Where was Bruce Lee between 1st Dec – 20th Dec 1972?

January 22 2016 at 8:11 AM
LJF  (Login LJF)

There is a detailed article in New Martial Hero published on 29th Dec 1972 (issue 86), titled “Shocked AtThe Death of His master; Went to Pay His Last Respect In The Evening”

Below is an excerpt of that article:

"Until December 20th, Bruce’s filming of GAME has temporarily come an end and he returned to his house. He coincidentally met an actor who has once helped Bruce in his bodybuilding. His name was Robert (Chan) and he told Bruce’s about the death of Ip Man..."

"Bruce was shocked and said, “Master Ip has passed away!?? Gosh! How come I didn’t know!??”

"Upon hearing the tragic news, he immediately called his Si-heng, Wong Chun-Leung to find out more and at the same time, he got Unicorn Chan to call (on his behalf) all his Wing Chun brothers. Then, he got to know from Master Ip’s family that they are holding a 3 by 7 21 days death memorial ceremony (Chinese custom & ritual) for Master Ip at the Wing Chun Athlete Association. (i.e. 21st Dec'72)"

"Bruce invited Wong to accompany him to the Wing Chun Athlete Association personally and pay his last respect to his beloved late master. He also sent his condolences to Master’s Ip eldest son, Ip Chun and spoke to him for about half an hour. Bruce also talked to his Si-heng and Si-dai, and shook hands with everyone of them. Then, he gave a sum of HK200.00 as condolence money to the family before leaving the ceremony."

"Just about to leave the association, Bruce took off his leather shoe near the exit and changed into his jogging shoe. He spent about 25 minutes to jog from the Association to his house. This is Bruce’s way of physical conditioning and it is also a good way to maintain his fitness."

According to Unicorn Chan, "A fact is a fact, Bruce has never forgotten about his origin and his master."

On 23rd December, reporter went to Unicorn Chan’s apartment. Unicorn said, “Regarding Master Ip’s funeral, Bruce really didn’t know in the first place. Master Ip died on 1st Dec and Bruce was busy filming the co-production of GH and Concorde’s new film “GAME” at the studio then. The shooting was all day long, from day to night, continuously for many days. Bruce has no time to watch TV (or newspapers), so, he really didn’t aware of death of Master Ip."

HK public & media accusation: Bruce who is westernalised and has become a superstar now, has already forgotten about his Wing Chun master and brothers. He was absence in Ip Man’s funeral purposely because he is the founder of JKD. He is utterly an ungrateful and loathly guy! (Note: Bruce's relationship fell apart probably from late '72 till his death on 20th July 1973)

Years later, the TRUTH turned out:

1. Ip Chun --- He revealed in his interview that he initially wanted to contact Bruce but was stopped by the rest of the Wing Chun brothers.

2. Wong Shun Leung -- He called once or twice at Bruce’s house but Bruce was not available. So, he continued to help out the funeral. He thought someone besides him must have notified Bruce and he expected Bruce to turn out in the funeral. But he didn't.

3. Unicorn Chan -- As above

4. Lam Yan-Ni (Eunice Lam, ex-sister-in-law of Bruce, Peter Lee’s ex-wife): She said in her newspaper column and interviews that Bruce really wasn’t aware of his master’s death. He respected Master Ip a lot. Should he had learnt that his Si-fu had passed away, he definitely would turn out at the funeral. Also, Bruce did not have the habit of reading Chinese newspaper and magazines, so, he surely did not learn about the news...

5. Bruce Lee --- He told M.Uyehara (refer to The Incomparable Fighter) that those sons of the bitch (refer to HK Wing Chun people) has feud with him. They didn’t even bother to inform him of the old man’s (Master Ip) death. He only got to hear the news many days later after Master’s Ip funeral has ended. He was utterly shattered about his teacher’s death...

Timeline of BL on Dec'72

Dec 1st – 20th: According to Unicorn, Bruce was busy shooting GAME at GH’s studio and outsiders were forbid to enter the filming set. (So, there must be more footage??)

(During the first 19 days of Dec, no photos of Bruce’s public appearance found, if yes, do post.)

Dec 20th: In the evening, Bruce turned out for the “Top 10 Mandarin Film Stars of the Year” award ceremony and received his trophy. This is the first public appearance of Bruce in Dec’72.

Dec 21st: Attended Ip’s Man memorial ceremony at Wing Chun’s Athlete Association.

Dec 22nd: Attended the midnight premiere of WOTD with Raymond Chow.

Dec 23rd: Ted Wong and Herb Jackson came to HK for a week or two and stayed with Bruce. They celebrated Christmas with Lee’s family.

Between Dec 21st – 30th: Warner Brothers dispatched the outdoor film crew to scout for ETD locations in HK. Fred Weintraub and Robert Clouse came and was welcomed by Raymond Chow and Andre Morgan at the airport (refer to my previous post of stuntman, Cheung Wing-Han)

Dec 30th: James Y. Lee passed away in Seattle, USA.

Photos of Bruce Lee at the memorial ceremony:

 Respond to this message   

  • Great info, thanks! NT - Roger on Jan 22, 2016, 12:26 PM
  • @LJF / Nick - dragonio on Jan 22, 2016, 1:03 PM
  • Re: Where was Bruce Lee between 1st Dec – 20th Dec 1972? - Nick Clarke on Jan 22, 2016, 2:31 PM
  • Re: Where was Bruce Lee between 1st Dec – 20th Dec 1972? - Chris Richards on Jan 23, 2016, 11:50 AM
  • Re: Where was Bruce Lee between 1st Dec – 20th Dec 1972? - Anonymous on Jan 26, 2016, 7:51 PM
  • Ip Chun - lazemby on Feb 29, 2016, 3:59 PM
  • Ip Man’s funeral (1st – 5th Nov 1972) & memorial service ceremony (21st Nov 1972) - LJF on May 28, 2017, 10:28 AM
  • Emotional rollercoaster - Bruce on May 28, 2017, 8:30 PM
  • Re: Where was Bruce Lee between 1st Dec – 20th Dec 1972? - Chris Richards on Dec 26, 2017, 12:23 AM
  • Way of the Dragon premiere? - Chris Richards on Dec 28, 2017, 10:29 PM
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