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Mastering KungFu 👊
An aim worth fighting for 🥷
Dear Hunch Readers,
Back from a fascinating trip in Mexico, I welcome you to issue #8. A story that offers tribute to a former fighter. One that became a worldwide icon and inspiration.
Today I give you none other than BRUCE LEE. An American hero that fought his way through discrimination, bridging the gap between East and West, believing there is but one family under our sky.1
"Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own." - Bruce Lee
Kung fu originally refers to the careful practice of one's skill over a long period of time, not martial arts per se. This could imply a Master Sushi Chef one day reaching kung fu.
When one allows to focus, sincere development of one's potential can be attained. His goal might be a chain of restaurants to share his delicacies with, or have people learn what 'real sushi' is about. In the end, we have no idea what all this will lead to.
If often boils down to recognising that untapped power within us, and using it for good. Lee, would refer to it as a creative, spiritual force locked inside him. Something great he struggled to channel until he found his way in martial arts. An outlet that would open his mind to calm, discipline, and ultimately a belief.
"In the end, we have no idea what all this will lead to."
The philosopher: While Lee went on to specialise Philosophy at the University of Washington, 'Little Dragon' as they used to call him, was turning inward. His martial arts, including numerous writings began to breathe words on self-actualisation. A pursuit to being the best of his ability. Slipping away from tendencies at "Beimo matches": Bare-knuckle rooftop fights, to someone more grounded.
Lee, born in San Francisco, of Eurasian decent, spend much of his life facing forms of discrimination in both America and Hong Kong. One of mixed blood, hence unworthy for the practice of kung fu per Chinese belief. However… Instructor Ip Man, the Head of the Wing Chun Association, agreed otherwise. A teacher that would change his fate at age fifteen.
"A teacher that would change his fate at age fifteen."
Years of training had a profound impact. Kung fu became more than hard work. For Bruce it was transforming into a religion. From his essays, we adopt a rising interest in Taoism. An art of detachment where people adapt to whatever circumstances the world presents. Bruce Lee's most famous quote is something we could ponder on.
"Be Water, My Friend. Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee2
You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup… You shape according the moment. Taoism can also be perceived as the way of the universe. Rather fixated on results, embracing the dynamic power, process of getting there. When Bruce started moving like water, he allowed himself to dream bigger, go through life more naturally.3
"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at," Lee wrote.
Emphasising the significance of Taoism, we could suggest Bruce accidentally discovered his self-actualisation or 'highest potential' in martial arts. First as an energy outlet, to one day rule as a purpose. One of his quotes speaks about "immortality by a living a life worth remembering". I think this ties with the importance of exploring. So that one day you too can tumble on a 'release' worth fighting for.
Bruce's explosive hunger for fresh experiences, led him to pursue passions-from acting, to dancing, and, eventually martial arts. He would revolutionise the latter by blending East with West4. A recreation of his own, "Jeet Kune Do": The way of the intercepting fist, that would touch the hearts of many.
Once envisioning a national franchise of martial arts studios, he now pictured his style and philosophy into America's living rooms. The sky, staring at one big family. Cultures intertwined with martial arts for all.
"Cultures intertwined with martial arts for all."
And so it did…
Shortly after Bruce's death, 'Enter the Dragon', a ground-breaking co-production between Golden Harvest, Warner Brothers and Concord (a production company by Bruce and Raymond Chow), went on to gross $350 million worldwide. One of the most profitable and popular movies of all time.
Lee had no idea what all this would lead to. His ideals on self-expression, strength and inclusion became a global inspiration.
"Sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can." - Bruce Lee
His conviction in creating a better world was absolute. Whatever the obstacle, he moved like water to encourage everyone in everything they pursued.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know if this resonated with you in the comment section below.
Hunch is here for you to discover and share keys to self-realisation. A great way to support issue #8, is by spreading the word 🔥 with likeminded people.
Until next Saturday,
Niilo, K 2021, Be water - Bruce Lee, accessed 14 December 2022, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKpxa2BE0rI/>.
Carmichael, E 2015, Showing Off is the Fool's IDEA of GLORY! | Bruce Lee | Top 10 Rules, accessed 15 December 2022, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7tL8fK6tjA&t=27s/>.
Willis, S.A. 2017, Bruce Lee Explains Kung Fu (Wing Chun) In His Words, accessed 15 December 2022, <https://www.youtube.com//watch?v=W1qAL3m1UH8/>.
Dylvel Motivation 2016, Be You | Bruce Lee Motivation, accessed 16 December, 2022, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uvmWG4U7QE/>.