Joe Lewis

November 21 2012 at 5:28 PM
Nick Clarke  (Login pathfinder73)

Response to here's another version..........

Joe Lewis :

Over the years, I've heard reports of various individuals claiming that they saw Bruce and I spar. This is nonsense beyond belief. Do these people feel more important when they manufacture these claims, just to draw attention to the fact that they knew Bruce or that they knew me? Let's keep this one simple. I will repeat what I have always said from the beginning. The only person to ever observe Bruce Lee teaching me at one of my lessons was Ted Wong. My lessons were private. No big deal, that's just the way it happened. Linda Lee was always in the house where Bruce and I were working together, but she never took an interest in coming out and observing our lessons.

Over the years, I've heard some wild stories. The guy who used to make equipment for Bruce Lee (I won't use his name) reported that he saw Bruce Lee and I sparring down at the Chinatown Dojo. I've heard other reports of people claiming they saw Bruce Lee beat the hell out of me. If the writers, who submit these rumors to be published, would simply have the courtesy or respect to interview me before they submitted their manuscripts, none of this nonsense would have started in the first place. There is no big deal here; there is no mystery.

Many of my instructors over the years engaged in sparring sessions with me. The only two instructors in my chain of command who ever sparred with me were John Korab, who taught me to spar in Okinawa, and Joey Orbillo, who taught me how to box. They both beat the hell out of me, but today, there is nothing to hide. I have simply never sparred any of my other instructors. Anyone who reports that they saw me and Bruce Lee sparring is simply lying. No one ever observed my lessons with Bruce Lee in the first place, and secondly, for anyone to misinterpret a sparring drill out of context has to be an uninformed idiot. Any uninformed observer knows the difference between sparring as opposed to an academic drill.

The capper to the demise of our relationship was equally stupid. At the 1969 International Karate Championships, I went out on stage that night in Long Beach, Ca. and conquered the most coveted title in karate at that time. Bruce Lee was sitting ringside, and if I remember, he was sitting next to my wife, who destroyed our relationship. As I walked out on stage that night, for the grand championship final match, I was simply in a zone, it was my time. Having been disqualified the year before and ripped off the year before that, I won.

In past years, whenever I went up on stage to fight for any title, never had any announcer broadcast what my style was or who my instructor was. It was usually what was your name and what city were you from. On a number of past occasions, such as when I won the 1968 United States National Championship for the second time of four consecutive wins, I brought Bruce Lee up on stage, actually for the third consecutive win. Up on stage Bruce Lee asked me to bring John Korab up to recognize him as the person who taught me how to fight. Bruce Lee never called Jeet Kune Do a style to me. He never seemed to be bothered by me giving credit to my past instructors for what they had given me. That night, his context must have been different.

When I walked out on stage for the final match, the announcer broadcast to the audience that my style was Okinawa-Te and that my instructor was John Korab. Being in my zone, preparing for the beginning of the match, I had no recollection upon hearing the announcer say that about me. Well, unfortunately for me, Bruce Lee hit the roof. He thought that I had set that up for the announcer to make that broadcast as a slap in his face. You have to understand Bruce Lee's context in that moment. Here, your top student is winning the most coveted title in all martial arts' history and you feel that he is breaching all respect for you as his mentor by having the announcer avoid giving you credit for his success. Strangely enough, in my entire career, that was the only time ever an announcer broadcast to the audience who my instructor was or what my style was. It's amazing the damage to a healthy friendship that others can cause, such as uninformed writers, wives, or tournament announcers.

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  • Pics........Should Work OK Now! - Nick Clarke on Nov 21, 2012, 7:57 PM
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