Lee Jun Fan, more commonly known as Bruce Lee, was born November 27th, 1940, in San Francisco, California. During this time it was the hour and year of the Dragon, in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Bruce was the fourth child of Lee Hoi Chuen and Grace Ho. Lee Hoi Chuen, Bruce’s father, was a comedic actor in the Chinese opera. Chuen and his wife were on tour in America with the opera company when Bruce was born.
At three months old, Bruce and his family returned to Hong Kong. On the way back, Bruce became weak from the change in climates and the long ocean trip. From a young age, Bruce had already appeared in many films as a child actor, studied dance, and wrote poetry.
While in middle ...view middle of the document...
One of Bruce’s students, Linda Garfield, was a freshman at the University of Washington, later married Bruce in 1964. Linda and Bruce moved to Oakland, California to open another school, leaving the Seattle institute with friend Taky Kimura.
While teaching gung fu in California, Bruce set to improve by expanding his knowledge of other styles. In 1964, Bruce’s self-exploration was delayed by a challenge from other gung fu teachers from San Francisco. These teachers didn’t like that Bruce was teaching non-Chinese people. The terms of the challenge were if Bruce lost, he would stop teaching non-Chinese. Bruce won the fight in three minutes, but was disappointed in himself, for taking so long and being exhausted. This is the point where Bruce turned in his self-exploration in martial arts and physical fitness, bringing the evolution of Jeet Kune Do.
In earlier years, Bruce became friends with Ed Parker, the man regarded as the starter of American Kenpo. Bruce was invited by Parker in August of 1964, to Long Beach, California, for Parker’s First International Karate Tournament to give a demonstration. Bruce demonstrated blindfolded chi sao techniques, and his one-inch punch.
A well-known hair stylist, Jay Sebring, was in the audience that day of the First International Karate Tournament and saw Bruce’s performance. Later, Jay was giving a haircut to William Dozier, a producer. Dozier told Jay that for a series he was working on, he was looking for someone to play the part of Charlie Chan’s son. Sebring told Dozier about seeing Bruce at the tournament. Dozier got a copy of the tournament that was filmed, and called Bruce the next week to invite him to a screen test in Los Angeles.
Bruce gave a great screen test, but the series got canceled before it started. Dozier still wanted to use Bruce, and planned to give the part of Kato in another series, “The Green Hornet”, based off of a comic book. While waiting for his other project to finish, Dozier paid Bruce $1,800 for a year, to keep him from signing with anyone else.
In the following year, Bruce and Linda had a son, Brandon Bruce Lee, bon February 1st, 1965. The following week to Brandon’s birth, Bruce’s father died in Hong Kong. Bruce and his family decided to go out to Hong Kong to visit master Yip Man and his mother.
When they left Hong Kong, Bruce’s family went back to Seattle, staying for four months with Linda’s family. Bruce revisited Taky at his Seattle Institute. Bruce and the family moved back to Oakland, California before moving to Los Angeles. Not long after, Bruce opened his third gung fu institute, having Dan Inosanto, who he met through Ed Parker, as the assistant instructor.
While traveling for the year and working with his best gung fu students, Bruce was intensely exploring himself, always setting goals. Bruce hit a period of transition, deciding if he should make acting his career, or continue to open schools around the nation for gung fu. His main reason for choosing acting...