Wong Jack Man and Bruce Lee’s Private Match

Bruce was an inspiring figure to Asians and all people around the world and I respect that. But let there be no mistake, as a young man he was a cocky egomaniac who many people in the traditional martial arts world found difficult to get along with. The real reason the fight happened was not because he was teaching "quilo", but because Bruce was making open challenges to people in the traditional martial arts community.

At the Sun Sing Theater, Bruce Lee said he was better than any martial artists in San Francisco and anyone could come to his studio to challenge him after he failed knock back a volunteer from the audience on the first try and was laughed at and booed by the audience.

After he landed in San Francisco he went to Grandmaster T.Y. Wong’s school and challenged him. T.Y. Wong knew Bruce Lee’s father and out of respect refused to fight him.

Bruce wouldn’t let up though and as he turned to leave he suddenly launched a surprise attack at T.Y. Wong. At that moment T.Y. Wong slapped Bruce in the face and told him to leave.

There were witnesses to this event and from what I heard T.Y. Wong’s students were quite angry with Bruce. These were the real reasons why the Chinese martial arts community in San Francisco had it out for him. At that time Bruce was a young upstart with little respect for his elders. It's been said he had issues with his dad so maybe that could have had something to do with it. At the Sun Sing Theatre on Grant Street in San Francisco during a demonstration Bruce was putting on. Bruce put out a challenge on stage and said no one could stand up to his fist.

This was the kind of immature behavior that constantly got him into trouble and THAT was the reason he was challenged. Not because of this BS concerning racism. That is what Bruce told Linda and it was not the truth. There may have been some of those sentiments within certain circles but it had nothing to do with the challenge letter he received from David Chin. He basically got the letter for being big headed and thinking he could make open challenges in a place with some of the best martial artists in the world. He was a total egomaniac and, according to his ex-girlfriend, Amy Sanbo, he was a "macho pig." She said she felt sorry for Linda when she saw them together in Seattle one time because she knew Bruce was going to be cheating on her left and right (which he did) and Linda would have to put up with all of the "insufferable" things Bruce said.


Across the water from Oakland within the city of his birth, Bruce Lee was perpetually at odds with the martial arts culture of Chinatown. In fact, there is a laundry list of little-known incidents and tensions that occurred between Bruce and Chinatown martial artists dating back to when he first returned to America in the spring of 1959. As Bruce quickly learned, San Francisco’s martial arts culture operated in very different fashion from the one he experienced in Hong Kong as a teenager.

For about three decades, Chinatown’s kung fu culture was presided over by two longtime local tong enforcers—Lau Bun and TY Wong—whose trailblazing careers have mostly fallen into obscurity. In the 1930s, Lau Bun opened Hung Sing, which is likely the first public school of the Chinese martial arts in America. He maintained a rigid discipline over his students and other martial artists within the neighborhood. For years, Lau Bun did not allow Chinatown to devolve into the sort of daily youth violence that Bruce Lee grew up around on the streets (and rooftops) of Hong Kong during the 1950s, where students from rival martial arts schools regularly challenged each other to fights.

Lau Bun (center) with senior students in Hung Sing, his basement training studio off of Portsmouth Square in San Francisco's Chinatown. In 1959, 18-year-old Bruce Lee would have a little known run-in with this crew. (Photo courtesy of UC Berkeley)

TY Wong arrived to San Francisco in the early 1940s. As a junior tong member to Lau Bun, it often fell to TY to clean up rowdy and drunken behavior around the neighborhood’s Forbidden City nightclubs. The name of his school—Kin Mon—translated to mean “the Sturdy Citizen’s Club.” And like Lau Bun, TY expected a specific code of conduct.

Word of Hong Kong’s challenge culture and the tenacious reputation of its Wing Chun practitioners had preceded Bruce Lee to San Francisco. Bruce had spent his teen years learning Wing Chun kung fu within Ip Man’s school in Hong Kong, where he enthusiastically embraced the simple and streamlined nature of the style. Economical, swift and direct, Wing Chun emphasizes in-fighting along the opponent’s center line, employing short kicks and rapid punches in close proximity. The style had a reputation for being results-oriented, and on the streets postwar Hong Kong, that was a crucial distinction.

Not long after arriving to San Francisco in 1959, Bruce Lee had a heated incident with Lau Bun and his senior students in Chinatown. “When Bruce came to Hung Sing, he didn’t know anything about San Francisco,” recounts Sam Louie, one of Lau Bun’s senior students at the time. “There were seven or eight of us in class. He came down to show off some hands, and tried to say to us that Wing Chun was the best. So our sifu threw him out.”

A comparison of technique stills from TY Wong's 1961 book, Chinese Kung Fu Karate, alongside imagery from Bruce Lee's 1963 book, Chinese Gung Fu. TY, Bruce and James Lee would all package insults into their books from this era, aimed between Oakland and San Francisco.

