Bruce Lee — The Measure of a Master
Perhaps the most charismatic martial artist of all time, Bruce Lee was loved by his many fans. His untimely death at the height of his popularity in 1973 was a shock to action movie fans and martial artists everywhere. Conspiracy theories about the true cause of Lee’s death, including murder by Chinese mafia, exist to this day.
Medical authorities gathered sufficient evidence to determine that Lee died of cerebral edema, which means that a blood vessel in his brain burst. He was in perfect physical condition when he died, which serves as a reminder that we are all vulnerable at any age.
If you enjoy and appreciate watching a master at work you will want to see, “Enter the Dragon,” “Chinese Connection,” and “Fists of Fury.” Early fans of Bruce Lee may remember “The Green Hornet” TV series, in which he played Kato, the Kung Fu chauffeur, alongside the crime fighter, Green Hornet.
There is no doubt that Bruce Lee was a Kung Fu master. He developed his own style of Kung Fu known as JEET KUNE DO, which translates to the “Way of the Intercepting Fist.” Bruce Lee will remain a legend and he will be imitated by young martial arts students for years to come. In his brief life, some say that Lee was an ambassador for promoting the martial arts worldwide.
Brandon Lee — Once Rising Star
Brandon Lee was the son of the renowned martial artist Bruce Lee. Tragically, Brandon Lee died in 1993 while making, The Crow — a movie that would have launched his career to stardom.
During filming, Brandon was killed by a pistol that was supposed to fire blank rounds. The shooting was ruled accidental, but because of it, the handling of firearm props is monitored much more closely today. The 28-year-old Lee was to be married to Eliza Hutton after completing the movie. The film was later dedicated to the couple.
Coincidentally, his father died shortly after filming, “Enter the Dragon,” which was his own breakthrough movie. Brandon was only 8 years old at that time. Dan Inosanto, his father’s friend and student, trained Brandon Lee in the martial arts.
“The Crow,” which is based on an underground comic book series by James O’Barr, became a great success. Fan clubs, celebrating Brandon Lee’s life and work, especially for “The Crow,” can be found online. Other films of Brandon Lee’s include; “Showdown in Little Tokyo,” “Rapid Fire,” and “Kung Fu: The Movie.”
Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee are both buried in Lake View Cemetery in Seattle, Washington.
Jackie Chan — The Clint Eastwood of Martial Arts
Jackie Chan is a martial artist that uses superb fighting techniques blended with humor in his many films. As an orphan in the Chinese Circus, Chan’s early life was filled with severe discipline, and training in acrobatics and Kung Fu. He overcame the demanding physical regimen and was able to break into the entertainment business because of his outstanding skills and pleasant personality.
Although Jackie Chan learned martial arts in the ‘old school’ style — the hard way — he states that it’s preferable to train in a normal learning setting. Even today, after attaining movie success, Chan still does his own, often dangerous, stunts.
Chan credits Bruce Lee as a motivating influence in his life to become a Kung Fu actor. Jackie Chan movies that come to my mind are “Shanghai Noon”,”Shanghai Knights,” as well as the Rush Hour series. I also enjoyed watching “Rumble in the Bronx,” and “Forbidden Kingdom,” a movie in which he co-stars with Jet Li. Chan’s latest film, The Karate Kid is very successful.
The more you learn about Jackie Chan the more you admire him. In 2004, Chan became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. He has his own charity foundation, and he promotes goodwill amongst people everywhere. With his amazing energy and personal appeal, Jackie Chan continues to entertain, delight, and inspire people from all walks of life.