Friday, June 17, 2005

Bruce Lee was only Human:

Someone emailed me a response to this old post that I wrote on Ultimate Fighting.

Sorry but I just had to respond to your ridiculous comment about Bruce Lee being taken out in seconds by UFC champs if he was to fight these days!

If you know anything about Bruce Lee, you'll realise that he was SUPER-HUMAN, yes in the leagues of Freud and Einstein. His speed would out fox ANY human on the planet, Ive seen plenty of fighters knock a jiu jitsu fighter completely senseless in UFC anyway. Saying martial arts is nothing like the Bruce Lee films is probably correct, although nothing faster will ever be seen on film again (that hasnt been speeded up). Ive seen footage of Bruce in real action and one virtually unseeable blow to a guys stomach rendered him sick for days.

Bruce would kill ANYONE head to head....if he were alive of course, and had he chose a different path in life be it nuclear science or ten pin bowling he would have been the best at it!

If Bruce Lee were truly superhuman he wouldn't have died at 32. This person aptly demonstrates the need that humans have for mythology and supernatural worship, turning merely human things into the superhuman.

If Bruce Lee in his prime were to fight, no-holds-barred, Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell, I'd bet my home mortgage, not only that Couture and Liddell would win, but do so within less than 5 minutes (probably less than one minute).

First off all, strength is more important than speed. It's important to have both; but if you have more than an average level of both, an abundance of size and mass is a superior tool. This is why we segregate fighters into weight classes. If you've ever seen the lean muscle on a 140-150 lb boxer, you'd know that they are stronger than normal folks. And if you've seen the likes of Muhammad Ali move in the ring, you'd know that he and heavyweights like him are not short on speed. Both types of boxers are stronger and faster than normal people. But heavyweights have an abundance of mass and strength, lighter boxers, speed. So why do we need weight classes then? Is it to protect the "stronger" heavier boxers from the "faster" lightweights? I don't think so.

So Bruce Lee's "speed" is not the be-all and end-all of fighting. Arguably the fact that he was lighter and weaker than the heavyweights (technically they are light-heavyweights), like Liddell and Couture is a big factor against Lee right there.

I don't doubt he had power with his hands. You can watch TV shows today and see black-belt strikers break wood and brick with their bare hands. But when they get in the MMA ring, in the absence of serious cross-training in grappling, they get taken to the ground and beaten within minutes if not seconds. And that's because when a striker breaks wood or brick he always has a clear, unmoving target. This is not the same as facing a weaving and bobbing fighter, especially a lighting fast 200 plus pound Olympic Champion wrestler shooting at you.

As far as the claim: "Ive seen plenty of fighters knock a jiu jitsu fighter completely senseless in UFC anyway." I've seen just about all of the early UFCs and many of the later ones and rarely if ever did a striker beat a jujitsu expert or a champion wrestler until *the event* which I will explain below. If a striker -- especially one not trained on the ground -- could take out a champion grappler before things got to the ground, this was the rare, lucky exception to the observable pattern of the grappler taking the striker to the ground and beating him quickly.

The turning event in the UFC was when kick-boxer Maurice Smith beat Champion Wrestler Mark Coleman (both heavyweights, but Coleman was larger and stronger, Smith was quicker). And he did so by learning Jujitsu and learning how to survive on the ground. Coleman's major weakness was stamina. He was used to grounding and pounding his opponents into a very quick victory. Coleman, predictably got Smith to the ground right away. Smith held him off on the ground, using the defensive jujitsu guard (literally defending yourself while lying on your back) until Coleman ran out of steam, and then Smith beat him with strikes. Shortly thereafter, everyone cross-trained. And no matter what a UFC member's background -- boxing, karate -- they all learned serious ground skills (jujitsu and wrestling) if they wanted to compete. The wrestlers also learn how to defend against jujitsu and vice-versa.

I don't doubt that Bruce Lee had the talent to become a serious light-weight champion of the UFC, but that would be only if he were to, like everyone else, cross train and seriously learn the ground. He'd have to study for a few years (at least a year) with the Gracies and the NCAA College Wrestling coaches first, though.

Perhaps Lee did know the ground quite well; I haven't seen all of his movies but I have seen him perform a few submission holds. But one thing is for sure, if he were to fight with what he knew in his prime, Randy Couture would have him on the ground within seconds. And then all of Lee's stand-up striking wouldn't mean jack.


Anonymous said...


Jonathan said...

