Hall of Fame: Lee
“A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.”
The above quote can be attributed to the next character to be inducted into the 2015 class of the Bulletproof Action Hall of Fame… Lee from Enter the Dragon, a character that is so awesome, he didn’t even need a first name!
Lee was a Shaolin monk who possessed great physical and mental skills making him an incredible warrior. In Enter the Dragon, Lee is recruited by a government intelligence agency to infiltrate a martial arts tournament being held on a secluded island and spy on the mysterious host of the tournament, a man named Han. But this mission ends up becoming more personal than Lee could have ever imagined when he accepted the assignment.
Enter the Dragon was without a doubt Bruce Lee’s biggest and most popular film and the role Bruce is most associated with. Enter the Dragon made Bruce Lee a household name and allowed the world to see him at the peak of his physical conditioning. The character of Lee in Enter the Dragon had a little bit more Bruce Lee than some of his other martial arts flicks, as it was only the second film that Bruce spoke in his natural voice (The first was 1969’s Marlowe).
Enter the Dragon broke many molds, and has influenced art of all kinds since it premiered back in 1973. It is considered among the greatest martial arts films of all time and is included one of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
Enter the Dragon has made an impact that is still felt today. Many music artist have been influenced by this film. There are songs on my phone right now from the WuTang Clan that have Bruce’s famous kiai in it just to name one. The 90’s hip hop group Dru Hill had an album entitled “Enter The Dru” it’s safe to say that this film has had a lasting affect.
But without a doubt the most important thing about Enter the Dragon is in introduced the world to Bruce Lee. While die hard fans of the “chop socky” genre knew him, Bruce went mainstream with Enter the Dragon. Not only was Bruce’s amazing fighting and acting skills put on the front line but his deep philosophies as well. Bruce transcended race, size and any other hinderance that stood in his way to become not only a star but an icon that we still talk about today.
Many have said that Bruce Lee is the father of mixed martial arts and Lee’s conversation at the beginning of the film backs up that point. Can you name another movie character that got the ball rolling for an industry that has gone on to make millions and millions of dollars?
In closing, the character of Lee in Enter the Dragon is much like the man that played him. Lee is one of a kind and with never be duplicated. So do us all a favor Hollywood and keep your grubby remaking hands off this film! In some ways this film could be considered Bruce Lee’s legacy and with good reason. It’s hard to say exactly how many martial arts films have followed after the pattern that Enter the Dragon set and how many people have been influenced by the life of Bruce Lee.
It is my honor to welcome Lee into the 2015 class of the Bulletproof Action Hall of Fame!