Instantly then, Bruce had gotten off to a bad start within Chinatown. These tensions would only build over time as he increasingly became a vocal critic of traditional approaches to the martial arts, which—in his minimalist Wing Chun mindset—he saw as heavy on flair but short on effectiveness. One of the most pointed examples of Bruce’s criticism is hidden in plain sight within Chinese Gung Fu…, where in a photo-by-photo case study, Bruce is seen dismantling specific techniques that are put forth in one of TY Wong’s earlier books. This is featured in a section titled “Difference in Gung Fu Styles,” in which Bruce distinguishes between what he sees as “superior systems” (namely, his own) versus “slower…half-cultivated systems” (that of TY Wong and other “more traditional” masters like Lau Bun). Bruce’s book was readily on sale within Chinatown, and the insults were not lost on locals. So when TY Wong subsequently characterized Bruce Lee as “a dissident with bad manners,” it was a view shared by most martial artists within Chinatown.


So why, as Leo states in the article, did Sifu Wong "run" in the initial stages of his match with Bruce? It was because Bruce was acting irrationally and saying no to any rules during the match. He basically said he was going to fight all-out with eye gouges and groin kicks. It was as if he was considering it a death match because he was nervous and his ego was in jeopardy.

Traditionally, at the beginning of the fight, opponents are supposed to join hands and jump backwards. With no regard for traditions, Bruce went straight for an eye gouge after he pretended to shake hands. At that moment Wong ducked but not before Bruce nicked him with his finger nail just above his left eye and left a cut. This was seen the next day by Grandmaster Ming Lum himself and it was the only injury that could be seen on all of Wong's face or body. Right after Bruce struck he kept going for the eyes in earnest. Being surprised at this onslaught of potentially lethal strikes, Wong back pedaled to keep his distance. It was for this reason that Wong’s people wanted to jump in and stop the fight initially. Unlike how it was characterized by Bruce, the match continued in earnest between both of them.

Would David Chin have said he felt it “went both ways” in the KF Magazine article he was featured in if Bruce had been chasing Wong around the room and threw him to the ground? Let me ask all of you, who should be considered as having more integrity when it comes to judging the outcome of a challenge match, a grandmaster like David Chin and the Tai Chi master William Chen or Linda Lee Caldwell, who’s NOT a professional martial artist and who’s been trying to capitalize on her former husbands fame as much as she possibly can? And, in my opinion, the only reason it “went both ways” was because Wong was obviously holding back.

Learn about Wong Jack Man's Style; Beishaolin

After the fight, Bruce Lee declared regular Wing Chun ineffective, and changed his style. He closed his school and left for Hong Kong to learn why he had lost.
Wong Jack Man issued a challenge to Bruce Lee for a public rematch, in the January 28, 2015 Chinese Pacific Weekly, front page, Wong stated that he "would instead have public exhibition so everyone could see with their own eyes". The culture of Chinatown's Martial Arts widely regarded Wong's final sentiments as a call for a rematch.

Bruce Lee had always responded to anything before, yet did not respond to the request for a public match. Instead he closed his school, left for Hong Kong, and drastically changed his style after the fight, declaring Wing Chun impractical. Why would he do this if he had won? Learn about Wong Jack Man's Powerful fists

That brings me to another inaccuracy in Leo Fong's statements. He said there were 10 of Wong's students there and Bruce told him to tell all of his students that he had been beaten. Where did he get this from? David Chin has never said there were that many and Tai Chi master William Chen, who was also there, said there were 5 of them. I believe it’s been said that they drove over in one car from San Francisco. Whatever the case, it’s yet more inaccurate information that’s been put out there by those profiting off of Bruce Lee’s legacy.

Basically, when it comes to whether or not Wong said, “I give up,” someone is lying. And I know for certain it’s not Sifu Wong. Wong Jack Man was a devout practitioner of martial ethics and wu de. Let me ask you, who is more likely to lie, a grandmaster who had been involved in upholding the traditions of the TCM community, or an egotistical child actor turned street punk who kept getting kicked out of school for fighting and who had to be deported for being a colossal troublemaker. Really? So we’re going to believe the guy who ran with a street gang and got into all sorts of trouble over the guy who devoted himself to upholding the highest virtues of TCMA culture? And why did certain elements of the story change?

Linda Lee said in her book, “Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew,” that Bruce began pounding him into a state of demoralization on the floor, but in an interview Bruce said he got some “kung fu cat" down to the ground and held his fist over him and got him to say, “I give up”. Which one was it? If Wong were beaten the way Linda had it portrayed in that farce of a movie, “Dragon, The Bruce Lee Story,” then why did Ming Lum see no injuries except for a slight scratch? What, was Ming Lum lying now? Let’s face it, Bruce Lee lied to his friends and students in order to save face and look good. They probably would have sought lessons from Wong if they had found out what really happened.