Here is his response:

"Without even reading the last half of that response, you're clearly showing what little knowledge you have of Bruce Lee. Power comes with speed, why do you think Prince Naseem sent people to the canvas in the blink of an eye with a punch that looked like nothing at all. My god Bruce Lee had not just more punching speed and kicking speed than anyone else but more power as well, and considering he was 5' 7" and 10 stone this was super human. Alot of it was his ability to utilise his chi better than probably most shaolin monks in a pressure situation cos he was so damn relaxed in the mind and focused, again a feat hardly anyone can achieve. Bruce could probably walk into the octogon with such little anxiety that he could be eating a 3 course meal at the same time!!

"As for this rubbish about weight allocation being introduced so small guys get a fair go, nearly every UFC fight involving a tiny guy versus a huge guy, the tiny guy wins, so that's that theory out the window.

"Come on, Couture or Liddell defeat Bruce Lee in a minute, that's the most hilarious thing Ive heard in years, you really have made my day, you've released many an endorphin for me to chill on!


"P.S. Super-human is a figure of speech, if you pedantically think he couldnt die being super human then we'll rephrase it 'light years ahead of his time'. Many geniuses have health problems anyhoo."

DannyNoonan said...

"P.S. Super-human is a figure of speech, if you pedantically think he couldnt die being super human then we'll rephrase it 'light years ahead of his time'. Many geniuses have health problems anyhoo."

A light year is a distance.

PaulNoonan said...

The reason that speed is not the sole factor in determining fighting prowess should be obvious, but just to make it a bit clearer, try this thought experiment:

You take a pointer, the telescoping kind that you use during a business presentation. I'll take a baseball bat. We'll take turns hitting each other in the head, and the last person standing wins. Just to kae it more fair you can go first, and we can measure the speed of your strike with a radar gun and I'll restrict myself to half of whatever speed you manage to achieve.

Force = Mass X Acceleration. MASS.

Jon is 100% correct. As soon as someone managed to get Bruce on the ground, the fight would be over. There is only so much power you can put into such a small body.

Jonathan said...


Thanks guys.

Anonymous said...

You don't know what Bruce Lee was capable of so why play this "my dad can beat your dad" BS? Its nerdy and you waste alot of time arguing. Not that I care who would win, but Bruce Lee actually learned alot about judo from Taky Kimura and some tricks from some other grapplers, including Gene LeBell. So he did know about the ground, he just chose to be a standup fighter mainly because of his prowess and skill on his feet. If he needed to go to the ground he wouldn't spontaneously combust and lose the fight. Theres more to fighting than mass or acceleration so stop trying to act like a know-it-all. How about experience, timing, luck, stamina, evasion skills, setups, feints, dodging, parrying, riposting, mental state, and about 50 other things that influence a fight that i'm not going to waste my time listing for you nerds. Is your next argument going to be about who would win out of Spock or Warf? Who cares? What a waste of time to even respond to this ignorant thread.

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resolution said...

In the octogon under UFC rules it is extremely probable that both Chuck Liddel and Randy couture would win against the great Bruce lee. What we must remember however is that the UFC is not a life or death street fight, it is a sport (although obviously the sport closest to a street fight). Jeet Kune Do was designed for no holds barred combat. In a dark alley, in a street fight before Chuck Liddel or Randy Couture could even bend down to shoot, Bruce Lee would already be inside with a sharp blow to the throat promptly ending the fight. Anyone that disagrees with this scenario does not know enough about bruce Lee to even tackle this question.

UFCboss said...

