When you hear the name Bruce Lee certain images are probably conjured in your mind. Maybe it's of some bad dubbing in a kung fu classic or maybe you picture Lee beating down Chuck Norris in Way of The Dragon (yes people, it happened) or perhaps, if you're truly unfortunate, your knowledge of Lee caps out at obscure references or mentions in rap songs. But make no mistake, Bruce Lee was a singular entity in our cultural history and in this interview taken from over thirty years ago we gain some keen insights into the man who died so soon before his time.
The interview with Lee documented below comes from 1971 during a taping of something called 'The Pierre Berton Show' and if you're like me, you probably couldn't pick out Pierre Berton from a hole in the wall. After watching his interviewing skills, it's not hard to see why his name was never carved into our cultural pantheon.
While Mr. Berton comes off as, at times, dismissive and often interrupts his guest before he can seem to finish his thoughts, Lee manages to slip in kernels of his philosophical doctrine with humor and humility. It's a philosophy that centers around flexibility and formlessness and constant growth. As Lee says, "All knowledge is self knowledge" and the pursuit of his own self awareness elevated martial arts from merely forms of fighting to a deeper philosophy of life.
Now, I know it's only about twenty two minutes of video, and it's hard to make a judgement about a person with only that evidence in hand, but I challenge anyone to watch these clips and not come away thinking that Bruce Lee was a very special human being.
Whether you're a fan of Bruce Lee's movies, his martial arts prowess, his philosophy or just looking for a bit of spiritual enlightenment we'll think you'll find this well worth a look. Enjoy.
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