Anonymous
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September 18th, 2016, 6:43 am #41

Q36: Do you have any deep impressions on Bruce’s martial arts’ prowess and fighting ability?
DL: Bruce was very nimble in his hands, lightning fast in his footwork, and his overall movements were absolutely agile, graceful and smooth. Also, his attacks were extremely fast, accurate and aggressive. He had good elusiveness and great explosive power which no one could match. In addition, he had great perception and could point-out problems or errors in your movements precisely, and then guide you to do self-rectification. During sparring, he possessed inconceivable sixth sense and was able to read opponent’s mind, and predict his next move. He could observe opponent’s movement rhythm and adapt quickly and accordingly. Then, he was able to freely move ahead of the opponent’s response and struck any opponents in front of him effortlessly.

Q37: Can we put it this way, Bruce’s martial arts prowess was due to his super gifted-talent?
DL: Bruce wasn’t a natural born martial arts prodigy. He complied with the law of nature of combat, followed the scientific training principles, utilized the scientific training methods, and engaged in long-term systematic and diligent training. Consequently, that created his martial arts prowess. I remembered when I went to his house for training, I discovered his trainings were always well-planned and he would always train according to his plans. At that time, he trained for 7-8 hours daily, and the quality and efficiency of his trainings were absolutely very high. His skills were the result of hard work and ingeniousness in his trainings. As the saying goes, “Training one simple technique over 10,000 times and soon it will become a unique technique.” Bruce used to practice a simple and fundamental technique repeatedly for 500-2000 times. He then became the best in it. If he wasn’t the best, who was? As the Chinese saying goes, “Undergoes hundreds and thousands times of hammering and toughening before hardening into steel” This is what it meant.

Q38: What skills do you think Bruce was most specialized in?
DL: Bruce’s skills were very all-rounded. I can’t say he had any special skill that stands out from the rest because all his skills were truly outstanding. Of course, he had his famous 1-inch punch. After seeing it for the first time, I found that it was very similar to the Tai Chi Chuan’s principle. In Grandmaster Wong Chung-Yut’s book “Tao of Tai Chi Chuan,” it stated that, “The root lies on the feet which generates the force; the hip to the waist is the center of control; the fingers shape the form.” This is a common phrase which many of us know. I’ve studied and memorized it very thoroughly. But what’s the point? See, Bruce could just simply apply the theory unto his 1-inch punch. If you observed his 1-inch punch carefully, you will see that he threw out his punch in less than an inch. Did you see where did he begin? It’s all started from his feet. Before punching, the waist and hip faced in the direction of the opponent. Then, as the body quickly turns to the left, the force is generated instantly from the feet to the hip and then to the waist in a spilt of second. Use the force generated from the hip-waist to strike. In this way, the power is totally different. Practice more on the hip-waist as there is where the explosive power lies.

Q39: Being his student and good friend, what kind of person was Bruce to you?
DL: The deepest impression that Bruce gave me was his extreme diligence. Although I’m older than him but I admired his conscientiousness in his training. He was constantly creating, experimenting and learning. He was very studious and had a strong ability in analysis. He was very good in learning, not learning generally but always with a goal. Then, through research and experimentation, he would reach his learning goals ultimately. He also possessed the ability to differentiate that made him different. For instance, other people might look on the downside of a certain skill, but he would immediately said, “Hmm, this skill looks not bad, it has its strength and merits.” Because he had an extremely profound martial arts background, he would always view martial arts from the nature of combat. Thus, he knew what was good and what was impractical and from there, absorbed the useful part that was worth learning. He was also a kind of person who pursued excellence in quality. Bruce studied and learnt vastly but his motive was not to complicate his martial arts skill. He just wanted to summarize the law, discover the essence and from the essence, pursue simplicity. Therefore, the development of JKD makes use of the philosophy of Taoism and Buddhism as its guidance. The main purpose is still to simplify i.e. the way to simplicity.

Bruce was an upright and honest person. When he talked to you, whether in front of you or behind you, it’s all the same. He meant every word he said. If you wanted to play tricks, he would do the same to you. If you were good friends, he would really treat you with sincerity. I really admire his personal character. My relationship with him was not just teacher and student but also good friends. He never flaunted himself. Because my age was older than him, thus, sometimes I would also share with him about my life experiences.

Both of you tell me that Hunan Xiao Xiang Vocational Institute had erected “A Legendary Master” statue of Bruce’s in full Kung Fu uniform (not bare-chested). I think this is the right way to pay tribute to him because in my opinion, he was the most established and influential martial artist in the history of martial arts. I hope the students of Chinese JKD not only see the surface of Bruce’s martial arts but also his profound thinking and the spirit of his striving for excellence. Don’t be constrained by any fixed thoughts in your mind but keep learning, creating and improving. This is the biggest influence of Bruce in my whole life.

Q40: Now we want to ask you a question which many Bruce’s fans are concerned: In actual training and sparring, would Bruce be constantly leaping around in boxing steps and doing his cat yell just like in his movie?
DL: Definitely not. Movie is movie. He was an actor, so, he had to make the shows more dramatic and appealing to the audience. Those screams or yells were for movies. Our JKD training requires constant refinement and striving for excellence. It stresses to be as simple and as direct as possible, as well as to get rid of the non-essentials and redundancies. “Using No Way As Way,” .… It is totally different between real combat and movies. You have watched his movies and although he was acting but we could see realism in his Kung Fu actions. They were so realistic like in actual fighting. He was so fast. I remembered Bruce once said the cameraman wanted him to slow down otherwise his actions would not be captured by the camera.

Q41: What was Bruce’s attitude towards challenges from other people? Some people said Bruce was just an actor and not a real martial artist, how do you look at this statement?
DL: Bruce ever said he was not afraid of any challenges. He said, “If you want to fight, come to meet me face to face and I’ll play along with you. What Wong Jack Man, what Karate kid, I’ll wait for them and fight them.” He was never afraid of challenges and had never thrown in the towel. But years later, when Bruce talked to me over the phone, he said why bother to waste time in these challenges? He said, “If someone challenge me, I would ask myself whether it’s worth it or not? I know I’ll win and why should I waste my precious time?” He was very confident. Not like some Kung Fu man who could perform very fancifully but had never fought in real life before. Bruce had plenty of practical fighting experiences. He was a real martial artist and fighter. People should understand that Bruce was using his identity of a martial artist and fighter to make movie and to be an actor. It is not the other way round.

Q42: You’ve done boxing and Judo before and have participated in those competitions. In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between JKD and those ring related fighting martial arts? The President of America UFC said Bruce was the Father of MMA, what are your takes on this?
DL: There are advantages and disadvantages of fighting in the ring. Why disadvantages? It is competition so there will be judges, rules and regulations etc. For instance, boxing prohibits the hitting of the back of the head, ears and kicking to the groin. Right? Now, there is this popular MMA, which has its own rules and regulations. You can’t kick the opponent’s groin.

JKD is trained especially for street-fighting and for fighting in various real life situations. The biggest difference is that JKD is not restricted by rules and regulations. Bruce said be like water, adapt to various kinds of unrestricted street-fighting’s circumstances. Hence, there are many differences in the features of real fighting and training methods between JKD and ring fighting arts. However, the openness of MMA in a certain extent is closer to Bruce’s emphasis of JKD practical fighting experience. But because it is a sports competition, it need to have spectators, thus, it cannot be over dangerous. It has certain conditions and criteria to follow.