first of all without bruce lee UFC would never be here in the first place, he was the first to introduce full contact sparring as a sport, without bruce there would be no chuck lidell, casue alot of people still would not of learn the deeper meaning and methods of fighting, bruce was the first to teach foreigners white people, black people, whatever people cause he had no predjudice like most people do. so chuck would never be as good as he is now. why does everyone istantly compare Bruce Lee to fight chuck lidell the bst fighter in the UFC??, cause you know that in bruce lee's weight class would not be light heavy wieght. although i am happy cause this concludes the whole argument on this forum, that there is noone else in the UFC in bruce lees weight class that could even remotely challenge bruce. i agree bruce in a ufc cage with CHUCK, bruce probally wud get beat cause of the restrictions and rules. in a street fight bruce would kill chuck or anyone of anysize, like the comment aboth a street fight has no rules and no restrictions, that is the whole theory and resolution of jeet kune do. lets look at it this way, lets put chuck liddel in the cage with a 6"8 350lb guy, well trained in fighting hits hard, fast and a good chin, barring in mind not technically as good as chuck lidell. chuck wouldnt have a chance, simply cause of the size of the man, all he wud have to do is sit on Chuck, or trap him in the corner against the cage and pound him like a punch bag. but we all know that chuck is the better fighter. and could beat anyone in his weight class which is why he is the champion of the world. but bruce was mega superstar actor, why wud even consider UFC inthe first place!! he had to buy a gun at one part in his life cause he was constaly getting challenged in street by people . bruce was known notoriously for his street fighting, and he never lost a fight. in stand up noone even comes remotely close at all !!!! to bruce lee. and stand up is what people like to see, or mount and pound, who likes submissions, grappling is for people who cant fight and that are scared of being hit, not to say its not good, but its not appealing to the eye, unless your a faggot and you like taht kinda thing putting bruce in UFC against chuck, is like giving someone a gun, and someone a knife see who dies first senario! in a street fight chuck would have no chance, i think he could even possibly loose his life to bruce. you all know whos the greatest martial artist ever lived, and UFC is martial arts its a sport not real life even though thats what bruce was best at, you ask anyone bodybuilder, any martial artist, or any fighter, WHAT inspired you? WHO inspired you? and who do you look upto? most of them will say bruce lee, also ask any one in the world wherever you go, whos bruce lee, im sure theyll give you the right answer. the greatest martial artists fighter of all time.

UFCboss said...

bruce lee matser the speed power and presision, if he was going to side kick you in you rib cage and brake every rib, thats what he would of done. if he was finger jab you in the eyes and gauge your eyes out thats what he would of done. serioulsy man if you people are into UFC, you gotta start watching soem proper bruce lee stuff, its a shame he died so soon, which left us with hardly any footage of him, as he was actually going to film a real fight with chuck norris, that would have been fun and wouldve surely prove bruce's theorys on martial arts. it is a true shame cause im sure alot of people would have love to see bruce be challenged and he would of liked that himself. his death was tragic, and was obvious foul play, made to look like a natural death, which makes it more even more tragic. is all kind of strange and coincidences, throughout his carrer in his films, in Fist of Fury, on a scene he is in disbalief that, his teacher could die of what the doctors said, as the flu. he says, our "master was a fit and healthy man, how could he die suddenly of something as small as the flu" later they found out the truth that his master was actually poisoned. not to claim that bruce was poisoned its a possability, but i think its something else, then on the making of a film he named Game Of Death, half way through making it, he got offered the part in a American film, Enter the Dragon, the break he had been waiting for all his life, just after finishing the film before the premier he died. which left the (Game of Death) half finished. this aint for serious but they say u smash a mirro you get 7 years bad luck, in enter the dragon, on the very last scence the director makes him smash hundreds of mirrors, thats where bruces luck ran out, and he died after finishing the film. in my eyes he was murdered he was a healthy man possibly the fittest man alive how could he die so suddenly?!?! this aint got nothing bout UFC but its a little knowledge about bruce,and a little knowledge about life

UFCboss said...

also i bruce was always a step ahead of anyone, people would say he could read what your about to do before you even think about doin it? his direction to martial arts was the same, when you think about bruce back in the days, noone could remotely come close to bruces style, speed and power, he was still learning and improving. had he still lifed, he wouldve got bigger, stronger, wiser and possibly of found news ways of dealing with situations that no UFC fighter has got. there is a new guy called cung le, he has just entered MMA he hasnt lost a fight yet, go watch some of his videos, so you can understand what bruce lee can do, cause this guy has great stand up, but even so its still no comparisent to bruce, maybe after watching them you can start to imagine what bruce lee would of been like. had he been in UFC everybody would want to watch bruce lee, he would be ali.tyson .chuck and tito roled into one. thing about bruce was he had rage, not what you really see from any UFC fighter, the only person that had this other than bruce was tyson, but tyson aint got the genius brains of bruce.

Anonymous said...

The UFC is a place where grapplers can excel, due to the closed confinements. I personally love the UFC, but the UFC is all about strength. You can teach a grappler to punch, but its harder to teach a stand up fighter to grapple. However, if you get a grappler and a standup striker in a wide open area where there's room to run and hide, grapplers will ALL lose. Thus, if Liddell, Franklin, Gracie or Hughs were to fight a kick-boxer, boxer and/or Bruce Lee in an open area, they would all lose. You can't grab what you can't catch. And on top of that Bruce Lee would use a weapon. Bruce Lee made martial arts popular throughtout the world, which help spark the growth of the UFC and other MMA sports, so give the man some Tribute and Respect.

