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Bruce Lee Jiu-jitsu

November 27, 2008

“Waiter, I’d like an order of

Okay, okay, I know there is no such thing as Bruce Lee Jiu-jitsu, but wouldn’t that have been cool!

I’m sure all martial artists have been influenced by Bruce Lee in one form or another. He definitely is the reason I got interested in martial arts.

I also think he was ahead of his time. There might have been other instructors out there in Bruce Lee’s lifetime that did cross-train, but Bruce was probably the most recognized martial artist that expressed the importance of training in different arts.

Before he died, Bruce was venturing into grappling and applying it in his combat delivery system. And he was learning it from none other than another man ahead of his time, Judo Gene Labell.

From the beginning of my love for the martial arts as a child to the hard jiu-jitsu sparring sessions of today, I’ve always looked to Bruce for inspiration. Here are a few choice words. Enjoy.

“If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.”

In Jiu-jitsu speak: Sparring is important.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

In Jiu-jitsu lingo: Drilling is important.

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

If you can’t get so-n-so technique to work, set up the conditions (pre-position yourself) to use so-n-so technique at the perfect time.

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

Don’t be afraid to raise your hand if your coach/instructor asks, “Any questions?”

“By adopting a certain physical posture, a resonant chord is struck in spirit.”

You know how posture is so important in jiu-jitsu? Go look at all the high level players, the purples and above, on and off the mat. If you look close enough, you’ll see they look as if they’re ready to go knee-on-the-belly.

“If you want to do your duty properly, you should do just a little more than that.”

Putting in that extra effort will reap extra rewards – or my mantra in sparring “put in that extra round, lazy guy!”

“If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible.”

Insert “technique” in place of “thing” and you’ll get what so many practitioners – myself included – conclude when they learn something difficult to pull off.

And finally…

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

Everyone expresses their own style of jiu-jitsu. Go out there and find it, and when you do – go out and roll.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2008 8:57 pm

    Naw man, I had your Bruce Lee joke, like, 3 years ago…

    …sigh… it’s the only one I can ever remember.

    But other than that, OUTSTANDING post. If I can ever get over my sprains/injuries/nonsense and train again.

    BTW, I met Brent this week at the mid-year… nice guy, and asked him to pass on my “hey’s” and “congrats” from the tourney a few weeks ago…

  2. November 27, 2008 9:44 pm

    Awesome! Somehow I missed this post… perhaps the dating system put the wristlock one ahead of this??

    Gotta love Bruce Lee. His favourite quote of mine is “Be water, my friend.” That sums up so many things, in life and in training, for me.

    About the formlessness of water. The power it holds. How it can be gentle, and terribly powerful at the same time.

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