Bruce Lee – King of Kung-Fu Kraze | Kwesé

Bruce Lee – King of Kung-Fu Kraze

Bruce Lee – King of Kung-Fu Kraze

12:30 SAST | 31 Mar 2017

Say ‘martial arts’ and who do you think of? Chances are ‘Bruce Lee’ comes to mind. He’s a legend of the martial arts film genre, and did more than anyone else to introduce the Hong Kong ‘Kung-Fu Kraze’ to the world. You can find out all about the great man on the Kwesé Know documentary series - ‘I Am’, (Ch 400, Saturday, 15 April at 21:00 CAT) which takes “an inside look at the lives of extraordinary individuals as told by their inner circle.” You can also catch the biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story on Kwesé Movies 2 (Sunday, 9 April at 18:00 CAT).

And to warm you up, here are 20 neat facts about the great man.

  1. He was born in the year, and the hour, of the dragon – considered a good omen in Chinese culture.
  2. His father was a leading Chinese opera star on stage and film.
  3. His mother, who was from one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families, was half- Caucasian and half-Chinese.
  4. His parents sent him to martial arts classes as a child so he could defend himself on Hong Kong’s mean streets
  5. Fearing for their son’s life, his parents shipped him to the US after he’d gotten into a fight with the son of a Triad boss.
  6. He was a child-actor who by the time he left for America at 18 had appeared in 20 films in Hong Kong.
  7. He was something of a philosopher-poet, believing that knowledge acquisition of any kind leads to mastery of self. He coined the line: “Be formless, shapeless – like water…You put water in a cup, it becomes the cup…”
  8. Despite extolling the virtues of water, he feared water and couldn’t swim.
  9. He was a voracious reader, and to maximise his time would sometimes lift weights while reading.
  10. His unexpected death was deemed by a coroner as “death by misadventure”; he died from excess fluid in the brain caused by a reaction between muscle-relaxant medication and an antibiotic.
  11. He hoped one day to fight Muhammad Ali, whom he respected greatly for his speed and agility. Catch the ‘I Am’ documentary about Muhammad Ali on Kwesé Know (Ch 400, 8 April at 21:00 CAT).
  12. In Enter the Dragon he grabs a villain by the hair snapping his neck. The villain is played by Jackie Chan, who sustained a real injury after Lee accidentally hit him in the face with a stick. Catch Jackie Chan in Chinese Zodiac on Kwesé Movies 2 (23 April at 07:00 CAT).
  13. In 1963 he was rejected for the draft to fight in Vietnam because of his poor eyesight. He wore glasses as thick as coke bottles.
  14. Bruce Lee got Chuck Norris his start in movies. Lee was the stunt coordinator on Wrecking Crew, where Norris features in a very small part in a fight. Norris said that Bruce Lee was the one person he could not beat in a fight.
  15. He once said: “If I should die tomorrow, I will have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do. You can’t expect more from life.”
  16. In 1966 he shot to fame playing Kato, the sidekick of a superhero in The Green Hornet. But Bruce Lee stole the show, so much so that in Hong Kong, where he was a cult figure, it was renamed The Kato Show.
  17. His son Brandon Lee, also a Hollywood star, died on-set in a gun accident while filming The Crow.
  18. He was an expert Cha-Cha dancer, winning the Hong Kong Cha Cha championships in 1958.
  19. He helped start the craze for protein shakes.
  20. He trained 70’s movie stars like Steve McQueen, who was one of the pall-bearers at his funeral. Catch Kwesé Know’s ‘I Am’ documentary on Steve McQueen (Ch 400, 29 April at 21:00 CAT)

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