The Why Not

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With his amazing speed, it's impossible for all practical purposes for an audience member to see that the one-inch punch isn't really as advertised. And of course, whenever he did this to a person on camera, the person was a trained participant; we don't know whether this would have actually knocked down a prepared defender. However, let that not diminish the athleticism involved. It was not just a punch with his arm. In a single explosive movement so fast it can scarcely be seen, Lee first extended his legs and rotated his hips and upper body, moving his shoulder forward, then firing the final blow with his elbow.

It had a lot of energy behind it. As we discussed in Skeptoid on bullshido , there are various nonsense claims of touchless knockouts and single touch death blows.


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Some myths claims Bruce Lee was given one of these a few weeks before his death, and gradually succumbed. Not only is this claim completely free of either evidence or plausibility, it's also at odds with his known cause of death. As an active athlete, Lee often had various aches and pains, and had also had dangerous allergic reactions to painkillers.

In , at the Hong Kong apartment of a friend, he complained of a headache and she gave him some of her Equagesic. Lee suffered an allergic reaction to the meprobamate it contained, went into cerebral edema, and died. There has never been any serious controversy about this clear medical finding.

Be You - Bruce Lee Motivation

Again, nonsense claims that are unevidenced and at odds with the facts. Brandon Lee, as discussed in episode on Hollywood myths , died on a movie set in an accident with a gun loaded with blanks. It was thoroughly investigated and nobody was at fault. And, as we know from both their careers, neither had any special martial arts knowledge that anyone would kill to protect.

Bruce Lee's actual connections to organized crime were nonexistent. They were merely speculations by obsessive fans desperate to attach some cosmic significance to his childhood street fights, or to magnify the significance of his teaching martial arts to Americans into some offense against the Chinese underworld.

It's never been more than hype. So with so many myths proving goofy and unfounded, why then is there such a devoted fascination with Bruce Lee? He did indeed have remarkable physical abilities. He had a genuine dramatic and acting background.

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He even had the experience and temperament to get into a real-world street fight with anyone. But it was the timing with which his uncommon combination of skills were presented to Western audiences that made him immortal. The early s were the height of his film career and early death, and they came just at the zenith of the Western esotericism movement, the fascination with Eastern culture and mysticism and enlightenment that was the primary driver of New Age culture — it's a facet that's been found in so many Skeptoid episodes.

Unwittingly, Bruce Lee was one of the central ambassadors of this Eastern invasion. In such a context, his film roles were not just action fighting, they were also demonstrations of the perceived superiority of Chinese wisdom. Viewed in such a light, at such a time in the s, it became nearly impossible to see Bruce Lee as anything other than a demigod-like figure endowed with supernatural abilities. It would have been truly remarkable indeed if his cult-like image had not emerged. So go turn on Enter the Dragon, sit back and enjoy a master at work.

You need not cloud the experience with woo, supernaturalism, or myth.

Bruce Lee: Dynamic Becoming

Bruce can hold his own against any of them. Please contact us with any corrections or feedback. Cite this article: Dunning, B. Skeptoid Media, 6 Dec Dorgan, M. Herkewitz, W. Hearst Communications, Inc. Lee, B. Rutland: Tuttle Publishing, Lee, G. Bruce Lee: The Untold Story. Hollywood: Unique Publications, McMaster, W.

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Donate Press Room Contact. Live Shows Calendar Information. Bruce Lee Myths More mythology than fact surrounds this enigmatic figure from martial arts films. So with this biographical information in hand, let's look at a few of the many myths about Lee that have been floating around for more than 40 years: Bruce Lee was actually an expert in insert some martial art here but was not an expert in insert some other martial art here.

Bruce Lee was a "paper dragon". Filmmakers sped up the film to make Bruce Lee look faster than he was. Released Chinese and English title of original release U. Fights against a drug lord in Thailand. Fights against Japanese tyrants to avenge his master in Shanghai.

Fights crime in Rome, Italy. Released after 'Enter the Dragon' in the U. Lee ". Sent as a spy into a tournament, hosted by a rogue-monk-turned-drug-lord. Lee acts only in the last third of the movie, due to it being pieced together after his death. He also was a stunt double for the villain Mr.