I have been blessed and lucky to meet many highly skilled fighters in my short life so far. Unfortunately, the one I would like to meet the most past away in 1973 at the age of only 32 from a brain aneurysm. Bruce Lee wasn’t just an actor and martial artist. Bruce Lee was an amazing teacher who broke through many barriers that helped the art to become what it is today. It’s not something that many people know about him, but those who met him and worked with him had uplifting experiences. An example of Bruce Lee’s leadership included the training of white American boxers and women. Many Chinese and Japanese styles were kept from Americans. The idea of a white man practicing their effective ways of fighting, let alone a white woman, was shunned. Bruce was put through shaming coming from people he lived and worked with back in China but he knew that it didn’t matter. He understood that he was training people who wanted to learn self-defense and appreciate an effective, artistic form of fighting. It wasn’t until much after he died that both cultures more widely accepted the idea of coming together and building off of each other’s knowledge of fighting.
Bruce Lee had undeniable appeal as a leader because of his compassion, amazing skill, seemingly endless knowledge, and limitless wisdom. He led a life full of pureness of heart and service to others outside of his well-known acting career. Both his health and well-being were nearly unparalleled for most of his life.
While doing some of his intense training, Bruce Lee severely injured his back and sacral nerve in 1970. His doctors told him that he wouldn’t be able to continue training or practicing nearly anything to do with martial arts. However, after therapy and even more difficult training, he was not only able to continue his work, but he advanced further and further until the day he died; he was able to do somethings that he couldn’t before the injury.
As someone who studies martial arts and who needs motivation to work out more, I look up to Bruce Lee. I also look to him for personal motivation and inspiration in leadership. I currently have four quotes from him hanging in my room at school. Bruce’s life perfectly exemplified working hard for self-improvement and enabling others. I have learned so many things outside of karate from his lifestyle and I hope to be known for compassion, knowledge, and wisdom before I may go at a (hopefully) much older age.