Joined: 10:03 PM - Jul 05, 2018

3:18 AM - Jul 21, 2018 #21

Tom Bleecker is the best fiction writer.
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Joined: 5:04 AM - Jan 24, 2018

7:31 AM - Jul 21, 2018 #22

Tom's other book, Tea Money, was an interesting read after a slow start. Instead of having a character named Brian Lee or Bruno Leung, we have a singer whose name is inspired by Andy Lau - Andy Li.
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Joined: 9:38 PM - Dec 19, 2017

2:13 PM - Jul 21, 2018 #23

I've read all or almost all of Bleecker's comments on this forum and he comes across as pretty low-key and open and does not get all confrontational when people ask questions. To me this is the sign of someone who is trying to be truthful and accurate. What did he have to gain by doing that book? I think he realized people would object to their idol being portrayed as less than a saint. But to me that doesn't matter he was an amazing figure and innovator and he brought MA to a whole new level. We're still marveling at what he did and we're still talking about him 50 years later.
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JTF
Joined: 10:03 PM - Jun 21, 2018

5:48 AM - Jul 22, 2018 #24

JKD54: In the past, salient arguments from posters such as yourself have charged Linda and especially Shannon, with constructing a mythical narrative of Bruce Lee with the express purpose of creating a cash cow. Shannon has done little to educate the public about her father's beloved art of JKD and, IMO, that is a travesty. This scenario was the impetus for my "hypocrisy" comment for Bleecker's challenge was mainly directed at the Bruce Lee Estate.

Tom got word that the estate was going to sue him in the hope that his book would be pulled from further public view. Linda and/or Shannon were not going to sue him over the factual errors you mentioned in your post. They were focused on the more controversial issues contained in Unsettled Matters. IMO, your claim that Bleecker's challenge was a publicity stunt is hypocritical because it basically lends credence to a lawsuit concocted by people who are not credible. It speaks volumes that the Bruce Lee Estate did not follow through with this lawsuit.

In terms of Bleecker's relationship with Bruce, he was far from being the only personal friend of Lee's who didn't receive a letter from the Little Dragon. Heck, many of his students never corresponded with Bruce via letters and a few of them have never been photographed with Bruce Lee. Prime example is Seattle Era student Patrick Strong. Bruce never wrote to Patrick and he was never photographed with Bruce, but he was one of the few Seattle Era students to see Bruce when he lived in Los Angeles. Seattle Era students Skip Ellsworth and Jesse Glover have confirmed that Patrick did indeed study with Bruce Lee.  

The nature of Tom's relationship with Bruce would appear to be more than acquaintances, but outside of Lee's inner circle. IMO, Tom has put forth ample evidence that they were friends. Examples include...

1) In Unsettled Matters, Tom describes seeing Bruce Lee speaking with Ed Parker at Parker's kwoon.

2) Tom literally helped Bruce move into his first apartment in California.

3) After the move was complete, Bruce and Tom began talking about the martial arts which ultimately led to a friendship.

4) Tom accompanied Bruce to the home of Blake Edwards and once Edwards saw Lee's skill set, he inquired about taking lessons.

5) Tom states that their relationship included several informal sparring sessions. That's impressive, especially when considering the fact that Bruce did not spar with Mike Stone and/or Joe Lewis. The following comes straight from Tom Bleecker.

The Bruce Lee that I first met and hung out with for a long time in the mid to late 1960's was a wonderful man. He had a sense of humor, he was dynamic and explosive, and fun to be around and incredibly talented. I was in awe of him. When I first met Bruce, I was 17 and he was 24, so you can imagine what that was like.

Bruce was the only man who ever walked up to me, stood in front of me, and said, "try to hit me." At that time, I was six foot tall and 180 pounds and he was not a big man.

I couldn't touch him. He also hit harder, pound for pound, than any man I have ever known. He once kicked me the length of a swimming pool. It was in 1969, and we were at Blake Edwards' house and Julie Andrews was there too. I held an air shield for Bruce and it was like being kicked by a horse.
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Joined: 3:19 AM - Jul 24, 2015

7:23 AM - Jul 22, 2018 #25

JTF,

I still don't know how or why I am supposed to be a hypocrite. Perhaps you have simply misunderstood what my comment was about.

