How strong was Bruce Lee?

fireflame

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Oct 27, 2017
1,303
Quentin Tarantino depicted Bruce Lee as an arrogant character and his daughter, Shannon Lee, wasn't fine with that. Apparently ,in the movie Once upon a time in Hollywood, Bruce Lee claims he could beat Mohammed Ali, which would not be possible because of the difference of weight.I never saw him competing in tiurnaments as he was dead when I was born, but watched all his movies.Was he overrated?
 

Border

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Oct 25, 2017
8,245
There's a pretty wide variety of opinions on this subject, given that Lee was more an actor and instructor than he was a huge force in competitive martial arts.
 

-Devious-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
115
Bruce Lee spoke highly of Ali. In an interview, he said that Ali could beat him and that he was inspired by him.


Another time Yeung, aka [Bolo] went to see Bruce at Golden Harvest Studios. Bruce was screening a Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] documentary. Ali was world heavyweight champion at the time and Bruce saw him as the greatest fighter of them all. The documentary showed Ali in several of his fights. Bruce set up a wide full-length mirror to reflect Ali’s image from the screen. Bruce was looking into the mirror, moving along with Ali.
Bruce’s right hand followed Ali’s right hand, Ali’s left foot followed Bruce’s left foot. Bruce was fighting in Ali’s shoes. “Everybody says I must fight Ali some day.” Bruce said, “I’m studying every move he makes. I’m getting to know how he thinks and moves.” Bruce knew he could never win a fight against Ali. “Look at my hand,” he said. “That’s a little Chinese hand. He’d kill me."
 

Tagyhag

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,309
Ali would kill him but pound for pound he was probably one of the best fighters of his era.

If he was teleported to now he would be destroyed in modern MMA, but had be been born in this era, I could see him doing extremely well considering just how disciplined and driven he was. Dude would train and study like a fiend.
 

Border

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,245
He was never a professional fighter, and the public accounts of fights that he actually got into seem to vary wildly.

I am not sure how it is people come to the conclusion that he was one of the best of his time, when he seems to have no real discernible record.
 

MrNewVegas

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,881
No idea how strong he was. As well as for fighting I have no true idea.

I draw my conclusions based on early UFC. They brought in experts in multiple martial arts. Watching them fight is laughable compared to the fighters on display now.

Based on that I have to say chances are he probably wasn’t the best fighter.
 

Masoyama

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,321
If you mean strength as in muscles and lifting shit, he was really strong for someone his size. He had an insane body building routine going on. If you mean in a fight, then it gets more complicated. He lived in a time where bullshit was the #1 rule in martial arts. He has a totally unsubstantiated record of wins peppered in with a few verified fights.

Overall, the impression he left was that he was genuinely interested in always striving to become a better martial artist. He very rapidly understood that his background in traditional chinese martial arts would leave him absolutely expose and he cross trained with Judo and boxing experts. However, there is no evidence that he actually took to any of these cross-disciplines.

He was also way, way smaller than most of the legit fighters of his era. He would not have lasted more than a few minutes with Judo Gene, or Karl Gotch or Inoki. He would have been a similar size with a few of the second generation Gracies, but then again, no way he would last against their heavy Vale Tudo inspired style.
 
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Stooge

Member
Oct 29, 2017
917
He was a little dude.

He would beat the shit out of most people within 40 pounds of his weight class.

But Ali's jab would have put him down.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,225
You know I used to have arguments when I was a kid like who would win, Bruce Lee or boxer X

And ultimately I came to the realization that it doesn’t matter. Bruce Lee was an artist of the highest caliber and he brought his art to the mainstream and should be appreciated as an artist. There are a million fighters whove come and gone who could probably beat him but they weren’t nearly as influential as he was
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,443
imo to see who would win a fight:
1- first who knows how to fight, if the difference in experience is very big a small guy will likely win even against a very big guy.
2- if both people are pro-fighters the bigger guy has bigger advantage and will likely win.

so about lee he could win against bigger guys with little fighting experience and probably experienced fighters about the same weight or a little above it. But he would not win agains Ali.

so imo he's a very good fighter to his weight category, i dont think he's the best fighter that ever existed for his weight. but i dont like people saying that anyone could wind against him and he's a sham
 

DrSlek

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Oct 29, 2017
3,712
There's interviews where Chuck Norris says he's not certain if he could have beaten Bruce when Chuck was a profesisonal fighter.
 

Masoyama

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Oct 27, 2017
4,321
so imo he's a very good fighter to his weight category, i dont think he's the best fighter that ever existed for his weight. but i dont like people saying that anyone could wind against him and he's a sham
I don't see how a 1970's Bruce Lee would hold his own against a modern martial artist regardless of rule set. He would get smashed by regional level MMA fighters in a Vale Tudo/MMA rule set. He would get destroyed by just about every Thai fighter in a purely kickboxing ruleset. I don't even think he would win in a point Karate tournament.
 

CoolestSpot

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
14,616
I don't see how a 1970's Bruce Lee would hold his own against a modern martial artist regardless of rule set. He would get smashed by regional level MMA fighters in a Vale Tudo/MMA rule set. He would get destroyed by just about every Thai fighter in a purely kickboxing ruleset. I don't even think he would win in a point Karate tournament.
Depends, is it Bruce Lee comes to our era and gets time to adapt?
 

Eylos

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,443
I don't see how a 1970's Bruce Lee would hold his own against a modern martial artist regardless of rule set. He would get smashed by regional level MMA fighters in a Vale Tudo/MMA rule set. He would get destroyed by just about every Thai fighter in a purely kickboxing ruleset. I don't even think he would win in a point Karate tournament.
sure i think he would lose today, but at the time martial arts was very different, and i think he would learn with MMA to improve his own style. But yeah bruce would lose to pro-fighters of MMA in the same weight today.
 

Border

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Oct 25, 2017
8,245
There's interviews where Chuck Norris says he's not certain if he could have beaten Bruce when Chuck was a profesisonal fighter.
Chuck Norris is probably too classy to say he could have beaten up a friend who died tragically. Even if he thought he could beat Lee it is kinda tacky to go around making claims like that. The most diplomatic answer to a question like that is "I don't know" or "I guess we'll never know."
 
Oct 17, 2018
489
He could probably beat oike 99.9% of people near his weight, but even he said he wouldn't stand a chance against Ali. Weight plays way too much of a factor in fights.
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,264
Bruce Lee was trained at a gym. He wasn't an actual fighter similar to how stunt people are not actual fighters. I believe he'd lose most fights cause he doesn't have actual training to beat you up. He has form like how a person who knows karate isn't going to actually be able to do those moves outside proper matches.
 

shenden

Member
Oct 27, 2017
911
I think in general everyone has a chance to win a fight no matter the size or fighting background and who the person is. If you land a punch on the right spot, you’re going down nomatter who you are. You can have an advantage of course, but in the end, luck is mostly what ends fights.
 

Yams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,529
I don't see how a 1970's Bruce Lee would hold his own against a modern martial artist regardless of rule set. He would get smashed by regional level MMA fighters in a Vale Tudo/MMA rule set. He would get destroyed by just about every Thai fighter in a purely kickboxing ruleset. I don't even think he would win in a point Karate tournament.
Let’s be honest. Hélio and Carlos Gracie would have probably beaten him back then too. He’d obviously have been murdered by
Kimura