JKDan said...

It's interesting that the absolutely amazing former PRIDE fighter (now UFC)Cro Cop, once beat a fighter with the very same type of strangle Lee uses on Chuck Norris, in the film, "Return(Way) of the Dragon," and on Jabbar, in "Game of Death," some 35 years ago.

It's also interesting that Cro Cop was once beaten by an arm lock similar to the one Lee had "Petrov" (Robert Baker)in "Chinese Connection" ("Fist of Fury") and "Bolo" (Bolo Yeung) in "Enter the Dragon" execute some 35 years ago!

Lee, who once said, "When you're talking about fighting, as it REALLY is, with NO rules, well then, baby, you better train EVERY part of your body" ("The Lost Interview") was very aware of grappling:

Although he (Bruce) himself stated he wasn't very good at it, someone forgot to tell the people he worked out with. He could knock you down, tie you up and choke you out just like you and I would wipe our faces."

It's odd how people continue to confuse what Lee himself described as the intentional difference between his "Theatrical JKD" (looks good in movies), vs his "Functional JKD" (what works in real combat). He kept grappling down to the bare minimum in his films simply because, as essential as it is in reality, in movies it simply does not hold the attention as much as a fancy kick to the head will.

JKDan said...

WHOOPS! Forgot the Cro Cop footage:

Cro Cop beats Randall with a stranglehold similar to the one used by Bruce Lee in "Return of the Dragon" and "Game of Death":

Cro Cop beaten by Nogueira with an armbar similar to the one Bruce Lee choreographed in "Chinese Connection" (used by "Petrov" against Lee)and "Enter the Dragon" (used by "Bolo" against "Roper");

Lee is also seen using mixed martial arts (kung fu and judo)in an episode of the 1960's TV show, "Ironside," he every so often would do jujutsu wrrist locks and flips and Judo throws as "Kato," on the 1960's TV show, "The Green Hornet. Later, on the 1970's TV show, "Longstreet," he is seen demonstrating a mix of boxing, kicking and grappling, and the last fight of his first martial arts film, "The Big Boss," not only features a form of leg grappling but ends on the ground. How? Similar to how many, many UFC/Pride fights end - a violently brutal continued smashing of his oponent's face, as that oponent lays there helpless! Bruce Lee was ahead of his time - way ahead!

Anonymous said...

Strenght Vs Speed.

Kinetic Energy = 0.5M V(squared)

Thus, Speed is more improtant that strenght .

Lee is not a HeavyWeight, but he did weight around 160 in his prime.
And Lees speed is significantly greater than a lot of peoples, he worked out ALL the time. There are a lot of fast people, but Bruce is undoubtly was the fastest.

Bruce emphsized heavyly on STAMINA, it was the core of his workout routines.

Lee also emphasized breaking bricks is useless, cause they dont hit back, so that brings your arugment to nothing.

His style emphasized on hitting vital points with extreme speed and strenght. So bull rushes wouldnt work on him.
Lee was trained in Grappling, as he studied it, and added many grappling moves into his JKD before his death. He wasnt specialist in grappling, but was extremely knowledgeble in it.

In most Bruce Movies he uses a lot of Kung Fu Moves cause they are flashy for the camera.

Many of you think Bruce STANDS and punching. That was the purpose of JKD. He disliked STANCES and heavily empahsized Movement in his works. You make it seem like Bruce will stand there trying to hit a guy in a bullrush on him.

Of what Bruce knew in his Prime, I would say he is the Champ in his weightclass. He would also do quite well in Heavyweight, might not be able to win eveyr match since he was more of a street fighter than with rules.

Please Know your facts about Bruce before dissing him to oblivion.

Just because you have to move less mass dosnt mean your faster, Speed depends on muscle to move your arm. I beleive its those around your tricep area. ALI was a heavyweight, and also one of the fastest humans around. He weighed 200LB +, so your argument that lighter fighters are faster are flawed.

Anonymous said...

Actually upon deeper thought.
Bruce will dominate also the heavy weights. Lb for Lb strenght with that 220pound guy, Bruce tops him.

JKD - The way of the Intercepting Fist.
Not the way of standing.

charles benitez said...

even if you study a fighting style and never took fighting seriously you guys don't know what you talking about and when you guys kiss genius ass without never seening bruce fight, you as a student of the martial art you not going to mount to nothing.