This is a tribute as my life has been from the age 15 when it appeared everyone around the world was falling in love with Martial Arts movies I believe that they began in ’71/’72 and I was equally fascinated with them.
Bruce Lee was my favorites and I had memories of him from the television series ” The Green Hornet and kato ”
This is when I became a fan, Once the series was cancelled I looked for and read every article that I could find in ” Black Belt” magazine.
That is where you went to find martial arts and martial artist news.
There were many cameos on “Here come the Bride” Ironside”, Longstreet…
I did not miss an episode, he also was said to be one of the writers of a then script called ” Silent Flute” as well as a series call “The Warrior” that he thought he’d star in ,which was given the name ” Kung Fu” starring a non-Asian.
My experience with Bruce is and will always be a high point in my life,son of a single Mom the oldest boy of four my sister was (2) years older than me.
Not having a father in the home (Bruce Lee) easily became my roll model.
Our world has always need a jolt, awakening to empathy and what really matters and that is what I found in the Man.The Myth, The Legend.
In the movie titled “Fist of Fury” U.S. name change “The Chinese Connection” Our hero who is a martial arts student arrives home just in time to bury his Teacher that was found to have been murdered.
As an act of disrespect and disregard for the students in mourning of their beloved (Teacher), at this time early 20th century the relationship between the Chinese and Japanese was strained.
Students from a rival school who were responsible for their “Master” demise enter the (Jingwu) school and began to cause problems “Chen” (Bruce Lee) is unaware at this time how bad things are.
There is a tense moment because the Japanese carousers notice this” stranger” and begin to harass him (Chen) going as far as slapping him in the face.
It was a tough job to fend off the taunts and the disgraceful behavior however with the encouragement of fellow mourners (Chen) exercised “Self Control ”
That is until the rival student present what was one of the worst insults a sign, and on that sign the words,
“Sick Men Of Asia”
The statement on the sign had only one purpose well, maybe 2 and that was to,
1.)Hurl a degrading remark/ insult these students in the midst of mourning (kick them while they were down)
2.) Suggest that the Chinese were weak…
It doesn’t end there.
The Japanese student challenged the Chinese students to a fighting match.
They also state that if they are beaten by Chinese they would eat there words “Literally”…
My admiration for Bruce Lee and a hero,idol, father figure stemmed from scenes like.
In most of his movies he didn’t appear as a hothead even though many of the stories told about him suggesting that he was in fact short tempered.
I however learned a lot about life, manhood,loyalty and courage for him.
Chen (Bruce’s character) out of his respect for his master and at the coaxing of the elders “kept his cool”
Once the Chen had a moment to think about all that transpired he changed clothes (Grabbed a pair of Nunchakus) and paid the “Funeral Crashers” a visit.
Upon entering their school Chen unwraps the framed sign that had be gifted to his school and saying,
I’m returning this to you, he goes on to say that they may take it from and then get out also he said whenever your ready I’ll take on any Japanese here.
This movie is one of the many movies that requires translation and as we listen to Chen dialogue with these guys he sound like a real “Bad Dude”
There he was at the when he exclaimed “Mr. Suzuki isn’t he your Cheif ” ? The young man that approached Chen “So you wanna see how good you are, then you must be tired of living “… Chen says “We can fight alone, or altogether”…
A fight ensued and after some help from his trusted nunchakus young Chen defeated the entire class.
As a final act of humiliation Chen beckons the 2 guy that has visited his school with a “Fight Wager ” and forced their to eat their words
And then it happened the moment we all stood up and begin applauding.
Now you listen to me,I’ll only say it once… “We Are Not Sick Men”…
It is important that we understand the climate and times as well as the strides that have been made between these 2 great nations.
It is also important that we look at this story as a cautionary tale about relationships,empathy and compassion.
What I learned from Bruce (Chen) is that even though you are well meaning in your attempt towards getting or being respected, there is a considerable chance that you haven’t looked at both sides nor the consequences of your particular action…