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For one thing, the odd extras he employed were mostly martial arts experts. And, for another, many of them were also mobbed up. In any of the mass fights the staged fight would quickly degenerate into a vengeful brawl. The fights did not necessarily stop when I yelled 'cut'.

The tao of Bruce Lee, kung fu kitty

Worse still, when his supporting cast weren't roughing up each other, they were trying to do the same to Clouse's star, Bruce Lee. Then Bruce would lash out two or three times in rapid succession, not trying to kill him, but to "mark" him. One of these fellows did not seem to have a mark on him after this exchange - until he opened his mouth to reveal an avalanche of blood. Such tales help reinforce the commonly held image of Lee as the ultimate fighting machine - a human Terminator capable of defeating even the toughest of opponents with one "Hiyaaaa!

Certainly, this is the view taken by Channel 5's documentary Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey, which essentially portrays the dead star as a fault-free philosopher king. Yet, while the programme will be essential viewing for martial arts fans, there are those who believe that the picture it paints is very far removed from reality. But the truth is that he was this very small, almost tiny guy. In a ring fight, within seconds, Ali would have beaten the crap out of him. Born in San Francisco, Lee was raised in Hong Kong where, as a child, he had small roles in almost two dozen films.

He also began running with Hong Kong street gangs and, according to legend, was forced to flee to America at the age of 18 after fracturing someone's skull in a rooftop fight - another part of the Lee legend that is disputed by Miller. Whatever the truth, there is little doubt that Lee swiftly adapted to his new home and, while studying at the University Of Washington, began teaching fellow students the fighting skills that he had learnt back in Hong Kong.

He also started developing his own style that incorporated not just traditional martial arts moves but was also influenced by combat techniques from around the world.

Davis Miller

Lee wasn't having any of this. Lee's whole thing was to adapt different elements, both from martial arts and other disciplines like boxing. He tried to come up with something that would actually work. And he did a pretty good job. Lee believed that the best way of spreading his new martial arts gospel was by becoming a film star - a dream that took a sizeable step closer to becoming reality in when Batman producer William Dozier cast him as the fist-handy sidekick in his new show The Green Hornet Lee would later claim that he got the role because he was the only oriental on the West Coast who could pronounce the name of lead character Britt Reid.

Sadly, the show only lasted one season and Lee was forced back to teaching, albeit with a client list that now included Steve McQueen and James Coburn.

For his next project, to be called Game Of Death, Lee dreamt of making a film that would fully demonstrate his fighting philosophy by showing him adapting to a number of very different foes. It is never-before-seen footage from this ultimately abortive movie that forms the centrepiece of the C5 documentary and should prove an illuminating watch for Lee fans everywhere, if not necessarily for reasons that would have pleased the star. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.

Top Authors

Be flexible, fluent, adaptable to change, as and when the situation calls for it. Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system. I fear not the man who has practiced 10, kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10, times.

Pick one camera and one lens, and shoot with it 10, times. Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successfull personality and duplicate it.

The Tao of Bruce Lee: A Martial Arts Memoir - AbeBooks - Davis Miller:

Be yourself, be original and draw from your own experience and instincts. A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at. It is your personal journey in photography that is ultimately the point.

Tao of Bruce Lee - Be like water

Please yourself with your photography and not your peers or others. Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth.


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If you think and feel you can be a great photographer, it is your own responsibility to develop that potential. The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. The great masters in photography are remembered for their photographs, not their skills. Theory and practice is good, but nothing beats real world photography. Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it. Learn from Life, and absorb that which will help you in your photography. The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat.

Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.


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