Bruce Lee (born Lee Jun-fan, November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973) was a Hong Kong American martial artist and actor whose career spanned Hong Kong and the United States. He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is sometimes credited with paving the way for modern Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Lee is considered by some commentators and martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West. He is credited with promoting Hong Kong action cinema and helping to change the way Chinese people were presented in American films.
His early martial arts experience included Wing Chun (trained under Yip Man), Tai Chi boxing (winning a Hong kong boxing tournament) and apparently frequent street fighting (neighbourhood and rooftop fights). In 1959, Lee moved to Seattle. In 1961, he enrolled in the University of Washington. It was during this time in the United States that he began considering making money by teaching martial arts, even though he aspired to have a career in acting.
Bruce Lee opened his first martial arts school, operated out of home in Seattle. After later adding a second school in Oakland, California, he once drew significant attention at the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships of California by making demonstrations and speaking.
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