Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

Welcome to Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central, the biggest Bruce Lee channel on the planet.

Hey everybody, it’s Beerdy here. What’s going on guys? Okay, so back in the 1990s, there was a rumor that Bruce Lee was traveling around the United States from state to state and asking sensei’s in Karate dojos to spar with their students. And he would do this for years and years and years since the middle of the 60s and right until 1973.

So, this was just a rumor, a myth until a decade later Jim Kelly confirmed this to be true. Now, who’s Jim Kelly? Well, he is the former undisputed middleweight world champion. And Bruce Lee actually got in contact with Jim Kelly for the movie “Enter the Dragon” because he was so impressed by what Jim Kelly did in the 1970s in martial arts. So, Jim Kelly actually joined Bruce Lee in traveling around the United States and sparring with Karate students and Karate sensei’s. So, what Bruce Lee did was go from dojo to dojo and he would ask the sensei politely if he could spar with their best student. And this could go two ways; one way is that the sensei’s simply said no and Bruce Lee would say okay thank you and then he would move on. And the other one is that he would say yes and he would spar with their best student. There’s also a third outcome that would happen sometimes, and that’s the sensei actually fighting with Bruce Lee or sparring with Bruce Lee, and this was rare but it did happen.

Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

Okay, so after Jim Kelly confirmed this to be true, he also confirmed that he would go with Bruce Lee. He would actually join Bruce Lee on their travels. Okay, so here’s Jim Kelly in his own words. Let’s listen to Jim Kelly:

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

No, I enjoyed working with John Saxon. I was very fortunate to have, in my opinion, the greatest martial art has ever lived. Bruce Lee, I’ll talk to you about that later if I have questions for you on that. But in my opinion, I’ll tell you right now, I fought the best. I trained with the best. I know great martial artists and there has never been anybody, in my opinion, like Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable guys. You don’t know how great this guy was. People don’t really know.

Just talking about the actor and I’m talking about martial artists, guy who knew his stuff then this guy was, there’s stories I know about Bruce Lee I don’t even share because I have respect for other people in the martial arts. And it’s not necessarily being mean.

I know who Bruce Lee sparred with. I know. They won’t tell you but I know people he sparred with. I never mentioned their names either. But Bruce Lee was untouchable.

Interviewer:

Yeah. Is it in the book? Is it in your book?

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

No. I don’t mean I mentioned this but I never tell the names.

Interviewer:

Can I get everybody to swear to secrecy? Can you say one name?

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

No.

Interviewer:

Can you mix them up? Can you have a jumble of the name?

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

I have too much…

Interviewer:

Can I guess?

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

No. You probably could guess.

Interviewer:

Yeah, I probably could, I wish I’d know a lot of people who…

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

I wouldn’t confirm it

Interviewer:

Yeah, there you go. That’s fair enough.

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

I just had too much respect for other guys in martial arts… well

Interviewer:

Yeah, go ahead

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

But you know, he was the speed, the timing, the technique. Unbelievable! Bruce was the type of guy that he would spar with you, he could spar the guy, I might say whoever, John Doe. John Doe, the great champion. Okay, John Doe.

Interviewer:

Yeah.

Jim Kelly (Athlete, Martial Artist & Actor):

It doesn’t matter what size. You can be a lightweight, middleweight, heavyweight, didn’t matter, Bruce doesn’t like lightweight. What was Bruce? 1.55? And how tall? 5’7″, no more. He could spar anybody, any side, it didn’t matter what size you were. And he would spar with you and hands and feet. And then he said: Okay, let’s just go hands, just hands. That was incredible. I’m gonna leave it at that.

Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

Okay, so there we go, there’s Jim Kelly in his own words. And Jim Kelly and Bruce would travel around the United States and they would spar against different karate students in different dojos. So, you may ask why did Bruce Lee do this? Well, Bruce Lee’s goal in life was to assimilate as much martial arts as possible. He wanted to fight against different styles, against different people, different schools, different dojos, different sensei’s etc etc. Actually, Bruce Lee had been doing this from way back in the day in Hong Kong and in China. He would go around schools, that’s how he actually learned Northern Praying Mantis. He actually got taught that from the Shaolin monks in China. And not only that, but he was taught a lot of different styles in Chinese Kung Fu and in the United States within Karate, Taekwondo, Aikido etc etc. He just wanted to assimilate as many martial arts styles as possible. He wanted to become the complete martial artist, that was his goal.

And by 1973, Bruce Lee was the ultimate martial artist. He had assimilated as many styles as he could and he had been doing this for like 15, 16, 17 years now. And he created Jeet Kune Do which was his own style, a style without a style, sort of speaking. If you know about Jeet Kune Do, it’s not supposed to be a style. That’s the whole point of Jeet Kune Do. It’s a style that doesn’t have a style. Your point is that you have to adapt to the situation. And every situation is different. That’s the whole point of Jeet Kune Do.

