Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method – Volume 1 – Self-Defense Techniques, by Bruce Lee and M. Uyehara
Published 1977 by Ohara – 128 pages. Photo illustrated.
WE never had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Lee, although one of our Black Belts once met him in the 1960’s. Lee was in Seattle at the time, and our Black Belt was then a student of judo, as well as a student of the late Jesse Glover (one of Bruce Lee’s first students, and a close friend of the martial arts expert). Lee visited the judo school and gave a demonstration of kung fu.
We understand that Lee was a very impressive performer. He was agile as a cat, extremely flexible, fast, and totally dedicated to training. And while we personally do not believe that Lee was entirely correct in all that he taught or did (nor do we believe that his personal style was any “ultimate” martial art) we have always profoundly respected him. He was dedicated and totally sincere in his pursuit of skills. And that merits enormous respect, in our view.
Unfortunately, Lee’s insights, teachings, and innovations made multiple millions for literally hundreds of exploitative, “cashers in” on his work. Lee passed away at a very young age back in the very early 1970’s, and to this day the second-handers still continue to use Lee’s name, the name of his personal style of fighting (i.e. “Jeet Kune Do”), as well as claims of association with and training under Lee to promote their own endeavors. In point of fact there were very, very few who really knew Bruce Lee well, and fewer still whose “training under Bruce Lee” amounted to more than a few hours of friendly conversation and perhaps exchanging a few technical actions. The late Jesse Glover was, in our opinion, the single most knowledgeable martial arts teacher, as far as Bruce Lee’s teachings are concerned, and in his own right a fine teacher. He drew a lot from his long association and friendship with Lee, yet never exploited either. He simply told the truth, and — until his recent passing — taught self-defense skills which in part derived from what he had learned from Lee. Making no ridiculous claim (as so many have done, in order to serve their own interests) that he “taught Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do”, Jesse Glover titled his approach Non-Classical Kung Fu, and left it at that.
In our opinion, for the purpose of practical, realistic self-defense, the book under present review was the best that Lee wrote. We’d go further and say that virtually everything else he wrote could be tossed, as far as the close combat and self-defense devotee is concerned.
There is nothing spectacular in Vol. 1 of Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method. In this volume Lee concerns himself solely with realistic, simple, doable self-defense skills. He demonstrates defenses against common attacks that pretty much anyone who is physically healthy and who is prepared to spend some hours practicing can truly use. Unlike the techniques that were incessantly pushed in Lee’s movies and on TV, the material in this little work makes good sense for close combat.
Lee places heavy emphasis in this book on the simple low side kick to the knee, and on other similar very simple, readily learnable, retainable, and applicable combative measures.
The only reason we are reluctant to recommend this book is because the profits for its sale, as far as we know, do not go to Lee’s widow. In any case, the big profits for anything tied to Lee’s name go to persons and companies that, in many instances, Bruce Lee had never even heard of, when he was alive.
Still, we’d recommend this particular book by Bruce Lee. To keep the profiteers from scooping up bucks off the sale of the book, why not purchase a used copy?
Bruce Lee made some real sense as far as self-defense is concerned. And you can find it in this book.