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Bruce Lee's Stunning Physical Feats

Updated on April 7, 2014
Bruce Lee - a man of no equal
Bruce Lee - a man of no equal

We've all heard the name of Bruce Lee, considered to be the greatest Martial Artist of our time, father of Martial Arts Action Movies, Jeet Kune Do, and even the godfather of MMA (Mixed martial Arts eg, UFC). His iconic skill and charisma shot him to stardom in a few short years only for him to unfortunately pass on before the height of his fame could be realised. But even today, his following is and has never been stronger, for not only Martial Artists but anyone wanting some motivation. Sure, Bruce is always going to be known for his lightning fast punches, and skill in fighting, but how many are aware of the physical strength this man possesed? Many who knew him have been quoted as saying he was pound for pound, one of the strongest men alive.

Bruce was always as avid weightlifter, studying bodybuilding but adapting to enhance his martial arts to not only preserve but develop his speed and power in his strikes, opting for muscular strength, not size. Along the way Bruce became a man of many physical feats, some unmatched.

At 24, he was able to perform 8 reps of bicep curls at a weight of 70 to 80 lb (about 32 to 36 kg) for 3 sets. Lee could hold a 75 lb barbell at arms length from a standing position, horizontally, in front of his chest, for 20 seconds. it has been said that he performed pushups with up to 125lb of weight on his back. These are impressive feats for any man to accomplish, but what made a shocking difference? Bruce weighed only 130lb (59kg)!

This shocking strength coupled with light weight made it possbile for him to develop great strength in one arm chin ups, performing up to 50 reps consequetively. One arm pushups off his finger and thumb. And gave him enough speed to perform some truly amazing punches and kicks, too fast for 24fps film cameras to effectively capture! One of Bruce's favourite tricks was to snatch a dime from a person's palm and replace it with a penny, before they could close their hand. Such great speed and accuracy is demonstrated also by his ability to throw grains of rice into the air and catch them with chop sticks, in mid-flight.

Bruce's physical feats translated effectively into martial arts. Dan Insoanto, long time friend, training partner, and current head of Jeet Kune Do (as appointed by Bruce before his death) talks of knock out jabs and out of this world speed. Bruce used to demonstrate a punch thrown from a distance where the volunteer would try to block the punch before it landed, unsuccessfully every time, Bruce was too fast.

Bruce Lee's physical feats and Martial Arts ability are among some of the best of history,whilst his philosophy made him a role model for generations of followers. For those Martial Artists, Athletes or anyone looking for some inspiration, keep reading past this hub, as this article simply does not do the man justice!


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      M.S.Ngubane 4 weeks ago

      I remember one of his quote! I' am not a master, l' am a student master, who have a knowledge of a master! ..My friend! You'll only be a master, when they close that casket in your face! ..........Greatest Martial artist who ever lived.

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      Desman 5 years ago

      The mind pushed the body well beyond its design limits !

    • wademcmaster profile image

      wademcmaster 6 years ago from Australia

      I agree, it's exciting to think what could have been. I have no doubt his abilities would have increased further, the world of martial arts would have been an extremely different place with his continued presence... Thanks for the feedback!

    • samko profile image

      samko 6 years ago

      Great article I'm always amazed at what he was able to do with his body. It really sucks he died so early, think what else he could have achieved.