I’ve always been a Martial Arts enthusiast, and I used to be obsessed with Bruce Lee. I thought he was God. I’ve not thought much about him in the last 10 years or so, however, even as I have become a full-fledged Mixed Martial Arts fan.
But I realized yesterday when reading some Bruce Lee quotes that it’s an absolute travesty that he was taken from us before he could see MMA become what it is today.
Many accept that he was special in some way, but few realize just how special. I think he was the pioneer of Mixed Martial Arts itself. His own art, Jeet Kune Do, was less of a style of its own and more of a philosophy — philosophy of being eclectic with techniques from any combat system that works.
“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. — Bruce Lee”
What’s amazing about this is that it’s the ONLY approach that works in modern MMA. Mixed Martial Arts took over a decade to figure out what he had already learned in the 1960’s. He respected the classic arts but realized their limitations early on.
I really wish he were here today to enjoy the MMA explosion. He would have embraced it like no other. And I’m quite sure he’d still be fighting despite how old he would be today. Contrary to what many fanboys think, however, he would in fact have many losses both by submission and by knockout. But he would also have the most untouchable record in the world. He would insist on fighting in the heavyweight division at times, he would fight on very short notice, and he’d probably try to convince an organization to let him fight multiple people at the same time. He always pushed the limits.
“Unfortunately, now in boxing people are only allowed to punch. In Judo, people are only allowed to throw. I do not despise these kinds of martial arts. What I mean is, we now find rigid forms which create differences among clans, and the world of martial art is shattered as a result.” — Bruce Lee
I just miss him. I wish he were here to see what’s happening. He deserved it. Half the fighters over 30 are probably in MMA in some part because of Bruce Lee. We should pay our respects to the first evangelist of truly mixed Martial Arts. R.I.P.: