Bruce Lee, The Greatest Martial Arts Action Hero
Before Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme, there was Bruce Lee. In a way, it's really a shame that many of today's generation of action movie fans have never been subjected to Bruce Lee because he was possibly the best martial arts action hero of all time. His martial arts on film might not have been as elaborate as state Jackie Chan's or Jet Li's but his on screen ferocity and charisma are unequalled. Even more significant was the effect on martial arts that Bruce Lee had that still endures today even over 30 years since his departurBruce Lee always considered himself a martial artist first and an actor second. As a martial artist, he was way ahead of his time in creating his own style of martial arts he predicted jeet kune do. His martial arts featured the most practical techniques from several combative areas because he moved away from the classical and traditional methods. His martial arts skills were real and admired by other prominent martial artists such as Jhoon Rhee, Chuck Norris, Ed Parker and Joe Lewis. His title was inducted into the prestigious Black Belt Hall of Fame twice, once while he was living and the other after his death. These are honors that no other martial arts action hero has ever come near. Martial arts schools in North America enjoyed a enormous growth in enrollment due to Bruce Lee.
North America got an early glimpse of Bruce Lee when he played Kato in the Green Hornet television series and a bit part in the film Marlowe. He moved to Hong Kong and made a few movies like Fists of Fury (known as the Big Boss at the Asia marketplace ) and the Chinese Connection which made him a huge star in Asia. Bruce Lee also wrote, directed and starred in his own film production known as the Way of the Dragon which featured perhaps among the best martial arts combat scenes. This scene happened in the Roman Coliseum and was with Chuck Norris that gave Norris his first movie start. It had been Enter the Dragon that broke him to North America. Unfortunately, he died tragically at age 32 in 1973 before he had been able to witness the success of the movie. At the time of Lee's death, he had finished the battle scenes for another film called Game of Death that featured basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabar, who was really one of his martial arts students. Other students of Bruce Lee included actors Steve McQueen and James Coburn. Game of Death was finished with look-alike actors in the future.
Among the most crucial gifts Bruce Lee made is that he opened the door for other Asians in the entertainment industry worldwide. He was the first Asian to achieve any substantial success in the North American entertainment arena. He became a celebrity in North America and the rest of the world by playing personalities instead of previous stereotype roles for Asians such like servants, gangsters, laundry employees or other'pigtail coolie' characters. On an even larger scale, Bruce Lee gave Asians, especially the Chinese individuals globally, a reason to be proud. Bruce Lee affected them to be confident in pushing forward to achieve their goals regardless of what area they were in.