The real reason the match ended was because Bruce was too winded to continue. He always knew he got schooled in that fight and it was the main reason Bruce completely changed up his style. Everyone likes to point out that he was already modifying Yip Man’s Wing Chun (even though he hadn’t even finished the whole curriculum), but he hadn’t gone to an almost complete emphasis on boxing and fencing until immediately after that fight. That’s something Leo Fong himself has confirmed. Why would anyone almost completely change their style after winning a fight? Wong was a known grandmaster. It should have been a great victory for Bruce not an epiphany on how much he sucked and needed to change his style.


The three components of combat are 1) Speed, 2) Guts and 3) Techniques. All three components must go hand in hand. One component cannot survive without the others." (WJM - June 14, 1974)

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Bruce Lee did not have his own unique style, it modified the original External and Internal Martial Arts; which are hundreds of years old.

Others had their own special versions.

When these moves are simplified, they loose the
Qi, that is built into the system. Lee's style had nothing uniquely new, than the classical Wing Chun. He only studied this for two years, under Yip Man; and Yip man did not even consider Bruce Lee a serious Student!

Learn what Qi is all about, click here.

In traditional martial arts, Wu De is held at its highest level as in intellectually, in spiritually and in practice.

Some important questions that one should consider in deciding for themselves;what happened in the Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man fight:
  1. Who was the one who closed his school after the fight?
  2. Who made a decision to change his style because he thought it was ineffective after the fight?
  3. Who lost face and left the area after the fight?

More on Traditional Internal Training in my book
Axe Hand; Hsing-i & Internal Strength Workout
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There are many martial advantages of internal energy; learn about them at:
Martial Benefits of the Internal, click here

Grandmaster Wong Jack Man
(Wong Chia Man)

"He really wanted to kill me," says Wong. Most of what he used against Lee, says Wong, was defensive. Wong says he parried Lee’s kicks with his legs while using his hand and arms to protect his head and torso, only occasionally delivering a stinging blow to Lee’s head or body.

Wong Jack Man had struck Bruce Lee in the back of the head. The point position for the palm chop after the 'gold chick single stand' is fatal and causes death sooner or later when sharply struck. I believe BL got this kind of injury and his bruise in his head, which led him to his death. Perhaps it was caused by WJM's palm strike.
More about Grandmaster Wong Jack Man

William Chen’s memory of the fight are more in alignment with Wong’s than Lee’s. On the question of duration, for example, Chen, as Wong, recalls the fight continuing for "20 or 25 minutes." He also said neither man was knocked down. "Certainly," he says, "Wong was not brought to the floor and pounded into a ‘state of demoralization.’" Ming Lum, a San Francisco martial arts promoter, said that he didn't attend the fight because he was a friend of both Lee and Wong. Lum saw Wong the very next day at the Jackson Cafe, and Lum says the only evidence he saw of the fight was a scratch above one eye, a scratch Wong said he got when Lee went for his eyes as he extended his arm for the opening handshake.

"BRUCE LEE’S TOUGHEST FIGHT”, by Michael Dorgan (from Official Karate, July 1980)

Considering the skill of the opponents and the complete absence of referees, rules, and safety equipment, it was one hell of a fight that took place that day in December. It may have been the most savagely elegant exhibition of unarmed combat of the century. Yet, at a time when top fighters tend to display their skills only in huge closed-circuited arenas, this battle was fought in virtual secrecy behind locked doors. And at a time when millions of dollars can ride on the outcome of a championship fight, these champions of another sort competed not for money, but for more personal and passionate reasons. The time was late winter, 1964; the setting was a small kung fu school in Oakland, California. Poised at the center of the room, with approximately 140 pounds packed tightly on his 5’7" frame, was the operator of the school, a 24-year old martial artist of Chinese ancestry but American birth who, within a few years, would skyrocket to international attention as a combination fighter/film star.

A few years after that, at age 32, he would die under mysterious circumstances. His name, of course, was Bruce Lee. Also poised in the center of the room was another martial artist. Taller but lighter, with his 135 pounds stretched thinly over 5’10", this fighter was also 24 and also of Chinese descent. Born in Hong Kong and reared in the south of mainland China, he had only recently arrived in San Francisco’s teeming Chinatown, just across the bay from Oakland. Though over the next 15 years he would become widely known in martial arts circles and would train some of America’s top martial artists, he would retain a near disdain for publicity and the commercialization of his art, and consequently would remain unknown to the general public. His name: Wong Jack Man.

What happened after the fighters approached the center of the room has become a chapter of Chinatown’s "wild history," that branch of Chinese history usually anchored in fact but always richly embellished by fantasy, a history that tells much about a time and place with little that’s reliable about any particular incident. Exactly how the fight proceeded and just who won are still matters of controversy, and will likely remain so. But from the few available firsthand accounts and other evidence, it is possible to piece together a reasonably reliable picture that reveals two overriding truths.

First, considering the skill of the opponents and the complete absence of referees, rules, and safety equipment, it was one hell of a fight that took place that day in December. And second, Bruce Lee, who was soon to rival Mao Tse Tung as the world’s most famous Chinese personality, was dramatically affected by the fight, perhaps fatally so.

