Bruce Lee, A Life by Mathew Polly

Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 9th, 2018, 4:07 pm #261

There are a few videos of Delgado on YT.  He's a small guy and doesn't look that formidable.Though he may have 'sparred' with BL he did not 'fight' with him. I do think Lewis downplayed BL's skills, but I have to agree with the concept that until you have had your chin tested you are not known as a 'fighter'.
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 9th, 2018, 7:58 pm #262

BADGER: Louis Delgado was 5'6" 150 pounds and he was one of the best East Coast point fighters of his era. I would argue that the nature of Bruce Lee's sparring sessions with his students and with Norris/Delgado were just as relevant as any point match. It's important to remember that Bruce sparred all-out every Sunday with his students at the Chinatown kwoon. There was far more contact and testing of chins during those sparring sessions than there was in any point match in the 1960's.

It also appears that you're letting Joe Lewis off the hook for his contradictory statements about the definition of a fighter. In some interviews, he states that point matches had nothing to do with fighting whereas in other interviews, he labels Chuck Norris as a fighter. Last time I checked, Chuck did not compete in full contact/kickboxing matches and stating that Delgado was not a great fighter is a classic case of avoiding the question.

In terms of the chin testing argument, that has no real connection to the point fighting world. The rules of the day did not allow for contact to the face, so point fighters such as Mike Stone decided to bend the rules by beginning each match by striking his opponent in the face. Stone would be warned for the illegal blow, yet most of his opponents would be too psyched out to compete at a high level. In essence, you could have a glass chin and still be a successful point fighter.   

Joe also conveniently leaves out Bruce Lee winning the High School Boxing Championship against defending champion Gary Elms. Bruce had no formal boxing training, yet he laced it up and risked getting knocked out. In several interviews, Joe states that "Bruce liked contact," and legitimate tough guys such as James DeMile, Leo Fong, and Larry Hartsell swore by Lee's abilities as a fighter.

I would have taken Joe Lewis more seriously if he had stated that Bruce was a greater martial artist than fighter and/or that he wasn't a great fighter. To dismiss him outright, however, reminds me of the fact that Bruce had more street fights in Seattle than Joe had in his entire life. There is a reason why Yip Man said that Bruce was "fighting crazy" and/or why Bruce asked Seattle student Skip Ellsworth to accompany him to various local dives late at night.
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Joined: July 16th, 2003, 11:43 am

July 9th, 2018, 9:25 pm #263

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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 10th, 2018, 2:55 pm #264

Joe Lewis is on record saying he dismissed the 'kung fu' stylists back in the day. He also had little respect for anyone. So it should tell you something when he suddenly became an avid 'student' or partner of a little 5'7 Chinese kung fu stylist. If BL had not be a formidable partner Joe would not have given him the time of day.

You have to read between the lines of Lewis' statements.

I still have to agree with him that if you have not had your chin tested you can not assess the durability of a person as a fighter. As evidence, I cite Monster Man Everette Eddy who was tearing up at light contact tournaments and when he went into the ring in a contact match was almost immediately KO'ed and he never fought again. Evidently he had a glass jaw.
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A O
Joined: July 10th, 2018, 5:03 pm

July 10th, 2018, 5:27 pm #265

Just finished reading Mr. Polly's book, a very good and well balanced read about Bruce's life. Although, some parts I disagree with specifically the heatstroke (hyperthermia) theory being the cause of his death.

Mainly because I have my own theory on what caused his death which I'd be willing to bet on if Bruce's remains was ever exhumed as being the real true cause.

However, overall I found it an enjoyable read and account nonetheless.
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Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

July 10th, 2018, 7:09 pm #266

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Joined: January 17th, 2014, 1:19 am

Today, 12:30 am #267

Polly's doubling down on the heat stroke theory.
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