Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 126

Thread: Did Bruce Lee reach the level of Grandmaster?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England
    Posts
    28

    Did Bruce Lee reach the level of Grandmaster?


    Hi

    I'm new to these forums so please forgive me if I'm asking things that have been asked before.. I was just wondering whether anyone knew whether Bruce Lee achieved the level of Grandmaster? I know that he started out with Wing Chun under the great Yip Man, but did his skills surpass those of his teacher?

    I'm a big fan of Bruce Lee but my Grandmaster is always quite derogatory about Bruce Lee, saying things like he was one legged and that generally he wasn't as good as he was made out to be.. Despite this I still find myself admiring his abilities and the lengths he went to in order to achieve the level of physical fitness that he did. I find it hard to believe that anyone could have anything other than admiration for someone who was obviously incredibly driven and dedicated to his art.

    What are your thoughts on Bruce Lee? Am I buying into the whole mythology that surrounds him or was he as great as I and many others like me believe he was?

    Kevin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    10,532
    Blog Entries
    6
    I was just wondering whether anyone knew whether Bruce Lee achieved the level of Grandmaster?
    Aside from the given "if his students are teaching their own, then he is grand master"........how does one reach a "GRAND MASTER" level? What determines whether you are or not?

    welcome to the forum.......
    Last edited by hskwarrior; 10-15-2011 at 09:47 AM.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England
    Posts
    28
    Thanks for the reply. That opens up another question to which I'd like to know the answer. How do you reach the level of Grandmaster? Is there a formal grading or is it like like you suggested? I've often wondered about that. In theory anybody could call themselves a Grandmaster I guess?
    Kevin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    10,532
    Blog Entries
    6
    Technically, I'm a Grand Master because my grand students call me Sigung. If there is a grading for Grand Master its a new creation to grab up some outsider money. In my opinion, the real indication of GRAND MASTER is time and age as we never stop learning until death.
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England
    Posts
    28
    I've sort of been led to believe that to become a Grandmaster one must be adopted by a Chinese Master and then have the title effectively passed on to you..

    I'm so glad that I joined this forum, I think it is going to be most educational. I think it'll help me to cut through the bull and get to the truth about things.
    Kev

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Canada!
    Posts
    23,101
    Just to say it, "Grandmaster" is a fairly new term adopted into the whole scene.
    It is derived from the whole verbiage of the filial system of pais (clans/families).

    Up until the 80's or so, there was no such thing. But the filial systems remained and then got combined with belt ranks, then on it went down the garden paths until we arrive at the term "grandmaster".

    Filial system uses:

    Founder - Jo si or si jo
    Grandfather/Teacher - si gung
    Teacher / Father - si fu
    Teacher/Mother (sifu's wife - si mo
    Teacher /older brother - si hing
    Teacher/ Older sister - si mei
    you - whatever your name is. lol

    there is also uncles and aunts and such and generally these filial styles didn't use belt rankings.
    But then, welcome to america and voila! Culture mix that some like and others consider taint. It can be for sure a bit of both.

    as for bruce, if you think he's a grandmaster and learn from what he wrote or one of his students or students, students, then he's your grandmaster...these days anyway. :-)
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Shell Beach, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,664
    Blog Entries
    16
    Bruce Lee (born Lee Jun-fan; 27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973)...

    A 33 years old is just not qualified to be called grandmaster or even master.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Steam Pan
    Posts
    422
    It seems to me that the term , to add to DJ's post, was more akin to Masonic lodges.

    Which is why the head of the KKK is a "Grand Dragon".

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    Bruce Lee (born Lee Jun-fan; 27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973)...

    A 33 years old is just not qualified to be called grandmaster or even master.
    Don't know why you thought it necessary to start your post with his birth and death dates but thanks anyway ....

    Personally I don't think age comes into it really, to a point anyway. If he'd have been in his early 20's then I would have agreed with you, but by the time he's 33 he's had about 20 years experience in the Martial Arts.

    It's not always about the number of years you have under your belt. You could have someone in their 50's who by your argument would've gained enough years to have earned the right to be called a Grandmaster, but he might have only trained three times a week. Alternatively you could have a man in his prime like Bruce Lee who trained 6 days a week. If you added up the hours of training completed by each you'd probably find that the later actually trained a lot longer than the former.
    Kev

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Shell Beach, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,664
    Blog Entries
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    he's had about 20 years experience in the Martial Arts.
    20 years is not very long at all.