And so we get to the point of present day. So, when I started my channel, immediately I got mails from all over the country; people that had stories about Bruce Lee, meeting him, former Karate students, former Karate sensei’s, and just friends of Bruce Lee from back in the day. And that’s cool you know, I get these kinds of mails every day. But occasionally, I would get mails from former students and former sensei’s that confirmed what Jim Kelly was saying, that Bruce Lee would travel around the U.S and challenging Karate students to sparring matches. And recently, I got contacted by a true martial arts icon, a true Karate icon.

Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

Now, he asked for his name to be anonymous, he didn’t want any of this, he didn’t want any attention put forward to this, he did he he didn’t even want to tell this story, but his reasoning is that he wants to tell the story before it’s too late, before he can’t tell the story anymore. And, so I said okay, I’m gonna keep this as anonymous as possible. All I’m gonna say is that he is a true Karate icon and if I mentioned his name you would know who he was, let’s put it that way. So, we talked for a while and he confirmed that not only he but several of his colleagues sensei’s around the country had been visited by Bruce Lee. And one of the incidents that happened that I had no idea that this happened, Bruce Lee went to a dojo and he met up with the sensei of that dojo, I’m not going to say his name, and he asked if he could spar with his strong student. And the sensei said no, you’re not. You’re not going to spar with my best student, you’re going to spar against me. Because what had happened is that the rumor had spread, people knew that Bruce Lee was going around from dojo’s dojo and sparring against their best student.

So, now that sensei actually wanted to fight Bruce Lee. And the sensei was kind of eager, you know, to kind of defend Karate and all, because this was embarrassing the sport of Karate that Bruce Lee could beat up these students one by one, by one, by one. And so he kind of was like a bit angry, you know, a bit aggressive, and he wanted to spar against Bruce Lee. So, Bruce Lee, of course, he said yeah, let’s do it. And the fight didn’t last long and Bruce Lee basically humiliated him and that’s when sh*t hit the fan. Because his students didn’t like the fact that Bruce Lee humiliated their teacher, their sensei, I mean, they looked upon this guy as if he was a god to them, you know. And one of the students is the one guy that actually told him what happened. So, he was one of the students that didn’t attack Bruce Lee because what happened is that like, he said seven or eight guys attacked Bruce Lee. They ran up to him after Bruce Lee, he put his arm out to, like, pick up the sensei that was down on the floor and that’s when the students got triggered and they started attacking Bruce Lee.




Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

So, one of the guys came from the side and he wanted to tackle Bruce Lee down on the floor, and Bruce Lee jumped over this guy and that’s when Bruce Lee saw like seven or eight students running towards him. They were attacking him. And he had that one guy on his side. So, what happened next is really really interesting, because the guy that was watching, this one of the students that were sitting back and watching this, he said that Bruce Lee went into a stance. Now, Bruce Lee didn’t use stances in fights. That wasn’t common for him. He only would use stances if it was a serious fight. So, the only stance Bruce Lee could go into was the Northern Praying Mantis stance. And the reason he would do this was because there were multiple opponents. And that’s why he got into the Northern Praying Mantis.

Now, the guy that told me about this, he didn’t know what Northern Praying Mantis was, he just said Bruce Lee went into a stance. But I’m 100% sure that he went into the Northern Praying Mantis style because I know what happened. Because he said that just in a few seconds, it happened so fast that all of the students were gasping for air, they were grasping their necks and gasping for air. And actually, they weren’t gasping for air, they thought they were gasping for air. In actual fact, they got hit in a pressure point in their throat. So, they could breathe fine but it was a pressure point that got hit in their throat that incapacitated them. And it’s a well-known pressure point if you’re a Kung Fu specialist, like Bruce Lee, you could use something like that to incapacitate your opponent without injuring them. It’s just basically a pressure point. And he said that when Bruce Lee went into his stance, he was holding two fingers up. And I mean, when I first heard this I was just, I was so blown away because okay, so, Bruce Lee goes into the Northern Praying Mantis stance and he holds two fingers up and he uses these two fingers to hit the pressure points of seven or eight students at once. So, we’re talking like… like bam.

Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

And because he said that this whole thing lasted just for seconds and they were all on their knees, and they were like holding their necks and they were like, you know, like they thought they couldn’t breathe because it feels like you couldn’t breathe. It feels like it but in actuality, you can breathe just fine. But it feels like you’re getting choked because you’re hit in a special pressure point in the throat. So, Bruce Lee took out half of this dojo, half of these guys in a matter of seconds by using two fingers. So, I mean, this just reminds me of when Goku fights Trunks. You know what, Trunks has the sword and Goku has that one finger. Yeah, it’s like Goku vs Trunks with one finger.

