Bruce Lee (Li Jun Fan, 李小龍,1940 -1973) was a Chinese-American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor and philosopher. Lee was renowned for his martial arts prowess and who helped popularize martial arts movies in the 1970s.
Lee was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA).
Lee is considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West. He is credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.
Lee was introduced to the film industry by his father Lee Hoi-chuen a Cantonese opera star and appeared in several films as a child actor.
Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education at the University of Washington in Seattle.
It was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in the Chinese nation and Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s.
The direction and tone of his films dramatically influenced and changed martial arts and martial arts films worldwide.
Lee is noted for his roles in five feature-length martial arts films in the early 1970s: Lo Wei’s The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest’s Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; and Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers’ Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.
Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, based upon his portrayal of Chinese nationalism in his films and among Asian Americans for defying stereotypes associated with the emasculated Asian male.
Lee trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other influences from various sources into the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).
Even after his death Lee’s influence has continued to be a prominent influence on modern combat sport, including judo, karate, mixed martial arts, and boxing.
Time named Lee one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.
Bio Reference Attribution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Lee
Photo Attribution © National General Pictures, Bruce Lee, 1973 (from the film Fists of Fury; aka The Big Boss)
Source Attribution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Lee#/media/File:Bruce_Lee_1973.jpg
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