What We Know

November 3 2017 at 5:27 AM
Herolung  (Login hero-lung)

Response to What We Know

My original question was, of course, if Robert Clouse accurately reported what Bruce Lee said, and thanks for your clarification. And since the debate between Lee vs. Ali, whether in sport or real combat, I'll add my three cents in. Maybe be a bit long-winded so may be in two parts or so....

Part I. General BL fun facts

* Lee would hand a real knife to someone and say, "Stick me." Stirling Silliphant, a former college fencer assumed it would be easy, and went at it half-heartedly. But then he got serious. "Bruce could kick me at will! My hand, arm, leg, head! .... He was a human panther, he could kick the ceiling."

* On movie sets he would put his hand on chef's chopping block and dare them to cleave away.

* In his Hong Kong late period, he had a razor sharp electrified device with different-size holes for his fingers, fists. The holes were razor sharp with electrified metal plates behind. So when Lee would thrust in, he would get a shock.

* BL shrugged at the mob. It's open secret that in Hong Kong several movie stars have been intimidated/humiliated by the Triads. During boxing's 'golden age' the mob often intimidated boxers. Lee would have laughed at them, too. All the above and more evinces he was either/or supremely confident or crazy.

* This last one I read in only one account by the witness, an Los Angeles based art director for several martial arts magazines. His boss said to meet this guy Bruce Lee. "I thought I knew what a tough guy looked like, I grew up in bad part of LA. So we faced off and Bruce was twelve feet away. I asked him, Hey what are you doing so far away? Next instant he slapped my head and then was back twelve feet away! He did this several times."

In one article in a sports magazine a group of sports trainers, doctors, etc. studied the major sports and listed them as to athletic skill involved. Boxing was rated number one. Not sure, but I think motor racing was rated number two or so. Boxing has ever-changing 'terrain' while racing has the advantage where the driver has foreknowledge of the track. One would assume that MMA type fighting would be more difficult, except for the base athletic ability of the fighters. Ie, I don't see a champ in MMA fighting reigning in pro boxing, but that's open question.

* Looking at Ali vs. Inoki bout (sport) we can see Ali even kicking Inoki's legs. I had assumed that Ali's foot speed would have never allowed a guy scuttling on his back to land a good kick, yet Ali is often kicked and unbalanced. In one scary moment for the crowd (you can see everyone gasp) Ali is in danger of being taken to the ground but the ref steps in. Even in sport or sparring with Ali, judging from Inoki's kicks, Lee could kick Ali repeatedly in the legs and unbalance him.

Two 'expert witnesses'

* Mike Tyson. Iron Mike had a street background. In this > context < (1. observation 2. interpretation with context as key) we can understand his comment on Bruce: "Bruce was a killer!" Basically, my interpretation is that BL's focus was on crippling to lethal close combat with one or more foes bent on killing or maiming him (and likely armed). Not being disrespectful to Ali the icon, it's doubtful an official interviewer would ever ask Tyson "Who would win in a real fight, Ali or Lee?" But Tyson, knowing the pros and cons of boxing and potentially lethal streetfighting may well be in Lee's camp. Of course, historically early boxing had throws, locks and so on. Just because today they are within the rules doesn't mean they don't study dirty tricks. But that was Lee's entire focus.

Jack Dempsey taught 'dirty fighting' to USCG in WW2. In the intro to his book he writes (paraphrase) "A 20 lb. baby falling from a two-story window would deal a killing blow to an adult male walking on the street." Simply, velocity x mass = force. The next witness certainly can attest to Lee's expertise in V x M = F.

* James DeMile is an expert witness who actually knew Bruce Lee. Even though they had a personal falling out, he tells it like he experienced it. "Those who didn't know Bruce can have opinions whether he was for real or not. Those of us who knew him don't have that luxury... I will be glad to show anyone the difference between sport fighting and what Bruce did. It's not UFC, Sabaki Challenge, but ugly, breaking bones, stabbing, etc. (paraphrasing) to this day I would put my last dime on Bruce against > anyone < in the world. He had an 'invisible movement' and at the end of that movement, he could split your muscle, break youir bones, game over." DeMile was part of the Seattle years in Lee's early 20s, when many students were big experienced streetfighters/boxers/grapplers who "We really tried to knock Bruce's head off, but no such luck." "Bruce could have taken us all at the same time."

Part II follows ..............

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  • What We Know - Herolung on Nov 3, 2017, 6:28 AM
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