Bruce Lee Full Contact Sparring Colour Footage

THE INTERCEPTING FIST. 75th Anniversary Post #30/75. Bruce Lee was interested only in full contact, reality based martial arts, training and sparring.

Bruce Lee Sparring

Bruce Lee focus with these sparring sessions was not on defense, but on intercepting an opponent’s attack with an attack of one’s own (as demonstrated by Bruce Lee in this video from the 1967 Long Beach International Karate Championships).

He was the first martial artist in North America, if not the world, to have his students wearing boxing gloves, headgear and body protectors and spar all out. To Bruce, the only litmus test of a combative technique’s worth was whether or not it could be landed effectively on an opponent.

Lee’s Philosophy

Lee is best known as a martial artist, but he also studied drama and philosophy while a student at the University of Washington.

He was well-read and had an extensive library. His own books on martial arts and fighting philosophy are known for their philosophical assertions, both inside and outside of martial arts circles. His eclectic philosophy often mirrored his fighting beliefs, though he was quick to claim that his martial arts were solely a metaphor for such teachings. He believed that any knowledge ultimately led to self-knowledge, and said that his chosen method of self-expression was martial arts.

His influences include Taoism, Jiddu Krishnamurti, and Buddhism. On the other hand, Lee’s philosophy was very much in opposition to the conservative worldview advocated by Confucianism.

John Little states that Lee was an atheist. When asked in 1972 about his religious affiliation, he replied, “none whatsoever”. In 1972, he was asked if he believed in God, and responded, “To be perfectly frank, I really do not”.