How Bruce Lee’s Training Tip Saved Me From Being Beaten Up

Bruce Lee at avenue of star, Hong kong

When I was a young boy I was bullied.

I think that happens a lot. I remember being chased on my newspaper round almost every day by a gang of lads and every now and again they caught me.

To this day,I remember the sensation of being thrown to the concrete and having my paper bag tipped upside down, its contents often left soaking wet and dirty depending on the weather.

I remember the unhappy customer getting his newspaper wet and complaining to me that it just wasn’t good enough and as I limped out of his yard I just turned and said I was sorry.

I needed help and that help would come in the form of a book.

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

One day when my father wasn’t in and my mother was in the garden I went through my Dads video collection and saw a tape marked ‘Lee’.

I didn’t know what it was so I immediately put it on to be amazed by the Bruce lee in the film Enter The Dragon.

I thought “I need to learn to fight like him”.

On that very weekend, I went to the newsagents and got a copy of a martial arts magazine to see there was an advert for books and one of those books was The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee.

I couldn’t wait so I quickly filled out the order form and put the money inside an envelope and off it went in the post.

It seemed likes weeks passed by and the book finally came and I was gutted. I wanted real advice that could help me, not page after page of notes.

‘How could these notes help me from getting beaten up every day’ I thought.

Disappointed I flicked through the pages and slowly started to pick up some pointers.

Then on page 97 I saw something that would change my life forever.

Training Aids

The snippet of information said “The whole secret of the actual force of a terrific punch is its timing, coordinated of course, with the accuracy of its aim. Hang a small ball to practice with”

I took a small tennis ball out of  the cupboard and made two holes and then put an old shoelace through it and hung it on the washing line.

Every day before and after school I went outside and trained.

It didn’t matter how bad my technique was, I just wanted to be able to hit the ball fast and hard.

I did it in the rain, in the sun and even in the snow. I got faster and my parents started to notice. I kept watching Enter The Dragon and also boxing matches on TV and before long I was moving my head and throwing multiple punches.

Then it happened, the day came I would need to fight back

The Fight Of My Life

It was a summers day when they saw me.

I was delivering papers and they came round the corner right into me. There was nowhere to run and they knew that.

The leader of the gang came up to me and said “Give us your money then”

This was the first time they had gone that far and I told them no.

They laughed and said “Give us your money or we’ll kick your head in”.

I was 14 and so were they but that mattered not, I was scared but I said to them “Look I don’t want to fight you”

They laughed again and then the leader walked towards me with his fist clenched and he swung for me.

But then it happened, I didn’t hit him, my fist seemed to hit him all by itself.

My feet moved then my fist snapped out and it hit his nose so hard I felt a shudder down my arm. The bully fell backwards onto his backside.

He didn’t get up or want any more of it and I walked past them all as the others helped their ‘leader up’.

From that day forth they never bothered me again but I never stopped training. Eventually joining a great school

Nearly 30 years later I am still training and I still own that same copy of the book.

Bruce Lee inspired me, his writings helped me. It wasn’t pages of pictures that we see so often in books these days but it was few lines of text that inspired me to look inside for answers.

And for that, I will always be grateful.

So how did Bruce Lee inspire your martial arts journey?