bruce lee Quotes

Bruce Lee Quotes

Birth Date: 1940-11-27 (Wednesday, November 27th, 1940)
Date of Death: 2007-08-20 (Monday, August 20th, 2007)

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bruce lee life timeline

The Hastie fire in Hull, kills three schoolboys and eventually leads police to arrest Bruce George Peter Lee.Tuesday, December 4th, 1979

Quotes

    • You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. because, I mean I don't want to be like 'As Confucius say,' but under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different.
    • When you're talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you'd better train every part of your body!
    • Boards don't hit back.
    • A good martial artist does not become tense but ready. Not thinking yet not dreaming, ready for whatever may come. A martial artist has to take responsibility for himself and face the consequences of his own doing. To have no technique, there is no opponent, because the word 'I' does not exist. When the opponent expands I contract and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, 'I' do not hit, 'It' hits all by itself.
    • Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.
    • Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely - lay your life before him.
    • Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
    • Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve its end.
    • Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.
    • Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.
    • When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow - you are not understanding yourself.
    • Jeet Kune Do rejects all restrictions imposed by form and formality and emphasizes the clever use of the mind and body to defend and attack.
    • An instructor should exemplify the things he seeks to teach. It will be of great advantage if you yourself can do all you ask of your students and more.
    • As an instructor, you must be able to distinguish between poor performance caused by lack of ability or aptitude on the part of the student and poor performance caused by lack of effort. You should treat the first with patience and the latter with firmness. You must never apply sarcasm and ridicule.
    • Even today, I dare not say that I have reached a state of achievement. I'm still learning, for learning is boundless.
    • The man who is really serious, with the urge to find out what truth is, has no style at all. He lives only in what is.
    • Take inventory of everyone with whom you have contact.
    • Faith is a state of mind that can be conditioned through self-discipline. Faith will accomplish.
    • Faith makes it possible to achieve that which man's mind can conceive and believe.
    • Possession of anything begins in the mind.
    • Thoughts are things.
    • Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.
    • The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible.
    • The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.
    • Emptiness the starting point. - In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all you preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty.
    • Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.
    • Life lives; and in the living flow, no questions are raised. The reason is that life is a living now! So, in order to live life whole-heartedly, the answer is life simply is.
    • The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems.
    • The aphorism 'as a man thinketh in his heart so is he' contains the secret of life.
    • Meaning is found in relationship. - Meaning is the relationship of the foreground figure to the background.
    • Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, unrhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.
    • Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.
    • The primary reality is not what I think, but that I live, for those also live who do not think.
    • The timeless moment. - The 'moment' has no yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought and therefore has no time.
    • Knowledge, surely, is always of time, whereas knowing is not of time. Knowledge is from a source, from accumulation, from conclusion, while knowing is a movement.
    • To realize freedom the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement, without the bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness - care for watching, but don't stop and interpret 'I am free,' then you're living in a memory of something that has gone before.
    • To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.
    • Time means a lot to me because, you see, i, too, am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing and simplifying. If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
    • Be aware of doing your best to understand the ROOT in life, and realize the DIRECT and the INDIRECT are in fact a complementary WHOLE. It is to see things as they are and not to become attached to anything - to be unconscious meant to be be innocent of the working of a relative (empirical) mind - where there is no abiding of though anywhere on anything - this is being unbound. This not abiding anywhere is the root of our life.
    • Concentration is the ROOT of all the higher abilities in man.
    • Seek to understand the root. - It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, which design of branch, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.
    • What we are after is the ROOT and not the branches. The root is the real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds 'body feel' and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity.
    • Flow in the living moment. - We are always in a process of becoming and NOTHING is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you'll be flexible to change with the ever changing. OPEN yourelf and flow, my friend. Flow in the TOTAL OPENESS OF THE LIVING MOMENT. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.
    • You cannot force the Now. - But can you neither condemn nor justify and yet be extraordinarily alive as you walk on? You can never invite the wind, but you must leave the window open.
    • The Moment is freedom. - I couldn't live by a rigid schedule. I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them.
