Reporter Journal / William Hennelly

Way of the Dragon: Video found of Bruce Lee's only filmed 'real' fight

(China Daily USA) Updated: 2017-06-15 11:40

Way of the Dragon: Video found of Bruce Lee's only filmed 'real' fight

Bruce Lee fans got a glimpse of the martial arts legend in action when a captivating video clip surfaced on youtube this week.

What makes the film so intriguing is that it is believed to be the only one of the martial arts legend in an actual fight, as opposed to on a movie set or on the street, where he was known to take on all comers.

The one-minute, 45-second clip is viewable on the Beerdy Bruce Lee Central channel on It was posted on Sunday, and as of 4 pm ET on Wednesday had about 13.3 million views. (Update: The video was taken down Wednesday evening with the message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Bruce Lee Enterprises LLC.")

"This is the only recording of Bruce Lee in a real MMA (mixed martial arts) fight," the web page says. "He's fighting Ted Wong here, one of his top students. They are wearing protective gear because they were NOT ALLOWED to fight without them. Those were the (California) state rules at the time. If not for those rules I can guarantee you that Bruce would have fought bare-knuckled."

The video, of reasonable quality, is believed to have been filmed in the latter 1960s, which would have put Lee in his late 20s and Wong around 30.

It shows the two combatants clad all in black with full head, hand and foot gear.

The video naturally drew its share of naysaying commenters on youtube, arguing it was staged.

And while Lee's performance is somewhat measured, his unmistakable technique and lightning strikes are on display. Also apparent is Lee's signature coiled stance, with his right hand extended, from which the teacher repels the student with jabs, roundhouse kicks and knees each time he tries to advance.

In the beginning of the fight, Lee hits Wong with a blurringly fast front-leg side kick to the jaw that spins him around. In one frame, Lee strikes Wong with a stiff ridge hand, then methodically sweeps him to the mat.

In another, he delivers one of his powerful short punches. Perhaps the best move in the fight is near the end of the tape, when Lee lands a lunging right hand punch that sends Wong staggering.

Lee was known for his ability to deliver tremendous power in close range, sometimes even with one finger.

Wong had a decent martial arts career himself. He was born in Hong Kong in 1937, as his father, a Chinese-American from California, was stationed there while serving in the US Navy. Wong's family moved back to San Francisco in 1953. He later served in the US Army as a lieutenant for two years in West Germany.

Wong's background was somewhat the reverse of Lee's.

Lee was born in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1940, but grew up in Hong Kong, where his untimely death in 1973 at age 32 stunned the world. His films Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon and Enter the Dragon are martial arts epics.

Wong first met Lee in 1967, in Los Angeles, where he was giving a kung fu seminar. He was so impressed by Lee, however, that he decided to study at Lee's kwoon, the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in Los Angeles.

Wong was there as Lee developed jun fan gung fu into his signature jeet kune do. Wong gave seminars and continued to teach until his death in 2010 at age 73.. Wong was inducted into Black Belt magazine's Hall of Fame in 2006.

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