Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bruce Lee as a Lean Sensei

Growing up I watched plenty of movies, with action movies being my favorite, especially good guy versus bad guy with the good guys always winning in the end with amazing skill, character, courage and perhaps a bit of luck or divine intervention depending on your beliefs. A favorite action hero of mine was Bruce Lee.

I watched in awe, the speed, grace and ability of Bruce Lee’s skill as a martial artist. Learning more about his life, as short as it was, I discovered that Bruce Lee was more than just a gifted martial artist and he actually studied drama and philosophy at the University of Washington.

Here are a few of my favorite Bruce Lee quotes that I find helpful as a source of inspiration:

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

“It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”Obey the principles without being bound by them.

“Fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

“Knowing is not enough we must apply. Willing is not enough we must do”

“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.”

“To grow, to discover, we need involvement which is something I experience everyday, sometimes good, sometimes frustrating.”

Influenced by Taoism and Buddhism along with his martial arts training, Bruce Lee developed his own set of beliefs and philosophy that challenged the status quo of traditional martial arts and formed his own style. Not only did he have a truly positive attitude and a dedicated spirit for self-improvement, Bruce Lee had some profound insights that we might apply to our lean journey as well as our life journey.


Wesley Connell said...

Hi Mike,

I really appreciate this post. I'm huge Bruce Lee fan as well and always enjoyed how his style was focused on the most efficient delivery of every strike. The total elimination of all superfluous motion and effort is a goal that I see as a universal goal whether the function is in martial arts or in the practice of Lean.

Mike Wroblewski said...

Hi Wesley,

Thanks for your comment and I agree with you. As Bruce Lee thought to get to the essential we must remove the superfluous, a key thought on our lean journey.