However, looking at MMA in overall, it’s not bad. It truly shows the real martial arts ability of the contestant. If your fitness is not up to expectation, you are definitely not qualified to participate; if you do not have any practical fighting experience, you’ll also not participate; if your skills are not all-rounded, it also can’t be done, right? It did not have any protective gears, so, when you are hit on the head or chin, it’s very easily to be knocked-off. Perceiving from the point where the all-rounded training and embodiment of real fighting experience, MMA does fulfill this requirement. This implies that MMA is the closest to unrestricted real fighting so far. Its ideas are quite close to JKD’s principles. That’s the reason they said MMA was influenced by Bruce and Bruce was the Father of MMA. I think it has its own rationale behind it.

Q43: You have competed in the ring, and have you ever use JKD to defend yourself on the street?
DL: JKD’s training always revolves around actual combat and it is based on the self-defense requirements in handling street’s attacks. We must prepare ourselves constantly. But in real life, it’s best that we don’t have the opportunity to use it (Laugh). During my younger days, I had one dangerous encounter in France and I used JKD to settle it. It started when I was on a business trip to a little town in France. One day, after work, I strolled around the town and tried to see the local conditions and customs there. At that time, there were very few Asians in the town, and even lesser Chinese there. It was mainly Japanese tourists touring the place.

While I was strolling, a tall and big French man came up to me with a warm smile, from the corner of the street. He asked me, “Hey, wanna go in and watch movie? I can bring you in.” I thought since I was free, it wasn’t a bad idea. So, I said, “Ok.” Then, followed behind him. We walked into a small alley before entering into a building. Once entered, I felt something amiss because it didn’t look like a theatre inside. Suddenly, I found 2 tall and brawny guys walking towards me, 1 from the left and another from the right. They surrounded me from the flanks and both were holding a knife each in their hands. One of them suddenly attempted to kick my stomach, and by instinct, I moved sideway instantly and avoided the kick.

However, I didn’t show my ready stance or use very professional way to block the kick. I pretended to be very petrified and put my hands up and waved to them, pretending to be begging for mercy. Actually, I was preparing to defend myself. I uttered, “Sorry, please don’t this, please don’t this….,” trying to remove their alarms psychologically and let them thought I was a helpless businessman from Japan. While seeing them off-guard, I instantaneously moved in the gap and finger jabbed the eyes of the guy who was standing closest to me, followed by a low side kick to his knee cap. The guy fell to the ground immediately and before the other guy could react, I already kicked his groin and left him crying in pain for papa. I didn’t care how I fought and before they could get up from the ground, I’d already escaped from the building safely. Although it happened so fast but when I recalled, it was still quite a risky encounter. If in the first place, I had got myself into the ready stance those guys might be alerted and thought that I could fight. So, they would definitely increase both their level of attention and force. It wouldn’t be easy to get out of the danger then. JKD’s finger jab and groin kicking are very practical and devastating skills but they can only be used in the circumstances of self-defense as they are prohibited in the ring.

Q44: When Bruce was teaching in the backyard, he had also privately coached Karate Champion, Joe Lewis and other guys (Note: Chuck Norris, Mike Stone etc.). Have you ever meet them there?
DL: No. Bruce wanted to prove himself and thus, he had made friends with many great martial artists like Taekwondo expert – Jhoon Rhee, Tang Soo Doo expert - Chuck Norris and Karate Champion – Joe Lewis etc. etc. He had sparred individually with these martial artists who were all highly-skilled martial arts experts in their own rights. However, they don’t say, “We are competing against each other.” For instance, Chuck Norris met Bruce in the hotel after his Karate competition. Bruce told him his skill looked good but impractical in actual fighting. Norris asked, “What do you mean?” Bruce replied, “Why not come to my room, I’ll show you.” So, when Norris entered his room. They sparred and Norris was blown away. He threw himself at Bruce’s feet in total admiration. It’s the same to Joe Lewis. The training was not disclosed but it was semi-overt, a kind of 1 to 1 solo training. He knew Bruce’s skill was great, so, got Bruce to instruct him. All these private trainings of Karate Champions with Bruce actually had nothing to do with us. We were also unaware of these private trainings initially. After Bruce’s passing, they themselves spoke a lot on their private trainings with Bruce. They respected Bruce and were grateful to Bruce’s influence on them.

Q45: There were 3 pieces of signboards that symbolized “3 stages” of JKD which were hung in the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute previously. Did Bruce specially explain the philosophical meaning that these phases encompassed?
DL: Unfortunately, Bruce didn’t specially explain the meaning of these “3 stages” signboards. Actually, a JKD symbol above the signboards was hung there. In the first signboard, the Ying and Yang were separated; in the second signboard, there was a JKD’s Tai Chi symbol; in the third signboard, it was totally black, nothing on it. Nowadays, everyone has different interpretation to these 3 stages because Bruce didn’t reveal the principles of these 3 pieces signboards.

According to my own analysis and interpretations, the first signboard/stage shows Ying-Yang are separated. For instance, some people may say I specialize in practicing soft Kung Fu while others may say I specialize in hard Kung Fu. Thus, hard and soft are not able to merge together forever. The second signboard/stage shows Ying and Yang are merged together. There’s Ying as well as Yang. Also, there are arrows on each side of the Ying and Yang. The arrows signify transformations. Within this martial arts skill, there’s hard (hard attacking movement) and there’s soft (soft techniques). The main goal of Bruce was that he wanted our JKD to have the mutual existence of hard and soft, and wanted to have changes in-between hard and soft as well as transformations.

Ultimately, the third signboard/stage is totally black. There isn’t anything, just emptiness. This is the philosophy of JKD, “Using No Way As Way.” If someone attacks you, you just punch and K.O. the opponent. People may ask, “It’s awesome. How did you do it anyway?” I’d reply, “I’ve no idea and I’ve never think of how to do it, it just do it by itself.” This is the basic instinct which comes from the saying, “practice makes perfect.” In the first phase, i.e. the white phase, shows that at the start, learning is not conformed to hard or soft, so, if it’s not hard, then, it should be soft; In the second phase, hard and soft begins to co-operate and co-exist mutually; In the third phase, which is also the last phase, upon reaching this phase, all ways become none, no matter it’s hard or soft, it’s just the general expression of the overall result, i.e. “Using No Way as Way.” This is just my opinion.

Q46: What do you think was the highest realm or state which Bruce was pursing in his whole life?
DL: Bruce was always learning throughout his entire life. There is no limit to quest for knowledge. The realm which he pursued in his whole life was actually portrayed within his JKD’s symbol, i.e. “Using No Way As Way; Having No Limitation As Limitation.”
“Using No Way As Way” – The skills you learnt, the methods you mastered ultimately have to be precise and simplified. All ways have to be forgotten and become no way eventually so that you’ll be able to apply whatever ways.
“Having No Limitation As Limitation” – You can’t say my kick is no good as I only practice punching and no kicking. Do not set a limitation on yourself. No matter learning, training, working or living, the spirit and attitude all must be based on the basis of freedom and no limitation, as well as continuously exploration and discovery. If we are able to use this spirit in learning and training, then, our progress will therefore be limitless.

Q47: In 1994, you selflessly donated the tape recording of the 1972’s telephone conversation between you and Bruce to Bruce Lee’s Education Foundation. Under what circumstances did you record this conversation? We see the most genuine and obscure side of Bruce through this original conversation and his views on the martial arts aspect, and some of the sentiments etc. indeed were inspiring.
DL: I was working in the office at that time when Inosanto phoned me and said, “Hey Dan, Bruce is back from HK.” I was curious that wasn’t he filming in HK? Why was he back? I wanted to find out. So, I phoned him from my office. Bruce was actually preparing to move his house and was very tiring. I asked him, “Bruce, why are you back? When can we get together and train again? Bruce said, “Uuh…training? Actually, now, I’ve a great career development in HK, I’m getting ready to move house, I just return shortly.” I continued, “So, is there any chance that we can get together and train again?” Bruce replied, “I’m afraid not.” I was thinking maybe after Bruce left, probably there wouldn’t be any chance for me to train with him and asked him martial arts questions anymore. Hence, I thought I should record our conversation. I didn’t tell him my intention and just pressed on the recorder. This voice recording was a subconscious act at that moment. Because I was an engineer and would often taped record the conversation of the science projects’ exchange matters, so, as our conversation started not long, I just pressed on the tape recording machine subconsciously.

