Top 10 Facts Proving Bruce Lee May Have Been Superhuman

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Bruce Lee is a household name and, although he died relatively young, the legacy he left simply by being really good at punching people is astounding. Now there are many oft-repeated facts about the supposed almost superhuman abilities of Mr. Lee, and a simple Google search for his name leads to dozens of people questioning the veracity of them. So here are some tales of Bruce Lee’s superpowers, backed up with books. Knowledge is power. Top 10 Amazing Facts about Bruce Lee that show he may have been the next step in human evolution.

10. The Dragon Flag

dragon-flag-main

Bruce Lee was fanatical about fitness; according to his widow Linda Lee, there was never a moment Bruce wasn’t working out (the guy would watch TV doing full splits). Of all the muscles in the body, Lee was most concerned with building up his core, as he believed that the core (stomach area) is used in almost all movement, hence was greatly important to martial arts.

Is his quest to improve his core strength, Lee invented something now known as the Dragon Flag, in his honor. If you couldn’t guess already, it’s considered one of the most difficult core exercises out there. Because Lee didn’t mess around. Stallone may have brought the move to peoples attention in Rocky 4, but Lee took it to another level, reportedly being able to support his entire frame on the edge of a bench, with only his shoulders touching anything, all while the rest of his body remained perfectly rigid and horizontal to the ground.

Just imagine for a second that you’d been scheduled to fight Lee, and heard all of these rumors about him, only to see him floating in mid air. You’d run away from that set so fast that you’d explode through time to the premiere of the movie in which he kicks your ass.

9. Catching Rice With Chopsticks

rice-and-chopsticks

Remember that scene in the Karate Kid where Pat Morita tries to catch a fly with chopsticks, but then Daniel (Ralph Macchio) does it? Yeah, Bruce Lee topped that. It was reported that Bruce was so keen to increase his reflexes, that he would throw rice into the air and try to catch it on the way down. Because being able to react to a small piece of rice travelling straight down is clearly the best way to prepare for large men trying to punch you. Martial arts!

Although seemingly impractical, the sheer amount of dexterity and skill required for such a feat meant that his hands had to be permanently balled into fists near women, so their hips wouldn’t detach themselves from their body, and instinctively run towards him. Probably.

8. He Was Too Strong For Regular Heavy Bags

bruce-lee-heavy-bag

In his time, Lee used a multitude of custom-built exercise machines that were usually created just for him by a close friend, James Lee. Some of them were made due to requests from Lee himself; others were built out of sheer necessity. Lee’s heavy bag is an example of the latter.

Coming from an unknown source, Lee’s custom heavy bag literally taunted others with its immense size. Normal heavy bags clock in at around 70 pounds, with some clocking in at a much meatier 150. Lee’s weighed THREE-HUNDRED POUNDS. And it was filled with friggin’ metal. Not because he was showing off, but because he literally couldn’t use a lighter, non-metallic one without breaking it. There are conflicted, and often confused, stories that claim Lee was able to kick a heavy bag clear through the ceiling. Though he may not have ever done that, he did give a guy whiplash by kicking one too hard. Seriously.

7. One-Fingered Pushups. One-Armed Pullups

bruce-lee-1-finger-pushup

How many push-ups could you do right now? If the answer is anything other than “so many the Earth will think I’m trying to mate with it,” you’re just not up to the standards of Bruce Lee. In his younger days, Lee reportedly liked to show off while training. And one of his favorite tricks was one-fingered push ups. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and Bruce did them for no other reason than to show that he could. What’s your party trick? Bet it seems kind of sucky now, doesn’t it?

Bruce’s immense strength wasn’t just limited to his fingers either; he was also able to do one-armed pull-ups, with some sources claiming he was able to bust out 50 like it wasn’t even a big deal. Of course, this ability wasn’t unique to Bruce, but the fact he did it simply because he could kind of makes you proud to live in a world where his biceps existed.

6. The One-Inch Punch

bruce-lee-one-inch-punch

This is one of Lee’s more famous feats, and it’s no surprise why. Lee was able to summon so much power in his arms, that he could knock a fully grown adult male over from less than an inch away. That’s a feat so impressive that scientists poked around in martial artists’ brains, just to see how such a thing was even possible. There’s even rare footage of Lee doing the one-inch punch on a wooden board, presumably just so trees watching at home would know their place. And there are stories about him using it on inner city school kids, because Bruce valued teaching the next generation. Lesson one: don’t mess with him.

5. You Literally Couldn’t Punch Him

bruce-chuck

Bruce Lee, being a huge star who was famous for being really, really good at fighting people, naturally spent a lot of his time being challenged to street fights, because people in the ’70s were shockingly stupid.

