Sijo Bruce Lee
李小龍 – Bruce Lee; born 李振藩 - Lee Jun-fan
November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973
Bruce Jun Fan Lee was born in San Francisco, CA in 1940 while his parents were on tour with the Cantonese Opera. His father was the well-known opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen. Raised in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Lee was a child actor, appearing in more than 20 films. At the age of 13, Bruce Lee immersed himself in the study of Wing Chun Kung Fu with Grandmaster Ip Man and the legendary street fighter Wong Shun Leung (黃淳樑).
At the age of 18, Bruce Lee returned to the United States. He completed high school in Seattle, Washington, and later enrolled at the University of Washington. He began to teach Kung Fu while in college and eventually opened his first school, the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute.
Lee dropped out of college in early 1964 and moved to Oakland to live with James Yimm Lee. James Lee was a well-known Chinese martial artist in the area, and together, they opened the second Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in Oakland. James Lee was also responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to Ed Parker, who invited Lee to perform at the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships. Bruce Lee performed his famous two-finger push-ups and introduced the famous "one-inch punch."
Bruce Lee's performance at the Long Beach International led to his discovery by Hollywood. Soon after, he portrayed Kato in the TV series, The Green Hornet. The show lasted only one season (26 episodes) from September 1966 to March 1967.
After filming on The Green Hornet ended, Bruce Lee focused on developing his martial arts skill. He had become disillusioned with traditional martial arts techniques and began to create his own system based on "practicality, flexibility, speed, and efficiency." He called this new art Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist.
In 1971, Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong and, with the popularity of Kato in Asia, secured starring roles in action movies. After completing "The Big Boss" and "Fists of Fury," Lee wrote and directed "The Way of the Dragon." His fourth film, "Game of Death," was interrupted to shoot his final film, "Enter the Dragon." This film was scheduled to premiere at Hollywood's Chinese theater in August of 1973, but Bruce Lee would not live to see the debut.
Bruce Lee died on July 20, 1973, at age 32. Since his death, he has continued to be a significant influence on the evolution of modern combat sports, as well as modern popular culture, including film, television, comics, animation, and video games. Time magazine has named Bruce Lee one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
His spirit remains an inspiration to untold numbers of people around the world.