When talking on the topic of martial arts, the more he talked the more interested he became. We talked on many things. Thus, this unintended voice recording can be said to be very precious. Why precious? I remembered he accepted an interview with the BBC radio in HK. He knew beforehand about this recording but he didn’t know about the recording of our conversation. We spoke like teacher and student and also sound like good friends. He talked candidly and freely without any restrictions. Therefore, this conversation is originally Bruce’s true self. All his words were from the bottom of his hearts, very true and genuine. For instance, when talking about challenges, Bruce said he was not afraid of fighting anyone. You all have seen the content. He didn’t mean to say those things to anyone purposely but he was just talking to me. We were just exchanging our thoughts.


Part 4: Photos of Dan Lee & others: https://postimg.org/image/x25kizbbv/


(Part 5 to be continued next week...)
It's funny to read Dan Lee describing his streetfighitng experience in France. The way he handled the 2 thugs were very comical, maybe he learned it from his sifu, Bruce Lee. Lol.
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Joined: December 27th, 2012, 8:01 pm

September 18th, 2016, 8:26 pm #42

I remember reading an interview with Dan
years ago regarding Bruce.
He was asked about Bruce's state in
his last year.
He said that Bruce had lost his sense
of inner balance so to speak.
I can't remember what magazine it
was in but it made me think that
the man had a point.
Dan was very much into Yin & Yan theory
and also Tai Chi Chuan so I can
understand his view there.
I remember seeing a post regarding
his funeral and you could put a private
message on the funeral home site for
the family so see which is what
me and my wife did.
My Martial Arts instructor trained with most
of Bruce's guys including Larry, Dan, Ted
and Dan Lee but felt that Dan Lee and Ted wasn't
much good and their moves had no
substance for the street.
Everybody has their opinion I guess.

Regards

Tony
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Philip Callahan
Philip Callahan

September 20th, 2016, 11:21 pm #43

TONY: Your instructor is certainly entitled to his opinion, even if his opinion lacks merit. According to everyone who trained at the Chinatown kwoon AND Inosanto's backyard, the two best JKD fighters of that era were Bob Bremer and Dan Lee. The full contact sparring matches between Bremer and Lee were legendary and Bruce Lee considered Dan Lee to be one of his top students. In terms of understanding and applying his art, Bruce told James Yimm Lee that Dan Lee "gets it." Shortly after Dan Lee's death, Chinatown student Steve Golden told Black Belt magazine that, "I wouldn't want to face Dan in the street."
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LJF
Joined: December 6th, 2014, 3:05 am

September 24th, 2016, 6:59 am #44

This is believed to be the last interview of Sifu Dan Lee conducted in late 2014. The interview was published in the “Chinese Wushu” magazine on 5 separate issues i.e. 2014 Sept, Oct, 2015 Jan, Apr and May. The interviewers were Hao Gang and Zhu Jianhua, 2 mainland Chinese JKD students of Dan Lee he officially accepted in 2009. This over 2-hours overseas telephone interview was conducted for the “Chinese Wushu” magazine’s special, titled, “I Am The Only Mainland Chinese Who Trained With Bruce Lee.” Unfortunately, Dan Lee passed away in Dec 2015, few months after the last issue was released.

These 5 parts interviews of Dan Lee will be posted on “Bruce Lee Lives! Forum” each per week. In his last interview, Dan Lee spoke candidly in details about his life, martial arts learning, Bruce Lee, JKD and the preservation of Lee’s legacy. It covers a wide scope of the following topics:

- his humble beginning in Shanghai (incl. boxing learning & fighting with the Russian kid)

- his German & Chinese boxing coaches & study of Joe Louis B & W boxing footage

- his winning of the China’s National Boxing Championship title in 1948 + film/voice recording of the match by his father

- his victory in the Taiwan Provincial Boxing Competition in 1950

- his learning of Judo, Kenpo Karate, Tai Chi in the U.S. (mid 50s – mid 60s)

- his reasons for leaving Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate

- his meeting with Bruce Lee & learning of JKD in LA school (1967) & Bruce’s backyard (1969), & being the first permanent member no. 0101 of LA school

- his views on Bruce Lee’s straight lead punch development after Bruce chased & hit WJM’s head in Oakland school

- his sparring with Bruce Lee & the “permanent souvenir” Bruce left him

- his views on the various training apparatus created by Bruce Lee

- his story on the Bruce’s photo with his LA class & Black Belt photo-taking session in 1967

- his views on JKD being the pioneer of full protective gear in no holds barred fighting

- his views on martial arts certificates, rankings and real fighting ability

- his Tai Chi demo filmed by Bruce Lee

- his takes on the taped telephone conversation with Bruce Lee in Jan 1972

- his view on the real Bruce Lee’s JKD, Original JKD and mixed JKD

- his views on Bruce’s real fighting ability as a martial artist and his movies’ fighting actions

- his views on JKD & MMA, & their relationships with street-fighting

- his reasons for departing Inosanto’s backyard training & training in his own backyard

- his street-fighting encounter in France

- his views on JKD’s concepts, principles & philosophy etc.

- his correction on JKD’s Ying-Yang symbol & his Chinese calligraphy characters of JKD

- his comparison of JKD with Tai Chi (Hard & Soft Kung Fu) & story of Bruce’s wishes to study in-depth / learning of Tai Chi at older age

- his preservation of Bruce Lee’s JKD legacy --- overseas JKD’s seminar/ trainings/ worldwide’s flourishing

- etc. etc. etc.

Stay tune for this exclusive 5-parts series of Dan Lee’s interview on this forum!
Q48: It was said that Bruce had a personal library with huge collection of books. Have you seen it before?
DL: Once, I went to Bruce’s library and to my bewilderment, there were plenty of books on the book shelves. They were mainly English books on various martial arts like Western Fencing, Boxing, Karate, Judo etc. Besides martial arts, he also collected books on various subjects like religion, philosophy, psychology, marketing, sales, motivational etc. There was a portion of Chinese books such as different kinds of Chinese Kung Fu, I-Ching, art of war, combat strategy etc. I took a Tai Chi book out from the shelf and saw many texts were being underlined, circled and with words written here and there. It seemed like Bruce had penned many notes regarding his thoughts, comments and reviews. Then, I asked him, “Bruce, can you let me bring this book home to read?” Bruce said, “No, you can get it yourself, my books are not for loan.” (Laugh) Alright, since he didn’t want to lend it to me as those were his favorite and precious collections, then, I should start my own collection instead. Hence, from then onwards, I began searching for various kinds of martial arts books in the Chinese bookshops.

Q49: Recently, Tommy Gong (Note: Chinese name Liu LuQuan) has published a book. There’s a page which shows the Chinese calligraphy in Kai font - “Jeet Kune Do” written by you. Now these 3 characters have become the common Chinese JKD characters used over the world. Can you tell us when did you write these words?
DL: Before publishing the book, Tommy asked me how I should introduce myself in his book. I said I’m “the only mainland Chinese student of Bruce Lee who had been to College.” After the book was out, he edited a bit because there were some errors in the Chinese/English words and also some mistakes in the translation. Those Chinese/English technical terms translation was done by his wife. She isn’t well-versed in Chinese. I wrote an entire page and suggested he made corrections. He thanked me. What I saw now is the old edition. He hasn’t sent me the new edition. The Chinese characters, “Jeet Kune Do” used in his old edition was written by me.

