If Bruce Lee was such an impressively strong and mentally balanced individual, then why was he rejected from fighting in the Vietnam War? Despite rigorous daily training and an intense diet plan, Lee failed the Army physical because of an undescended testicle!

That and a tinge of poor eyesight caused him to be rejected from the draft and miss out on joining the fight in Vietnam. While he missed out on the opportunity to utilize his martial arts training in battle, the public certainly gained from more epic shows and movies added to his riveting repertoire during the war.

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Bruce Lee was a lean mean martial arts machine but the army wouldn’t let him serve in Vietnam. Bruce Lee is considered to be one of the most influential martial artists that the world has ever seen. He’s renowned for his extraordinary combat skills and physical prowess. Yet despite Lee’s incredible attributes and strength a truly bizarre reason prevented him from serving in the US Army during the Vietnam War. Lee rose to worldwide fame in the 1960s when he began appearing on US TV and then later in a number of hugely successful films. Before that he’d become highly regarded in combat circles for his kung fu mastery.

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And the pioneering of his unique own style of martial arts. And the remarkable legacy he left in that field has lived on long after his untimely death. The martial arts supremo enjoyed success in Hollywood too. Movies such as The way of the Dragon and Fist of Fury are recognized as classics of their genre. Furthermore Lee’s astonishing fitness levels and physical feats soon became legendary. These included having a striking speed of five hundredths of a second and the ability to do push-ups with two fingers. Nevertheless Lee’s almost unrivaled ability and strength in martial arts was not enough for conscription into the US Army. So why would the American military not want the service of such a legendary martial artist?

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We’ll get to the astonishing details of that a little bit later. Firstly though we should take a detailed look at the remarkable life and career of the iconic star. Lee Jun fan entered the world in November 1940 at the Jackson Street Hospital in San Francisco and a nurse at the institution is believed to have first bestowed him with the name Bruce. However Lee apparently didn’t use that name until he began studying English in high school. Lee actually arrived in both the hour and year of the dragon. This in Chinese zodiac terms is believed to be a powerful unfortunate sign for a newborn. And the mythical serpent-like creature would become synonymous with Lee in later years. Nonetheless Lee was a rather sickly baby and he was given a girl’s name by his superstitious mom. Reportedly to help defend him against evil spirits that were out to pinch cherished baby boys.

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Lee happened to be born in San Francisco because his Hong Kong opera singer father was on tour there at the time. His dad’s name was Lee Hoi Chan and he had moved to the US with his wife Grace Ho and Lee’s three siblings in 1939. The martial artist was the couple’s fourth child and the family would go on to welcome another sibling Robert eight years later. But Lee didn’t stay long in the country of his birth and his parents took him back to Hong Kong when he was only three months old. And the future star later recalled that one of his earliest memories was the Japanese occupation of the island, which lasted for four years from 1941. Interestingly Lee had enjoyed a taste of stardom at a very tender age. He actually made his first film appearance as a baby just before leaving the United States.

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Yes with his father’s connections Lee made it into the Hong Kong flick Golden Gate Girl and played a female. Lee’s father had introduced his son to acting at an early age and it was the latter who helped coach him in the field as a child. Incredibly Lee had already appeared in 20 films by the time he was 18 years old. But it wasn’t just films and schoolwork that were keeping the young star busy. No Lee was also a multi-talented performer and an acclaimed dancer. He practiced the ladder regularly and even emerged victorious in the Hong Kong cha cha championship dancing competition in 1958. But more importantly for his future career in Fame Lee acquired another burning passion in his youth alongside dancing and acting.

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That passion was of course martial arts. It began when Lee was 13 and he met a teacher called master Yip Man who subsequently taught him the martial art style of Wing Chun over a five-year period and Lee’s meeting with Yip Man would change the course of his life. The latter was an exponent an instructor of Wing Chun and Lee would come to master all aspects of the fighting style under Ip Man’s tutelage. Lee and Ip Man’s warm relationship would continue throughout their lives and the former regularly visited his teacher in later years. But the star didn’t just shine in Wing Chun, he also had a clear talent for boxing. Well in high school Lee would emerge victorious over an English student in an inter school competition using the Orthodox rules of the sport which banned kicking.

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Nonetheless by the time he’d reached 18 Lee was something of a crossroads in his life. He hadn’t done so well at school and his penchant for combat had spilled out of the classroom and onto the street. So in April 1959 Lee made a bold decision. With just a hundred dollars on him he clambered upon an American President’s Line steamship and began a voyage back to the place of his birth San Francisco. Lee wouldn’t spend much time in northern California however. Instead he made his way to Seattle where a family friend called Ruby Chow ran a restaurant. She offered to put Lee up and give him a job working there. At this point he had wanted to concentrate on his studies so he completed his tenure at Edison Technical School and then later enrolled at the University of Washington.

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According to the university’s alumni publication Lee majored in drama and spent much of his time writing numerous essays about martial arts. He has also been teaching a style of self-defense which he called Jun fan Gongfu, in Seattle for several years by this point and it was through these classes at the Li Jun Fan Gongfu Institute that he would meet a University of Washington student called Linda Emery in 1963. The world is filled with stories going viral every single day but how many of these sites can you actually we understand that your nations start with positive stories that resonate with you? And so we started JoJo Stories. Our mission is to create meaningful stories that cover everything from animals to anthropology, history to environment and lifestyle. The kind of content you read on our site will be one you’ll want to share with your family and friends. We hope you’ll join our growing family and be part of our community welcome to JoJo stories JoJostories.com.




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