When we think of Bruce Lee in retrospect, it's easy to focus on those aspects of his life that took place in the spotlight: his performance on film, his masterful demonstrations of martial arts, the photos in which he's dressed to impress with a big grin on his face. But all of these little pieces of Bruce were possible because of his singular determination to offer the world something entirely new—to be a consummate individual, unbeholden to previous rules or traditions. Whether he was working tirelessly to ensure his action sequences looked as realistic as possible, pushing himself daily to improve his physical and mental strength or imparting his teachings to students, Bruce did it his own way. Volume 6 of The Official Bruce Lee Collector's Edition explores exactly how these ideas propelled him to the top of his field.
Read an excerpt from the upcoming issue below and look for it on newsstands and online in late November.
Indecision and inaction were, to Bruce Lee, flaws akin to laziness or, at their worst, cowardice. His mantra was that only action brings strength, both in the physical sense of getting up and exercising for the sake of your health, and in the spiritual sense of using repetitive physical action as a way of meditating. When Bruce went for a run or practiced different strikes hundreds of times in a row, he was making his martial arts practice stronger, but he was also clearing his mind and gaining a better understanding of himself through reflection.
"Action is a high road to confidence and self-esteem. Its rewards are tangible. The cultivation of the spirit is elusive and difficult, and the tendency toward it is rarely spontaneous, whereas the opportunities for action are many."
This kind of meditation allowed Bruce to take his mind off the "big picture" for a few minutes or a few hours, focusing only on the task at hand and making each repetition more perfect than the last. Action, as Bruce used it, is a salve for body and mind. His own description of the benefits is, as usual, the best: "I've always been buffeted by circumstance because I thought of myself as a human being [affected by] outside conditioning. Now I realize that I am the power that commands the feeling of my mind and from which circumstances grow."
Continue reading about Bruce Lee's philosophies and insights in Volume 6 of The Bruce Lee Official Collector's Editon, coming soon!