Remembering Bruce Lee The Cha-cha Dancer
Bruce Lee Statue in Hong Kong (Pixabay)

JAKARTA - The action genre film is one that many people like. From this film genre, several big names have emerged, one of which is Bruce Lee, an athlete and action film actor who is still remembered by the world community today.

The actor, who is characterized by a yellow costume and a nunchaku or double stick weapon, was born on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco. Today is his 79th birthday.

He was born to an opera artist pair from Hong Kong, Lee Hoi Chuen and Grace Ho, who at that time was on a tour of America. He was born with the name Lee Hsiao Lung, while the doctor who handled his birth gave him the English name Bruce Lee Jun Fan, a name that is well known to this day.

In the biography of Bruce Lee written by Black Belt Magazine entitled 'The Legendary Bruce Lee (1986), after birth, Bruce Lee lived in America for a short time. When they were 3 months old, they returned to Hong Kong.

Growing up from a family of opera artists, Bruce Lee was familiar with the world of acting. When he was 6 years old, he started to enter the entertainment world by acting for the first time in a film called A Beginning Of A Boy, followed by the next film Golden Gate Girl. As a child, he often played the role of a bad boy or street child.

As a teenager, Bruce Lee became interested in studying martial arts, to be precise in 1953, he studied wing chun martial arts from a famous martial arts master in Hong Kong, namely IP Man.

In addition, Lee also studied with a kung fu master, Siu Hon Sung. Thanks to his intelligence, Bruce Lee quickly mastered many moves. Usually it takes three weeks to master the 30 styles of Siu Hon Sung, but Lee only needs three nights to master all of them.

To flex his kung fu moves, Lee also took classes in cha-cha dancing, which helped him practice his footwork and balance. In fact, in 1958 he had participated in a dance competition and won the Hong Kong Cha-Cha Championship trophy.

Not only a matter of achievement, Bruce Lee's adolescence was also marked by various acts of delinquency. He was often involved in street fights, which often resulted in him having to deal with the police.

Seeing his son's behavior, the father made the decision to send Lee to America, to become a more responsible person. Armed with 100 US dollars, Bruce Lee went to Seattle by ship, when he was 18 years old.

While overseas, Bruce Lee was entrusted to his father's friend, Ruby Chow, the owner of a restaurant. He also worked at the Ruby Chow restaurant while studying at one of the universities there, majoring in philosophy.

During his college days he met a friend from Asia named Taki Kimura who had experienced a series of racist attacks.

Out of compassion, Lee motivated Kimura to increase his self-esteem by training him in the martial arts. This was how Lee founded a kung fu martial arts school in Seattle. Not only training Kimura. Bruce also teaches wing chun to other friends and the community around him.

In stark contrast to Hong Kong, which considers kung fu only for respectable people and should not be studied carelessly, Bruce wants to break that standard. He taught kung fu to common people.

During this martial arts training, Bruce Lee met Linda Emery. They fell in love and married in 1964. Their love was blessed with two children, Brandon, who was born in 1965 and Shannon, who was born in 1969.

After the Bruce Lee family moved to Oakland, California, there he opened a martial arts training center for the second time. But the difference this time around, he began to develop a martial arts style that he formulated himself, combining boxing, fencing and kung fu. In this martial arts, he gave the name Jeet Kundo.

This martial art formulated by Lee is known for being able to cut attacks. He believes that cutting off an attack is better and faster than blocking and then carrying out an attack.

In order to test the martial art he just created, Bruce Lee participated in a martial arts championship in Los Angeles. His action in the event caught the attention of a television show producer who offered to act in a film.

Lee, who has been familiar with acting since he was a child, certainly didn't mind accepting the offer. He also got the role of Kato in the series The Green Hornet. Kato was only a supporting role in the film, but its popularity beat the main role, especially in Hong Kong. However, the series only lasted about one year in 1966 with a total of 26 episodes.

Van Williams, as the main role in the series The Green Hornet, tells the story of many substitute roles injured because of Lee's movement, as a result it is difficult to find a substitute role who is willing to work with him. Williams also added that Bruce Lee had very fast movements to be captured by the camera, so he was forced to slow down his movement while shooting.

Having trouble finding a partner to partner Bruce Lee in the film, finally after the completion of The Green Hornet project, he decided to open another kung fu school which he named "Lee Jun Fan, Gung Fu Institute".

There are many celebrities who learn kung fu at this school, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Coburn, and Steve McQueen. Bruce's popularity also increased and this increased the value of a Bruce Lee, for one hour-long training session the price is set at 300 US dollars.

His fame earned him the role of the film A Man Called Ireland in 1967, as a martial arts master. In this film, he does dangerous scenes on his own without a stunt role.

His film career continued, until finally he could beat Steve McQueen, in the world of film, Bruce Lee was more expensive.

With certain considerations, Bruce Lee finally chose to return to Hong Kong and started a career as an action actor there. This decision seems right, because after that he starred in a film called Firs of Fury in 1972. This film exploded, not only in Hong Kong but also in America.

His career in film continues. He has played many films such as Way of The Dragon and The Man and The Lagend. After the various films he starred in, on May 10 1973 while voicing the film Enter The Dragon, Bruce Lee suddenly passed out for half an hour. The doctor prescribed him Manatol, a drug to treat the symptoms of brain swelling (brain development).

In the midst of this recovery period, on July 20, 1973, Bruce arranged a meeting with Raymond Chow and Betty Ting Pei, at Betty's home. The meeting will discuss him being one of the stars in the film Game of Death.

During the fight she complained of headaches and then she took Aguagesic, a headache medication that Betty usually takes. Then Bruce Lee lay down. While falling asleep, it turns out that the brain swelling attacks come back. He was immediately taken to the Queen Elizabeth hospital. But his life was saved and died in the emergency room.

Lee was buried at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle, next to the grave of his son, Brandon Lee, who also died at a young age due to an accident on the set.

The news of Bruce Lee's death was very shocking, many did not believe in the sudden death, so that there were various rumors and speculations about his death. Apart from being flavored with a conspiracy, his death is also often associated with mystical things, here are some speculations and rumors of his death:

Bruce Lee died as a result of being cursed for occupying a haunted house. Bruce Lee died of being too hard to practice kung fu Bruce Lee died while having an affair with Betty Ting Pei Bruce Lee was killed by gangsters for refusing to pay the security money that was common in the Hong Kong film industry at that time. Bruce Lee was killed by a Shaolin warrior who was angry because he had spread kung fu to everyone around the world.

But officially, the cause of Bruce Lee's death is brain swelling caused by headache drug allergies. After his death, Bruce Lee became one of the most popular martial arts cultural icons of the 20th century. Even Bruce Lee is said to have brought Asian cinema to America.

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