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What It Means to Understand Bruce Lee

Be Water

While trying to diffuse his anger, Bruce Lee once started punching in the sea and had a profound realization.

Water, he understood, is of a neutral nature, having no form or shape of its own. He realized that to be invincible, he had to be as formless as water.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

What It Means to Understand Bruce Lee

What It Means to Understand Bruce Lee

https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/06/be-water-and-difficulty-understanding-bruce-lee/613234/

theatlantic.com

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Key Ideas

Bruce Lee: The Symbol

In the 32 years he inhabited this planet, Bruce Lee created a legacy that is unparalleled in modern times.

His work, philosophy and lifestyle have influenced everything from video games to political protests. Bruce Lee’s short life garnered enough momentum to keep the flame glowing, powering future generations.

Be Water

While trying to diffuse his anger, Bruce Lee once started punching in the sea and had a profound realization.

Water, he understood, is of a neutral nature, having no form or shape of its own. He realized that to be invincible, he had to be as formless as water.

Giving Form To the Formless

The continued fascination with Bruce Lee and the never-ending need to capitalize on the man and the myth is the opposite of what he really intended.

His insights of being like water showcase his philosophy of having no philosophy at all. The formless structure that has to be assumed to live one’s life is destroyed the very moment anyone is influenced or tries to emulate Bruce Lee.

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Bruce Lee as a philosopher

He studied poetry and philosophy in school. He focused his studies on Asian and Western philosophy, incorporating elements of Jiddu, Buddhism, Taoism, and Krishnamurti. 

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Bruce Lee's impressive life
  • He wasn't a master of any standard form of martial arts. He was closest in mastering Wing Chun.
  • He invented his own style of martial arts. He based his style on the teaching of Man and what he learned of Wing Chun. He called his style Jeet Kune Do "the style of no style"
  • He starred in 20 films in Hong Kong before the age of 18.
  • He popularized the "1 Inch Punch" as seen in Kill Bill Vol. 2
  • He was a prolific poet and philosopher. He studied poetry and philosophy in school and was even published several times.
  • He was so fast, his moves were often too fast for a camera to catch.
  • He only made 5 feature films in the US, his last released posthumously.
There’s more to Bruce Lee than martial arts

He was also a philosophy badass.

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Self-discovery
Martial arts was not merely a competitive sport for Bruce Lee, but in essence a means of self-discovery and self-expression.

By learning to fight, he was able to better understand who he was — he could force himself out of his comfort zone, test his limits, and confront his fears. 

Be like water

Bruce Lee saw life as being in constant change.

Unless we learn to adapt to it, we’re bound to experience tremendous resistance that will entrap us in a constant state of suffering.

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Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was famous for being a martial artist and a movie star, but in reality, he was a Zen master. His philosophies are timeless, and his spiritual insights make him a rare cultural icon whose ...

Artist Of Life

Bruce Lee rivaled many great thinkers and philosophers with his new-age insights on life and his convictions on martial arts, family and love.

A collection of his notes, private letters, and poems are now published in the book **Bruce Lee: Artist Of Life.

Be Water

Nothing is weaker than water, and in that weakness, there is immense strength. Water is fine and impossible to grasp. It does not suffer any hurt, and cannot be stabbed, or cut. It has no shape of its own but molds according to where it is placed. It can be hard as a rock and also invisible as vapor.

Being like water, humble, adaptive, resilient and ever-changing, we become masters of our surroundings.

Don’t fear failure
We should accept and embrace failure not as an enemy but as a teacher. Through failure, we learn to accept human frailty and realize that the journey to entrepreneurial success is no...
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the ability to act in the presence of fear.

Do not be restricted by forms

To be successful, your mind and body should have the ability to flow and adapt to any situation. 

There should be less rigidity and structure in strategy and more flexibility and mobility. 

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Breathing Is Everything

How you breathe will dictate everything from the type of athlete you are, to how you sleep, to how your body feels and looks.

At the core of breathing is connecting with ...

Slow It Down

Being proficient at anything at full speed takes the willingness and patience to first go slowly, literally and figuratively.

 Any professional athlete will tell you that the ritualistic nature of slowing down your craft is the key to success in that craft. You have to walk before you can run.

Words Only Have the Power We Give Them

Words inspire, words inform, and words can destroy - if we let them.

The martial arts will teach you not to react to other’s problems, but to pay attention to your own. Learn not to react to words that are meant for harm.

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“The Art of Dying” is a metaphor and describes the Zen idea of letting our ego die. The ego is the whole set of experiences, accumulations, and memories that make up our view of ourselves. The ego holds our prejudices and distortions.

Death of the ego means we are open to criticism. We are embracing the process of learning to develop our abilities.

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“Do not think about winning or losing, do not think about pride and pain. (…) The biggest mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the fight. You should not think about whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your weapons will be used at the right time.“

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Your mind gives up way before your body does
Your mind gives up way before your body does

We've all been there when where you are on the verge of throwing in the towel – perhaps just 5 minutes before class ends or in the middle of the most intense part of training. 

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You are never truly right or wrong

Like almost everything else in life, there are different variations to certain techniques, which ultimately lead to the same outcome. 

Understand that everyone has his or her own way of achieving a similar goal or outcome.

You’re not as much of a badass

... as you might initially think.

You will also find yourself in situations where you basically get overcome by others – even when you initially felt like you had the upper hand.

No one is truly invincible, so it helps to always be humble and learn from everyone you train with.

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Origin of Parkour

The concept of Parkour was thought of by a then-teenager named David Belle in a small place called Lisses, near Paris, France. His father, Raymond Belle was a hero fireman and acrobat. This was in the 90s, and the teenager was greatly influenced by Spiderman and Tarzan. His acrobatic ways made him a celebrity and created a huge fan following.

Parkour is a made-up word, cousin to the French parcours, which means “route.”

Parkour "language"

The world of climbing walls without stairs and jumping off rooftops without any rope or parachute is filled with risk, thrill and adventure.

It also has its own naming system. Someone practising parkour is called a ‘traceur’, someone who traces David Belle’s footsteps. A female traceur is called a traceuse.

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Lovers and family members are suffering aching separations as borders have closed. Weddings have been post...

Redefining communities
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EXO BTS and Psy
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  • Psy’s record ‘Gangnam Style’ became an international craze, garnering 3.5 billion Youtube views and praise from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

  • Boy-band BTS became best-selling artists worldwide, earning USD 4.65 billion in 2019 for their country.

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