There’s a story behind these 3 characters. There’s a Kung Fu magazine in the U.S. called “Inside Kung Fu” and its founder knew me very well. In his magazines, many articles usually need to introduce some Kung Fu names and Chinese characters, like Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut etc. Once I saw and wrote to him saying, “The content of your magazine is good but that Chinese calligraphy of the Kung Fu names are horrible. They look as if were written by a kid who is not even up to the standard of a primary 2 or 3 students. Who wrote them?” He replied, “In that case, please help me out.” I said, “Ok!” I’m no calligrapher but I’ve learnt calligraphy during my high school days. Since he requested my help, I tried to my best to fulfill his request.

So, within a year, in every issue, all those Chinese characters like, Ba-Kwa, Hsing-I, Tai-Chi etc. were all written by me. There’s an issue which talked about JKD. So, I wrote “Jeet Kune Do” these 3 characters. Later, Inosanto intended to publish a book, he saw and liked these Chinese JKD characters. So, he copied them onto his book without asking my permission. Consequently, many JKD schools copied these characters from Inosanto’s book and printed them on their sports attires, T-shirts etc. I was astonished because those words were ok but not very well-written as far as professional Chinese calligraphy is concerned and couldn’t be treated as the treasured scrolls of calligraphy. I’m also no professional calligrapher and have no rights to call my words the treasured scrolls of calligraphy. Since they have been used over the world, then, let it be. It doesn’t matter, I’ve never asked for copyrights; just treat them as my little contribution to JKD (Laugh). I plan to pick up calligraphy again but I’m really tied up with practicing martial arts. There’s not much free time left, and until now, I haven’t resumed my calligraphy learning.

Q50: Sifu, do you have time to write for both of us the treasured scrolls of calligraphy?
DL: Not treasured scrolls of calligraphy. (Laugh)...I’d love to.

Q51: You once pointed out that there may be some errors in the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol. How did you discover the errors?
DL: That was after Bruce’s passing. One day, I found that the Tai Chi Chuan’s symbol and the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol which we see nowadays are different. I thought Bruce might have been in a hurry and drew the Tai Chi symbol incorrectly. Nevertheless, the JKD’s symbol banner which Bruce wrote and hung in our LA kwoon previously was correct.

Where was the error? I’ve shared with both of you before. The boundary between Ying and Yang in Tai Chi Symbol is not “S” shape but an opposite of "S”shape, like the reflection of "S" shape. Why so? Bruce put an arrow on each side of the Ying and Yang. There are rationales behind it. We Chinese called “Wu-ji-bi-fan” which literally means “things turn into their opposites when they reach the extreme.” From small to big, from mild hard to extreme hard, and from extreme hard turn into soft, this is the interchange of hard and soft. JKD emphasized “Using No Way As Way; Having No Limitation As Limitation,”and both Ying and Yang must co-exist.

Since Bruce taught the Tai Chi’s Ying/Yang theory belongs to the Taoism’s philosophy, then, the symbol’s design ought to print correctly. It shouldn’t be printed in the opposite way. Therefore, I shared my discovery with a few JKD’s friends. But they said, “Ahh…The 2 symbols look almost the same, it doesn’t matter.” I then stopped talking about it. True, to rectify the symbol is quite a big deal, not an easy task since it has been used all over the world for a long time.

When I come to China in 2009 and tell you guys about this discovery. You all felt the same way as me. Then, I urged China’s JKD must print the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol correctly. You guys did respect my suggestion and really rectified the symbol. It really took you all a lot of courage to do the amendment.

Q52: We ever saw you playing Tai Chi in a video clip of Bruce’s backyard training video. Under what circumstance was that clip being filmed? Was Bruce really interested in Tai Chi Chuan?
DL: Once, Bruce asked me, “Dan, didn’t you learn Tai Chi Chuan before?” I replied, “Yes, just for a year. My teacher is Master Tung.” He said, “Alright, then show it to me, I will film it down.” At that time, Bruce had just bought a new home video camera, which cost him over US$1,000. It’s a brand new technological product that was released in the market but not many people had owned it then. I told him, “Bruce, I’m not good in it.” He said, “I don’t care, you just demonstrate it to me.” So, I showed him the complete form of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. Bruce then said, “I will keep this footage as a record and put it in my study room. In the future, if there’s opportunity after my retirement, remind me that I ought to really go deeply into the learning of Tai Chi Chuan, the nature of water, soft and hard, etc. I’ll use a year to study it.” However, after Bruce’s passing, I have totally forgotten about this incident.

One day, Linda was tidying up the study room and she saw the video footage. She was surprised to see me playing Tai Chi Chuan. I told her “Don’t see it, that is too immature and horrible, I just learnt for a year and have not properly mastered it then.” I watched it myself and thought wow, it’s really no good and I felt quite embarrassed to see it. In fact, Bruce at that time wasn’t really wanted to learn Tai Chi Chuan from me. He just wanted to keep a record as a reminder to himself so that by the time he retired, he would then have time to study more in-depth about the Ying-Yang theories plus the soft Kung Fu. Also, he planned to put in time and effort to specially study Tai Chi. Unfortunately, he had no more such opportunity.

Q53: While you practiced and taught JKD, and at the same time, you were also doing Tai Chi Chuan. How do you manage to balance the relationship of the 2 systems? Has anybody ever doubt that you mixed Tai Chi Chuan with JKD?
DL: Some people said, “Dan, you learnt Tai Chi, are you going to put it into JKD?” I said, “No, I just hope to learn the soft Kung Fu from Tai Chi Chuan and then use the Tai Chi training to strengthen myself.” Did you see Tai Chi form in JKD? Someone must be kidding. I never wanted people to misunderstand me, like say, “Oh, Dan Lee is going to put Tai Chi into JKD with embellishments.” No, I’ll never do that. I just want to comprehend the soft Kung Fu in Tai Chi Chuan and understand the combined techniques of the hard and soft Kung Fu. Among the JKD men, only Dan Lee talked about soft Kung Fu and the co-existence of hard and soft Kung Fu. I followed and practiced Bruce’s Tai Chi’s Ying and Yang philosophy. Believe me, I have never let Bruce down.

The JKD’s Tai Chi symbol which was drawn by Bruce has a very, very deep meaning in it. There’s philosophy within. We can learn and increase our wisdom through this learning of the traditional philosophy but never add the non-essentials and embellishments into JKD. It is against Bruce’s wish and the way to the development of JKD.