Due to the human desire to be known as an eye witness to a famous event, it is easier to obtain firsthand accounts of the fight from persons who were not there than from those who were. As to how many persons actually viewed the contest, even that is a point of dispute. Bruce Lee’s wife Linda recalls a total of 13 persons, including herself. But the only person that she identifies other than her husband and his associate James Lee, who died of cancer shortly before her husband died, is Wong Jack Man. Wong, meanwhile, remembers only seven persons being present, including the three Lees. Of the three persons other than the Lees and himself, only one, a tai chi teacher named William Chen (not to be confused with the William Chi Cheng Chen who teaches the art in New York), could be located. Chen recalls about 15 persons being present but can identify none other than Wong and the Lees. So except for a skimpy reference to the fight by Bruce Lee himself in a magazine interview, we are left with only three first hand accounts of the battle. They are accounts which vary widely.

Linda Lee, in her book Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew, initially dismisses the fight as follows: "The two came out, bowed formally and then began to fight. Wong adopted a classic stance whereas Bruce, who at the time was still using his Wing Chun style, produced a series of straight punches. "Within a minute, Wong’s men were trying to stop the fight as Bruce began to warm to his task. James Lee warned them to let the fight continue. A minute later, with Bruce continuing the attack in earnest, Wong began to backpedal as fast as he could. For an instant, indeed, the scrap threatened to degenerate into a farce as Wong actually turned and ran. But Bruce pounced on him like a springing leopard and brought him to the floor where he began pounding him into a state of demoralization.

"Is that enough?" shouted Bruce. "That’s enough!" pleaded Wong in desperation. So the entire matter was just another quick triumph for the man who frequently boasted he could whip any man in the world.

Or was it? Later in her book, Linda Lee hints that the fight may have amounted to more than the brief moment of violent diversion she had earlier described.

"Bruce’s whole life was an evolving process - and this was never seen to greater effect than in his work with the martial arts," she begins. "The clash with Wong Jack Man metamorphosed his own personal expression of kung fu. Until this battle, he had largely been content to improvise and expand on his original Wing Chun style, but then he suddenly realized that although he had won comparatively easily, his performance had been neither crisp of efficient. The fight, he realized, ought to have ended within a few seconds of him striking the first blows - instead of which it had dragged on for three minutes. In addition, at the end, Bruce had felt unusually winded which proved to him he was far from perfect condition. So he began to dissect the fight, analyzing where he had gone wrong and seeking to find ways where he could have improved his performance. It did not take him long to realize that the basis of his fighting art, the Wing Chun style, was insufficient. It laid too much stress on hand techniques, had very few kicking techniques and was, essentially, partial."

Still later in the book, Linda Lee adds:
"The Wong Jack Man fight also caused Bruce to intensify his training methods. From that date, he began to seek out more and more sophisticated and exhaustive training methods. I shall try to explain these in greater detail later, but in general the new forms of training meant that Bruce was always doing something, always training some part of his body or keeping it in condition."

Whether Bruce Lee’s intensified training was to his benefit or to his destruction is a matter to be discussed later. For now, merely let it be observed that the allegedly insignificant "scrap" described early by Linda Lee has now been identified by her as cause for her husband to intensify his training and serves as the pivotal reason for his abandoning the fighting style he had practiced religiously for more than 10 years.

That the fight with Wong was the reason Lee quit, and then later repudiated the Wing Chun style, was confirmed by Lee himself in an interview with Black Belt. "I’d gotten into a fight in San Francisco (a reference, no doubt, to the Bay Area rather than the city) with a Kung-Fu cat, and after a brief encounter the son-of-a-bitch started to run. I chased him and, like a fool, kept punching him behind his head and back. Soon my fists began to swell from hitting his hard head. Right then I realized Wing Chun was not too practical and began to alter my way of fighting."

For those who have difficulty believing that a quick if clumsy victory over a worthy opponent was sufficient reason for Lee to abandon a fighting style that had seen him through dozens of vicious street fights as a youth in Hong Kong, where his family had moved shortly after his birth in San Francisco, a more substantial reason for Lee to change styles can be found in the account of the fight given by Wong Jack Man.

According to Wong, the battle began with him bowing and offering his hand to Lee in the traditional manner of opening a match. Lee, he say, responded by pretending to extend a friendly hand only to suddenly transform the hand into a four-pronged spear aimed at Wong’s eyes.

"That opening move," says Wong, "set the tone for Lee’s fight." Wing Chun has but three sets, the solo exercises which contain the full body of technique of any style, and one of those sets is devoted to deadly jabbing and gouging attacks directed primarily at the eyes and throat. "It was those techniques," say Wong, "which Lee used most."

