Bruce Lee Quotes

Bruce Lee In His Own Words . . .

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Bruce Lee QuotesA collection of Bruce Lee Quotes. There is wisdom in what he said, if we take his words to heart.

Memorizing and regurgitating Bruce Lee’s words does not increase one’s intelligence. However, adapting his thoughts for one’s own actions gives life to his words. ~ Linda Lee Cadwell

“The martial arts are ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock the hell out of the guy in front, but to knock the hell out of your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups.”

“Martial arts, like any art, is an unrestricted athletic expression of an individual soul.”

“A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.”

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.”

Opponent: “What’s your style?”
Bruce Lee’s Response: “I call it , the art of fighting without fighting”

“a kick is a kick and a punch is a punch…”

“Today, your sidekick became a tool to unlock a spiritual gate. There was spiritual loosening along with physical losening, a sort of unconcerned immersion in oneself. The original sense of freedom was there. Congratulations! The sidekick took the place of the ego.”

“With emotional content, not anger!”

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

“All martial arts is simply an honest expression of one’s body – with a lot of deception in between.”

“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

“Simplicity of expression rather than complexity of form.” (written about sparring)

“Turn your sparring into play – but always play seriously.”

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

“A quality martial artist is always ready for any move, and trains oneself invincible.”

“To tell the truth, I could beat anybody in the world.”

“If I tell you I’m good, you’ll say that I’m boasting. But if I tell you I’m not good, you’ll know I’m lying.”

“I personally do not believe in the word style. Why? Because, unless there are human beings with three arms and four legs, unless we have another group of human beings that are structurally different from us, there can be no different style of fighting.”

“More and more I believe in the fact that you have two hands and two legs, and the thing is how to make good use of yourself – and that’s about it.”

“Use karate, judo, aikido, or any style to build your counter-offensive. It will be interesting!”

“To be bound by traditional martial art style or styles is the way of the mindless, enslaved martial artist. But to be inspired by the traditional martial art and to achieve further heights is the way of genius.”

“Using no way as a way, using no limitations as a limitation.”

“Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”

“As you think, so shall you become.”

“You will never get any more out of this life than you expect.”

“I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”

“If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you”

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance”

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
“Forget about winning and losing, forget about pride and pain”

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not you go out and look for a successfull personality an duplicate it.”

“Let an opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let an opponent smash into your flesh and youfracture his bone; let an opponent fracture your bone and you take his life! Do not be concerned with your escaping safely; lay your life before him!”

“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

“Real living is living for others.”

“Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”

“As long as I can remember I feel I have had this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.”

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”

“The possession of anything begins in the mind”

“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.”

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

“A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

“When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow – you are not understanding yourself.”

“I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to exlplore yourself”

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”

“Obey the principles without being bound by them.”

“There’s only one basic principle of self-defense: you must apply the most effective weapon, as soon as possible, to the most vulnerable target.”

“If your opponent is at a distance, kick him in the groin. If he gets close, poke him in the eyes, bring up your knee, pop him with an elbow, dig a corkscrew punch to his stomach.”

“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you”

“An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind. It is not satisfied with explanation, with conclusions. Nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another form of conclusion.”

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

“To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.”

“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

“Let the spirit out – Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out, as it will.”

“We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we create”

“Its like a finger pointing to the moon (slap) don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of that heavenly Glory!”

“Board don’t hit back!”

“Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle.

“Like a cobra, your strike should be felt before it is seen.”

“A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.”

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it … becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.”

“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.”

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply, and willing is not enough, we must do!”

“Students should learn something new each class, but one or two new actions are enough for one session. Each lesson should reward the student with pleasure, satisfaction of achievement, and the sense of vigorous, joyous movement.”

“The three most difficult things in life are: 1. To keep a secret. 2. To forget an injury. 3. To make good use of leisure.”

“Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.”

“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”

“Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. — There is “what is” only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful.”

“A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.”

Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”

“Real living is living for others.”

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

“Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.”

“The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.”

“As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

“A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, “I” do not hit, “it” hits all by itself.”

“If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.”

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

“If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.”

“The knowledge and skills you have achieved are meant to be forgotten so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction.”

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”

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