Until I grow a bit older, I feel the path which I took is correct. One should develop soft in the beginning. JKD is more towards hard, lesser in soft. So, in the past, I learnt about soft, the water nature of Tai Chi Chuan and comprehend the power of the water. I always do my best to be a man of integrity, trustworthy and abide the professional code of conduct. Also, I know that life lies in sports, one must exert oneself constantly, then he will prolongs the longevity of his life. Nobody has asked me about my age. I feel I’m in good health, in pleasant mood, my life is stable and other areas of my life are all well-balanced. After doing JKD, I feel very powerful on the hard side and upon doing Tai Chi, I feel calm, serene and peaceful. I don’t possess the feeling of contending with others in terms of power struggle all the time. Thus, to me, the practice of Tai Chi can be seen as part of my JKD training. Hard and soft are merged together and it helps to maintain a balance in life. Everyday I do my exercises and trainings. My Kung Fu is still progressing. If there’s opportunity, I will let you guys see my progress. How about that? (Laugh)

Q54: In your opinion, how should we teach JKD in China?
DL: How should you teach in China? Just follow what Bruce taught which I imparted to both of you. To ensure continuity of inheriting JKD appropriately, we must respect Bruce’s stuff, respect our teachers and the teachings. So, we must inherit the things Bruce taught. To teach JKD in China, the most fundamental things must be taught. From there continue to develop and flourish; follow the principle and develop but remember never take something from here and there and mixed them together and then called it JKD. In China, the ways you attempted to inherit and the steps you attempted to develop are all up to you to decide. I’ve no opinions. But you cannot say you’re teaching “Dan Lee’s JKD.” Remember, JKD is Bruce Lee’s JKD, just like Ted Wong and Me. We are loyal to Bruce and follow what he taught us, then proceed with the teaching and development of JKD.

The stuff I taught both of you belongs to Bruce Lee. I’m loyal and devoted in imparting them to you. Hence, both of you have already sufficient stuff to teach. Bruce was against the idea of putting a commercial label on JKD that time. But I do hope you can develop and flourish JKD in China. This doesn’t go against the principle of Bruce. I’ve done my best to impart JKD’s skills and knowledge to you and help you solve the problems. Now, I hand over the fire torch to a new generation and provide encouragement in the path of your development. I feel I’ve already fulfilled my responsibility of the inheritance of JKD’s. You can assume the responsibility of the mission of JKD’s inheritance in China.

China JKD International Federation (CJIF) is a good organization for developing JKD in China. Your president Mr. Zhong HaiMing has translated the complete version of the “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method” (Note: with The Estate’s consent) and has made an enormous contribution. The pictures are very clear and it comes with both Chinese and English text which makes it easy for the Chinese readers to read and understand. The translation is also well-done. I often read and recall about the things Bruce taught us. 80%-90% of the stuff can be found in this book. There are plenty of basic and classic things in there. Although, there are numerous of JKD books available in the market but none can be compared to “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Methods.”

We are lucky that in this generation, we have Bruce’s writings, photos, videos etc. All these can act as the references to your JKD trainings and teachings. But remember you do not need to say Mr. So and So taught you or Bruce Lee was your grandmaster, right? I’m just fated to build a bridge for you. You can still take Bruce as your Sifu directly, study his hand techniques, footwork, bodyworks etc. and those principles, theories behind his skills and strategies. Seriously go and experience, verify and enhance your skills and knowledge. People who attempted to embellish on JKD wasn’t correct. No need to add on. The ready stance, footwork, bodywork, punching, kicking, elusiveness, sparring, fitness conditioning and 5 Ways of Attack etc. are the areas you need to train and teach.

Q55: Sifu, thank you very much for spending over 2 hours to accept our overseas telephone interview. On behalf of “Chinese Wushu” magazine, we’d like to thank you for your kind assistance. We’ll bear in mind Sifu’s teachings and instructions and do our best to spread Bruce’s JKD and will not let you and CJIF down.
DL: You’re welcome. I’ll continue to pay attention to you, support you and encourage you. I’m also willing to answer any questions or doubts pertaining to JKD. Just like before, please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions. Goodbye!


Part 5: Photos of Dan Lee & others: https://postimg.org/image/cshe7l9ud/


- END -
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Joined: October 1st, 2011, 9:12 pm

September 24th, 2016, 8:21 am #45

That was another great part of his interview LJF. It shows us all that Dan
really understood JKD through and through. Some great insights there.
Thanks LJF for sharing this with us.
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Fred
Fred

September 24th, 2016, 9:49 am #46

Agreed. I read all the 5 parts of the interview, it's really another legacy of JKD which Sifu Dan Lee left behind.

His insights on JKD was amazing. Blending the soft and hard skills together and achieving inner peace and harmony is what Bruce was trying to achieve while he was alive. Dan Lee did that.

Overall, a great interview of Dan Lee. Thanks for translating and posting these great articles, LJF.
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Joined: December 27th, 2012, 8:01 pm

September 24th, 2016, 10:59 am #47

TONY: Your instructor is certainly entitled to his opinion, even if his opinion lacks merit. According to everyone who trained at the Chinatown kwoon AND Inosanto's backyard, the two best JKD fighters of that era were Bob Bremer and Dan Lee. The full contact sparring matches between Bremer and Lee were legendary and Bruce Lee considered Dan Lee to be one of his top students. In terms of understanding and applying his art, Bruce told James Yimm Lee that Dan Lee "gets it." Shortly after Dan Lee's death, Chinatown student Steve Golden told Black Belt magazine that, "I wouldn't want to face Dan in the street."
Hi Phillip!
You're absolutely right.
Dan was a great human being and
a highly intelligent man.
Well missed.

Regards
Tony
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Joined: September 21st, 2015, 3:56 am

September 24th, 2016, 2:14 pm #48

Q48: It was said that Bruce had a personal library with huge collection of books. Have you seen it before?
DL: Once, I went to Bruce’s library and to my bewilderment, there were plenty of books on the book shelves. They were mainly English books on various martial arts like Western Fencing, Boxing, Karate, Judo etc. Besides martial arts, he also collected books on various subjects like religion, philosophy, psychology, marketing, sales, motivational etc. There was a portion of Chinese books such as different kinds of Chinese Kung Fu, I-Ching, art of war, combat strategy etc. I took a Tai Chi book out from the shelf and saw many texts were being underlined, circled and with words written here and there. It seemed like Bruce had penned many notes regarding his thoughts, comments and reviews. Then, I asked him, “Bruce, can you let me bring this book home to read?” Bruce said, “No, you can get it yourself, my books are not for loan.” (Laugh) Alright, since he didn’t want to lend it to me as those were his favorite and precious collections, then, I should start my own collection instead. Hence, from then onwards, I began searching for various kinds of martial arts books in the Chinese bookshops.

Q49: Recently, Tommy Gong (Note: Chinese name Liu LuQuan) has published a book. There’s a page which shows the Chinese calligraphy in Kai font - “Jeet Kune Do” written by you. Now these 3 characters have become the common Chinese JKD characters used over the world. Can you tell us when did you write these words?
DL: Before publishing the book, Tommy asked me how I should introduce myself in his book. I said I’m “the only mainland Chinese student of Bruce Lee who had been to College.” After the book was out, he edited a bit because there were some errors in the Chinese/English words and also some mistakes in the translation. Those Chinese/English technical terms translation was done by his wife. She isn’t well-versed in Chinese. I wrote an entire page and suggested he made corrections. He thanked me. What I saw now is the old edition. He hasn’t sent me the new edition. The Chinese characters, “Jeet Kune Do” used in his old edition was written by me.

There’s a story behind these 3 characters. There’s a Kung Fu magazine in the U.S. called “Inside Kung Fu” and its founder knew me very well. In his magazines, many articles usually need to introduce some Kung Fu names and Chinese characters, like Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut etc. Once I saw and wrote to him saying, “The content of your magazine is good but that Chinese calligraphy of the Kung Fu names are horrible. They look as if were written by a kid who is not even up to the standard of a primary 2 or 3 students. Who wrote them?” He replied, “In that case, please help me out.” I said, “Ok!” I’m no calligrapher but I’ve learnt calligraphy during my high school days. Since he requested my help, I tried to my best to fulfill his request.