There were flurries of straight punches and repeated kicks at his groin, adds Wong, but mostly, relentlessly, there were those darting deadly finger tips trying to poke out his eyes or puncture his throat. And what he say he anticipated as serious but sportsmanly comparison of skill suddenly became an exercise in defending his life.

What makes a kick so powerful? It is usually because one can throw all of their weight and energy into it.
Learn about the powerful internal method of kicking
Click here

Wong says that before the fight began Lee remarked, in reference to a mutual acquaintance who had helped instigate the match, "You’ve been killed by your friend." Shortly after the bout commenced, he adds, he realized Lee’s words had been said in earnest.

"He really wanted to kill me," says Wong. In contrast to Lee’s three Wing Chun sets, Wong, as the grand master of the Northern Shaolin style, knew dozens. But most of what he used against Lee, says Wong, was defensive. Wong says he parried Lee’s kicks with his legs while using his hand and arms to protect his head and torso, only occasionally delivering a stinging blow to Lee’s head or body. He fought defensively, explains Wong, in part because of Lee’s relentless aggressive strategy, and in part because he feared the consequences of responding in kind to Lee’s attempt to kill him. In pre-Revolutionary China, fights to the finish were often allowed by law, but Wong knew that in modern-day America, a crippling or killing blow, while winning a victory, might also win him a jail sentence.

That, says Wong, is why he failed to deliver a devastating right-hand blow on any of the three occasions he had Lee’s head locked under his left arm. Instead, he says, he released his opponent each time, only to have an even more enraged Bruce Lee press on with his furious attack. "He would never say he lost until you killed him," says Wong. And despite his concern with the legal consequences, Wong says that killing Lee is something he began to consider. "I remember thinking, ‘If he injures me, if he really hurts me, I’ll have to kill him."

But according to Wong, before that need arose, the fight had ended, due more to what Linda Lee described as Lee’s "unusually winded" condition than to a decisive blow by either opponent. "It had lasted," says Wong, "at least 20 minutes, maybe 25."

Though William Chen’s recollections of the fight are more vague than the other two accounts, they are more in alignment with Wong’s than Lee’s. On the question of duration, for example, Chen, like Wong, remembers the fight continuing for "20 or 25 minutes." Also, he cannot recall either man being knocked down. "Certainly," he says, "Wong was not brought to the floor and pounded into a ‘state of demoralization.’"

Regarding Wong’s claim that three times he had Lee’s head locked under his arm, Chen says he can neither confirm or deny it. He remembers the fighters joining on several occasions, but he could not see very clearly what was happening at those moments.

Chen describes the outcome of the battle as "a tie." He adds, however, that whereas an enraged Bruce Lee had charged Wong "like a mad bull," obviously intent upon doing him serious injury. Wong had displayed extraordinary restraint by never employing what were perhaps his most dangerous weapons - his devastating kicks.

A principal difference between northern and southern Chinese fighting styles is that the northern styles give much more emphasis to kicking, and Northern Shaolin had armed Wong with kicks of blinding speeds and crushing power. But before the fight, recalls Chen, "Sifu Wong said he would not use his kicks; he thought they were too dangerous." And despite the dangerous developments that followed that pledge, Chen adds that Wong "kept his word." Though Chen’s recollections exhaust the firsthand accounts, there are further fragments of evidence to indicate how the fight ended.

Ming Lum, who was then a San Francisco martial arts promoter, says he did not attend the fight because he was a friend of both Lee and Wong, and feared that a battle between them would end in serious injury, maybe even death. "Who," he asks, "would have stopped them?" But Lum did see Wong the very next day at the Jackson Cafe, where the young grand master earned his living as a waiter (he had, in fact, worked a full shift at the busy Chinatown restaurant the previous day before fighting Lee). And Lum says the only evidence he saw of the fight was a scratch above one eye, a scratch Wong says was inflicted when Lee went for his eyes as he extended his arm for the opening handshake.

"Some people say Bruce Lee beat up Jack Man bad," note Lum. "But if he had, the man would not have been to work the next day." By Lum’s assessment, the fact that neither man suffered serious injury in a no-holds-barred battle indicates that both were "very, very good." Both men were no doubt, very, very, good. But Wong, after the fight, felt compelled to assert, boldly and publicly, that he was the better of the two. He did so, he says, only because Lee violated their agreement to not discuss the fight.

According to Wong, immediately following the match Lee had asked that neither man discuss it. Discussion would lead to more argument over who had won, a matter which could never be resolved as there had been no judges. Wong said he agreed.

But within a couple of weeks, he says, Lee violated the agreement by claiming in an interview that he had defeated an unnamed challenger. Though Lee had not identified Wong as the loser, Wong says it was obvious to all of Chinatown that Lee was speaking of Wong. It had already become common knowledge within the Chinese community that the two had fought. In response to Lee’s interview, Wong wrote a detailed description of the fight which concluded with an open invitation to Lee to meet him for a public bout if Lee was not satisfied with Wong’s account. Wong’s version of the fight, along with the challenge, was run as the top story on the front page of San Francisco’s Chinese language Chinese Pacific Weekly. But Bruce Lee, despite his reputation for responding with fists of fury to the slightest provocation, remained silent.