And so, two fingers, he managed to take out that half of that dojo with two fingers and basically the reason Bruce Lee did that was because he didn’t want to injure these guys. These were students, he didn’t want to injure anyone. He didn’t want to injure the sensei or anyone. He wasn’t there to fight people, he was there to try to assimilate Karate and he was attacked.

Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

He, actually, he just defended himself in the most amazing way possible by incapacitating his enemies. And after that, I mean, these guys… Bruce Lee actually left, so he didn’t stick around. And Bruce Lee just went out the door and left after they were incapacitated. So, he told me that all of the students just like after a couple of minutes, they got up again and they were fine and they were just shaking their heads because nobody, literally, nobody knew what hit them. They didn’t know what happened. They were just scratching their heads and what the heck just happened? Because it went so fast. It happened so fast that it was just a matter of seconds, just bam bam bam bam bam bam, and they were just incapacitated.

And, so I went on to ask this guy: why now? Why did you share this story now? You could have just told us 20 or 30 years ago. He said that he was embarrassed. He was just embarrassed by this whole thing. He was the sensei of the dojo and he just, you know, he didn’t want anyone to think that Karate was, you know, especially his own students and the people that were living there to know that something like this happened to his Karate students. He didn’t want, you know, Karate to be besmirched as a sport as a martial art. And Bruce Lee’s goal was never to besmirch Karate as a sport. He was actually there to learn Karate by sparring with his opponents and had to take them out one by one because he was attacked.

Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

So, he said that he didn’t want to tell the story. He actually doesn’t even want to tell the story now but he wants to tell the story before it’s too late, before we never get this story at all because he’s really old now. So, he just wanted to share this before the story was gone forever, kind of. So, I’m really appreciative that he told us the story now. He had the courage to tell us what happened and the thing is that all of the students that were a part of this class, they’ve all been quiet for so long. And none of them has, I mean, because they were probably protecting their sensei, that’s why they never told this story to anyone. They just waited for the sensei to tell us the story himself.

So, yeah, there you go; Bruce Lee vs half dojo of angry Karate students. And I mean, I’m so impressed by Bruce, not that he took them out, that’s not what impresses me. What impresses me is that he stayed calm and he decided to incapacitate them without injuring them. Staying true to his philosophy to the very end- that’s Bruce Lee. That’s the guy that I respect so much. You know, if Bruce Lee had just, you know, punched this guy and broken their jaws and he could have done that, he could have just taken all of them out, no problem. But the fact that it did it in this way, in this respectful manner, just goes to show what a guy Bruce Lee was.

Beerdy – Bruce Lee Central:

If you’re ever wondering who Bruce Lee was, just tell them this story and this describes him at the best, at the core. This is, you know, fighting without fighting actually. That’s what this is. He took them out and he didn’t even have to fight. He just used these pressure points to incapacitate them and he just peacefully walked out the door because he understood that he wasn’t welcome there.

And I would have hoped that this sensei like had contacted Bruce and apologized for what happened because Bruce deserved an apology but at the time, you know, Karate was so gigantic in the U.S, it was so huge, like everybody was practicing Karate at the time and Bruce Lee was just this Asian guy, you know, and it’s not until later that Bruce Lee got the respect that he has today. Back in those days, Bruce Lee, believe it or not man, there was a lot of racism. There was a lot of, you know, people being protective of Karate, not wanting outside influence, especially from the East, from Asia.

Believe it or not guys, those were the times. And people like Bruce Lee, man they had to fight to get through. When Bruce Lee opened his dojos in San Francisco, there was a lot of resistance, man. A lot of resistance! What is this guy doing? He’s opening dojos that are not Karate dojos? Who is this guy? Who do you think he is? You know, stuff like that. So, Bruce Lee had to fight adversity his whole life and he did it in this respectful manner. And that goes to show the character of Bruce Lee. We know that if Bruce Lee wanted, he could have had like hundreds of belts and trophies during the 1960s and 1970s, but he wasn’t interested. Even Chuck Norris said that whatever sport Bruce Lee had chosen, he would have won everything in that sport. It’s that simple. You know, so Bruce Lee just, he wasn’t interested in accolades and diplomas, and trophies, and belts, and he just wasn’t interested. He was interested in becoming the most complete martial artist that ever lived. He wanted to assimilate as many martial arts as possible and that’s what he did. And when he died in 1973, he was the most complete martial artist that has ever lived and probably that will ever live. Okay, so there you go guys. Thank you for listening and see you next time. Bye.




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