Bruce Lee vs Jackie Chan. Who would win in a fight ?
Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan are both martial art movie legends of their separate generations. Lee was the first Asian superstar on the screen and was the driving force behind the popularization of martial arts in America. Jackie Chan built on this popularity and created his own movie empire of performance, fused with fighting. Both men have similar backgrounds, having childhoods dominated by performance arts.
Their martial arts were just one part of this but became the key factor in their popularity both in Asia and the US market. So between these two giants of martial arts, who would win in a fight or more accurately who did win in a fight?
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But for now let’s look at Karate vs Kung Fu.
Let’s start with Bruce Lee.
3 months later, the family returned to Hong Kong, where a little Bruce would be brought up, until going back to the US after fighting with police in 1959. Lee’s father was his first martial arts instructor. He taught Bruce the Wu style of Tai Chi Chuan or Shadow Boxing to him early on. After becoming involved with the Hong Kong street gang, Lee began to feel the need to improve his fighting. To do this, he began studying Wing Chun under guru Sifu Yip Man. While there, Lee also trained under Wong Shun-Leung, one of Yip Man’s best students who had a huge impact on Lee’s development. Lee studied under Man’s tutelage until he was 18. On top of this, Lee also trained in western boxing where at 18, he beat a 17-year-old Gary Elms who was recognized as the inner school individual boxing champion.
Lee is credited with creating a martial arts phenomenon in the US that is still in place to this day, both in studios of combat and on the big screen. His short-lived career ended by his death at 32 contributed to his legendary status. He was born in 1940 in San Francisco, California. His birth name was Lee Jun-fan and he was the fourth child of a Chinese opera singer father named Lee Hoi-Chuan and a Chinese-German mother named Grace. The doctor who helped bring Lee into the world, nicknamed him Bruce. At that point, he was unaware he’d helped give birth to a future star.
Lee continued his multi-discipline experience by also learning fencing techniques from his brother. This mixed fighting knowledge led to Lee’s personal modifications to Wing Chun Kung-Fu calling his newer version of the style Jun Fan Gung Fu. After putting it into practice, Lee decided that because of the rigidity of Wing Chun practices, on which it was based, the style needed to be modified. He began to formulate a martial art style that was suited for street fighting and without limitations of other fighting styles.
Jeet Kune Do was born in 1965. Lee then taught the art to students in his schools with only himself and two other instructors named.
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Now, on with our fight.
In the late 60s, Lee gained fame by being a sidetrack on “The Green Hornet” tv series before moving back to Hong Kong and becoming a superstar as the face of his own movies like “Fists of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon”. These and others would cement his legendary status in Asia and the US before his death in 1973.
Jackie Chan was born in 1954 in Hong Kong to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan. His birth name was Chan Kong-Sang which literally translates to ‘Born in Hong Kong’. His parents were from a poor background, so to give him the best chance of success, they sent him to the Chinese Opera Research Institute at 7 years old, where he spent a decade training for the Peking Opera with physical performance and acrobatics.
Chan also studied martial arts while there. He went on to study specifically in the South Korean art of Hapkido and earned a black belt under grandmaster Jin Pal Kim. With this, Chan also trained in Shaolin Kung Fu and Taekwondo. Kim noted that Chan was one of the most diligent trainers that he ever saw practicing for hours every day on his way to achieving a black belt.
Off the back of film and tv roles as a child actor, Chan became a stunt man as a 17-year-old and worked on Bruce Lee films like “Fist of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon”. Like Lee himself, he would then make a name in Hong Kong films before making the jump to US movies like the “Rush Hour” series. Unlike Lee, Chan was able to establish longevity in his career and remains an active actor to this day.
But who would win in a fight between these two men. Technically, they have already had one but not one you could call a proper fight. Lee and Chan were opposite each other in “Enter the Dragon” and Lee accidentally hit Chan in the head and reportedly felt awful after the incident. Because of this, Chan was unable to spend the time he wanted with the idol he’d grown up watching.
Putting these martial arts legends against each other at their peak, each would play to their strengths. Lee was known for being a brutal fighter and developed his own techniques based on what he’d learned from the streets. Chan also has the multi-discipline experience to draw upon but his background is far more formalized.
Lee’s clinical and direct style without the barriers of traditional forms of martial arts would probably make him the favorite in this bout. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t be a hard-fought contest between the two. They are both clearly masters of their crafts as well as the big screen. But we think that Bruce Lee would have this one narrowly over Chan.
So that’s it for our look at Bruce Lee vs Jackie Chan.
Which do you think would win in a fight?
Which is your favorite actor?
And which is your favorite film that either of them has been in?
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