Thursday, June 18, 2020

How Bruce Lee Trained His Quick Kill by Badger Johnson

I've had another new insight into Bruce Lee and his ability and training.

If you want to be the 'best' at the one thing that martial arts is supposed to be able to do, what three things would you spend time developing?

And it's not 'movie martial arts' I'm talking about.

The one thing that martial arts is supposed to be able to do is to kill someone rapidly. The truth is Bruce Lee trained SPECIFICALLY to be able to kill someone in 1-2 seconds.

1. Having specific targets and apparatus that allow one to explode full power into them and generate the real ability to do a shock-power kill shot. James Yimm Lee built him these gadgets.

Very few people train exactly what is needed to do a quick kill AND test it out on specialty equipment.

People hit things, hit other people but there is gear, rules, non-specific stuff. You need super feedback. Just how hard does that hit? How fast? How easy to block? Can it penetrate or are you guessing? Gotta take all guesswork out and make it 'sure'.

Bruce Lee training on a gadget James Yimm Lee built for him.

Obviously you can't actually kill people but you could come close with specific gear as to what is needed.

Lee's method was to overtrain. Dan Inosanto has said that Lee was training to poke his fingers through a thin steel drink can so that he can puncture a person's body, eyes, neck, etc.

2. Having the ability to generate 'kill intent'. This is key and is where I failed until I made myself a 'kill word'. Lee specifically trained with a hypnotist (interestingly James DeMile) to develop a self-hypnotic kill word such that when he thought it he could go from 'sitting on the couch mellow' to wanting to rip your head off and drop kick it out the window. A kill word is ESSENTIAL and anyone who plans to do hand-to-hand self-defense (which I don't) should have one and have practice calling it up. We see Lee doing this on screen when he goes from normal to demonic.

Badger Johnson:  "You can see him go from near-peaceful
to sudden rage right on screen and you can't fake that."

3. The ability to stage or set things up so that you are in charge of the situation and can put the opponent in the least favorable position. Lee was a master of staging things from having a lot of charm and being able to lure you in to his paradigm, to being able to hold back until the last minute making the opponent think they are safe and then suddenly hitting demonic mode and exploding into them so they have no chance.

Smiling with charm to disarm and then suddenly explode in demonic mode.

He did these three things which I don't think anyone else did (besides Sonny Umpad - which people talk about his 'dark side').

Now, going back to what I said, NONE of those people specifically trained to have a 1-2 second kill capability, which included developing a 'kill word', and having machines specifically built to allow him to train those skills, which nobody else was doing. He also understood how to set things up to his benefit and he knew how to lure people in with charm and personality. He also had a temper, which he knew about, and he had some trouble controlling it.

None of these other people worked with a hypnotist to develop a kill-word. None of these people trained to kill their opponents in a matter of an instant. But you have to have the right venue and that is not an octagon and padded gloves. It's not a large area where people are surrounding someone in a circle.

What Lee could not do was the majority of things we saw in his movies. He couldn't fight 10 guys in a circle (realistically) and beat them all. He couldn't jump up into trees. He had little to no acrobatic skills (that was his stunt double Yuen Wah), and he didn't train to kill or hit people (realisitcally) with things like the nunchuks. That was all stage fighting.

Yuen Wah doubling for Bruce Lee's acrobatics in Enter the Dragon.

Most of what he did in his movies was stage fighting, just like when you see old time fencing movies, that's all stage fighting.

Chuck Norris was good, but he was not Bruce Lee good. But he did do a lot of tournament fighting and he might have been able to outpoint Lee in a more-or-less friendly sparring match.

So there it is right out there in plain sight. And for years people missed it because...well because they're not homicidal maniacs.

In other words, Chuck might have been a good kicker, a good tournament fighter and even served in the military but he did not train to be able to really kill someone, with very specific methods in 1-2 seconds. Lee did.

"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."
~Bruce Lee
Again, amazing how most of the stuff is right out there in plain sight but we were not seeing it. Same thing with the comment that Jesse Glover and others had made that when someone showed Lee something and he came back in a day or two, having done 10,000 to 100,000 repetitions of that move and he was better at it than the guy who showed it to him. We only see him in kind of posed, passive looking pictures of him throwing a finger jab. But in reality in demon mode working that machine which James Lee built would look quite frightening.

© Badger Johnson

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