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Bruce Lee: Letters of the Dragon: An Anthology of Bruce Lee's Correspondence with Family, Friends, and Fans 1958-1973 (The Bruce Lee Library) Kindle Edition
About the Author
John Little is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on Bruce Lee, his training methods, and philosophies. Little is the only person who has ever been authorized to review the entirety of Lee's personal notes, sketches, and reading annotations. Little's articles have appeared in every martial arts and health and fitness magazine in North America. John is an expert in the fields of martial arts, bodybuilding, and physical conditioning. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
"…Bruce Lee books are now also available in ebook format…That's great; it's nice if you're traveling to take everything with you in one little small container so-to-speak." —Martial Thoughts Podcast
"Most important is how private and human this collection of letters will make you feel about Bruce. Here are not only his teachings and expertise, but his weaknesses, doubts, and his burning desire to grow as a person." —Fight Nerd blog
"To get some insight over Bruce Lee's thoughts and personal interactions, I recommend reading Bruce Lee: Letters of the Dragon. It is a refreshing change from books on technical martial concepts and second-hand accounts that praises the man, without acknowledging his vulnerabilities." —Logen Lanka, Way of Ninja
"After reading these letters, I have to say that it gave me a far better idea of who the author was as a person than a straightforward non-fiction biography would've. The fact that he was human just like everybody else was something that I could spot in the first couple of letters that I read. While he might not have stuck to the rules of correct English grammar, his clear enjoyment of letter writing is almost contagious." —HubPages --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B014GBMI6W
- Publisher : Tuttle Publishing (September 8, 2015)
- Publication date : September 8, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 9880 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 194 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #263,933 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I found the following especially interesting.
He loved his wife and children very much. He repeatedly mentioned them in his letters.
He had no animosity towards the Japanese. He loved Japanese food, found samurai movies entertaining, delved in the Japanese martial arts, and enjoyed his visit to Japan.
He stopped in Hawaii (that's where I'm from!) on his way to San Francisco. And he wrote about plans to honeymoon in Hong Kong, Japan, and Hawaii, with his wife, Linda.
His agent tried to connect him to the Hawaii 5-O television series. p. 103
He gave encouragement to other pioneering Asian martial artists (e.g., Jhoon Ree) in their missions to establish themselves in the United States. In a letter to Ree, Lee expressed this familiar coping strategy, "Remember my friend that it is not what happens that counts, but how you react to them." p. 117
He tried to make his television character, Kato, more of an "active partner" of the Green Hornet, and less of a "mute follower." p. 77
Generally, this collection describes the development of a human being who made a dent in the universe. Bruce Lee's energy, optimism, struggles, and visions are on display in this volume.
Top reviews from other countries
"Let me tell you an incident that is a warning to us all. The Japan America Society of southern California was presenting a demonstration of ‘The Defensive Arts – Aikido, Judo, Kendo, and Karate’. H.N. was heading the demonstration and I and the ex-publisher of black belt, Ed Jung, was there. It was a disappointment! The H.N of four years ago (in Washington) has slipped and what there is now is an old man; like he couldn’t even snap decently, nor can he show his techniques smartly, not even in a classical manner. It was a quick change from the last time I saw him. At least at that time he could classically demonstrate his techniques with precision and snap, so that goes to prove the old Chinese saying ‘song (singing) never leave the mouth, ﬁst never leave the hand’. Do we have to work, work, work? The aikido is something else! Completely out of reality. There might be a strong aikido man, but his power is evidenced only when he practices among his fellow partners who will dance with him and fool around with his ﬂow of Ki.
Taky: You have something over that other martial artist you mentioned that is not being classically inclined and the ability to express yourself explosively and economically. The more I observe the prevalent karate men here (in the West), the more I’m amused at the public that ignorantly eats up such an impractical mess without at least analyzing karate with their own more alive and certainly more practical sport of boxing! If you want to excel in gung fu, you have to throw away all classical junk and face combat in its suchness, which is simple and direct. Forms and classical techniques that the martial artist you mentioned teaches are ‘organized despair’ that serve only to distort and cramp his students and distract them from the actual reality of combat. Such means of practice (a form of paralysis) solidify and condition what was once free and ﬂuid. Throw away mysticism and B.S., it is really nothing but a blind devotion to the systematic uselessness of practising routines and stunts that lead to nowhere.
Even a man that moves classically fast and snappy is really not too much to be praised; you see he is trying to set a rhythm, not adjust to a broken rhythm which is the thing that will happen in actual combat. Then you have to take reactional speed, etc., etc., into consideration. Most of the self-defenses systems are ‘dead’ because the classical techniques are futile attempts to ‘arrest’ and ‘ﬁx’ the ever-changing movement in combat and to dissect and analyze them like a corpse. When you come down to it, real combat is not ﬁxed and is deﬁnitely very much ‘alive’."
So Bruce was not impressed with Japanese martial arts, but Chinese styles got criticised as well, in a letter to William Cheung in 1969 he wrote
"William, I’ve lost faith in the Chinese classical arts; though I still call mine Chinese because basically all styles are products of land swimming, even the wing chun school. So my line of training is more towards efﬁcient street ﬁghting with everything goes, wearing head gear, gloves, chest guard, shin/knee guards, etc. For the past ﬁve years now I’ve been training the hardest and for a purpose, not just dissipated hit-miss training. I’m running every day, sometimes up to six miles. I’ve named my style jeet kune do – reason for my not sticking to wing chun [is] because I sincerely feel that this style has more to offer regarding efﬁciency."
(Bruce believed that a resisting opponent was important for martial arts training and that the very common practice of training without resistance was like trying to learn how to swim without getting into water, hence the term "dry land swimming")
Apart from criticism of martial arts training there is some philosophy and a lot of family life stuff, along with letters about the creation of custom equipment for striking and improving grip strength.
Some of the passages from the book really stuck with me and definitely I looked back and re-read them.