So, within a year, in every issue, all those Chinese characters like, Ba-Kwa, Hsing-I, Tai-Chi etc. were all written by me. There’s an issue which talked about JKD. So, I wrote “Jeet Kune Do” these 3 characters. Later, Inosanto intended to publish a book, he saw and liked these Chinese JKD characters. So, he copied them onto his book without asking my permission. Consequently, many JKD schools copied these characters from Inosanto’s book and printed them on their sports attires, T-shirts etc. I was astonished because those words were ok but not very well-written as far as professional Chinese calligraphy is concerned and couldn’t be treated as the treasured scrolls of calligraphy. I’m also no professional calligrapher and have no rights to call my words the treasured scrolls of calligraphy. Since they have been used over the world, then, let it be. It doesn’t matter, I’ve never asked for copyrights; just treat them as my little contribution to JKD (Laugh). I plan to pick up calligraphy again but I’m really tied up with practicing martial arts. There’s not much free time left, and until now, I haven’t resumed my calligraphy learning.

Q50: Sifu, do you have time to write for both of us the treasured scrolls of calligraphy?
DL: Not treasured scrolls of calligraphy. (Laugh)...I’d love to.

Q51: You once pointed out that there may be some errors in the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol. How did you discover the errors?
DL: That was after Bruce’s passing. One day, I found that the Tai Chi Chuan’s symbol and the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol which we see nowadays are different. I thought Bruce might have been in a hurry and drew the Tai Chi symbol incorrectly. Nevertheless, the JKD’s symbol banner which Bruce wrote and hung in our LA kwoon previously was correct.

Where was the error? I’ve shared with both of you before. The boundary between Ying and Yang in Tai Chi Symbol is not “S” shape but an opposite of "S”shape, like the reflection of "S" shape. Why so? Bruce put an arrow on each side of the Ying and Yang. There are rationales behind it. We Chinese called “Wu-ji-bi-fan” which literally means “things turn into their opposites when they reach the extreme.” From small to big, from mild hard to extreme hard, and from extreme hard turn into soft, this is the interchange of hard and soft. JKD emphasized “Using No Way As Way; Having No Limitation As Limitation,”and both Ying and Yang must co-exist.

Since Bruce taught the Tai Chi’s Ying/Yang theory belongs to the Taoism’s philosophy, then, the symbol’s design ought to print correctly. It shouldn’t be printed in the opposite way. Therefore, I shared my discovery with a few JKD’s friends. But they said, “Ahh…The 2 symbols look almost the same, it doesn’t matter.” I then stopped talking about it. True, to rectify the symbol is quite a big deal, not an easy task since it has been used all over the world for a long time.

When I come to China in 2009 and tell you guys about this discovery. You all felt the same way as me. Then, I urged China’s JKD must print the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol correctly. You guys did respect my suggestion and really rectified the symbol. It really took you all a lot of courage to do the amendment.

Q52: We ever saw you playing Tai Chi in a video clip of Bruce’s backyard training video. Under what circumstance was that clip being filmed? Was Bruce really interested in Tai Chi Chuan?
DL: Once, Bruce asked me, “Dan, didn’t you learn Tai Chi Chuan before?” I replied, “Yes, just for a year. My teacher is Master Tung.” He said, “Alright, then show it to me, I will film it down.” At that time, Bruce had just bought a new home video camera, which cost him over US$1,000. It’s a brand new technological product that was released in the market but not many people had owned it then. I told him, “Bruce, I’m not good in it.” He said, “I don’t care, you just demonstrate it to me.” So, I showed him the complete form of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. Bruce then said, “I will keep this footage as a record and put it in my study room. In the future, if there’s opportunity after my retirement, remind me that I ought to really go deeply into the learning of Tai Chi Chuan, the nature of water, soft and hard, etc. I’ll use a year to study it.” However, after Bruce’s passing, I have totally forgotten about this incident.

One day, Linda was tidying up the study room and she saw the video footage. She was surprised to see me playing Tai Chi Chuan. I told her “Don’t see it, that is too immature and horrible, I just learnt for a year and have not properly mastered it then.” I watched it myself and thought wow, it’s really no good and I felt quite embarrassed to see it. In fact, Bruce at that time wasn’t really wanted to learn Tai Chi Chuan from me. He just wanted to keep a record as a reminder to himself so that by the time he retired, he would then have time to study more in-depth about the Ying-Yang theories plus the soft Kung Fu. Also, he planned to put in time and effort to specially study Tai Chi. Unfortunately, he had no more such opportunity.

Q53: While you practiced and taught JKD, and at the same time, you were also doing Tai Chi Chuan. How do you manage to balance the relationship of the 2 systems? Has anybody ever doubt that you mixed Tai Chi Chuan with JKD?
DL: Some people said, “Dan, you learnt Tai Chi, are you going to put it into JKD?” I said, “No, I just hope to learn the soft Kung Fu from Tai Chi Chuan and then use the Tai Chi training to strengthen myself.” Did you see Tai Chi form in JKD? Someone must be kidding. I never wanted people to misunderstand me, like say, “Oh, Dan Lee is going to put Tai Chi into JKD with embellishments.” No, I’ll never do that. I just want to comprehend the soft Kung Fu in Tai Chi Chuan and understand the combined techniques of the hard and soft Kung Fu. Among the JKD men, only Dan Lee talked about soft Kung Fu and the co-existence of hard and soft Kung Fu. I followed and practiced Bruce’s Tai Chi’s Ying and Yang philosophy. Believe me, I have never let Bruce down.

The JKD’s Tai Chi symbol which was drawn by Bruce has a very, very deep meaning in it. There’s philosophy within. We can learn and increase our wisdom through this learning of the traditional philosophy but never add the non-essentials and embellishments into JKD. It is against Bruce’s wish and the way to the development of JKD.

Until I grow a bit older, I feel the path which I took is correct. One should develop soft in the beginning. JKD is more towards hard, lesser in soft. So, in the past, I learnt about soft, the water nature of Tai Chi Chuan and comprehend the power of the water. I always do my best to be a man of integrity, trustworthy and abide the professional code of conduct. Also, I know that life lies in sports, one must exert oneself constantly, then he will prolongs the longevity of his life. Nobody has asked me about my age. I feel I’m in good health, in pleasant mood, my life is stable and other areas of my life are all well-balanced. After doing JKD, I feel very powerful on the hard side and upon doing Tai Chi, I feel calm, serene and peaceful. I don’t possess the feeling of contending with others in terms of power struggle all the time. Thus, to me, the practice of Tai Chi can be seen as part of my JKD training. Hard and soft are merged together and it helps to maintain a balance in life. Everyday I do my exercises and trainings. My Kung Fu is still progressing. If there’s opportunity, I will let you guys see my progress. How about that? (Laugh)

Q54: In your opinion, how should we teach JKD in China?
DL: How should you teach in China? Just follow what Bruce taught which I imparted to both of you. To ensure continuity of inheriting JKD appropriately, we must respect Bruce’s stuff, respect our teachers and the teachings. So, we must inherit the things Bruce taught. To teach JKD in China, the most fundamental things must be taught. From there continue to develop and flourish; follow the principle and develop but remember never take something from here and there and mixed them together and then called it JKD. In China, the ways you attempted to inherit and the steps you attempted to develop are all up to you to decide. I’ve no opinions. But you cannot say you’re teaching “Dan Lee’s JKD.” Remember, JKD is Bruce Lee’s JKD, just like Ted Wong and Me. We are loyal to Bruce and follow what he taught us, then proceed with the teaching and development of JKD.

