like the little shaolin monk wannabe I was. When I finally read some JK for reasons completely unrelated to martial arts, I couldn't believe the similarities with the Tao of JKD.

    That, and I think Linda Lee may have a better handle than us on what influenced Bruce the most...

  11. #11
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    I think that bonetone has a point. Bruce's entire life philosophy has a very "not putting all your eggs in one basket" mindset.

    The very first thing you see in the Tao of JKD is a taoist priest. I have studied Taoist philosophy for many years and find there to be constant Taoist references in all of bruce's notes.

    I do not say that there is no JK influence, quite the opposite. I say there is an influence from everything that Bruce studied. He took what he liked and is applicable and put it to use. Much the same way modern day youth is deciding where to lie thier faith. More and more people are using a cafeteria style system in choosing what to believe.

    From a very early age Bruce was influenced by Taoism. Look at his longest running master.

    The current Dali Lama even says that all religions have certain qualities in common with each other and at the very core essence they all have something very good to contribute to the world.

    This is the same method bruce seemed to operate in his entire life dealings, he found what worked, what was effective and used it. It is the core of JKD.

    There is no limitation to the influences put to play. If ever one said something that made sense to bruce he used it.
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  12. #12
    Nice replys guys. The 1971 "Liberate yourself from classical Karate" did draw heavily on Krishnamurti. Check out the article in the July issue of Black Belt on sale May 25.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Aikia
    Nice replys guys. The 1971 "Liberate yourself from classical Karate" did draw heavily on Krishnamurti. Check out the article in the July issue of Black Belt on sale May 25.
    Dr. Beasley, I look forward to reading the article, and hey I can even pick it up down at the local grocery store. Any more articles to watch for?

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