Now death has rendered the man forever silent. And the question of whether Wong presented Lee, who is considered by many to have been the world’s top martial artist, with the only defeat of his adult life will remain, among those concerned about such matters, forever a controversial one.

Martial art styles can be divided roughly into two categories: external and internal. External styles, which are also called "hard" styles and which include such American favorites as Japanese karate and Korean taekwondo, rely primarily upon muscular strength, while internal or "soft" styles, such as Japanese Aikido and the three above-mentioned Chinese styles, cultivate a more mysterious energy called chi.

Although everybody has chi, few people have much of it, and fewer still know how to express it. But according to the Chinese, this precious elixir can be cultivated and controlled through the exercises of the internal martial arts styles.

Specifically, they say chi can be brewed in the tan tien, a spot about an inch below the navel. Once the tan tien is filled, the chi supposedly spills out into other parts of the body, where it is stored in the marrow of the bones. It is said that as a martial artist develops chi energy, his bones become hard, his sinews tough, is muscles supple and relaxed, which allow the chi to circulate freely through the body.

Internal Iron Shirt; defense against all blows,
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Chi usually takes much longer to develop than muscular strength, but it is considered a much more formidable energy. In normal times it is said to serve as a source of extraordinary vitality and as a guardian against many diseases. And in battle, it is said to provide a person with awesome power and near invulnerability.

Though Wong had been trained in the internal styles while still in China, up until the time he fought Lee he had concentrated mainly on the refinement of his elegantly athletic Northern Shaolin, which, like Lee’s Wing Chun, is an external style. Wong would traineed in the internal styles until he had developed such chi power that he can, according to Peter Ralston, a former student of Wong and the first non-Asian to win the Chinese Martial Arts World Championships in Taiwan, take a punch to any part of his body without injury or even discomfort. As for Wong’s offensive capabilities, they have apparently never been tested.

Regarding the question of how much Lee grew as a martial artist after the fight, Wong is convinced that the benefits to Lee from his homemade style were more than offset by the damage it did him. Wong even goes so far as to speculate that Jeet Kune Do may have caused Lee’s death.

Most martial arts masters agree that just as serious training in a proper method can greatly improve one’s health, strenuous and prolonged training in an improper method can destroy health. Often the health damage is attributed to improper breathing practices, and often the damage is to the brain. Special use of the breath is acknowledged by every martial arts style as a key element to developing power, though different styles have different breathing methods. Proper methods can be simply categorized as those which develop power while building health, and improper methods as those which either fail to build power or build it but at the expense of one’s health. Though many of the ways in which breathing methods affect health remain mysterious, the methods themselves - at least the proper methods - have been empirically refined over many generations. Wong’s Northern Shaolin, for example, can be traced back to the great Shaolin Temple of more than a thousand years ago, which is considered the source of Chinese martial arts. While the Wing Chun practiced by Lee until his fight with Wong also had a long period of development and refinement, the style he put together after the fight was a chop suey of many and varied ingredients.

That Jeet Kune Do lacked the cohesion and harmony of a style in the traditional sense was something acknowledged by Lee himself, who preferred to call it a "sophisticated form of street fighting" rather than a style. After abandoning Wing Chin, Lee developed a disdain for all traditional styles, which he considered restrictive and ineffective. He even went so far as to place outside his school a mock tombstone that read:
"In memory of a once fluid man crammed and distorted by the classical mess." It is grimly ironic that it would be Lee would be in need of a tombstone long before the man, trained by and loyal to the "classical mess," who was almost certainly his most formidable opponent.

The Classical Mess

The tombstone that Bruce Lee had was viewed by some as an attack on all Traditional Chinese Schools; but that is not what the tombstone states.

The delusion of rigidity is demanded by many vested interests; that enforce the letter of rules; rather than the spirit in which they evolved and interact.

Long time hierchies in Traditional Chinese Schools, prevent anyone but a small number of personal favorites from advancement due to nepotism and corrupt cliques.

Now that it is a money maker, Mainland Chinese (People's Republic), is busy pushing their political hacks into leadership roles in martial arts, just as they did with their phony 'Buddhist Shaolin' abbotts in Tibet and China.

Some Chinese Martial Arts Grandmasters have fled the persecution in China; only to find their students in collaboration decades later.

These new martial arts hacks are worshiped like the pope, and are not judged by their cattle, based on merit or martial feats!

Some of these sites with malware on them, similar to what the North Koreans used to attack Sonny pictures. Google and others have trusted site ratings. Do not take any chances when getting additional messages when visiting these sites.

More on Traditonal Chinese Martial Arts at:
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Bruce Lee's Death

It cannot be proven, of course, that Lee’s fatal edema of the brain was caused by Jeet Kune Do, just as it could not be proven his death was brought on by any of the other rumored causes ranging from illicit drugs to excessive sex to blows on the head. Wong thinks, to serve as a caution to those who believe they can, by themselves, develop the knowledge it has taken others many generations of cumulative effort to acquire.

