Bruce Lee

I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which leaf, which design of branches, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.

The athlete who is building muscles though weight training should be very sure to work adequately on speed and flexibility at the same time. In combat, without the prior attributes, a strong man will be like the bull with its colossal strength futilely pursuing the matador or like a low-geared truck chasing a rabbit.

Good technique includes quick changes, great variety and speed. It may be a system of reversals much like a concept of God and the Devil. In the speed of events, which one is really in charge? Do they change places with lightning speed? The Chinese believe so. To put the heart of the martial arts in your own heart and have it be a part of you means total comprehension.

Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn’t really prepare the student for actual combat. A guy could get clobbered while getting into this classical mess. Classical methods like these, which I consider a form of paralysis, only solidify and constrain what was once fluid. Their practitioners are merely blindly rehearsing routines and stunts that will lead nowhere.

I believe in teaching just a few students, as teaching requires a constant alert observation on each individual in order to establish a direct relationship. A good teacher cannot be fixed in a routine, and many are just that. During teaching, each moment requires a sensitive mind that is constantly changing and constantly adapting.

The ideal is unnatural naturalness, or natural unnaturalness. I mean it is a combination of both. I mean here is natural instinct and here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. Not if you have one to the extreme, you’ll be very unscientific. If you have another to the extreme, you become, all of a sudden, a mechanical man No longer a human being. It is a successful combination of both. That way it is a process of continuing growth.