By Terry Carter, Editor
Bruce Lee’s famous movie line “Boards don’t hit back” was not his first quotable moment.
But then Lee (1940-1973) never fit the mold of fitting in or settling for average. He seemed to be on fire each day with unlimited energy, always training, working out, teaching and learning from the best. He was certainly not a 1-trick pony. In fact this seemingly small man became a superstar in many areas in 33 years: Fitness Innovator, movie star, martial arts superstar, philosopher/author, teacher, and more.
Quite the contrary, Bruce seemed destined to be the world’s best at every mission he tackled. And he learned every useful skill available in the 1960s and early 70s. Bruce did everything well literally, and he was as much an intellectual as those he met.
I am almost surprised that Bruce did not create computer motherboards in 1972-73 and then hand the first home computer components off to Apple Computer future co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Here is my Top 10 List of why Bruce Lee, who died unexpectedly on July 20, 1973, is still the man who sets the standard in fitness, martial arts, style/cultue and so many other areas:
1 • Bruce is known worldwide as the perhaps the greatest martial artist in history. His speed was unmatched, even by world champions Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris. The best action cameras of the early 1970s could not capture Bruce’s blazing moves. Bruce was not only faster than anyone he faced, but he inspired the movie industry to introduce faster frame rates in a losing attempt to catch the actor’s precious hits and kicks.
2 • Even more impressive was his strength. Bruce weighed only 130-135 pounds when he became a movie star in the 1960s. He worked relentlessly in the weightroom since his teenage years, and I imagine only future record-setting, bodybuilder Arnold Schwartzenegger could match Bruce’s intensity in the weightroom.
In my honest view, even the greatest bodybuilder of all-time was not as ripped or lean as Bruce on a daily basis. Even the best bodybuilders don’t always look as ripped as they do during the competitions or on magazine covers. Somehow Bruce’s amazing workout regime achieved amazing results each day. But he was also as strong as a 180-pound, muscular male, people say. That means Bruce, at 130 pounds, could likely benchpress more than 300 pounds. Some say he could bench as much as 385 pounds, which is nearly unheard of for anyone under 160 pounds.
Bruce was among the first to exercise each and every muscle in his body, which prompted one admiring female to state that touching Bruce Lee’s body was like “touching warm marble.”
3 • Bruce was also among the first to balance dynamic strength with agility, flexibility, speed and endurance. He was the first bring all the elements of a mixed martial arts champion together in one athlete. Bruce studied not just various fighting styles like Judo and karate, but he also analyzed and respected boxing’s best like Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. Bruce added more exotice sports such as fencing also to prepare for any challenge.
4 • Bruce inspired millions — perhaps hundreds of millions — in 2 ways: He showed the world the Chinese martial artists are not the “weak men of Asia,” and he fought righteous battles for his people, his country, his family. Ethically. Bruce was always doing what was best for everyone — except, perhaps, the Japanese. China and Japan had some rough decades, and Bruce’s movies often portrayed him whipping Japanese butt.
5 • Bruce came back from a serious back injury before he became world famous to reach unbelieveable levels of fitness — and show the world how a real man rehabs injuries and climbing even higher summits. Bruce’s movies show a physical specimen never before seen. He was so lean, so ripped, so strong and so flexible that other athletes, fighters and fans simply stood in shock of his achievement. After 1-2 minutes, most managed to gather themselves and either suffer a rapid defeat, a hyperactive demonstration or Bruce’s All-Amercan smile. Take that.
6 • Bruce not only delivered a liberation revolution for