Bruce Lee fans are fascinated with stories about Bruce Lee’s real fights and challenges, but one of the things I see regularly when I report on Bruce Lee’s fights are how it’s too bad that none of the fights were captured on film, or there is always someone who says how you can’t trust the stories because they’re anecdotal.
Look, all I can really say is that I’m not really trying to prove any of this stuff in a court of law. Bruce Lee fans just want to know stories from people who knew Bruce without the fluff, and that’s what I’m looking to bring to all of you guys.
Now Bruce’s wife, Linda Lee Cadwell, she says that Bruce had to get physical with a stuntman on the set of Enter the Dragon while she was visiting the set, and for Bruce Lee fans, this is one of those really cool stories about something that happened to Bruce. Now as far as having proof besides the personal testimonies about stuntmen challenging Bruce Lee on the set of Enter the Dragon, some of these fights and challenges were actually caught on film.
Henry Wong was a cameraman who was hired to record behind the scenes footage on the set of Enter the Dragon. You know that 10-minute featurette on Enter the Dragon? Well, Henry Wong recorded something like over 6-hours of footage that was turned into that 10-minute mini-documentary. When Madalena Chan tells the story about the kid who got his teeth knocked out challenging Bruce Lee? Henry Wong was there.
According to Bey Logan, there’s actually pictures from that incident, so I guess I’ll have to track them down and make a separate video on that incident, or you can check out this video on the 3 times Bruce was challenged on the set of Enter the Dragon. But anyway, it turns out that we have pictures from the incident that Linda witnessed, too.
Now some of the other people who post a lot of Bruce Lee content have posted these pictures already, but those guys aren’t always truthful in their videos, and look, I have no reason to lie to you guys. Now I had seen these pictures previously, like I said, and I just figured Bruce was working with an extra to choreograph a fight sequence, maybe he was getting some practice. But I had no idea that this was actually a real fight!
Now what’s interesting about the pictures is they also appeared in an August 1998 issue of The Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Nucleus Magazine with a description of the event. That description lines up with what Linda described in her story. She said they got into a stance, Bruce said “go ahead, try to throw a kick,” they went back and forth, and they played a little. The Jeet Kune Do magazine said the encounter was over almost before it started with Bruce’s opponent being unable to land any of his techniques on Bruce while Bruce connected with a sidekick, a spinning back kick, and a punch.
This kid realized that Bruce was the real deal and not just a pretend martial artist for the movie. He was as good as all the hype around him, and he’d earned the right to be Hong Kong’s biggest star at the time of filming Enter the Dragon.
Now here’s a bonus for you guys; after I found the description of the fight in the Nucleus magazine, I stumbled onto Dave Friedman’s Blog. Dave Friedman is a cameraman who worked on the Green Hornet TV series, and he used to visit Hong Kong regularly. Since he was familiar with Hong Kong, and he had already worked with Bruce Lee, he was one of the first names chosen by Warner Brothers to travel to Hong Kong to work on Enter The Dragon. Well, it seems that Dave Friedman managed to capture the missing picture of Bruce’s spinning back kick from the fight, and in his captions, he says “this fight was for real.”
So Linda described the fight, 25 years later, Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do magazine revealed pictures from the fight with a description of the incident, and now the person who may have actually taken the pictures confirmed that it was a real fight. And just to put things in perspective, the late Jim Kelly said he’d seen Bruce Lee spar, and he knew the people who sparred with Bruce.
I said in another video that Jim Kelly and Bruce Lee formally met on the set of Enter the Dragon, so you have to wonder if his comments about Bruce were also referring to these real challenge matches that Bruce Lee had on the set of Enter the Dragon? But hey, if you want to check out more stories about Bruce Lee’s real fights and challenges on the set of Enter the Dragon, make sure to check out my video on three times Bruce Lee was challenged while filming Enter the Dragon, and if you want to learn more on how Bruce got started, check out this video on how Bruce first started learning Kung Fu. It wasn’t from grandmaster Yip Man.
I have lots more stuff coming for this series on Bruce Lee’s Real Fights and Challenges, that’s in addition to my other videos, so I have to get back to work now. While you all wait on the next video, keep training, remember to breathe, and I’ll see you next time!
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