The transcript below is from the video “Bruce Lee VS Donnie Yen – Who Would Win in a Real Fight?” by Martial Arts Journey.

Martial Arts Journey:

Donnie Yen is arguably the current day’s Bruce Lee of the film industry. Yen is widely credited for bringing MMA into the mainstream Asian cinema and credited by many for contributing to the popularisation of Wing Chun Worldwide – similarly to how Lee popularised and introduced martial arts through his films as well. While in many people’s eyes no one can be compared to Bruce Lee, these two men deserve to be put against each other in a martial arts combat to figure out once in for all who would win in a real fight. But before we start the duel, I want to quickly introduce you to this video’s sponsor.

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Bruce Lee VS Donnie Yen – Who Would Win in a Real Fight?

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And now we are ready to start.

Round 1

In round 1, we will be comparing the physical attributes of these martial artists. Bruce Lee was 5.8 feet, while interestingly enough, Donnie Yen is 5.8 feet. Weight wise, Lee was around 145 lbs, while Donnie Yen is at 165 lbs. While 20 pounds is not a huge game changer, it does make a difference. To give a reference point – in UFC, Bruce would be a Featherweight (that is without cutting weight), while Yen would fight at Welterweight which is two divisions higher. Taking the weight difference into account, in the first round, Donnie Yen doesn’t do much damage, but he gets a head start.

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Round 2

Another factor which plays a huge role in a fight is your fitness and stamina. While Donnie Yen is an amazing martial artist and demonstrates an incredible physique, Bruce Lee is known as a training/ fitness maniac.

As Chuck Norris described it: “He was a fanatical trainer. When he and I would work out, we would work out for 2-4 hours in his backyard. And after we’ve finished working out, we’d go into the living room, and I’d sit down on the couch, then Linda, his wife, would bring me a glass of ice tea. While Bruce would drop down to the floor and start doing crunches.”

Bruce combined aerobics, strength training, and flexibility and used to do cycling, running, and jump roping regularly. If you take a look at some of his workout plans, he was essentially training every day, nearly all day long. While both men deserve respect in their fitness department, Bruce Lee wins this round.

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Round 3

The third round is most likely the most important one, as we will compare Bruce Lee’s and Donnie Yen’s martial arts backgrounds and training methodology. Something that is a huge game changer in a real fight.

Bruce Lee is considered by many to be the father of MMA. He started cross-training various martial arts when hardly anyone else was doing it. He is also famous for being the first well known figure to adapt a philosophy in martial arts which he described as: “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own.”

Criticising many martial arts for teaching ineffective techniques while seeking and choosing what is most practical. He trained such martial arts as Judo, boxing and wrestling, all of which are very effective in a real fight. He also encouraged and practiced full contact sparring with protective gear.

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Meanwhile, Donnie Yen also hold an impressive list of learned martial arts and achievements including 6th Dan in Taekwondo, winning gold medals in various Wushu competitions, a black belt in Judo and purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, training experience in wrestling, Muay Thai, kickboxing and Boxing. By many other martial arts actors and fighters, Yen is acknowledged as the best fighter in terms of practical combat in the Asian cinematic universe. This was a statement made by Jackie Chan, Jet Lee and even Mike Tyson who said that Yen is an incredible martial artist and would do well in authentic combat. Yet, while both martial artists have an incredible martial arts background, there is a huge difference.

First of all, Bruce Lee essentially trained mixed martial arts at a time when this sport was not even existing. He had to find all the pieces himself and tried to fit them together. Meanwhile, Donnie did not only practice the most important aspects of MMA, but he also trained these practices at a time when they were much better polished and well combined due to the existence of UFC.

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Aside from this factor, while Bruce was exposed to grappling and learned the basics of it, Yen had the opportunity to train and master Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – a grappling art that proved time and time again to offer a superior advantage against strikers, especially at a time when BJJ skills were known only by one of the two competing fighters.

With Bruce having no experience in BJJ, Donnie having a purple belt in it would give him a huge advantage. Taking these two very important points into account, Donnie Yen wins this round by causing some serious damage. Leading us to move into…

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Final Round

Few individuals are as amazing in martial arts as Bruce Lee and Donnie Yen, and they both deserve the greatest respect. But while many consider Bruce to be an unbeatable fighter, considering the weight difference and martial arts experience advantage of Donnie, this duel is won by… Donnie Yen.

If you are interested to see who would win in a fight between Steven Seagal and Jackie Chan, click on this video right here. Thank you for watching and as always, I wish you to own your journey!

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