The stuff I taught both of you belongs to Bruce Lee. I’m loyal and devoted in imparting them to you. Hence, both of you have already sufficient stuff to teach. Bruce was against the idea of putting a commercial label on JKD that time. But I do hope you can develop and flourish JKD in China. This doesn’t go against the principle of Bruce. I’ve done my best to impart JKD’s skills and knowledge to you and help you solve the problems. Now, I hand over the fire torch to a new generation and provide encouragement in the path of your development. I feel I’ve already fulfilled my responsibility of the inheritance of JKD’s. You can assume the responsibility of the mission of JKD’s inheritance in China.

China JKD International Federation (CJIF) is a good organization for developing JKD in China. Your president Mr. Zhong HaiMing has translated the complete version of the “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method” (Note: with The Estate’s consent) and has made an enormous contribution. The pictures are very clear and it comes with both Chinese and English text which makes it easy for the Chinese readers to read and understand. The translation is also well-done. I often read and recall about the things Bruce taught us. 80%-90% of the stuff can be found in this book. There are plenty of basic and classic things in there. Although, there are numerous of JKD books available in the market but none can be compared to “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Methods.”

We are lucky that in this generation, we have Bruce’s writings, photos, videos etc. All these can act as the references to your JKD trainings and teachings. But remember you do not need to say Mr. So and So taught you or Bruce Lee was your grandmaster, right? I’m just fated to build a bridge for you. You can still take Bruce as your Sifu directly, study his hand techniques, footwork, bodyworks etc. and those principles, theories behind his skills and strategies. Seriously go and experience, verify and enhance your skills and knowledge. People who attempted to embellish on JKD wasn’t correct. No need to add on. The ready stance, footwork, bodywork, punching, kicking, elusiveness, sparring, fitness conditioning and 5 Ways of Attack etc. are the areas you need to train and teach.

Q55: Sifu, thank you very much for spending over 2 hours to accept our overseas telephone interview. On behalf of “Chinese Wushu” magazine, we’d like to thank you for your kind assistance. We’ll bear in mind Sifu’s teachings and instructions and do our best to spread Bruce’s JKD and will not let you and CJIF down.
DL: You’re welcome. I’ll continue to pay attention to you, support you and encourage you. I’m also willing to answer any questions or doubts pertaining to JKD. Just like before, please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions. Goodbye!


Part 5: Photos of Dan Lee & others: https://postimg.org/image/cshe7l9ud/


- END -
Great respect for Mr. Dan Lee.

He's the real JKD man, knew JKD inside out, never go against Bruce's original principles and did what he was supposed to do.

R.I.P.
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Jon
Jon

September 24th, 2016, 6:08 pm #49

Q48: It was said that Bruce had a personal library with huge collection of books. Have you seen it before?
DL: Once, I went to Bruce’s library and to my bewilderment, there were plenty of books on the book shelves. They were mainly English books on various martial arts like Western Fencing, Boxing, Karate, Judo etc. Besides martial arts, he also collected books on various subjects like religion, philosophy, psychology, marketing, sales, motivational etc. There was a portion of Chinese books such as different kinds of Chinese Kung Fu, I-Ching, art of war, combat strategy etc. I took a Tai Chi book out from the shelf and saw many texts were being underlined, circled and with words written here and there. It seemed like Bruce had penned many notes regarding his thoughts, comments and reviews. Then, I asked him, “Bruce, can you let me bring this book home to read?” Bruce said, “No, you can get it yourself, my books are not for loan.” (Laugh) Alright, since he didn’t want to lend it to me as those were his favorite and precious collections, then, I should start my own collection instead. Hence, from then onwards, I began searching for various kinds of martial arts books in the Chinese bookshops.

Q49: Recently, Tommy Gong (Note: Chinese name Liu LuQuan) has published a book. There’s a page which shows the Chinese calligraphy in Kai font - “Jeet Kune Do” written by you. Now these 3 characters have become the common Chinese JKD characters used over the world. Can you tell us when did you write these words?
DL: Before publishing the book, Tommy asked me how I should introduce myself in his book. I said I’m “the only mainland Chinese student of Bruce Lee who had been to College.” After the book was out, he edited a bit because there were some errors in the Chinese/English words and also some mistakes in the translation. Those Chinese/English technical terms translation was done by his wife. She isn’t well-versed in Chinese. I wrote an entire page and suggested he made corrections. He thanked me. What I saw now is the old edition. He hasn’t sent me the new edition. The Chinese characters, “Jeet Kune Do” used in his old edition was written by me.

There’s a story behind these 3 characters. There’s a Kung Fu magazine in the U.S. called “Inside Kung Fu” and its founder knew me very well. In his magazines, many articles usually need to introduce some Kung Fu names and Chinese characters, like Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut etc. Once I saw and wrote to him saying, “The content of your magazine is good but that Chinese calligraphy of the Kung Fu names are horrible. They look as if were written by a kid who is not even up to the standard of a primary 2 or 3 students. Who wrote them?” He replied, “In that case, please help me out.” I said, “Ok!” I’m no calligrapher but I’ve learnt calligraphy during my high school days. Since he requested my help, I tried to my best to fulfill his request.

So, within a year, in every issue, all those Chinese characters like, Ba-Kwa, Hsing-I, Tai-Chi etc. were all written by me. There’s an issue which talked about JKD. So, I wrote “Jeet Kune Do” these 3 characters. Later, Inosanto intended to publish a book, he saw and liked these Chinese JKD characters. So, he copied them onto his book without asking my permission. Consequently, many JKD schools copied these characters from Inosanto’s book and printed them on their sports attires, T-shirts etc. I was astonished because those words were ok but not very well-written as far as professional Chinese calligraphy is concerned and couldn’t be treated as the treasured scrolls of calligraphy. I’m also no professional calligrapher and have no rights to call my words the treasured scrolls of calligraphy. Since they have been used over the world, then, let it be. It doesn’t matter, I’ve never asked for copyrights; just treat them as my little contribution to JKD (Laugh). I plan to pick up calligraphy again but I’m really tied up with practicing martial arts. There’s not much free time left, and until now, I haven’t resumed my calligraphy learning.

Q50: Sifu, do you have time to write for both of us the treasured scrolls of calligraphy?
DL: Not treasured scrolls of calligraphy. (Laugh)...I’d love to.

Q51: You once pointed out that there may be some errors in the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol. How did you discover the errors?
DL: That was after Bruce’s passing. One day, I found that the Tai Chi Chuan’s symbol and the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol which we see nowadays are different. I thought Bruce might have been in a hurry and drew the Tai Chi symbol incorrectly. Nevertheless, the JKD’s symbol banner which Bruce wrote and hung in our LA kwoon previously was correct.

Where was the error? I’ve shared with both of you before. The boundary between Ying and Yang in Tai Chi Symbol is not “S” shape but an opposite of "S”shape, like the reflection of "S" shape. Why so? Bruce put an arrow on each side of the Ying and Yang. There are rationales behind it. We Chinese called “Wu-ji-bi-fan” which literally means “things turn into their opposites when they reach the extreme.” From small to big, from mild hard to extreme hard, and from extreme hard turn into soft, this is the interchange of hard and soft. JKD emphasized “Using No Way As Way; Having No Limitation As Limitation,”and both Ying and Yang must co-exist.

Since Bruce taught the Tai Chi’s Ying/Yang theory belongs to the Taoism’s philosophy, then, the symbol’s design ought to print correctly. It shouldn’t be printed in the opposite way. Therefore, I shared my discovery with a few JKD’s friends. But they said, “Ahh…The 2 symbols look almost the same, it doesn’t matter.” I then stopped talking about it. True, to rectify the symbol is quite a big deal, not an easy task since it has been used all over the world for a long time.