    • The Now is indivisible. - Completeness, the now, is an absence of the conscious mind to strive to divide that which is indivisible. For once the completeness of things is taken apart it is no longer complete.
    • The Western approach to reality is mostly through theory, and theory begins by denying reality - to talk about reality, to go around reality, to catch anything that attracts our sense-intellect and abstract it away from reality itself. Thus philosophy begins by saying that the outside world is not a basic fact, that its existence can be doubted and that every proposition in which the reality of the outside world is affirmed is not an evident proposition but one that needs to be divided, dissected and analyzed. It is to stand consciously aside and try to square a circle.
    • In Science we have finally come back to the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus, who said everything is flow, flux, process. There are no 'things.' NOTHINGNESS in Eastern language is 'no-thingness.' We in the West think of nothingness as a void, an emptiness, an nonexistence. In Eastern philosophy and modern physical science, nothingness - no-thingness - is a form of process, ever moving.
    • What IS is more important than WHAT SHOULD BE. To many people are looking at 'what is' from a position of thinking 'what should be.'
    • Conditioning obstructs our view of reality. - We do not see IT in its suchness because of our indoctrination, crooked and twisted.
    • True thusness is without defiling thought; it cannot be known through conception and thought.
    • Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. - There is 'what is' only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful.
    • Reality is being itself. - It is being itself, in becoming itself. Reality in its isness, the 'isness' of a thing. Thus isness is the meaning - having freedom in its primary sense - not limited by attachments, confinements, partialization, complexities.
    • A self-willed man obeys a different law, the one law I, too, hold absolutely sacred - the human law in himself, his own individual will.
    • One should be in harmony with, not in opposition to, the strength and force of the opposition. This means that one should do nothing that is not natural or spontaneous; the important thing is not to strain in any way.
    • The dualistic philosophy reigned supreme in Europe, dominating the development of Western science. But with the advent of atomic physics, findings based on demonstrable experiment were seen to negate the dualistic theory, and the trend of thought since then has been back to the monistic conception of the ancient Taoists.
    • If thought exists, I who think and the world about which I think also exist; the one exists but for the other, having no possible separation between them. Therefore, the world and I are both in active correlation; I am that which sees the world, and the world is that which is seen by me. I exist for the world and the world exists for me. ... One sure and primary and fundamental fact is the joint existence of a subject and of its world. The one does not exist without the other. I acquire no understanding of myself except as I take account of objects, of the surroundings. I do not think unless I think of things - and there I find myself.
    • When we hold to the core, the opposite sides are the same if they are seen from the center of the moving circle. I do not experience; I am experience. I am not the subject of experience; I am that experience. I am awareness. Nothing else can be I or can exist.
    • Taoist philosophy ... is essentially monistic. ... Matter and energy, Yang and Yin, heaven and earth, are conceived of as essentially one or as two coexistent poles of one indivisible whole.
    • Voidness is that which stands right in the middle between this and that. The void is all-inclusive; having no opposite, there is nothing which it excludes or opposes. The all illuminating light shines and is beyond the movement of the opposites.
    • Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win. But never to accept the way to lose. To accept defeat - to learn to die - is to be liberated from it. Once you accept, you are free to flow and to harmonize. Fluidity is the way to an empty mind. You must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying.
    • True thusness is the substance of thought, and thought is the function of true thusness. There is no thought except that of true thusness. Thusness does not move, but its motion and function are inexhaustible.
    • Liberate yourself from concepts and see the truth with your own eyes. - It exists HERE and NOW; it requires only one thing to see it: openness, freedom - the freedom to be open and not tethered by any ideas, concepts, etc. ... When our mind is tranquil, there will be an occasional pause to its feverish activities, there will be a let-go, and it is only then in the interval between two thoughts that a flash of UNDERSTANDING - understanding, which is not thought - can take place.
    • Balance your thoughts with action. - If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.
    • Concepts vs. self-actualization. - Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, ACTUALIZE YOURSELF. The process of maturing does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is to come to the realization of what lies in our innermost selves.
    • Life is better lived than conceptualized. - This writing can be less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I've come to understand that life is best to be lived - not to be conceptualized. If you have to think, you still do not understand.
    • Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.
    • What you HABITUALLY THINK largely determines what you will ultimately become.
    • Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. - To realize that it's just an inconvenience, that it is not a catastrophe, but just an unpleasantness, is part of coming into your own, part of waking up.
    • The change is from inner to outer. - We start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions.
    • Choose the positive. - You have choice - you are master of your attitude - choose the POSITIVE, the CONSTRUCTIVE. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.
    • Cease negative mental chattering. - If you think a thing is impossible, you'll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.
    • A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
    • Don't fear failure. - Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.
    • All types of knowledge, ultimately self knowledge.
    • A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.
    • If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.
    • To hell with circumstances. I create opportunities.
    • If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
    • A martial artist who drills exclusively to a set pattern of combat is losing his freedom. He is actually becoming a slave to a choice pattern and feels that the pattern is the real thing. It leads to stagnation because the way of combat is never based on personal choice and fancies, but constantly changes from moment to moment, and the disappointed combatant will soon find out that his 'choice routine' lacks pliability. There must be a 'being' instead of a 'doing' in training. One must be free. Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression.
    • A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.
    • A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
    • Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.
    • All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.
    • Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself; do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
    • Art is the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method, the less the opportunity for expression of one's original sense of freedom. Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation. It is as though when I call you, you answer me, or when I throw you something, you catch it. It's as simple as that - no fuss, no mess. In other words, when someone grabs you, punch him. To me a lot of this fancy stuff is not functional.
    • As long as I can remember I feel I have had this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.
    • Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I've understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation. Jeet Kune-Do is basically a sophisticated fighting style stripped to its essentials.
    • By adopting a certain physical posture, a resonant chord is struck in spirit.
    • Eliminate 'not clear' thinking and function from your root.
    • Eventually, you learn to read groups of words. Where a student will see three motions, the experienced man will see one, because he sees the overall energy path.
    • Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.
    • Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive.
    • Give up thinking as though not giving it up. Observe techniques as though not observing.
    • I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.
    • I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.
    • I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
    • I have not invented a 'new style,' composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from 'this' method or 'that' method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see 'ourselves'. . . Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don't, and that is that.
    • I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves.
    • I refer to my hands, feet and body as the tools of the trade. The hands and feet must be sharpened and improved daily to be efficient.
    • I'm not a master, I'm a student-master, meaning that I have the knowledge of a master and the expertise of a master, but I'm still learning, So I'm a student-master. I don't believe in the word master, I consider the master as such when they close the casket.
    • If I tell you I'm good, you would probably think I'm boasting, If I tell you I'm no good, You know I'm lying.
    • If there is a God, he is within. You don't ask God to give you things, you depend on God for your inner theme.
    • If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
    • If you don't want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.
    • If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you.
    • If you want to do your duty properly, you should do just a little more than that.
    • In building a statue, a sculptor doesn't keep adding clay to his subject. Actually, he keeps chiselling away at the inessentials until the truth of its creation is revealed without obstructions. Thus, contrary to other styles, being wise in Jeet Kune-Do doesn't mean adding more; it means to minimize, in other words to hack away the unessential.
    • In combat, spontaneity rules; rote performance of technique perishes.
    • In Jeet Kune-Do, physical conditioning is a must for all martial artists. If you are not physically fit, you have no business doing any hard sparring. To me, the best exercise for this is running. Running is so important that you should keep it up during your lifetime. What time of the day you run is not important as long as you run. In the beginning you should jog easily and then gradually increase the distance and tempo, and finally include sprints to develop your 'wind.' Let me give you a bit of warning: just because you get very good at your training it should not go to your head that you are an expert. Remember, actual sparring is the ultimate, and the training is only a means toward this. Besides running, one should also do exercises for the stomach - sit-ups, leg raises, etc. Too often one of those big-belly masters will tell you that his internal power has sunk to his stomach; he's not kidding, it is sunk and gone! To put it bluntly, he is nothing but fat and ugly.
    • In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
    • It is true that the mental aspect of kung-fu is the desired end; however, to achieve this end, technical skill must come first.
