You are here:

Self Defense/If Bruce Lee never came......


I know you criticize Bruce Lee for introducing much of the BS in Western martial arts such as philosophy and mumbo jumbo.

However I'm reading a Western novel published in 1938 and it features gunslingers fighting against martial artists doing chi power and stuff like that. Including breaking bank vults with one blow.

It makes me wonder-even though you criticize Lee, is he really to blame? I agree he brought a lot of BS but the fact this old western novel made in the 30s is already featuring Lee's crap makes me doubt your claim that if it weren't for Lee we wouldn't have all this nonsense.

I don't 'blame' Lee. Nor do I criticize him.

I'll critique his writings. I'll point out the flaws in his contentions. But him personally? Never met the man.

What I will do however, hit hard about the "Cult of St. Bruce."  Which isn't about him. It's about people who made him into an icon and those who worship at the alter of his myth.

Here's a quote from Frank Herbert (Dune)
Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never consistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.

With Lee being dead those who created/followed the myth of Lee could say anything about him, including making him a sock puppet (put words in his mouth, philosophy into him, deeds ascribed to him). "Bruce Lee once told me...." or "Bruce Lee taught..."

Just because he might of introduced certain stuff -- which incidentally isn't necessarily bad -- doesn't mean he is exclusively responsible for the direction or the magnitude of the bullshit.

Especially after his death.

Lee actually did do good things about increasing the interest in the martial arts in the West. A lot of it however, was the marketing of Black Belt Magazine, people who were 'looking to fill a hole in their lives' and people making a buck off his name.

Now speaking of sock puppets you said -- and I quote -- ...featuring Lee's crap makes me doubt your claim that if it weren't for Lee we wouldn't have all this nonsense.

Contrast what I just said vs. what you interpreted what I was saying and you can see how what I'm talking about happened.

Self Defense

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

See CV

Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at

Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

Awards and Honors
See CV

Past/Present Clients
See CV

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]