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"Bruce Lee Said What?"
   'Finding the Truth in Bruce Lee's Writings'

Part 3

(Page 2)

by Kip Brockett

    Now, on to my defense…

    I want it understood that I am most definitely a Bruce Lee fan. It was NEVER my intention to discredit Bruce Lee in any way, shape, or form with this article. If I came across as doing that, I am sorry. This is the first article (and possibly the last!) that I have ever written. The misunderstanding by those who view my intent as degrading, is more likely due to my lack of writing or communication skills. I suppose.

    I had 2 main objectives in writing this article.

  1. To show some of the discoveries I have stumbled across in my own studies that have possibly been mistakenly attributed to Bruce Lee.
  2. To share possible sources to a few ideas that he used in his films, personal life, and his art of Jeet Kune Do.
    Now, I am not accusing anyone of anything. I am quite sure that Bruce Lee never intended to publish the bulk of these notes. They were his personal notes from various sources, used in his personal study. Some original, some not. Now he may have intended to publish a work on his art, but I don't think for a minute that these notes would have been included without acknowledgements. It's more likely that they would have been fused into something more personal to Lee himself.

    I mean, come on… You can't fault the man for something published after his death!

    But, as many of you know, there are many, many people out there that believe that if Bruce Lee's name is on something, it has to be his original creation.

    I hear people all the time quoting Bruce Lee, that have no idea what-so-ever of where the saying actually came from. I have been guilty of this myself!

    This does not make the information less valuable. Many people, though, stop there. They have no interest in digging deeper into it to find the source. Therefore depriving themselves of possible gems of information or insight that could be gleaned from the source.

    I also want to say that I don't think anyone purposefully left out acknowledgements. I appreciate as much as anyone the publishing of Bruce Lee's notes. Linda Lee Cadwell (Bruce Lee's widow) and John Little (Bruce Lee historian) in particular should be commended. If it weren't for Linda Lee Cadwell's desire to share with the world her husband's legacy, we would all be deprived of the glimpse into Bruce Lee's mind that was given us.

    I also want to say that Tuttle Publishing and Ohara Publications Inc. should be commended for distributing this information.

    I'm not sure what the answer to the problem of acknowledgements should be. The task of going through Bruce Lee's library of over 2,000 books and finding every reference his notes pertained to, would be a daunting task, if not impossible. Not to mention searching the outside sources that he may have used.


    Now on the other side of this, I do think there needs to be a little more care involved when attributing something to Bruce Lee. When someone says, "Bruce Lee said…", or attributes an idea to Bruce Lee, one should at least make an effort to verify that the statement or idea did not come from someone else. In my opinion, this does a great disservice to the originator. Credit should be given where credit is due.

    I have heard many people say that it's not important where the information came from, but what's important is the lesson and what Bruce Lee did with that information that is important. I agree that these things are important. But I believe it is equally important to see from where it came. I believe it gives a closer affinity with Bruce Lee to see exactly where he was coming from.

    It distresses me that some think my motives were to tear down a great man. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do prefer to look at Bruce Lee as a man, though. Faults and all. I think that seeing both the good and the bad teaches us more about Bruce Lee the person. Fans of Bruce Lee are a funny lot. There are some that I cannot categorize any other way but "zealots". Refusing to see anything negative or to tolerate anyone that they perceive as speaking negatively. All I can do is shake my head. You can't change people, only yourself and how you deal with them.

    This is not to say that I think that anything in this article exposes faults or speaks negatively of Bruce Lee. I don't believe that I have done any such thing. This article was an examination of sources, nothing else.

    I would like to end this by saying that one of the greatest gifts I received from my studies of the late, great Bruce Lee is my appreciation for knowledge through books. His example through his thirst for knowledge and his expansive personal library sparked in me the urge to start my own personal library. Although not nearly as large as Bruce Lee's, I have amassed a considerable collection on a vast array of subjects. I would encourage all to do this as well.

    I would like to hear comments on this article and the issues it raises- both positive and negative. If you would like to comment, please send your correspondence to:

Page 1


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Kip Brockett
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