Tom's book

Joined: December 5th, 2007, 1:05 am

July 23rd, 2018, 1:11 am #31

I doubt very much TB sparred with BL
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 3:14 am #32

I used the word "informal" to describe their sparring sessions, but it appears that I should have been more specific. It's important to remember that Bruce Lee would spar with anyone and nature of the sparring sessions were quite eclectic. They basically fall into 3 categories.

PLAY SPARRING: This usually applied to people not involved in the martial arts or those were not well known in the martial arts world. For example, Bruce once sparred with Ryan O'Neal near his trailer on a movie company lot. Ryan was a former boxer and did not believe in the effectiveness of the martial arts. Bruce coaxed O'Neil into moving around and throwing light punches at one another. This form of play sparring quickly got out of hand when Ryan began to get too close to Lee's chin with a few punches, so Bruce side kicked him into the side of his trailer. Bruce apologized to Ryan, and despite his history of having a bad temper, O'Neal was cool about it. 

POINT SPARRING: This appears to be the kind of sparring that Bruce engaged in with Tom. Bruce sparred in this fashion with Chuck Norris, Louis Delgado, Bob Wall, Oakland student Leo Fong, a few of George Dillman's top students, Chinatown students Steve Golden/Larry Hartsell, and many others.

FULL CONTACT: Every Sunday at his Chinatown kwoon, Bruce sparred with Dan Inosanto and/or Dan Lee. At his home in Culver City, Bruce would do the same with student Ted Wong. These sparring sessions would involve wearing full body gear, the same gear Bruce used at the 1967 Long Beach Internationals. Despite never sparring one another, Joe Lewis admitted that "Bruce liked contact," and Dan Inosanto told a surprised Lewis that Bruce "was tough."  
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Joined: July 5th, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 3:29 am #33

[quote="Coliseum1972"]
I doubt very much TB sparred with BL
[/quote]


I believe, I also believe in Easter Bunny and Santa Claus .
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 2:01 pm #34

JTF - the most common situation with BL meeting a new person or a new acquaintance was to have them hold the air shield so he could kick it or to have them hold a phonebook so he could do the 1" punch. 

Again, if Bleecker had 'sparred' in any sense of the word, he would have remembered it very specifically and would have given a very detailed account. It's impossible not to have remembered that in detail. Though I don't think TB was in the habit of making false claims, I think he did so here.

Think about it. He was all about having proof, claiming proof and wanting to be believed. So he made the error of claiming to be a little bit more acquainted with BL when he was probably a spectator and did and said very little if anything.

As to the 'Full Contact' sparring, bear in mind that even with gear, it doesn't mean you are having 'full contact'. I saw the improved video of the sparring at the event and I'd call that light sparring. Nobody got knocked down though Dan did get tripped.
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JTF
Joined: June 21st, 2018, 10:03 pm

July 23rd, 2018, 9:27 pm #35

BADGER: Towards the end of the sparring demonstration, Bruce hit Dan in the face with a beautiful straight lead punch and the punch was hard enough to cause Dan to stagger backwards. Dan later said that punch "gave me a headache that lasted 4 days." In terms of Dan getting "tripped," Bruce actually landed a hard ridge hand strike that would have made Mike Stone proud, followed by a foot sweep. There was more contact to the face in that 1967 sparring demonstration than there was in the final three bouts of the 1967 International Tournament.
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Joined: July 25th, 2015, 1:24 pm

August 5th, 2018, 2:15 pm #36

Joe lewis has said that he and bruce would put gear on in their sessions and that he liked contact. lewis also said bruce was master of broken rhythm. All that implies to me that most likely they did alive drills that involved contact. That to me is impressive especially since this was the  60s .
Also Dan said in a radio interview that he saw some people come to his dojo wanting to deck him and he just played with them (meaning that he was so much better). 
By the way Joe lewis was not surprised that dan said Bruce was tough, John Gardner was surprised.
Joe Lewis wrote in a letter to Black belt regarding John Little in which he said that. "Had I challenged Bruce, I can assure you , he would have accepted immediately."  I think Joe knew that Bruce was tough.
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 9:38 pm

August 6th, 2018, 1:38 pm #37

Beyond that the proof is that very large (comparatively) American Karate champions flocked to train with this little 5'7 140lb Oriental-looking guy. Joe is on record saying they mostly were dismissive of the 'Kung fu' guys in tournaments.

I met Lewis and saw Norris in a tournament doing a demo with his brother Aaron in the late 70s and they were good. Lewis was a bit of an egotist and seemed to strut around as though he owned the place, though nice enough. I don't seem them as giving props or even the time of day to someone who was about the size of most of their girlfriends who wasn't also a tournament fighter. That tells one a lot about how they respected BL.
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