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Bruce Lee - The "Lost" Interview


The Basic Theory of Yin and Yang In the Art of Gung Fu

The basic structure of Gung Fu is based on the theory of Yin/Yang, a pair of mutually complementary forces that act continuously, without cessation, in this universe. This Chinese way of life can be applied to anything, but here we are interested in its relationship to the art of Gung Fu. the black part of the circle is called Yin. Yin can represent anything in the universe as: negativeness, passiveness, gentleness, insubstantiality, femalness, moon, darkness, night, etc. The other complementary part of the circle is Yang, which represent positiveness, activeness, firmness, substantiality, maleness, sun, brightness, day, etc.

The common mistake most people make is to identify this Yin/Yang symbol, T'ai-Chi, as dualistic; that is Yang being the opposite of Yin, and vice versa. As long as we separate this "oneness" into two, we won't achieve realization. Actually, all things have their complementary part; it is only in the human mind and his perception that they are being separated into opposites. The sun is not the opposite of the moon, as they complement and are interdependent on each other, and we cannot survive without either of them. In a similar way, a male is but the complement of the female; for without the male, how on earth do we know there is female, or vice versa. The "oneness" of Yin/Yang is necessary in life. If a persona riding a bicycle wishes to go somewhere, he cannot pump on both the pedals at the same time or not pumping on them at all. In order to move forward, he has to pump one pedal and release the other. So the movement of going forward requires this "oneness" of pumping and releasing. Pumping then is the result of releasing, and vice versa; each being the cause of the other.

In the Yin/Yang symbol there is a white spot on the black part, and black spot on the white one. This is to illustrate the balance in life, for nothing can survive long by going to either extremes, be it negativeness or positiveness. Therefore, firmness must e concealed in gentleness, and gentleness firmness, and that is why a Gung Fu man must be pliable as spring. Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or will bend with the wind. So in Gung Fu, or any other system, one must be gentle yet not giving away completely; be firm yet not hard, and even if he is strong, he should guard it with softness and tenderness. For if there is no softness in firmness, he is not strong; in a similar way, if one has firmness concealed in softness, no one can break through his defense. This principle of moderation provides a best means of preserving oneself, for since we accept this existence of the oneness (Yin/Yang) in everything, and do not teat it dualistically, we thus secure a state of tranquility by remaining detached and not inclining to either extreme. Even if we do incline on one extreme, be it negative or positive, we will flow with it in order to control it. This flowing with it without clinging is the true way to get rid of it.

When the movements in Yin/Yang flow into extremes, reaction sets in. For when Yang goes to the extreme, it changes to Yin; and when Yin (activated by Yang) goes to the extreme, it returns back to Yang (that is why each one is the result and cause of the other.) For example, when one works to the extreme, he becomes tired and has to rest (from Yang to Yin). This incessant changing of Yin/Yang is always continuous.

The application of the theory of Yin/Yang in Gung fu is known as the Law of Harmony, in which one should be in harmony with, and not against the force of the opponent. Suppose A applies strength on B, B shouldn't oppose or gives way completely to it. For these are but the two extreme opposites of B's reaction. Instead, he should complete A's force, with a lesser force, and lead him to the direction of his own movement. As the butcher preserves his knife by cutting along the bone and not against it, a Gung Fun man preserves himself by following the movement of his opponent without opposition or even striving (Wu-Wai, spontaneous, or spirit action). This spontaneous assisting or A's movement as he aims it will result in his own defeat.

When a Gung fu man finally understood the theory of Yin/Yang, he no longer "fusses" with so-called "gentleness" or "firmness"; he simply does what the movement requires him to do. In fact, all conventional forms and techniques are all gone, his movements are those of everyday movements. He doesn't have to "justify" himself like so many other masters have, claiming his spirit or his internal power; to him, cultivation of martial art in the long run will return to simplicity, and only people of half-way cultivation justify and brag about themselves.

Bruce Lee,
Oakland, California, USA

Taken from; "Chinese Gung Fu" The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense by Bruce Lee


On Wu-hsin (No-Mindedness)

By Bruce Lee

The phenomenon of wu-hsin, or "no-mindedness," is not a blank mind that shuts out all thoughts and emotions; nor is it simply calmness and quietness of mind.