The fights almost always ended the same way: with Bruce shrugging them off, because fighting random passers-by served no purpose. Sometimes though, the challengers just plain insisted, and thus Bruce had to get nasty. In his life, there were three verified times Lee was challenged to a fight, and none of his opponents could even land a single hit on him’ he was simply too fast. When he was challenged on the set of Enter the Dragon, Bruce took apart his opponent by deftly avoiding every blow, and by locking him against a wall. He then stood him up, and give him a lesson.

Admittedly, I fail to see the logic in teaching a guy who starts random street fights how to better beat people up. I won’t question it though, purely because I’ll be dead one day and I’ll have to justify my decision to Lee and his ghost army.

4. He Could Grab A Coin Out Of Your Hand, And Replace It With Another Coin

bruce-lee-coin

Lee’s speed is so legendary that most cheetahs have a photo of him on their walls, and Usain Bolt has to watch his movies in slow motion.

One of Lee’s most impressive feats of speed, was his ability to snatch a coin from your hand. The usual protocol would be Lee placing a coin in your hand, after which he’d stand a few feet away. He’d then instruct you to close your palm as soon as you saw him move.

When you saw the blur of movement that was Bruce Lee, you’d snap your hand shut and feel a round object. Your smugness would only last so long though, since your next sight would be Lee smiling while holding your coin, leaving you to open your own hand and see a different coin that Lee had placed there in less than a second. This was usually the last thing most fans saw before their heads exploded out of frustration. It’s no surprise that Lee died young; he clearly experienced time at twice the rate normal people do.

3. He Was Too Fast For Cameras Of The Time To Film

bruce-lee-fast

It’s an oft-repeated fact that Lee’s movements were too fast for cameras to film, so they had to slow down the footage. Well, there’s some truth to that. For some reason though, people seem to miss out the coolest part.

When this problem first arose, Lee was on the set of the Green Hornet, where he noted that all of the fight scenes simply showed him standing still while people fell over in front of him. For some reason the show’s producer didn’t like the idea of a sidekick with magical mind powers, so he asked Lee to slow down, which he did, which produced a blur instead. Lee was so fast, that he had to slow down to first be seen as a blur. This is the first time that sentence has been used about something other than an overweight person eating.

2. He Once Dislocated A Guy’s Shoulder, With A Slap

bruce-lee-slap

If you’re going to claim someone has superhuman powers, it makes sense to show them completely outclassing a regular person. Because this is Bruce Lee though, how about we have him outclass a highly trained martial artist instead?

As noted, Bruce required special training equipment that could cope with his power. On occasion though, he would spar and train with people stupid enough to stand within kicking distance of Bruce Lee. That distance, by the way, was also known as any country Bruce Lee was currently in.

In one such case, it’s noted that Bruce dislocated a guy’s arm during training. When confronted, Bruce became genuinely confused since according to him, “it was more of a slap than a punch.” Just read that back; Bruce was so much stronger than regular people, he could dislocate their shoulders with something he considered a light slap. Holy crap, what happened when he actually hit someone with full force? Well …

1. His Kicks Literally Sent People Flying Through The Air

bruce-lee-kick

For all his strength and training, Bruce Lee rarely ever showed his true power. Mainly because, as shown, he was capable of injuring people just by standing too close to them.

However, Bruce did have one trick he liked to use. One of Lee’s most treasured possessions was his training shield, which he reportedly took everywhere with him. One of his favorite “pranks” was to have people hold this shield and let him kick them. During the time he was alive, these were words that undertakers had pre-inscribed on tombstones, just in case. The amount of power he put into each kick varied, but it’s noted that he could easily lift people into the air with one of his blows.

Shop Related Products

When you’re able to make other people escape Earth’s gravity, simply by kicking them, it’s only a matter of time until God takes notice, and brings you to Heaven to serve as his personal bodyguard.


Share.

57 Comments

    • every human has ability to be a superhuman. and that depend how determinant he is for his goal ( (a synchronized mind with body).

  1. Louis Alexandre Simard on

    Knowledge is power. Backed up by books……… aaaand unknown sources. As for the one inch punch. Its quite easy to make a man fall with a one inch punch when said man is stand with his feet parallel and thus has no balance as is shown in the image. Nonetheless cool list.

    • Glad to see we have a Physics guru here.

      Said puch was exactly that. A very quick, very powerful punch. What others may do when attempting to do this is “push” instead of punch. Look at the footage and compare to people who have tried it. You can clearly see the difference.

      And another side-note, these people were not just some random Joe’s from the street. They were trained Martial Artists he was doing this to.

