Footage unearthed of Bruce Lee in a real fight

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Bruce Lee may have been one of the greatest stuntmen and action movie heroes in history, but he was always following a script. There has always been some question about just how legitimate a fighter he truly was.

Well, wonder no more, because there is now footage available that proves decisively just what Lee could do in an actual fight.

Lee took on Ted Wong, one of his top students, and at no point did Wong look remotely capable of getting the upper hand on the ultimate grandmaster.

Lee created the art of jeet kune do (“The Way of the Intercepting Fist”), and it wasn’t just a bunch of “bullshido,” a word often used to describe fake martial arts used by tough guys and hucksters putting gullible suburbanites through glorified aerobics routines and calling it combat sport.

According to the video, the heavy padding was mandated at the time by state law (most likely California, where Lee’s gym was located). Which, of course, is probably for the best, since Lee might well have taken Wong’s head off had they fought with bare fists.

Make no mistake, though, Wong is one tough hombre; even with pads, you don’t want to repeatedly absorb an uppercut to the face; just ask any amateur boxer who has ever been knocked out despite amateur boxing also requiring head protection for its combatants.

Wong was also named “Man of the Year” by Black Belt Magazine in 2006 for his service carrying on Lee’s martial arts traditions. Wong studied only under Lee, and the martial art he knew was pure jeet kune do, a straight and unbroken line from master to student that established the Intercepting Fist as a genuine part of karate’s pantheon.

Richard Bustillo, another martial arts grandmaster who passed away recently, says he was at the fight and that what you see there is genuine:

The fight clip has had more than 14 million views in just a few days, despite being temporarily removed from YouTube. Watch it and you’ll see why Bruce Lee was one of a kind.

As East Asian war gods go, it’s pretty much Guan Yu, Bishamonten … and Bruce Lee.

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