Home Science Education Bruce Lee: Father of MMA?

Bruce Lee: Father of MMA?


If you look back at Bruce Lee’s movie “Enter the Dragon”, he was wearing gloves almost identical to modern day MMA gloves. To say Bruce Lee was ahead of his time is an understatement. He understood Martial Arts on a different level than anyone had really thought of before; he understood there is no one true Martial Art that can beat all others and by limiting yourself to just one style is stumping not only your potential, but your effectiveness in battle. Bruce Lee invented his own Martial Art called Jeet Kune Do, which is not fixed or patterned and Lee himself often referred to it as “The art of expressing the human body”.

Lee believed Martial Arts had become too rigid and unrealistic-he compared competitions to “dry land swimming”. His philosophy is that one should be like water and move without hesitation. Jeet Kune Do involves all aspects of fighting: kicking, punching, trapping, and grappling, with moves which smoothly transition to all of those- Lee called it “the style of no style”. He came to these conclusions about fighting, about how using only one style was severely limiting oneself, and invented Jeet Kune Do in 1967. 1967! Over 40 years ago! Mixed Martial Arts competitions in the octagon may have been a new concept to people when it first came out, but it is not a new concept- Bruce Lee was way ahead of his time, one could even say, the Father of MMA.


“I have not invented a “new style,” composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from “this” method or “that” method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see “ourselves”. . . Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don’t, and that is that. There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. Jeet Kune-Do is simply the direct expression of one’s feelings with the minimum of movements and energy. The closer to the true way of Kung Fu, the less wastage of expression there is. Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one’s back.”

— Bruce Lee

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Sean Culver
Sean’s fascination with Martial Arts began when he was a child going to karate classes in a gym at a local school in Lake Forest, CA. Although his training was cut short, his passion was not. Over the years he became active in competitive wrestling where he took first place in almost all tournaments he competed in. Upon graduating High School Sean felt a higher calling to serve in the military, more specifically, the Army Airborne Infantry. During his time in service he trained in Modern Army Combatives, which is based largely on Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, as well as extensive training on military weapons and tactics. Due to his mental and physical prowess he was sent to intensive training for hand to hand combat tactics where he honed his skills for combat in full battle attire. Having done over two years of combat time in Afghanistan, Sean can bring to light a new side of fighting and tactics that he has not only experienced first hand, but has employed while being in direct contact with the enemy. In addition to Modern Army Combatives, Sean has also trained in Muay Thai, Boxing, and Wing Chun. With as much as Sean loves the Martial Arts, it was only natural that competitive fighting and MMA would draw him into its world of high class fighters.