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RIP Bruce Lee – How we can honor him and his legacy

Bruce Lee

Today is the anniversary of Bruce Lee’s death.  Sadly, his life was cut short unexpectedly.  As martial artists we must take a moment to honor this man who has brought so much to our lives.

Bruce died in 1973.  How many of us were alive then?  Personally, I was just 1 year old.  How many of us are still influenced by him, his teachings, his knowledge?  Take a moment and reflect on how your life has changed, improved, or has been made better by training.  Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article and share your story.

Lineage: Bruce Lee to Eric Winfree

Lineage: Bruce Lee to Eric Winfree

At Syracuse Martial Arts Academy we are blessed to be training under Guro Eric Winfree who is 3rd generation to Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee: How we can honor him and his teachings

It really is simple. Train.

Bruce Lee first started his martial arts career with Wing Chun under Ip Man.  Bruce developed his own system, Jeet Kune Do, that was heavily influenced by Wing Chun as well as other martial arts styles and disciplines like boxing and fencing.

When Bruce first brought his new system into the world of martial artists, he was met with much negativity and was told it would never work.  He proved them wrong time and time again.

This is how we can honor him.  He is no longer here to prove that his system works.  We are the living embodiment of Bruce and his teachings.  Do not short cut or cheat the exercises or drills.  Do not skip the warm up.  Train.

We are the proof of his legacy. If Bruce Lee’s ideals and concepts were legitimate, then WE should be able to prove that by being good.  Train seriously and understand the burden of what it means to be in Bruce Lee’s lineage.

Some people say that no one else has been able to duplicate what Bruce Lee has done. That Bruce Lee was a phenomenon.  This means his system is illegitimate and ineffective.  It is our job to change that narrative and that way of thinking. We need train and show the world what we can do.

Our competition team has done a great job of doing this.  Professional fighter Tamdan McCrory has done a great job of this. What are YOU doing to uphold Bruce’s standards and teachings?

Do Bruce proud and train.


Jeanne started her martial arts training later in life and has been training at SMAA for over 10 years. She likes all aspects of the martial arts from the physical challenges to the spiritual pursuits of martial etiquette and virtue. She has a master degree in marketing and is currently working on her MBA.

One thought on “RIP Bruce Lee – How we can honor him and his legacy

  1. William Aubin says:

    Before I learned about Sijo Bruce, I was delivering pizza, smoking pot everyday. After watching multiple documentaries and reading the things he left behind I was inspired to quit doing drugs, and start getting back in shape.
    That lead to me finding Sifu Tom and his school. After a few years of training, I realized what I was capable of. I could work hard, and I could learn to do things I never expected. I could do more than deliver pizza, so I joined my local volunteer fire dept. Because I knew they offered free training, and I knew I was capable. 2 years later, I’m an interior qualified fire fighter, and basic level emt, building a stack of certifications that are starting to rival the stack of certs I have in martial arts. I’m about to start a new job on an ambulance. I’ve been off drugs for over 5 years and it all started with a documentary about Bruce Lee.

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