When I come to China in 2009 and tell you guys about this discovery. You all felt the same way as me. Then, I urged China’s JKD must print the JKD’s Tai Chi symbol correctly. You guys did respect my suggestion and really rectified the symbol. It really took you all a lot of courage to do the amendment.

Q52: We ever saw you playing Tai Chi in a video clip of Bruce’s backyard training video. Under what circumstance was that clip being filmed? Was Bruce really interested in Tai Chi Chuan?
DL: Once, Bruce asked me, “Dan, didn’t you learn Tai Chi Chuan before?” I replied, “Yes, just for a year. My teacher is Master Tung.” He said, “Alright, then show it to me, I will film it down.” At that time, Bruce had just bought a new home video camera, which cost him over US$1,000. It’s a brand new technological product that was released in the market but not many people had owned it then. I told him, “Bruce, I’m not good in it.” He said, “I don’t care, you just demonstrate it to me.” So, I showed him the complete form of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. Bruce then said, “I will keep this footage as a record and put it in my study room. In the future, if there’s opportunity after my retirement, remind me that I ought to really go deeply into the learning of Tai Chi Chuan, the nature of water, soft and hard, etc. I’ll use a year to study it.” However, after Bruce’s passing, I have totally forgotten about this incident.

One day, Linda was tidying up the study room and she saw the video footage. She was surprised to see me playing Tai Chi Chuan. I told her “Don’t see it, that is too immature and horrible, I just learnt for a year and have not properly mastered it then.” I watched it myself and thought wow, it’s really no good and I felt quite embarrassed to see it. In fact, Bruce at that time wasn’t really wanted to learn Tai Chi Chuan from me. He just wanted to keep a record as a reminder to himself so that by the time he retired, he would then have time to study more in-depth about the Ying-Yang theories plus the soft Kung Fu. Also, he planned to put in time and effort to specially study Tai Chi. Unfortunately, he had no more such opportunity.

Q53: While you practiced and taught JKD, and at the same time, you were also doing Tai Chi Chuan. How do you manage to balance the relationship of the 2 systems? Has anybody ever doubt that you mixed Tai Chi Chuan with JKD?
DL: Some people said, “Dan, you learnt Tai Chi, are you going to put it into JKD?” I said, “No, I just hope to learn the soft Kung Fu from Tai Chi Chuan and then use the Tai Chi training to strengthen myself.” Did you see Tai Chi form in JKD? Someone must be kidding. I never wanted people to misunderstand me, like say, “Oh, Dan Lee is going to put Tai Chi into JKD with embellishments.” No, I’ll never do that. I just want to comprehend the soft Kung Fu in Tai Chi Chuan and understand the combined techniques of the hard and soft Kung Fu. Among the JKD men, only Dan Lee talked about soft Kung Fu and the co-existence of hard and soft Kung Fu. I followed and practiced Bruce’s Tai Chi’s Ying and Yang philosophy. Believe me, I have never let Bruce down.

The JKD’s Tai Chi symbol which was drawn by Bruce has a very, very deep meaning in it. There’s philosophy within. We can learn and increase our wisdom through this learning of the traditional philosophy but never add the non-essentials and embellishments into JKD. It is against Bruce’s wish and the way to the development of JKD.

Until I grow a bit older, I feel the path which I took is correct. One should develop soft in the beginning. JKD is more towards hard, lesser in soft. So, in the past, I learnt about soft, the water nature of Tai Chi Chuan and comprehend the power of the water. I always do my best to be a man of integrity, trustworthy and abide the professional code of conduct. Also, I know that life lies in sports, one must exert oneself constantly, then he will prolongs the longevity of his life. Nobody has asked me about my age. I feel I’m in good health, in pleasant mood, my life is stable and other areas of my life are all well-balanced. After doing JKD, I feel very powerful on the hard side and upon doing Tai Chi, I feel calm, serene and peaceful. I don’t possess the feeling of contending with others in terms of power struggle all the time. Thus, to me, the practice of Tai Chi can be seen as part of my JKD training. Hard and soft are merged together and it helps to maintain a balance in life. Everyday I do my exercises and trainings. My Kung Fu is still progressing. If there’s opportunity, I will let you guys see my progress. How about that? (Laugh)

Q54: In your opinion, how should we teach JKD in China?
DL: How should you teach in China? Just follow what Bruce taught which I imparted to both of you. To ensure continuity of inheriting JKD appropriately, we must respect Bruce’s stuff, respect our teachers and the teachings. So, we must inherit the things Bruce taught. To teach JKD in China, the most fundamental things must be taught. From there continue to develop and flourish; follow the principle and develop but remember never take something from here and there and mixed them together and then called it JKD. In China, the ways you attempted to inherit and the steps you attempted to develop are all up to you to decide. I’ve no opinions. But you cannot say you’re teaching “Dan Lee’s JKD.” Remember, JKD is Bruce Lee’s JKD, just like Ted Wong and Me. We are loyal to Bruce and follow what he taught us, then proceed with the teaching and development of JKD.

The stuff I taught both of you belongs to Bruce Lee. I’m loyal and devoted in imparting them to you. Hence, both of you have already sufficient stuff to teach. Bruce was against the idea of putting a commercial label on JKD that time. But I do hope you can develop and flourish JKD in China. This doesn’t go against the principle of Bruce. I’ve done my best to impart JKD’s skills and knowledge to you and help you solve the problems. Now, I hand over the fire torch to a new generation and provide encouragement in the path of your development. I feel I’ve already fulfilled my responsibility of the inheritance of JKD’s. You can assume the responsibility of the mission of JKD’s inheritance in China.

China JKD International Federation (CJIF) is a good organization for developing JKD in China. Your president Mr. Zhong HaiMing has translated the complete version of the “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method” (Note: with The Estate’s consent) and has made an enormous contribution. The pictures are very clear and it comes with both Chinese and English text which makes it easy for the Chinese readers to read and understand. The translation is also well-done. I often read and recall about the things Bruce taught us. 80%-90% of the stuff can be found in this book. There are plenty of basic and classic things in there. Although, there are numerous of JKD books available in the market but none can be compared to “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Methods.”

We are lucky that in this generation, we have Bruce’s writings, photos, videos etc. All these can act as the references to your JKD trainings and teachings. But remember you do not need to say Mr. So and So taught you or Bruce Lee was your grandmaster, right? I’m just fated to build a bridge for you. You can still take Bruce as your Sifu directly, study his hand techniques, footwork, bodyworks etc. and those principles, theories behind his skills and strategies. Seriously go and experience, verify and enhance your skills and knowledge. People who attempted to embellish on JKD wasn’t correct. No need to add on. The ready stance, footwork, bodywork, punching, kicking, elusiveness, sparring, fitness conditioning and 5 Ways of Attack etc. are the areas you need to train and teach.

Q55: Sifu, thank you very much for spending over 2 hours to accept our overseas telephone interview. On behalf of “Chinese Wushu” magazine, we’d like to thank you for your kind assistance. We’ll bear in mind Sifu’s teachings and instructions and do our best to spread Bruce’s JKD and will not let you and CJIF down.
DL: You’re welcome. I’ll continue to pay attention to you, support you and encourage you. I’m also willing to answer any questions or doubts pertaining to JKD. Just like before, please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions. Goodbye!


Part 5: Photos of Dan Lee & others: https://postimg.org/image/cshe7l9ud/


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Tan
Tan

September 27th, 2016, 4:54 am #50

Great respect for Mr. Dan Lee.

He's the real JKD man, knew JKD inside out, never go against Bruce's original principles and did what he was supposed to do.

R.I.P.
Met Dan Lee once in LA. He was a super nice guy with great wisdom in martial arts.

RIP.
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