The transcript below is from the video “A Serious Talk About Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun Skills” by Goldenbell Training.

Goldenbell Training:

Hey guys, some of the Bruce Lee fanboy stuff is starting to getting out of hand over here, and I think it’s time that we have a serious conversation about Bruce Lee. Because look, man, some of y’all in these comments are making it clear to me why Beerdy and the BruceLeeRealFight Channel are getting so many views after those crazy Bruce Lee stories they tell. I already know that some of y’all will receive what I’m about to say the same way people acted after Dominick Izzo posted his “Why I Hate Bruce Lee” video about 7 years ago.

But for the rest of y’all who choose to listen to this message like adults, I have to say this – Bruce Lee lived an AMAZING life. He accomplished a lot in the 32 years that he was here, and I feel like what he actually did, it was pretty cool. But get this – Bruce Lee was not a superhuman. He was not the god of Martial Arts. I would not even consider him to be the greatest martial artist to ever live because I mean, how do you even measure something like that? Can we call him the most inspiring martial artist? Sure, I’m okay with that because he had the widest reach. I mean, that’s the advantage of being a movie star who dies right as his star was beginning to ascend.

Goldenbell Training:

Before Bruce left for America, he’d starred in over 20 films in Hong Kong as a child actor and as a teenage heartthrob. He came to America where he really had time to cultivate the whole martial arts thing, and then show business called again later in his life to make him not only known in Hong Kong, where he’d already been a star, but to the rest of the world. Bruce Lee would have been like if Michael Jackson became a star in the Jackson 5, flew under the radar for about 10 years to branch out on his own, and then he put out Thriller, and then he died. Now for y’all who are too young to remember Thriller, that was like the biggest record of all time and that had to have been the height of Michael Jackson’s fame back in the 80s.

Now I mentioned Bruce cultivating his interest in martial arts while he was in America, and this is where people need a real wake-up call. My most popular video, at this time, is “Why Yip Man STOPPED Teaching Bruce Lee,” but people took that as some type of confirmation of their previously held belief that Bruce Lee had mastered Wing Chun. Yip Man stopped teaching Bruce because, well, obviously, Bruce bested the old man, and he no longer needed Wing Chun.

Goldenbell Training:

Well, this happened not long after Bruce had first started learning from grandmaster Yip, and Yip never stopped teaching Bruce Lee. Bruce stopped attending public lessons at Yip’s apartment. But he was still taking private lessons with Yip. The other thing – Bruce did not master Wing Chun. I said something along those lines in the second video when I talked about how Rahsun’s fight with Waldo in that Jeet Kune Do versus Wing Chun series.

What I’m about to say is considered blasphemy in the church of Bruce Lee. But hey y’all, Bruce Lee didn’t really know much about Wing Chun and the same can be said for most of the young men who studied around the time Bruce was with Ip Man, who went on to teach and open their own schools. It’s not a diss, it’s just the way it is. And I could not believe the amount of people who wrote me angry essays about how wrong I was and it was a clear indication to me that these people probably have never even studied Wing Chun outside from watching Ip Man – Donnie Yen movies.

Goldenbell Training:

I mean, let’s take a second to address why so many Wing Chun people are so different. The late grandmaster Ho Kam Ming said in an old video that I no longer own that Wing Chun is not known for it’s kicks, but it’s not true. Wing Chun has kicks. Wing Chun has a shadow kick. Wing Chun’s kicking came after learning the footwork. The problem is that a lot of people would study with grandmaster Yip for a few years before leaving to open their own schools to start teaching.

Look, I once saw Bruce describe the experience of practicing with Yip Man like this – he said no one could touch the old man, and when you did Chi Sau with him, he could manipulate you and push you away with very little effort and in a way that would make you smile afterwards. Now I read that and thought – that sounds like how people describe training with Tai Chi masters, except I shouldn’t even say that’s what it sounds like, because I have trained with people who are like that.

Goldenbell Training:

When you touch someone who has real internal skill, they feel like you’re trying to push up against a brick wall. They can easily take your balance, and when you’re looking at people who are legit on these YouTube videos, and they are not faking it, that’s why you see people getting pushed far away with very little effort. It’s because you’re already off balance, and all it takes is a little nudge to send you tumbling. I mean, if I ask you to push a big refrigerator, not much is going to happen unless you’re really strong but if you tilt that refrigerator on it’s edge and then you push it, it’s gonna go a whole lot further than if you just pushed it regularly.

Yip had that kind of skill, and if you look at some of his disciples, like Chu Shong Tin, well, his disciples, they had that kind of skill too, from what I hear. I’m sorry y’all, Bruce was gifted, he was fast but he did not have that kind of skill. When he first came to America, he envisioned, he dreamed of having that kind of skill. Jesse Glover said so in his book and I shared it on a community post already. Jesse Glover said when he first met Bruce, Bruce loved the underlying philosophy behind Tai Chi, the idea of taking energy from an opponent and sending it back at them, but Bruce could never make it work when applied at full speed.

