Bruce Lee’s Hidden Secrets – How to Become the Ultimate Street Fighter

Bruce Lee was surely one of the greatest martial artist who ever lived. Every martial art has it’s masters and figureheads but Lee’s legacy outlives them all. So what was Bruce Lee’s hidden secret?

Lee founded his own fighting style of Jeet Kune Do as he believed other arts were too constrained and confined. I believe this remains a fair observation and criticism to this day. The desire to retain the traditions of some martial arts and keep their true roots alive can have a counter effect and mean that they do not develop and ‘improve’ over the years. This is an odd situation as most martial arts can be traced back to others and to other combat systems.

Take the aikido self defence system as an example. Although aikido in it’s ‘pure form’ is fairly modern it can be traced back to much older systems and to techniques used by the samurai. Although there are some progressive styles which have modernised and taken on new thinking, some clubs shun this approach and keep everything as it was in the days of the founders.

Bruce Lee observed that you cannot train in ‘patterns’ as some martial arts do because in reality fights – for example street fights – are baffling and chaotic. Every person fights with a different style, speed and approach and to win we must be able to adapt to this.

Lee also understood that being a winning street fighter involved a high level of fitness as well as technical ability. This is another key lesson we can learn. Besides the physical demands of a fight or violent encounter, the body will react under stress and heart rate and other bodily functions will react in different ways. Spending hours learning technical self defence techniques without a good level of fitness may be a waste of time.

One of Bruce’s key aerobic exercise regimes was to run. As well as distances this would involve changes of pace from ‘jogging’ to fast sprinting. Of course today we know this method is the best way to train for marathons and other demanding events.

Good old skipping rope workouts were another key element of Bruce Lee’s training methods. Shadow boxing helped to improve stamina but also speed and of course speed is what Lee was known for. It’s one of the amazing facts about Bruce Lee that he had to slow his movements down to allow them to be captured on film! There are many myths and legends surrounding him but this is fact.

Lee also understood the need to warm up and cool down for any exercise. Again, he was ahead of his time in that modern sports scientists tell us these are essential. To maintain and improve health of joints and muscles it’s important that warm and cool down time is allowed for.

Modern street self defence methods rely heavily on the foundations Lee created and I am grateful to him and his memory for the combat systems we have today.

Nicole Thomas

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