      KB

      • Glad to see we have somebody who knew him and saw these act firsthand to tell us what really happens.
        How can you be so sure? With such old footage and the fact his body sways into the man, it looks more like a push than a punch. The only thing that’s clear is that you can make out much with the angle and distance of the crappy camera used. And yes, they were martial artists that were helping him demonstrate his feats. They make no attempt to defend themselves and, with the chair placed behind them, they have no chance to stay balanced, so they may as well be “some random Joe.” He’s good, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that you seem offended that anyone speaks from experience and against something about Lee. Your arguments have no basis whereas Louis’ does. But I’m sure you’re right, so just disregard what little data can be gathered from that video because you’ve seen all his movies or whatever lol

        • i don’t know why some people are so sarcastic on a great man. At least if you have trained a single minute of martial art you would never make such statements like a blind man to identify the difference between a push and a hit.
          Be honest to yourself and respect what others did or do. Bruce lee is an inventor who changed the martial art history of the world.

      • Louis Alexandre Simard on

        I’m no physics guru but if i was i would’ve needed some numbers like the force of the punch, the weight of the opponent, the resistance he was offering and of course lets not forget the air friction coeficient. From those numbers I would’ve developed an equation to calculate if the punch was superhuman punch a a regular martial art expert punch on a precariously balanced guy. I just looked at the clip and saw that the opponent wasn’t in a balanced position. I’m not denying Bruce Lee is an amazing martial artist I’m just saying that his other great talent was showmanship. You don’t need to get your panties in a bunch buddy.

    • i agree. of all the things on this list it doesnt seem as cool. wish the clip was better quality but it does just look like a push. i expected the guy to guy flying but falling into the chair was meh. im not saying it wasnt a crazy move but that clip doesnt do it justice. still the guy is a legend and everything else on the list is amazing.

      • i never got to see bruce lee do a one inch punch in person but i did get to see it done by one of his students… and on a friend of mine too… said friend is around 5’4 130 pounds and he went flying… literally both feet off the ground, for about a meter… so if a student of bruce lee’s could do that…

  2. I saw a clip of him paying table tennis/ping ping with nunchucks that definitely should have been included on this list!

    • Terrible, there is no evidence to most of the physical feats named in this article. While Lee was an impressive human there’s no real evidence that he can actually fight… Bring the hate, just show me some evidence…

      • Joe Bagadomutz on

        wow… that has to be the most idiotic statements I’ve seen. There’s plenty of evidence he did many of these feats, he fought and destroyed opponents and was challenged daily doing his Shaw brothers movies, and the story of him beating up the extra, dusting him off and putting him back in his place on the set is absolutely true because the other producers and actors saw it and recanted the story on various documentaries. No one wanted to fight him because there was nothing waiting but embarrassment. They revered him at Shaolin.

        If anything, Bruce is the father of MMA because his philosophy, documented in his book written in his Tao of Jeet Kune Do – he took from boxing, karate, jujiutsu, wing chun and many others to create something practical and adaptable.

        Making a statement like that shows you have no idea wtf you’re talking about

        • Again. He was an amazing martial artist and a great ambassador for the sport. But like I previously said he was also a great showman. He knew that marketing was as important as his physical skills. Just lime Ali he created a legend of himself and then fed the stories or just let them get legendary on their own.

        • that’s right joe, his critics sent their masters of all their champions to challenge and fight bruce lee thinking bruce lee is good only in movies. The challenger suggested some rules like no poking of eye, etc, but bruce insisted on no holds barred fight just like in actual street fights. The fight ended up the challenger running away because he was not able to hit bruce, not one hit. But he felt the pain of bruce’s hands he had to run but bruce caught him and subdued him and asked him to say “I surrender” which he did. The witness of this fight was only Linda Lee – Bruce’s wife, and some companions of the challenger. The fight occured in Bruce’s residence where they went over to challenge him.

    • I would say he would do well, but although he was immensely strong, fast and skilled, the triumvirate of martial arts, he was a smaller man. Mass also factors into the equation, in terms of ability to deliver energy to a target.

      An equally skilled man, of larger frame, who had trained himself to the same levels would put up a good fight. It depends on whether any such man exists in the UFC as to whether Bruce Lee would be a contender. Martial arts have progressed since the seventies (mainly due to his inspiration).

      • His finger jab would probably gouge out his opponents eyes before his opponents could see his first kick….LOL….but Kungfu Panda would destroy him with the “Wushu Finger Hold”. LOL

  3. Evidence? He was an undefeated Chinese boxer? There is record of him fighting against other martial art teachers and beating them with ease. He trained wrestling, submissions, and boxing.. 40 years before anyone else could figure out those are the most important techniques in fighting. He was the first Mixed Martial Artist.