    • It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
    • It's not what you give, it's the way you give it.
    • Jeet Kune Do is training and discipline towards the ultimate reality in combat. Jeet Kune-Do is the only non-classical style of Chinese Kung Fu in existence today. It is simple in its execution, although not so simple to explain. Jeet means 'to stop, to stem, to intercept,' while Kune means 'fist' or 'style,' and Do means 'the way' or 'the ultimate reality.' In other words - 'The Way of the Intercepting Fist.'
    • Jeet Kune Do, It's just a name, don't fuss over it. There's no such thing as a style if you understand the roots of combat.
    • Jeet Kune Do uses no way as way. The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.
    • Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do.
    • Knowledge in martial arts actually means self-knowledge. A martial artist has to take responsibility for himself and accept the consequences of his own doing. The understanding of JKD is through personal feeling from movement to movement in the mirror of the relationship and not through a process of isolation. To be is to be related. To isolate is death. To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. Now, it is very difficult to do. It has always been very easy for me to put on a show and be cocky, and be flooded with a cocky feeling and feel pretty cool and all that. I can make all kinds of phoney things. Blinded by it. Or I can show some really fancy movement. But to experience oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly, now that, my friend, is very hard to do.
    • Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. LEARN, MASTER AND ACHIEVE!!!
    • Let the spirit out - Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one's bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out, as it will.
    • Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
    • Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.
    • Mere technical knowledge is only the beginning of Kung Fu, to master it, one must enter into the spirit of it.
    • Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
    • Nothingness cannot be defined; the softest thing cannot be snapped.
    • Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
    • Out of chaos, find simplicity, From discord, find harmony.
    • Practice all movements slow and fast, soft and hard; the effectiveness of Jeet Kune-Do depends on split-second timing and reflexive action, which can be achieved only through repetitious practice.
    • Put every great teacher together in a room, and they'd agree about everything; put their disciples in there and they'd argue about everything.
    • Real living is living for others.
    • Showing off is the fool's idea of glory.
    • Simplicity is the key to brilliance.
    • Styles tend to not only separate men - because they have their own doctrines and then the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change. But if you do not have a style, if you just say: Well, here I am as a human being, how can I express myself totally and completely? Now, that way you won't create a style, because style is a crystallization. That way, it's a process of continuing growth.
    • Because of styles, people are separated. They are not united together because styles became laws. But the original founder of the style started out hypotheses, and now it has become the grospel truth. People that go into them became their product. It doesn't matter how you are, who you are, how you are structured, how you are built, how you are made. It doesn't matter. You just go in there and be that product. And that, to me is not life.
    • Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.
    • Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.
    • The aim of art is to project an inner vision into the world, to state in aesthetic creation the deepest psychic and personal experiences of a human being. It is to enable those experiences to be intelligible and generally recognized within the total framework of an ideal world.
    • The combatant should be alive in sparring, throwing punches and kicks from all angles, and should not be a co-operative robot. Like water, sparring should be formless. Pour water into a cup, it becomes part of the cup. Pour it into a bottle; it becomes part of the bottle. Try to kick or punch it, it is resilient; clutch it and it will yield without hesitation. In fact, it will escape as pressure is being applied to it. How true it is that nothingness cannot be confined. The softest thing cannot be snapped.
    • The first rule is to keep yourself well covered at all times and never leave yourself open while sparring around the bag. By all means use your footwork - side stepping, feinting, varying your kicks and blows to the bag. Do not shove or flick at it. Explode through it and remember that the power of the kick and punch comes from the correct contact at the right spot and at the right moment with the body in perfect position; not, as many people think, from the vigor with which the kicks or blows are delivered.
    • The future looks extremely bright indeed, with lots of possibilities ahead - big possibilities. Like the song says, 'We've just begun.'
    • The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or in defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.
    • The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. Halfway cultivation runs to ornamentation.
    • The highest technique is to have no technique. My technique is a result of your technique; my movement is a result of your movement. A good JKD man does not oppose force or give way completely. He is pliable as a spring; he is the complement and not the opposition to his opponent's strength. He has no technique; he makes his opponent's technique his technique. He has no design; he makes opportunity his design. One should not respond to circumstance with artificial and 'wooden' prearrangement. Your action should be like the immediacy of a shadow adapting to its moving object. Your task is simply to complete the other half of the oneness spontaneously.