Chuck Norris states that he thought Bruce Lee died from an brain aneurysm in a video at https://youtu.be/8-b-CPn1Ex4

The American Heart Association states:'Aneurysms can develop slowly over many years and often have no symptoms', see:http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/VascularHealth/AorticAneurysm/What-is-an-Aneurysm_UCM_454435_Article.jsp#mainContent

Bruce Lee got the original blow on the head, in his match with Grandmaster Wong Jack Man, which appears to have caused the aneurysm.

Wong Jack Man had struck Bruce Lee in the back of the head. The point position for the palm chop after the 'gold chick single stand' is fatal and causes death sooner or later when sharply struck. I believe BL got this kind of injury and his bruise in his head, which led him to his death. Perhaps it was caused by WJM's palm strike.

Perhaps it is because he gives so much credit to those who came before him that Wong’s voice is absent of boast when he says his art was superior to Lee’s. But while to him that is a matter of simple fact, Wong, aware that legends are larger than men, is not optimistic about ever being accepted as the winner of the fight. He says, however, that what people think regarding the outcome of the fight is less important to him than what they think provoked the battle in the first place.

Other Accounts of the Fight Shown to be False

In Linda Lee’s account, which has been repeated in a number of Bruce Lee biographies, Wong is portrayed not only as a loser but also as a villian. According to Ms. Lee, Wong provoked the fight in an attempt to force her husband to stop teaching Kung Fu to Caucasians.

After sketching a brief history of Chinese martial arts up to the Boxer Rebellion, she writes: "Since then - and the attitude is understandable - Chinese, particularly in America, have been reluctant to disclose these secrets to Caucasians. It became an unwritten law that the art should be taught only to Chinese. Bruce considered such thinking completely outmoded and when it was argued that white men, if taught the secrets, would use the art to injure the Chinese, he pointed out that if a white man really wanted to injure a Chinese, there were plenty of other ways he could do it. "However, Bruce soon found that at first his views were not shared by members of the Chinese community in San Francisco, particularly those in martial arts’ circles. Several months after he and James Lee had begun teaching, a kung fu expert called Wong Jack Man turned up at Bruce’s kwoon (school) on Broadway. She continues to state that Wong had just recently arrived in San Francisco’s Chinatown from Hong Kong and was seeking to establish himself at the time, all of his pupils being stricltly pure Chinese.

Three other Chinese accompanied Wong Jack Man who handed Bruce an ornate scroll which appears to have been an ultimatum from the San Francisco martial arts community. Presumably, if Bruce lost the challenge, he was either to close down his Institute or stop teaching Caucasians."

So by Linda Lee’s account, her husband had suddenly found himself in a position no less heroic than of having to defend, possibly to the death, the right to teach Caucasians the ancient Chinese fighting secrets. It is a notion that Wong finds ridiculous.

The reason he showed up at Lee’s school that day, says Wong, is because a mutual acquaintance had hand-delivered a note from Lee inviting him to fight. The note was sent, say Wong, after he had requested a public bout with Lee after Lee had boasted during a demonstration at a Chinatown theater that he could beat any martial artist in San Francisco and had issued an open challenge to fight anyone who thought he could prove him wrong. As for those in attendance at the fight, Wong says he only knew of few of them, and those barely. Certainly, he says, no group had come as formal representative of the San Francisco martial arts community. Wong attributes both Lee’s initial challenge and his response to the same emotion, to arrogance. "If I had it to do over," he says, " I wouldn’t." But while admitting to youthful arrogance, Wong strongly contests Linda Lee’s allegation that he was guilty of trying to stop Bruce Lee from teaching Caucasians.

It is true, says Wong, that most - but not all - of his students during his first years were teaching were Chinese. But that was true, he adds, only because few Americans outside of Chinese communities had even heard of kung fu. Americans who then knew anything at all of the martial arts most likely knew of Japanese judo or karate. They would not hear of kung fu until several years later, when it would be made famous by the dazzling choreography's of Bruce Lee.

Far from attempting to keep kung fu secret and exclusive, Wong observes that his was the first school in San Francisco’s Chinatown to operate with open doors. That the other kung fu schools then in existence conducted classes behind locked doors was due more to the instructor’s fears of being challenged, say Wong, than to a refusal to teach Caucasians. Once Caucasians became interested in kung fu, it would be Wong who would train some of the best of them, including Ralston and several other leading West Coast instructors. And all of these students of Wong who currently teaches at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center would be taught for a monthly fee amounting to a fraction of the hourly rate (in some cases $500) charged by the man who allegedly fought for the right to teach them.

