Did Bruce Lee Ever Come To the UK and compete?
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Did Bruce Lee Ever Come To the UK and compete
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I can respond generally: Bruce never competed in martial arts tournaments in his adulthood. He, of course, did compete in Hong Kong for the western boxing inter-school championship. He defeated the three time champ, a British lad; also, it has been reported he KO'd three others before the title fight. Once he was in the U.S., he concentrated on the essence of martial art, in his view, which is life and death street combat. He did spar with anyone, including the tournament champs of the day, and also fought for real for any challengers who were so foolish..even in these serious fights, he showed a lot of class after defeating opponents who wanted to knock his head off. For example, in Hong Kong as a teenager he fought a guy on a rooftop, with the agreement the defeated one would be thrown off the roof. Bruce broke the guy's arms, at least. But he didn't throw him off the roof. In Seattle, when he defeated the karateman who was challenging him (he tried to ignore him), the karateman told his friends that he had been in an accident. Bruce didn't say anything. Another tangent is that the karateman asked to be taught by Bruce, which also shows class on his side. In the famous Lau fight in Hong Kong when Bruce was famous, Lau had been challenging Bruce in the papers, etc. So finally, a match was arranged on a private estate, with 20 witnesses, including a high ranking Hong Kong police official, Bruce's friend, who had arranged the illegal fight! It was witnessed by a Golden Harvest executive, who gave his account: "Lau threw a flurry of punches, which Bruce professionally stopped. Suddenly, Bruce kicked him and he went down, with broken ribs." Lau vanished from the newspapers. It was rumored that he was in Japan in hospital, and that Bruce had even paid for his bills ... again, more class on BL's part. As far as the witnesses who saw these bouts, Bruce did not harbor grudges. He defeated the guys, and that was all. Sometimes, he would then have lunch or tea with them, as was the case with a Thai boxing champ. Now, this is a long-winded way to say that while I don't know about Bruce's experiences in UK, it's doubtful he would compete... maybe he would give an exhibition bout, or hand out trophies. I would like to know if he ever travelled to UK. He did go to Switzerland for one of his students. He tried skiing for the first time. Even though his form was not the best, he actually made it all the way in the advanced run! I'm not sure, but I think the student was Roman Polanski, who was of course murdered in the horrible Sharon Tate killings in Hollywood. Also, when someone asked Bruce if Roman could have done something, Bruce replied that Roman was not a fighter. And, of course, the attack was no doubt a shock attack; probably the victims were all relaxed or even asleep/half asleep, drinking, etc. Which, of course, demonstrates that one should be prepared in all situations, which is the essence of martial art. On that note, Bruce Lee certainly has probably saved a lot of lives by his example: many people have learned martial art, and/or improved their abilities because of Bruce. This has helped them, and sometimes helped others who they have helped. I've helped potential victims out of such situations. Certainly, the inspiration of good guys like Bruce helped those people indirectly. I am quite certain that Bruce would step in to help a victim/s, so that makes him a good guy in my book, no matter his human faults.
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