At any rate, as for the Estate's law suit... again, we just have to accept Bleecker's word that the Estate threatened him with a lawsuit. He provides no evidence. If it is true, then it certainly is in keeping with a long line of other lawsuits threatened by the Estate over likeness rights, name usage, and so on. It's not unusual for the Estate to sue people. Of course with Tom's book, a law suit would have been for different reasons, since anyone has the right to write a biography of BL. The threat of a law suit doesn't tell us much about the reasons though, but we can assume it had something to do with writing about drug use, steroids, and theories of death....all of which according to Matthew Polly are no-no's when it comes to co-operation with the Estate. Incidentally, Polly said he asked Tom Bleecker for evidence for some of his claims from the UM book, but Bleecker refused to show Polly anything. I'll leave that up to you to decide what that says about Bleecker's book.

I never claimed Bleecker wasn't a friend of Lee's, I am just very doubtful he was a "close personal friend" as Bleecker himself worded it. None of the numbered points you put forward as evidence of a "close personal friendship" are very convincing. Seeing BL speak to Ed Parker doesn't mean Bleecker and Bruce were close. Neither does helping Bruce move into an apartment, talking about martial arts, accompanying Bruce to Blake Edwards' home, or even engaging in sparring sessions. Many other people who were not close personal friends with Bruce did those things too.

Bruce had a lot of friends, and acquaintances, but only a few "close personal friends". I don't see any reason to believe Bleecker was in the latter category.
"All type of knowledge ultimately means self-knowledge"
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Joined: 9:38 PM - Dec 19, 2017

1:41 PM - Jul 22, 2018 #26

One thing to consider though. It's highly unusual for an author to say that he would pay on a claim that what he wrote was untrue, in a book that was not really a hit piece, so it gives me the impression that there was threat of a lawsuit. I would have like to hear the real reason that Bleecker and Lee got married. It would be just as interesting as the real reason they divorced. I don't see LL as being hard to get along with. Does anyone know any general details. 

If Bleecker wanted to be sensational he'd have talked about the marriage. Many people are bitter and if you have a platform, like a book, surely it would be tempting to talk about it but to my recollection he did not.
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Joined: 10:03 PM - Jul 05, 2018

2:20 PM - Jul 22, 2018 #27

__________________________________________________________________
1) In Unsettled Matters, Tom describes seeing Bruce Lee speaking with Ed Parker at Parker's kwoon.

2) Tom literally helped Bruce move into his first apartment in California.

3) After the move was complete, Bruce and Tom began talking about the martial arts which ultimately led to a friendship.

4) Tom accompanied Bruce to the home of Blake Edwards and eleven Edwards saw Lee's skill set, I have inquired about taking lessons.

5) Tom states that their relationship included several informal sparring sessions. That's impressive, especially when considering the fact that Bruce did not spar with Mike Stone and / or Joe Lewis. The following comes straight from Tom Bleecker
___________________________________________________________________
Do you also believe in Santa Claus?
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Joined: 9:38 PM - Dec 19, 2017

6:45 PM - Jul 22, 2018 #28

^^ I can buy all of those items except the notion that BL would have 'sparred' with a 17 yo noob.
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JTF
Joined: 10:03 PM - Jun 21, 2018

9:36 PM - Jul 22, 2018 #29

Several thoughts...

1) Tom's access to the proof for his more controversial claims was the result of his marriage to Linda. They were in the process of constructing a follow-up to Linda's 1975 autobiography of Bruce Lee. Linda allowed Tom to look through her husband's personal documents which included his medical records. Their book was completed, but little of what Tom discovered in Lee's medical files was included in that book. Their marriage ended shortly after the book was published and I doubt that Linda allowed Tom to copy or take those files with him. Tom's challenge was the result of his confidence that the BL Estate would NEVER have the stones to open those files for public view.

2) Dr. Michael Hunter then became only the 2nd person to view those documents/files AND to present the content of those documents/files to the general public. Guess what? Their presentations of Lee's medical files were uniform. It would be straining logic to believe that it was by chance that their presentations mirrored one another.

3) Tom was not specific about when he sparred with Bruce, so it is quite possible that their informal sparring sessions occurred towards the latter stages of their friendship.  
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Joined: 9:38 PM - Dec 19, 2017

1:09 AM - Jul 23, 2018 #30

^^ I agree with points 1 and 2, but it strains credulity to think BL would spar with TB. In fact, there is little evidence that TB understands anything about JKD and he did not post anything specific about his sparring - i.e. details.

My sparring days ended many decades ago but I can remember all but the most ordinary of them in great detail. If you're a martial artist, think about it. Wouldn't you be able to describe -in detail- virtually every move you and Bruce Lee made in your sparring sessions and wouldn't you write them up in detail?

I know I would. I just wouldn't be satisfied to say 'oh we sparred a few times'. 

FWIW.
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