    Bruce Lee did not define training program for:

    - beginner level,
    - intermediate level,
    - advance level,

    in enough detail. He came from a TCMA background but he didn't want to use the TCMA method in his JKD. It's like to overthrow an old system by replacing a new system. But his new system is too "abstract" and not well defined yet at his early death. I'm sure if we can give him another 10 or 20 years, his JKD will be different from what we have today.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 10-15-2011 at 01:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    10,532
    Blog Entries
    6
    Personally I don't think age comes into it really, to a point anyway. If he'd have been in his early 20's then I would have agreed with you, but by the time he's 33 he's had about 20 years experience in the Martial Arts.
    My sifu used to say "you can tell how good a mans gung fu is by the age he is when he passes away"..........
    I'm pretty sure the only thing tongs do nowadays is make sure Chinese restaurants don't pay out tips to their waiters. - Pazman[/B]

    https://scontent-b-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/...8a&oe=52848D36

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Augusta, GA
    Posts
    5,096
    Bruce Lee was a decent actor and really helped propel TCMA into the mainstream. Aside from that, he was a good fighter (not the best by any stretch of the imagination), very creative, curious, and always researching. He wasn't a master or grandmaster, though. I think people misunderstand those titles and equate them with skill or athletic prowess.

    Instead of wondering if he was title this or title that, just appreciate how he helped bring martial arts to westerners. You don't have to be a grandmaster to do great things.
    The weakest of all weak things is a virtue that has not been tested in the fire.
    ~ Mark Twain

    Everyone has a plan until they’ve been hit.
    ~ Joe Lewis

    A warrior may choose pacifism; others are condemned to it.
    ~ Author unknown

    "You don't feel lonely.Because you have a lively monkey"

    "Ninja can HURT the Spartan, but the Spartan can KILL the Ninja"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,392
    Not to nitpick, but he wasn't really a fighter either. He had lots of theories and lots of philosophy, but he only ever fought once that I know of. And, no one really knows what happened there.

    Just saying.
    It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. - Apache Proverb

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England
    Posts
    28
    [QUOTE=YouKnowWho;1137489]20 years is not very long at all.
    Bruce Lee did not define training program for:

    - beginner level,
    - intermediate level,
    - advance level,
    QUOTE]

    I would have to agree with you there, but having read a lot of what he wrote I think what he advocated was mastery by obsorbing elements of many different fighting styles and self development through the application and study of all of the fighting arts whether it be Judo, Boxing, Kung Fu, Karate & Eskrima etc etc..

    I can't seem to find it on youtube but there's a famous interview where he says something along the lines of 'as long as fighters have 2 arms & 2 legs then the style is irrelavant'. I think he was looking at the bigger picture and trying to take the best and most effective bits from all types of fighting.

    I think as we look back from our modern viewpoint; in the 30 odd years since his death when other people have tried to devolop their own hybrid or bastadised styles; it is easy to forget that when he was questionning the established martial arts styles he was a young man and the first to question and people didn't like it. I think it's important to question rather than to accept what your are taught, if I'm shown a technique and I think it wouldn't be effective or that I could get out of it then I am going to say so, otherwise if I just take it on board and learn it without questionning then it is pretty pointless.

    Bruce closed all his schools at one point because he felt that his students were just imitating what he did rather than trying to find there own path. If he would have been given more time I believe he would have formalized a more definate style and yes it probably would have matured but I think the philosophy would have been pretty much the same. I think he left us with was a Martial Arts philosophy rather than a Martial Arts system in the end.
    Kev
    Last edited by KJW; 10-15-2011 at 04:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    4,881
    IMO, the word 'grandmaster' is something that's very overused. Other than meaning your teacher's teacher, I personally would feel very uncomfortable being given or using the title, or even the title of 'master.' I kind of doubt BL would have cared about being called such. Personally, I still admire BL for the fact he accomplished many things at a time when much was stacked against him.

    Had he lived to the present time, I'm certain his JKD would be much different from what people who practice it are doing now. Like you say, JKD was supposed to be a MA philosophy, and not a MA system. Meaning your interpretation should necessarily differ from BL's because every person is different. In fact, BL would have probably gotten rid of the the name 'JKD' eventually. We don't really know what would have come about, because our image of him is perpetually frozen in time to 1973 and earlier. But the only constant is that people evolve, or should.

    Let's not forget that BL was NOT the first MAist to break from tradition and either create a great new tradition, or go on to great fame for his own exploits. Musashi Miyamoto; Judo founder Jigoro Kano; Aikido founder Uyeshiba; Kyosushinkai founder Mas Oyama; Mitsuyo Maeda; as well as the many kung fu practitioners over the centuries whose efforts contributed to the re-emphasis towards combat-oriented arts whenever the trend in kung fu swung too far over into the hua chuan/hsiu tuei {flowery fist/embroidery leg}.

    BL accomplished a lot, indeed. But he was neither the first nor the most influential, in a MA sense; not by a long shot.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 10-15-2011 at 05:24 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •