The transcript below is from the video “Bruce Lee vs Steven Seagal – The Lie that Never Happened” by My Name is Prince.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Hey man, I was today year’s old when I found out that Steven Seagal said that he fought Bruce Lee…

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

That’s how I met Bruce Lee, it was through James Coburn.

Interviewer:

That’s what I was going to ask. So, you’ve met Bruce Lee. Tell me about your experiences with Bruce. What was he like? And how did you get on with him?

Prince (My Name is Prince):

…or did he?

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

For some reason, he never had anything bad to say about me, you know. He’s quite interested in Aikido.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Hey man, I’m about to put someone on blast, so you all might want to stay tuned for this video.

What’s up y’all? My name is Prince, and I am on a journey to help people find harmony in their life through martial arts, mindfulness practices, and tapping into our own internal power.

This video, we’re continuing with our series on Bruce Lee, the Man and the Myth, where we’re taking a look at all things related to Bruce Lee, as we try to separate the myths and fables about Bruce Lee from the actual truth.

Now, we’re going to be taking a look at this story about Steven Seagal’s alleged relationship with Bruce Lee, that I just learned about just a few days ago. So, this all came to my attention when a video came across my browse page on YouTube from a channel called BruceLeeRealFight. And this channel is all about Bruce Lee and nothing but Bruce Lee. So, I took a look at the video, and I saw that he was breaking down an interview from 2012 that Steven Seagal did with Michael Schiavello.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Now, I had seen clips of the interview before where Steven Seagal was trashing Michael Jai White, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lundgren as being fake martial artists.

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

Can I laugh in your face?

Interviewer:

Really?

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

Yes.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

So, I wasn’t too surprised that Steven Seagal might be on there, telling some tall tales about how he fought Bruce Lee, and that they were actually really good friends.

Well, I watched the video on BruceLeeRealFight channel where he proceeded to expose Steven Seagal’s lies. After I finished, well, I thought; you know, maybe I should do a video on this too. So, I went and found the original interview, and I’m just going to say that what I learned really surprised me.

Interviewer:

…friends with Jame Coburn as well, who was one of Bruce Lee’s students

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

You know about that. That’s how I met Bruce Lee, it was through James Coburn.

Interviewer:

That’s what I was going to ask.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Now, that video goes on to show Steven Seagal saying that he met Bruce Lee because, well, he was friends with James Coburn. And, James Coburn was close with Bruce Lee and with all three of them being into martial arts, I mean, it’s only natural that they should meet, right?

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

For some reason, he never had anything bad to say about me, you know. He’s quite interested in Aikido. And he was very nice to me.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

So, Steven Seagal also mentions in the interview that he and Bruce exchanged stories about their sons, who were around the same age. Bruce brought out Brandon, and he said

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

“this is my little Caucasian boy,” you know

Prince (My Name is Prince):

And they bonded over both being fathers of Happa children or that’s just a term for mixed Asian kids.

Now, you can already see some issues here, that BruceLeeRealFight Channel did a good job in pointing out. But there’s one really big problem that he overlooked, and I’m going to tell you what it is.

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

I thought Bruce was a really great guy, really cool guy. And at the time James Coburn was a great guy too. I’m really sorry they are all gone.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Now, the first thing that stood out to me, was Steven Seagal mentioning that he was able to connect with Bruce Lee through James Coburn. This was screaming at me because of the relationship that James Coburn and Bruce Lee had, made me question when this so-called meeting would have occurred.

Real quick, I want to refer back to the video I did about Bruce Lee meeting Ip Man. I mentioned that Bruce had to give face to William Cheung and join his gang in that video. Bruce wanted to beat William Cheung, and the only way he knew how to beat him was to become friends with him so that he could start learning kung fu from Ip Man. So, I mentioned all of that because Bruce had a practice of getting close to people just long enough to learn what they knew, so that he could move past them and to move forward in life overall.

Now, at that time, James Coburn was a big star in Hollywood, just like Steve McQueen. Both of these men eventually became A-list celebrities and big action movie stars, who were also learning Jeet Kune Do from Bruce Lee. Bruce got to charge them extremely high prices for personal teaching sessions, and he also got access to their social gatherings of A-list celebrities, directors, producers, and studio executives.

Now, I am mentioning all of this because James Coburn and Bruce Lee had this really big falling out over “The Silent Flute” movie. Sterling Silliphant, Bruce Lee, and James Coburn were going to make the most aggressive martial arts film to date. They took the idea to Warner Brother’s and Warner Brothers signed off on it, but only if they would film it in India because Warner Brothers had some money tied up there, that could only be spent in the country of India.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

So, Warner Brothers paid for the three of them to go to India to scout the locations. And from the way it was described, it was a bit of a rough trip, well for Bruce Lee and Sterling Silliphant. James Coburn received VIP treatment everywhere they went. And you would think that he would have been gung ho about the project, especially since he would be in the starring role but no, that’s not what happened.

When they returned from the trip, James trashed the project to the Warner Brothers executives. He basically said there’s no way he’d go back to India to make the film. Bruce was furious. And at that time, he really really needed the money, and this could have been his big break in Hollywood. Now, I’m kind of giving you guys this backstory because it’s actually going to come back up again in some videos I have planned to debunk stuff we’ve been told about David Carradine and the Kung Fu series, and also what led to Bruce going to Hong Kong. It was this incident with James Coburn causing Warner Brothers to axe ” The Silent Flute” that made Bruce leave to go to Hong Kong and make movies..

Now, how is all of this “Silent Flute” stuff related to Steven Seagal and what we’re actually talking about in this video? Well, the thing with the “Silent Flute” incident that happened in April of 1971. Bruce Lee injured his back a year before that, in 1970. So, he was largely incapacitated for part of that year.. Shortly, after Bruce returned from India, and James Coburn trashed the movie, Bruce set off for Hong Kong, and in October 1971, “The Big Boss” was released in theaters. Bruce Lee did not start teaching James Coburn and these other A-list celebrities until after he played “Kato” in “The Green Hornet”. So, that leaves like a 4-year gap, or really a 3-year gap between 1967 and 1970 before Bruce injured his back. So, that raises a question of when would Steven Seagal have trained with Bruce, because the timelines, they’re really not adding up.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

So, the truth is that Steven Seagal could not have fought Bruce Lee. He could not have even trained with him at his house. Steven Seagal was born in 1952, making him about 12 years younger than Bruce Lee. Now, according to Steven, he saw someone doing martial arts during the halftime show at a high school football game where his father was coaching. He eventually got discovered by his first Karate teacher while washing dishes, and he trained “old school, traditional” Okinawan karate until he managed to graduate early from high school, at the age of 16. And then, left for Japan at around 17 where he claimed that he stayed for about 18 years.

So, if Seagal left for Japan at the age of 17, that would have been in 1969. Well, the problem is that Steven Seagal did not begin to study Aikido until he got to Japan, and he said that Bruce Lee was impressed by Aikido.

Also, Seagal said they bonded over their Happa children, but Brandon Lee was born in 1965 when Steven Seagal was only 12 or13. Shannon was born in 1969, and Seagal makes no mention of Shannon. So, he’s saying that he met and trained with Bruce between 1967 and 1969, in between the time James Coburn started training with Bruce and before Shannon was born. So, that means Steven Seagal would have met Bruce Lee when he was 15-17 years of age. And, I don’t think Bruce was into teaching kids, and also if this was true, back when Steven Seagal was the biggest action star in the early ’90s, I think someone representing the Bruce Lee estate would have said something, like you would think Seagal would have reached out to Brandon to have him be in a movie with him? I mean, if he did maybe Brandon would still be here with us.

So, Seagal’s story, look it also doesn’t match up to what is written about him in Wikipedia. According to his Wikipedia entry, his family moved to Orange County from Michigan when Seagal was 5. That would put him close to Los Angeles in 1957, and Bruce arrived in San Francisco 2 years later. And this is actually looking better for Seagal, but not the age thing. See, it says here that Steven Seagal finished high school and started college and moved to Japan all between 1970-1973. So, he did a lot in that 3-year span. He didn’t start learning Aikido until 1974, when he’d returned from Japan and met his first wife. And his son was not born until 1975.

So, like I said, the timeline doesn’t match up, but you want to know the biggest thing that didn’t seem right about this? This one is the real kicker.

BruceLeeRealFight:

Steven Seagal claims he work with Bruce Lee and he fights him.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Now, remember when I said that I went back and watched the full interview? Well, the thing is, I kept going back because I could not remember when Seagal said that he actually fought Bruce Lee.

BruceLeeRealFight:

Steven Seagal claims he work with Bruce Lee and he fights him.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Now, yes, he did say all this stuff about meeting Bruce Lee through James Colburn and how they both bonded over their boys. He talked about how Bruce used to badmouth a lot of other martial artists,

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

He was the kind of guy who kind of would badmouthed a lot of the other martial artists and martial arts in a kind of a sarcastic way.

BruceLeeRealFight:

For people who really know Bruce Lee, everyone knows Bruce Lee will never badmouth any other martial artist .

Prince (My Name is Prince):

And that is true. BruceLeeRealFight channel don’t believe it but Bruce did. But according to Steven Seagal, he didn’t have anything bad to say about Steven Seagal, or his Aikido.But Steven Seagal did say all this stuff. There’s no denying that he was telling some whoppers in that interview. But I mean, what about the fighting thing? Like, didn’t he say that Bruce was trying to learn from him?

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

He tried to learn from him and I think he tried to learn from me. So, being able to work with him that day and fight him was a great pleasure for me.

BruceLeeRealFight:

He also said that he thinks Bruce Lee tried to learn from him.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Well, look, here’s the thing. Like, I don’t want to go in on the BruceLeeRealFight channel the way I went in on Totally Pointless TV because, well, unlike that guy, who knows nothing about martial art, the dude at the BruceLeeRealFight channel, he genuinely loves Bruce Lee. He idolizes the man, and sometimes…well, I mean, sometimes he tends to report the details a little bit wrong in a number of his videos. And well, this particular video about Steven Seagal claiming to fight Bruce Lee, is one of them.

So, look, like he spends most of his video pointing out how Steven Seagal said that he fought Bruce Lee, and like I said, I watched the interview at least 3 times and I probably watched that part of the interview about the fight thing more than 3 times. So, Steven Seagal never said that he fought Bruce Lee.

Steven Seagal (Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Martial Artist, and Musician):

… being able to work with him that day and fight him was a great pleasure for me.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

The guy running the BruceLeeRealFight channel, like he must have been confused on that part. And I don’t think English is his first language. So, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was confused, or otherwise, he flat out lied in the video.

But look, Steven Seagal did a fight scene with Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s best friend and student, in the movie “Out for Justice.” It’s basically Aikido versus Escrima when Seagal’s character and “Sticks” played by Guro Dan have a short duel during a fight in a bar scene in the movie. So, Seagal was talking about the fight scene he had with Dan Inosanto and not Bruce Lee. The conversation about their fight scene segues into the conversation about James Coburn and Seagal allegedly meeting Bruce Lee.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

So, I believe that Seagal probably did get close to Linda, Brandon, and Shannon, the Lee family through James Coburn and Dan Inosanto after he had already achieved some success in Hollywood, so late 80s, early 90s. So, Steven Seagal obviously did not fight Bruce Lee, but he also did not lie about it, because he never said it. This was a mistake made by BruceLeeRealFight channel. And now, Seagal did say that he met Bruce through James Coburn and I mean, yeah. Maybe he met Brandon. So, I’ll give him that one, and I mean, Brandon’s full name is Brandon Bruce Lee. But still, like how do you confuse Brandon Lee with Bruce Lee? Like, if I didn’t know so much about Bruce Lee, I wouldn’t know that Brandon’s middle name was Bruce. But did anyone ever refer to Brandon by his middle name? I bet the only time Brandon’s middle name was even mentioned was probably when Linda was about to give him the business when he was a little kid after Bruce had passed on. You know, you’re in trouble when your mom says your full name, right?

But real quick, if you’re enjoying these videos on the life and times of Bruce Lee, be sure to check out the last video about how Ip Man had to stop teaching Wing Chun to Bruce. You’ll learn something really cool about where the whole “Be Like Water” saying came from.

Bruce Lee (Martial Artist, Actor, Director, Martial Arts Instructor & Philosopher):

Be water my friend.

Prince (My Name is Prince):

Okay y’all, that’s all I got for this one. So, y’all keep on breathing, and I’ll see you in the next video.




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