Goldenbell Training:

If you train Wing Chun as an internal art the way it was intended, you would develop that skill. I mean, why do you think there are people who are running around now saying that “the original Wing Chun” was probably more like Tai Chi? Now, I don’t believe this at all about Tai Chi and Wing Chun, but I agree that what Yip was doing was internal and not this chain punching nonsense that I see all over YouTube where these Wing Chun guys with no structure are getting pounded by real fighters.

So when I say Bruce didn’t know much Wing Chun, I mean, Bruce wasn’t training the internal stuff and there’s no need to get into silly debates about “well, Bruce didn’t know this form, and he never trained the butterfly swords and the staffs” because I feel like Bruce got a very long way with what he did have. He trained like a madman, and he got a long way with what he did know. But I mean, his student, Doug Palmer had this to say, he said “If Bruce had stayed in Hong Kong, he would have developed into one of the top Wing Chun practitioners,” and I believe that. His family had the money to pay Yip for private lessons, and Bruce had the work ethic to become one of Yip’s disciples and get the full art.

Goldenbell Training:

There’s an important lesson to be learned from that. If you want to really get this stuff, or any other martial art, you need the resources to train, and you need the work ethic. If all you had to do was show up, slap down your money, and get an instructor certificate, well, I mean, then everyone would be a Krav Maga instructor. Oh my bad… I didn’t mean to say that. Yeah, I did.

Now if you were paying attention to all that stuff I just said about Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun, I’m not putting him down at all. I’m just being honest about my stance on the topic, and I mean, look y’all, this is my channel, these are my views, this is my opinion. You don’t necessarily have to agree with me, and I don’t expect you to agree with me 100% of the time, or maybe even 10% of the time. So with that said, I’m about to drop a bomb on some of you guys. Stop trying to be Bruce Lee. Stop going through “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” and quoting it like it’s the Gospel Truth.

Goldenbell Training:

There’s an important lesson to be learned from that. If you want to really get this stuff, or any other martial art, you need the resources to train, and you need the work ethic. If all you had to do was show up, slap down your money, and get an instructor certificate, well, I mean, then everyone would be a Krav Maga instructor. Oh my bad… I didn’t mean to say that. Yeah, I did.

Now if you were paying attention to all that stuff I just said about Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun, I’m not putting him down at all. I’m just being honest about my stance on the topic, and I mean, look y’all, this is my channel, these are my views, this is my opinion. You don’t necessarily have to agree with me, and I don’t expect you to agree with me 100% of the time, or maybe even 10% of the time. So with that said, I’m about to drop a bomb on some of you guys. Stop trying to be Bruce Lee. Stop going through “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” and quoting it like it’s the Gospel Truth.

Goldenbell Training:

Anyway, the story goes that the Devil and his friend are sitting on a hill watching people. This one guy is walking past them, and the Devil throws something on the ground. The guy stops to pick it up, he looks at it, and he keeps walking.
The Devil’s friend goes, “what was that?”

The Devil says, “it’s a piece of the Truth.”

His friend says, “well isn’t it dangerous to let him keep it?”

The Devil goes, “no, not after he organizes it and makes it into a system.”

The irony here is that people have taken Bruce Lee’s notes and created a system. People have taken the idea of Bruce Lee and made him into an icon. People have taken everything about Bruce Lee and created their own version of the Gospel Truth to the point that it doesn’t even resemble the man who lived, trained, played in some movies, had kids, and a wife, and then died at the early age of 32. And Bruce Lee’s student, Doug Palmer, wrote that part of Bruce’s appeal is that he punched above his weight.

Goldenbell Training:

I mean, literally, according to Doug Palmer, he was a welterweight who was capable of physically dominating heavyweights. And I think that’s why he appeals to a lot of people. He started out like the wimpy kid who gets bullied, except he was not afraid to fight back. He was never bitten by a radioactive spider. He didn’t hit puberty and learned that he dropped out of the sky in a spaceship and came from the planet Krypton. He was just a dude who worked hard every single day and accomplished something big.

So look y’all, let’s stop deifying the man and act like he never made a single mistake. Let’s accept what he knew and also what he did not know and use it to motivate us to train the body, train the mind, and be the best that we can be. So if you want to learn some interesting facts about the life of Bruce Lee, be sure to check out these videos, and if you want to enjoy seeing some myths about Bruce Lee get destroyed, you can also check out these videos that I have on Bruce Lee: The Man & The Myth. Oh yeah, one more thing y’all, keep training, remember to breathe, and I’ll see you on the next video.




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