    • The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing.
    • The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.
    • The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
    • The main characteristic JKD is the absence of the usual classical passive blocking. Blocking is the least efficient. Jeet Kune-Do is offensive; it's alive and it's free.
    • The mind is like a fertile garden in which anything that is planted, flowers or weeds, will grow.
    • The more relaxed the muscles are, the more energy can flow through the body. Using muscular tensions to try to 'do' the punch, or attempting to use brute force to knock someone over, will only work to opposite effect.
    • The old-fashioned punching speed bag teaches you to hit straight and square; if you don't hit it straight the bag will not return directly to you. Besides learning footwork, you can hit the bag upward too. Another important function is that after the delivery of the punch, the bag will return instantaneously and this will teach you to be alert and to recover quickly. The bag should not be hit in a rhythmic motion but instead in a broken rhythm. Actually fight the bag as if it is your opponent.
    • The perfect way is only difficult for those who pick and choose. Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are set apart; if you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between 'for' and 'against' is the mind's worst disease.
    • The point is doing of them rather than the accomplishments. There is no actor but the action; there is no experiencer but the experience.
    • The possession of anything begins in the mind.
    • The techniques, though they play an important role in the early stage, should not be too restrictive, complex or mechanical. If we cling to them, we will become bound by their limitation. Remember, you are expressing the technique, and not doing Technique number two, Stance three, Section four?
    • The void is no mere emptiness, but is real, free and existing. It is the source from which all things arise and return. It cannot be seen, touched or known, yet it exists and is freely used. It has no shape, size, colour or form, and yet all that we see, hear, feel and touch is 'it'. It is beyond intellectual knowing and cannot be grasped by the ordinary mind. When we suddenly awake to the realization that there is no barrier, and has never been seen, one realizes that one is all things, mountains, rivers, grasses, trees, sun, moon, stars, universe are all oneself. There is no longer a division or barrier between myself and others, no longer any feeling of alienation or fear. Realizing this, results in true compassion. Other people and things are not seen as apart from oneself, on the contrary, as one's own body.
    • The way to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.
    • There are lots of guys around the world that are lazy. They have big fat guts. They talk about chi power and things they can do, but don't believe it.
    • There is no fixed teaching. All I can provide is an appropriate medicine for a particular ailment.
    • There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one's feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is.
    • There is nothing better than free-style sparring in the practice of any combative art. In sparring you should wear suitable protective equipment and go all out. Then you can truly learn the correct timing and distance for the delivery of the kicks, punches, etc. It is a good idea to spar with all types of individuals - tall, short, fast, clumsy. Yes, at times a clumsy fellow will mess up a better man because his awkwardness serves as a sort of broken rhythm. The best sparring partner, though, is a quick, strong man who does not know anything; a madman who goes all out, scratching, grabbing, grappling, punching, kicking, and so on.
    • There is only one type of body, 2 arms, 2 legs, etc that make up the human body. Therefore, there can only be one style of fighting. If the other guy had 4 arms and 2 legs, there might have to be a different one. Forget the belief that one style is better than the other, the point of someone that does not just believe in tradition, but actually wants to know how to fight is to take what you need from every martial art and incorporate it into your own. Make it effective and very powerful, but don't worry if you are taking moves from many different arts, that is a good thing.
    • This statement expresses my feelings perfectly: 'In memory of a once fluid man, crammed and distorted by the classical mess.'
    • To develop proper distance and penetration against a moving target, use a partner equipped either with a body protector or an air bag. He can either stand still and take the brunt of the kick, or he can back away from the attack. The former teaches proper application of the kick, especially valuable in teaching beginners. The latter training is to teach penetration. As soon as your partner thinks you will attack, he tries to back away as fast as possible. This practice is valuable to both men; one learns to penetrate and the other to back away quickly. The body protector is sometimes used for sharpening the attack. The partner will not attack but will maintain a correct distance in a ready fighting pose. As you begin to attack, he will try to counter, block, or move away. You will have almost the actual feeling of hitting your opponent in a real situation.
