Friday, November 4, 2011

Bruce Lee - Big Business. Too big?

Call off the hounds, I'm not bashing Bruce.  He was an incredible martial artist, a visionary thinker and influenced martial arts during his brief life and for decades after his passing, to this day.

I was glancing over the magazine rack the other day and saw yet another special Bruce Lee collectors issue.  I realized that I probably owned a half dozen super special 'all Bruce, all the time' editions of various martial arts magazines, several from the same magazine.   For whatever reason, the thought crossed my mind that "Oh great, here's another one...".  The strange part, of course, is that I'm a big fan.  I mean, I'm always saying you should constantly examine your technique, adjust it to your own unique makeup, discard what you don't need or can't use (once you've truly explored it) etc.

I've read some of the articles written by Shannon Lee, and she seems to know her stuff. Her material seems to be trying to honour her father with class and humility.  I have no problem with preserving a legacy or building on the foundation of the giants that we follow. After all, Bruce Lee was never static in his training, so Jeet Kune Do should continue to evolve with the times.  I'm o.k. with all that.

But is it too much?  Have all the books, the re-prints, the posters, the never before seen or read passages, the magazines, the figurines, the comics and all the swag become too much?

Does the big business of Bruce take away from the man and his message?

I don't know.



  1. I know what your saying, it does seem a little much. However, I'm not against it. The more Bruce Lee is remembered in whatever way, the more his teachings will be practiced and passed on. I do think his name is more popular than who he is. But out of 10 kids who hear his name or see his doll, only 2 actually learn about who he is - that's already 2 more than zero.

  2. Good point. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. books like the Tao of Kung Fu are truly gems (written by Lee). he had great depth as an individual, too. however, a lot of the hype is transfered to a seemingly unlimited amount of 'experts' on his style, which as you say, was not static.

  4. jc,

    I totally agree with you. It's the continual re-packaging of material and the 'experts' who met him in passing now calling themselves his students. Bruce Lee would share and work out with anyone to learn as much as he could. If you were lucky enough to have met him and he showed you a technique, that doesn't make you a personal student of his. Thanks for the comment, sorry about the tardy reply on my part.