31 Kickass Facts We Never Knew About Bruce Lee
He Was Actually Named by a Nurse
Bruce Lee’s full name is Lee Jun-fan. The name means "return again", and was given to Lee by his mother, who felt he would return to the United States once he came of age. The English name
"Bruce" is thought to have been given by the hospital attending physician, Dr. Mary Glover. He was born on November 27, 1940, in Chinatown, San Francisco, CA. Bruce wasn't pure Chinese - he was actually part German (his grandfather from his mother's side was half German).
He Quickly Beat an Extra Who Challenged Him on Set
Lee was challenged by a tiger/crane kung fu stylist, an extra on Enter the Dragon, who claimed Lee was a phony. Lee, furious at the claim, accepted the challenge to prove that his martial arts were indeed the real deal. The fight only lasted
30 seconds, with Bruce pummeling his challenger with a series of straight punches to the face, low-line kicks to his shins/knees/thighs and finally ended with the guy being smashed to the wall with his hair pulled and his arms trapped by Bruce. Lee showed some class by telling him to go back to work instead of firing him.
He Appeared in a Movie When He Was 3 Months Old
Lee’s father Lee Hoi Chuen, a Hong Kong opera singer, moved with his wife, Grace Ho, and three children to the United States in 1939; Bruce was Hoi Chuen's
fourth child, a son, was born while he was on tour in San Francisco. The future star appeared in his first film at the age of 3 months, when he served as the stand-in for an American baby in Golden Gate Girl, the year was 1941.
He Was in a Gang in His Early Years
Bruce Lee was not interested in school. After primary school, Bruce entered La Salle College, an English-speaking boys' secondary school in Kowloon, Hong Kong, where he often got into trouble. Bruce was expelled from La Salle for disruptive behavior. As a teenager, he was taunted
by British students for his Chinese background and later joined a street gang, called the Tigers of Junction Street. In 1953, he began to hone his passions into a discipline, studying kung fu under the tutelage of Master Yip Man. Yip Man opened his own martial arts school so that he could afford opium.
He Was a Dancing Champ
In the early 1940s, the Lees moved back to Hong Kong, then occupied by the Japanese. Apparently a natural in front of the camera, Bruce Lee appeared in roughly 20 films as a child actor, beginning in
1946. He also studied dance, winning Hong Kong's cha-cha competition, and would become known for his poetry as well. Not only that, he also developed a talent for sketching while in college, usually drawing figure in different kung fu poses.
He Was Kind of a Pot Head
Bruce Lee was a fan of marijuana. His favored brand was Nepal Hashish. He would chew the Hash made in Kathmandu, Nepal regularly. Bruce ingested cannabis brownies and chewed on hash every day for
over ten years. Nepal Hashish is among the strongest hash in the world, which was perfectly legal in Nepal until the late 1970’s. Many suspect that the removal of his armpit’s sweat glands in conjunction with toxin levels caused by the super strong hash caused complications which may have contributed to his death.
He Fought Too Fast For the Cameras
Usually in action films, the fight sequences are sped up to create more urgency and make the fighting more realistic. However, Bruce Lee films actually had to be slowed down to see the action and so they
weren’t a blur on camera. He could kick 6 times during one second; His signature move - the “Skip SideKick” could kick a 200 pound man with safeguard armor into the sky. In one instance he kicked a man 20 meters away and into a swimming pool.
A Private Match With a Master Put Him on the Map
In Oakland, California in 1964 at Chinatown, Lee had a controversial private match with Wong Jack Man, a master of Xingyiquan, Northern Shaolin, and T'ai chi ch'uan. The Chinese community issued an
ultimatum to him to stop teaching non-Chinese. When he refused to comply, he was challenged to a combat match with Wong. The fight lasted an unusually long 20–25 minutes. Wong expected a serious but polite bout; however Lee had attacked him very aggressively with intent to kill. What came next was a fight for the ages.
He Fought Like a Tiger
Lee began by lashing out immediately after a handshake, cutting Wong’s forehead, and then proceeded to launch a series of groin kicks and high-volume punches, most of which Wong absorbed in the chest.
Wong moved laterally, and was not as aggressive as the temperamental Lee. Wong had told his friends he wouldn’t be using kicks, which he considered his most dangerous weapon, because he didn’t want to permanently injure Lee.
The Match Went Too Far
He did, however, sport a pair of leather bracelets he wore over his wrists, and one of his strikes caught Lee near his neck, staggering him. Wong followed up with a headlock, but chose not to strike while Lee
was doubled over. After 20 minutes of Lee pressing the action and Wong picking his spots, Wong lost his footing and fell to the ground, where Lee tried to pounce on him. Observers feared Lee was getting too heated and stepped in to break up the bout.