    • To me, the function and duty of a quality human is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.
    • To me totality is very important in sparring. Many styles claim this totality. They say that they can cope with all types of attacks; that their structures cover all the possible lines and angles, and are capable of retaliation from all angles and lines. If this is true, then how did all the different styles come about? If they are in totality, why do some use only the straight lines, others the round lines, some only kicks, and why do still others who want to be different just flap and flick their hands? To me a system that clings to one small aspect of combat is actually in bondage.
    • To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.
    • To reach the masses, some sort of big organization (whether) domestic and foreign branch affiliation, is not necessary. To reach the growing number of students, some sort of pre-conformed set must be established as standards for the branch to follow. As a result all members will be conditioned according to the prescribed system. Many will probably end up as a prisoner of a systematized drill.
    • To see a thing uncoloured by one's own personal preferences and desires is to see it in its own pristine simplicity.
    • Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.
    • Voidness is that which stands right in the middle between this and that. The void is all-inclusive, having no opposite - there is nothing which it excludes or opposes. It is living void, because all forms come out of it and whoever realizes the void is filled with life and power and the love of all being.
    • When I look around I always learn something, and that is to be yourself always, express yourself, and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. Now that seems to be the prevalent thing happening in Hong Kong, like they always copy mannerism, but they never start from the root of his being and that is, how can I be me?
    • When people talk about fighting schools they say that Kung Fu, or Karate, or this other style is the best. That is silly, and the problem becomes that the fighting style then becomes set in stone with no growth, and no adaptation, because what works well with me might not work for you.
    • When performing the movements, always use your imagination. Picture your adversary attacking, and use Jeet Kune-Do techniques in response to this imagined attack. As these techniques become more innate, new meaning will begin to emerge and better techniques can be formulated.
    • When you fight, if it is a real fight, use every tool that you have, use your whole body. Use your fists, your legs, your fingers, your head if you have to, and hit them in every vulnerable spot, the balls, the eyes etc. to win.
    • Wine may become so dilute that few will drink of it.
    • The best fighter is not a Boxer, Karate or Judo man. The best fighter is someone who can adapt on any style. He kicks too good for a Boxer, throws too good for a Karate man, and punches too good for a Judo man.
    • You just wait. I'm going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.
    • A glass that is half empty is better than a fully broken glass.
    • Your best move.... is the move you regret not doing.
    • Teacher (Shaolin Master - Mr. Lee's Teacher): What is the highest technique you hope to achieve? Student (Character - Mr. Lee): To have no technique. Teacher: Very good. What are your thoughts when facing an opponent? Student: There is no opponent. Teacher: And, why is that? Student: Because the word 'I' does not exist. Teacher: So... continue Student: A good fight should be... like a small play - but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense - but ready. Not thinking - yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands - I contract. When he contracts - I expand. And when there is an opportunity... I do not hit. 'It' hits all by itself. [shows his fist] Teacher: Now, you must remember. The enemy has only images and illusions, behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image and you will break the enemy. The 'it' that you refer to is a powerful weapon, easily misused by the martial artist who deserts his vows.
    • When I was having dinner with Chuck [Norris] I did ask him: 'If you and Bruce would be in a real fight to death, who would win?', and he said without thinking: 'Bruce of course. Nobody can beat him'.
    • Bruce and I were training out on my patio one day, we were using this giant bag for side kicks, I guess it weighed about 150lbs. Bruce kicked it and it just went Bang, it shot up out into the lawn about 15ft in the air, it then busted in the middle. It was filled with little bits and pieces of rag, we were picking up bits of rag for months.
    • I wouldn't have put a dime on anyone to beat Bruce Lee in a real confrontation. Bruce Lee was the best street fighter I ever saw, even to this very day, and not just pound for pound - but against anyone in a real fight.
    • Yes, I was on the receiving end of his side kick. It was like getting hit with a truck.
    • When he could do push ups on his thumbs and push ups with 250lbs on his back, he moved on to other exercises.
