We all know that Bruce Lee was a martial arts master, an actor, and one of the greatest badasses to ever draw breath on this planet. But did you know he was also a philosopher?
Before he hit the big-time, Lee studied philosophy at the University of Washington, in Seattle, where he developed a personal ethos that fused ancient wisdom with his own perceptions about physical and mental discipline. Later, when he left academia, Lee would bring a lot of these concepts into the other areas of his life, including his martial arts.
In fact, philosophy was so essential to Bruce’s life that he went on strike for two weeks when producers temporarily cut most of the philosophical dialogue from Enter the Dragon. The film, which was one of the first American movies to feature a Chinese actor as the central character, has since been recognised by the Library of Congress as a work of great cultural, aesthetic and historical value to the American people.
Another work of great significance that Bruce left behind after his untimely death is his collection of diaries. Filled with elegant, tidy handwriting, Lee’s notebooks are gems of philosophical expression, detailing everything from his daily routines and exercise to inspirational quotes, his own poems, and the ways he set out to live a good life.
To read much, much more about Bruce’s writing, take a look at this article over on Brainpickings, complete with facsimile images of his remarkable diaries. Or go straight to the source at BruceLee.com.