Although quietude and calmness are necessary, it is the "non-graspingness" of thoughts that mainly constitutes the principle of no mind. A gung fu man employs his mind as a mirror - it grasps nothing and refuses nothing; it receives but does not keep. As Allen Watts puts it, the no-mindedness is: A state of wholeness in which the mind functions freely and easily, without the sensation of a mind or ego standing over it with a club.

What he meant is: Let the mind think what it likes without interference by the separate thinker or ego within oneself. So long as it thinks what it wants, there is absolutely no effort in letting it go; and the disappearance of the effort to let go is precisely the disappearance of the separate thinker. There is nothing to try to do, for whatever comes up moment by moment is accepted, including non-acceptance. No-mindedness is, then, not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling is not sticky or blocked. It is a mind immune to emotional influences


Like a river, everything is flowing on ceaselessly without cessation or standing still.


No-mindedness is to employ the whole mind as we use the eyes when we rest them upon various objects but make no special effort to take anything in. Chuang-tzu, the disciple of Lao-tzu, stated:

The baby looks at things at things all day without winking, that is because his eyes are not focused on any particular object. He goes without knowing where he is going, and stops without knowing what he is doing, He merges himself with the surroundings and moves along with it. These are the principles of mental hygiene.


Therefore, concentration in gung fu does not have the usual sense of restricting the attention to a single sense object, but is simply a quiet awareness of whatever happens to be here and now. Such concentration can be illustrated by an audience at a football game; instead of a concentrated attention on the player that has the ball, they have an awareness of the whole football field. In a similar way, a gung fu man's mind is concentrated by not dwelling on any particular part of the opponent. This is especially true when dealing with many opponents. For instance, suppose ten men are attacking him, each in succession ready to strike him down. As soon as one is disposed of, he will move on to another without permitting the mind to stop with any. However rapidly one blow may follow another, he leaves no time to intervene between the two. Every one of the ten will thus be successively and successfully dealt with. This is possible only when the mind moves from one object to another without being stopped or arrested by anything. If the mind is unable to move on in this fashion, it is sure to lose the combat somewhere between two encounters. His mind is present everywhere because it is nowhere attached to any particular object. And it can remain present because even when related to this particular object, it does not cling to it. The flow of thought is like water filling up a pond, which is always ready to flow off again. It can work its inexhaustible power because it is free, and be open to everything because it is empty. This can be compared with what Chang Chen Chi called "serene reflection." He wrote:

Serene means tranquillity of no thought, and reflection means vivid and clear awareness. Therefore, serene reflection is clear awareness of no-thought.

As stated earlier, a gung fu man aims at * harmony * with himself and his opponent. It also stated that harmony with one's opponent is possible not through force, which provokes conflicts and reactions, but through a yielding to his force. In other words, a gung fu man promotes the spontaneous development of his opponent and does not venture to interfere by his own action. He loses himself by giving up all subjective feelings and individuality, and becomes one with his opponent. Inside his mind oppositions have become mutually cooperative instead of mutually exclusive. When his private ego and conscious efforts yield to a power not his own he then achieves the supreme action, non-action (wu wei).

Excerpted from Commentaries on the Martial Way by Bruce Lee



Be Water My Friend




The "Lost" Interview

An unedited 25 minute interview with BruceLee (1940-1973) on the Pierre Berton Show. Recorded on 9th December 1971 in Hong Kong, BruceLee is seen being himself, speaking candidly and informally about his life, his martial art beliefs and philosophy. Through the programme Bruce's supreme confidence, charisma and focus provide a tremendous insight into the young BruceLee - the man behind the legend.
Posted on 07.25.06 
Bruce Lee

The family of Bruce Lee wants the world to know the real Bruce Lee, and not the myths and old wive’s tales that have filled the many conspiracy-minded books written about him. Bruce Lee’s younger brother Robert Lee Chun-fai said his family will be releasing a book to celebrate Bruce’s birthday in November, and that in 2008, on the 35th anniversary of his death, a new film will be out. This film will show the real Bruce - how he grew up and who he came to be. Shooting is set to possibly begin next year with a $12.5 million budget. Television shows and documentaries will also follow. is reporting that Stephen Chow is currently a strong candidate to assume the role of Bruce Lee. Meanwhile producer Stephen Shin Kei-yin of JA Media (which is handling these projects) seemed to indicate there would be a worldwide search to fill this role. I think Stephen Chow would be a great choice if they end up going with him. Chow frequently has cited Lee as a playing a huge role in his life and career. His demand for perfection and passion for Bruce Lee would suit him will for this role.