Bruce Lee wasn’t only a popular Hollywood action star and a martial artist back in the days. Fast forward to the present, Lee is considered by many as “the greatest fighter ever” and even Dana White, president of UFC, called him as “the father of mixed martial arts.”
During Lee’s time, MMA didn’t exist yet but he shunned traditional martial arts and created his own he called Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid philosophy that literally means “the way of the intercepting fist” in Cantonese. His goal, according to him, was to simplify and get rid of the “fancy mess that distorts and cramps their practitioners and distracts them from the actual reality of combat”.
One man, however, remains unimpressed about it all. In his quest to expose “fake kung fu,” Chinese MMA fighter Xu “Mad Dog” Xiaodong recently criticized the The Way of The Dragon actor’s legendary 1964 sparring video taken – the footage that many consider as the ultimate proof that if he was alive today, Lee would’ve done great in MMA.
Xu, however, strongly disagrees and simply chucked it all down as performance.
“It’s a performance, a demonstration, it doesn’t show any real combat abilities, everyone use your brain and think about it.”
Bruce Lee demonstrating his legendary one-inch punch.
According to an SCMP report, the demonstration was taken at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium “during the inaugural Long Beach International Karate Championships.” Apparently, it eventually served as his springboard to earning his reputation in martial arts and it bringing the form to the mainstream. He later starred as Kato in the television series Green Hornet.
Despite his speed and strength, Xu says it wasn’t real martial arts. “I say whatever I want and everyone hates me. Everyone wants to fight me so I don’t care,” he commented.
Xu further pointed out that Taky Kimura, the man sparring with the blindfolded Lee, was his former student, his best friend, and the author of a book about his experiences with Lee.
“I’m just talking realism, you can talk bad about me,” said Xu.
Xu went on:
“They weren’t hitting each other in the head, they were just sparring. Kimura is a student and his friend, he’s written a book about Lee.
“If Bruce Lee were my sensei or my master, I would describe him very well too, I would make him look good. This is not Bruce Lee’s actual fight experience, it’s just a demonstration.”
Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris in 'The Way of the Dragon'
“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,” Bruce Lee once taught. He passed away in July 20, 1973.
Now watch this video report about Xu Xiaodong:
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