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Who Would Win in a Fight: Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris?

Updated on December 30, 2012

For decades men (and some women) have pondered the question, "Who Would Win in a Fight: Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris?" For the most part, this question has remained a quandary that has sparked many bar fights and philosophic debates. I can't think of many other questions that lead to such vitriolic quarrels as this one does. In their younger days, Chuck Norris was winning tournaments and Bruce Lee was winning street fights - but which one was a better fighter? Who would actually win a fight, Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee? To begin the quest to find a victor in this final face-off, let's start by learning a little bit about who each of these martial artists are.

Who is Bruce Lee?

Bruce Lee is a Chinese martial artist and actor who founded Jeet Kune Do, a fighting style that emphasized extreme speed. His fighting style is often called a "style without a style" because it stressed "the art of fighting without fighting." One of the key techniques in this fighting style was to intercept an attack from an opponent and use it against him. This is contrary to many other styles which focused almost solely on developing kicking and punching techniques. Bruce Lee is also known for his special move sometimes called the "one-inch punch." The one-inch punch is a skill which uses explosive power to generate tremendous amounts of impact force at extremely close distances.

Who is Chuck Norris?

Chuck Norris is an American martial artist and actor who found Chun Kuk Do, a fighting style that incorporates some of the best moves from a variety of styles around the world. His fighting style is very well rounded as it emphasizes such things as self defense, competition, weapons, grappling, and even fitness. In addition to is fighting style and movie career, he made history in 1990 when he was the first Westerner in the documented history of Tae Kwon Do to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master. Chuck Norris is also known for his powerful, sometimes devastating, roundhouse kick.

A Side-by-Side Comparison

The table below compares each fighter side-by-side and is based upon information found around the internet. The 1972 movie Return of the Dragon starred both Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. This is one of the few times these great fighters were actually together in real life. That's why this year will be used to help normalize the comparison.

Bruce Lee
Chuck Norris
November 27th, 1940
March 10th, 1940
Age (1972)
Weight (1972)
145 lbs
168 lbs
Height (1972)
5 ft 7 inches
5 ft 10 inches
Grew Up Street Fighting
Grew Up Fighting in Tournaments
Original Training Style
Wing Chun
Tae Kwon Do
Founded Fighting Style
Jeet Kun Do
Chun Kuk Do
Signature Move
One-Inch Punch
Roundhouse Kick
Punching Speed
0.05 seconds from 3ft
One Arm Chin Up
50 Repetitions

Both fighters are of similar age and experience but Chuck clearly has a size advantage. Bruce is much faster than Chuck is and likely has an endurance advantage as well. Essentially this becomes an argument of speed versus strength & brute force.

The Final Fight

Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were both true martial artists but Bruce was on another level. In the scene below from Return of the Dragon you can see what I mean.

In the movie, Bruce is the victor of the fight. You may say that this fight was scripted (it was) however, Chuck Norris was once quoted as saying that Bruce would win in a real fight too. See the video below:

Considering Bruce's positive attributes, and Chuck's admission, I conclude the Bruce Lee would be the winner in a real fight against Chuck Norris..


Who do You Think Would Win?

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    • profile image

      JokesterTyler 3 years ago

      Chuck Norris was in a fight with Bruce Lee once. That's why Lee's eyes are crooked.

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 3 years ago from Arizona

      Ho Lee Chit - Nice try but I think Lee would have won because of his lightning speed!

    • profile image

      Ho Lee Chit 3 years ago

      Lee was a legend, but only a media legend. Norris was a world champion! Norris would have whipped his ass!

    • profile image

      KC 4 years ago

      I met taky kimura at a seminar he was giving,he told me he met chuck norris, and chuck told taky that bruce would win if it was a real fight,

      and taky dosnt tell lies!!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      This hub is awesome! I watched a lot of Bruce Lee films with my dad when I was younger and my bet would always be on him. He had real life experience street fighting and I think that would definitely give him the advantage.

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona

      Ohio freeson - yes this is true! Bruce was incredibly strong - i read that he could do one armed bicep curls with 80lbs. And that wasn't a one rep max either - he did that for sets!

    • Ohio Freemason profile image

      Mount Vernon Lodge #64 5 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Bruce was also in constant training. Read some of the stuff people say about him and his training. I would have to say the only thing that Chuck would have on him would be size. Bruce was stronger, faster, and constantly thinking about fighting (visualizing fighting).

      Bruce had more real experience as well as more practice, stronger, more endurance, and he has a drive to succeed.

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona

      Jravity1 - yeah, its one thing to win tournaments and sparring matches, but that just doesnt compare to real street fights.

    • jravity1 profile image

      jravity1 5 years ago from bellevue, MI

      Absolutely agreed...

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona

      jravity1 - True, but overall I think that Bruce was better!

    • jravity1 profile image

      jravity1 5 years ago from bellevue, MI

      Anyone can beat anyone else given the right circumstances. It would have been awesome to see though. No matter who won, they would both be battered.

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona

      peachpurple - We are in total agreement.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 5 years ago from United States

      There is no question.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I say Bruce lee would win. He is the original Kungfu fighter and chuck is the rambo style of man.

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona

      Even with an Internet meme on his side, Chuck is no match for Bruce!

    • Bob Zermop profile image

      Bob Zermop 5 years ago from California, USA

      Ah, Return of the Dragon. Good times.

      As great as Chuck Norris is (heard just this morning he can kill 2 stones with 1 bird), my vote's for Bruce! Great hub, was smiling all the through. :D

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 5 years ago from Arizona

      Oh yes, Bruce was UNSTOPPABLE. There was no way he could lose. I will check out your hub. Thanks!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Of course Bruce Lee would win. He was the BEST! See my "Interview with Bruce Lee." Even Chuck Norris agreed that Bruce would win in a fight.