Two summers ago, my nephew asked me to watch this video. I wasn’t particularly interested at the time, but he said to me, “You’ll be sorry if you don’t!”
The first part shows Bruce Lee using nunchucks to play ping-pong against one and then two opponents, and the second part shows him using nunchucks to light match sticks that are thrown in the air.
My brother used to practice using nunchucks. They’re heavy. When I twirled them (or tried), I was afraid I would hit my own head. Each revolution, they landed on your back in a way which could pack a “punch” and sting and even throw you off balance.
Anyways, Bruce Lee was a master, apparently, in the use of these instruments. He was a true master in the practice of Chinese martial arts, but, like many great artists, was also unconventional in his style.
After watching this video, I was curious to learn more about how someone could learn how to focus to such a degree that his movements are so precise and appear to be done almost with a sixth-sense, as it were. Well, his answer was practice.
Bruce Lee constantly practiced discipline of both his mind and his body. He also believed that training and discipline of the mind was more important than training the body to achieve his full potential.
Gong fu (功夫), or kung fu, literally means “achievement and man” in Chinese. The term does not just apply to martial arts but to any type of discipline which takes great effort and practice in order to achieve excellence or perfection – in other words, the term largely embodies the idea of long and dedicated training to achieve a skill or an art. Today, most people identify this term with martial arts, but if you’re good at anything, it can be said that you have 功夫.
When I watch this video and now when I think of some of his movies, it is apparent to me that Bruce Lee demonstrated uncanny efficiency of movement and had incredible focus. His movements demonstrate discipline of mind and body and using this to develop one’s own style.
Here are a few quotes that I like by him:
To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.
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.
Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.
Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.
Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.
It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.
All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.
Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.
A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.
As you think, so shall you become.