Most JKD people think that Wing Chun is mainly about trapping when in fact trapping only makes up about 2 percent of the art and is only used if the opportunity creates itself. I can see no reason why JKD places non Wing Chun footwork with Wing Chun hands, something that defies the point of the Wing Chun elbow position and power generation in the first place.

Bruce Lee, declared Wing Chun impractical after this match. Bruce's own account has him chasing after Wong hitting the back of his head etc and becoming unusually winded. For a start, why was he chasing after Wong in that manner? It's odd to use the Wing Chun punches and methods in a way they were never meant to be used and then complain they didn't work.

Next, Bruce claimed the fight took three minutes. Three minutes of continuous aggressive fighting would take the wind out of most people. From Lee's own accounts of this fight, let alone Wong's, it is clear upon examination that he had a lot to learn and did not go about things in the right way, 'at the time of that fight'.

Bruce Lee was so impressed with Wong Jack Man's skills that he wrote to WJM's teacher and requested lessons. GM Ma Kim Fung turned him away, But Bruce Lee found and convinced Shui Hon Sang, who was an older classmate of GM Ma. GM Shui taught BL at least two sets, Kung Lick Chuan and Jie Chuan (Jeet Kuan).

There is a 8mm film of Bruce Lee doing Bei Shaolin #5 or attempting to perform BSL#5. He paid someone to film Wong Jack Man who was demonstrating BSL#5 and then BL learned from that film. Bruce Lee then had himself filmed doing the same set but from what I understand the quality was obviously not the same.

If Bruce Lee won the fight as he claimed, then why did he adapt the fighting methods of the loser? Ever other martial artist studies the methods of the winner.

' I must point out here that the true reason Bruce (who was my student when he lived in Culver City and I was chief instructor of martial arts at Loyola University) started Jeet Kune Do was because he was unable to achieve instructor rank in ANY form of martial art.....so he went out and took bits and pieces and created his own.

I also have the first article he ever wrote for publication (for me when I was associate editor at Black Belt magazine). It was so poor we sent it back, an act that angered him to no end at that time. But once he moved here to get into movies and TV he realized he had no power ..... speed but no results. That's what he wanted from me.
There is an internal side to the martial arts....esp. the Chinese arts which later were streamlined by the Japanese who lost the sense of internal until ch'an came to Japan as zen and they saw it as the perfect paradox of internal skill and killing.......but it is not what most are being taught today. It all changed in the mid 60s when people outside the Asian communities began to learn about martial arts....then came the prostitution, phony rankings, made-up school names and everything else that makes true MA so difficult to find these days. b (Ven. Dr. An Tzu; Thich An Tri) '

By Dr. William Upton-Knittle (Dr. William Upton-Knittle, senior coordinator of the UCLA Office of Summer Sessions Advertising and Marketing, was invited by government officials of the People's Republic of China to help plan fund-raising for a project known as the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Victory Memorial.)
From: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/InternalArts/message/24

Dr. William Upton-Knittle also taught the Developemental Psychology of the world renown Jean Piaget. He is also listed in Who's Who in America three times. We had a number of discussions about Bruce Lee, in the late 1990s.

There was a strong Japanese influence in Bruce Lee, since his main sparring partner and closest friends was Taki Kimura. Taki Kimura, delivered the eulogy at Bruce Lee's funeral. Bruce Lee's style is called Jeet Kuen Do, Do, is a Japanese term for school, or path. Many people Jeet Kuen Do are unfamiliar with some of the higher level Japanese sparring methods, and assume Bruce Lee invented them, when introduced to them for the first time in Jeet Kuen Do. Even some Shotokan associations, at their higher levels, have some soft, and/or internal methods.

"Bruce Lee, and thus JKD was heavily influenced by Western boxing and fencing. Although the backbone concepts (such as centerline, vertical punching, and forward pressure) come from Wing Chun, Lee stopped using the Wing Chun stances in favor of what he considered to be more fluid/flexible fencing and boxing stances."

Most empty hand martial artists are unfamiliar with the boxing and fencing stances as applied to sparring, so they assume they are unique to Jeet Kuen Do, which is a mistake. " from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeet_Kune_Do

Bruce Lee's martial background was not traditional Chinese Kung Fu, even his study under Wing Chun's Yip Man, was less than two years. Yip Man did not consider Bruce Lee a serious student.

Advanced martial techniques and energies, are based on a continual regimen of training lasting decades. Bruce Lee never studied at any school long enough to take advantage of this. Bruce Lee ended up spending much time 'reinventing the wheel'.

Any techniques in Bruce Lee's style were based on only his experience. Some have used Thai Boxing, and Filipino Martial Arts with Jeet Kun Do; but since there has never been any world class Martial Artist to have been produced by Jeet Kun Do alone, it is questionable whether any of Bruce Lee's self taught methods, are of any use to anyone else, except as basic self defense.

Grandmaster Wong Jack Man's trained many world class competitors inclucing Grandmaster Paul Eng and Peter Ralston, the first non-Asian to win the Chinese Martial Arts World Championships in Taiwan

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