    • The power that Lee was capable of instantly generating was absolutely frightening to his fellow martial artists, especially his sparring partners, and his speed was equally intimidating. We timed him with an electric timer once, and Bruce's quickest movements were around five hundredths of a second, his slowest were around eight hundredths. This was punching from a relaxed position with his hands down at his sides from a distance between 18-24 inches. Not only was he amazingly quick, but he could read you too. He could pick up on small subtle things that you were getting ready to do and then he'd just shut you down.
    • Bruce was gravitating more and more toward weight training as he would use the weighted wall pulleys and do series upon series with them. He'd also grab one of the old rusty barbells that littered the floor at the YMCA and would roll it up and down his forearms, which is no small feat when you consider that the barbell weighed 70lbs.
    • There's no doubt in my mind that if Bruce Lee had gone into pro boxing, he could easily have ranked in the top three in the lightweight division or junior-welterweight division.
    • The biggest problem in designing equipment for Bruce was that he'd go through it so damn fast. I had to reinforce his wooden dummy with automobile parts so he could train on it without breaking it. I had started to build him a mobile dummy that could actually attack and retreat to better simulate 'live' combat, sadly Bruce died before the machine was built. It would have been strung up by big high-tension cables that I was going to connect between two posts, one on either side of his backyard. The reason for the machine was simply because no one could stand up to his full force punches and kicks, Bruce's strength and skill had evolved to a point where he had to fight machines.
    • He never trained in a gym, he thought he could concentrate better at home, so he worked out on his patio. He had a small weight set, something like a standard 100lb cast-iron set. In addition, he had a 310lb Olympic barbell set, a bench press and some dumbbells, both solid and adjustable.
    • Bruce used to beat all other comers at this type of wrist wrestling and even joked that he wanted to be world champion at it.
    • The slender, swift Bruce Lee was the Fred Astaire of martial arts, and many of the fights that could be merely brutal come across as lightning-fast choreography.
    • Bruce, well I can basically say this. I have been around a lot of great martial arts fighters. Worked out with them. Fought them in tournaments. In my opinion Bruce Lee was the greatest martial artist who ever lived. To me thats my opinion. I think Bruce Lee is the greatest martial artist ever. I don't think anybody is in his class.
    • I wanted to do in boxing what Bruce Lee was able to do in the martial arts. Lee was an artist and, like him, I try to get beyond the fundamentals of my sport. I want my fights to be seen as plays.
    • Bruce was incredibly strong for his size. He could take a 75lb barbell and from a standing position with the barbell held flush against his chest, he could slowly stick his arms out, lock them and hold the barbell there for 20 seconds, that's pretty damn tough for a guy who at the time only weighed 138lbs. I know 200lb weight lifters who can't do that.
    • I never stood in front of another human who was as quick as him. He not only had the quickness but he had the inner confidence to muster the conviction to do so. I've seen others who had the speed but lack conviction or vice versa. He was like Ali, he had both. I stood before both of these men, so I know.
    • If Bruce Lee wasn't the greatest martial artist of all time, then certainly he is the number one candidate.
    • Lee, pound for pound, might well have been one of the strongest men in the world, and certainly one of the quickest.
    • Bruce was like the Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali in his prime, somebody who stood above everyone else. It's not that the other martial artists weren't good. It's just that this guy was great.
    • I think its important for people to realize that he was not only one of history's greatest martial artists, but also one of the finest athletes period. His devotion to physical exercise and healthy lifestyle was mind-boggling.
    • Bruce always felt that if your stomach wasn't developed, then you had no business doing any hard sparring.
    • It's a little tough for the traditional martial artists to swallow [Jeet Kune Do], because one system doesn't do it. You've got to cross-train in many different systems. Actually, the father of mixed martial arts, if you will, was Bruce Lee. If you look at the way Bruce Lee trained, the way he fought, and many of the things he wrote, he said the perfect style was no style. You take a little something from everything. You take the good things from every different discipline, use what works, and you throw the rest away.
    • ...that made Lee arguably the greatest martial artist of his time, or any other.
    • bruce lee

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