MATTHEW: What led to your decision to leave out the 4th member of the point fighters who Bruce Lee trained on a consistent basis? Louis Delgado was the last point fighter to defeat Chuck Norris, he is present in a good portion of Lee's backyard videos, and he told Black Belt Magazine that sparring with Bruce was a humbling experience. In 1974, Delgado told Fighting Stars Magazine that Lee was the toughest fighter he ever faced. This comes from a man who competed against Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris in point tournaments.
That's an excellent question. It may seem hard to believe with a 600+ page biography but lots of things I wanted to get into the book (like a close reading of "Liberate Yourself From Classical Karate") were cut for space. Louis Delgado was one of them because he was the 4th. When Bruce talked about his point fighting karate champion students he always mentioned Stone, Norris, and Lewis, but he rarely, if ever, mentioned Delgado.
Bey Logan believes a bunch of Bruce's high kicks were actually adopted from Delgado, not Norris or Jhoon Rhee as those two men have claimed. As you point out Delgado was much more complimentary towards Bruce's talent than Norris, Stone, and Lewis. We originally planned for this biography to be two volumes. So about 1000 pages in total. But the publisher decided against it. So sadly a lot of things had to be cut like Delgado and Lee's relationship.
I read somewhere that Bruce and Dan Inosanto were at a karate demonstration at a tournament somewhere and there was a Japanese stylist doing a kicking demo, when Bruce said to Dan 'I want to kick like that' and soon after he was equal to that demonstrator or even better.
I do not think BL was at the pinnacle of kicking ability because he did not have 'mobile kicking' ability. You can see this in the backyard video where he is showing James Coburn how to kick quickly and retract the leg so that the foot is near the standing knee. The best method is to raise the front leg and by the sheer inertia and 'unweighting' of the standing leg actually move about 12-15 inches forward -as- the leg is extending. This is 'mobile kicking'. Jhoon Rhee did know about this because I saw his fighters using it in a tournament that I attended in 1974 or 1975. I don't know why he did not show this to Bruce.
You can see an example of it if you search for 'Roy Kurban vs Benny Urquidez' on Youtube. Roy does this and you can compare to what BL was doing which required moving the back leg up first, and see it is much faster. Roy over uses it bit and doesn't have the best accuracy. I think guys like Larry Carnahan and Jeff Smith were best at it (both Jhoon Rhee students).
Thanks again for your participation here.