    • 1. Manny Pacquiao and Sugar Ray Leonard, legendary boxers (and others in the highest class) call Bruce Lee their hero. Pacquiao said that explicitly, in English. Leonard (see interview videos) said, “When you look up ‘icon’ in the dictionary, that’s Bruce Lee …. he was so fast, so powerful.” He developed his jab from watching Lee (non-telegraphic). A list fighters can see Lee’s ability, while B list fighters say, Ah he wouldn’t do much in MMA. See James DeMile, who says “Even today, Bruce is still the best in the world. In real fighting, not sports.” (paraphrase). Dan Inosanto, a true gentleman from all accounts, says he witnessed Lee spar with all the top champions of his era and no one was near his level. He said solid witnesses told him of a sparring session with Joe Lewis (heavyweight karate champ) and Lee: “It was strictly no contest, Bruce dominating. It was like Ali and a Golden Gloves champ.” Among the real challenge matches, with ample witnesses: when filming the Big Boss in Thailand, he easily defeated a champ; they then had lunch, no hard feelings. There are conflicting reports that that champ also then arrange a match with the reigning champ and Bruce also defeated him. This was a story from the first champ, so it has some weight. One pretty solid story is a challenge match from a guy in the newspapers. Lee ignored him, but finally he agreed. It was set up by a senior Hong Kong detective, a friend of Lee, with about 20 witnesses, including an executive at Golden Harvest (this was one of the guys who confirmed the story). The challenger was a grappler, western boxer and kung fu guy. The match was in a private estate in HK. The challenger started with punches which Lee covered. And then Lee kicked him one time and broke his ribs. The guy disappeared from radar and was rumored to be in Japan. It was said that Lee, very nicely, paid for the guy’s medical bills in Japan. As for the 300 pound bag; that’s a confirmed story, too. His friends made it as a joke, since Joe Lewis was using a 150 pound bag. Then Lee kicked it and it smashed into the garage wall, and they had to fix the wall. Yes, he could send a regular heavy vertical with a kick. A ‘new’ story I read from a martial art magazine art director: in their first meeting he friendly sparred with Lee. He asked, “What are you doing so far away?” (fifteen feet away). And then Lee slaps him twice on his forehead and is then 15 feet away; he did this several times. As for the one arm pull ups … I think he could do 80. Remember, this is probably one arm, with the other gripping the wrist. I don’t know if anyone can do many true one armed pulls. But surely Lee could do 50 – 80. The world record for two arms is over 300, so one arms 50/80 is believable. Oh, when he was filming, he would joke with the cooks on set, put his hand on the butcher block and dare them to chop down with cleavers. So that shows you his confidence level. And, he also ignored the triads. So anyone who says Lee was not a fighter doesn’t know the history. And don’t forget the famous Vic Damone story.

  4. i cringe everytime i read the comments and there is like a K.I.A. guy? you know what it is right? it means a Know It All guy.

  5. I guess I’m a little bit late to the comments, anyways, lol. Bruce Lee is a great role model. I mean, there has been a whole 40 years of medical advancements in supplementation and nutrition so I believe that making a comparison between Bruce Lee and modern day MMA fighters does seem a bit ‘unfair’. But nevertheless, I read “Tao of Jeet Kune Do” and u can see that he definitely knew his stuff and even if he isn’t as amazing as this article states, he still provides that psychological factor contributing to what many people (including myself) believe was the closest to a superhero-like role model since Martial Arts forms had been created… BTW Great article, keep up the good work : )

  6. It’s well documented that Lee’s movie scenes had individual frames selectively removed to make him seem faster.

    That’s not to say he wasn’t good, or amazing, or very very fast. But the super speed seen in his films was an illusion.

    If a punch actually took 1 second, and the film ran at 24 feet per second (industry standard), they just cut out 18 frames to make him seem 3 x faster. Or some similar type math.

    Movie magic. He was still great.

    • 1 second?! Regardless of punch or even a jab, 1 second is long! I do martial arts and I could do a jab 1/3 or less of a second, in film 24/3=8 frames. And knowing that Bruce was faster, down to 4/5 frames is not all that impractical.

    • If you remove 18 frames if 24 you’re left with 6 fps. At 6 fps the footage would appear totally unrealistic. It would look more like a picture slide presentation.

  7. I get so tired of reading these sycophantic tributes to dead movie stars. I remember reading an article a long time ago about Bruce Lee fighting the Heavyweight boxing champ at the time (Mohamed Ali).

    And when the press asked him about it, Lee was quoted as saying: “Look at the size of my hands and look at the size of Ali’s. ” Need I say anything more?

    The point is that this kind of fawning is really appropriate to tweens. Men understand the basic laws of Physics. That is why we have never seen a 110lbs Heavyweight Boxer. Nor have we ever seen a 125 lbs Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. Thou in truth, some extremely talented individuals have gone up the ranks in terms of weight competition–but not that far.

    This article was so fawning and inaccurate that I am actually be embarrassed for the writer. He certainly knows nothing about the Martial Arts nor much of reality either.

    Bruce Lee was a wonderful actor, and a good person. He loved his family and he was loved by millions of his fans. He was also a great martial artist and completely dedicated to his sport. That should be enough for any man. We should not attempt to deify him as something super human. He was just a man–but a damn good one.

  8. Amar Kshirsagar on

    Shutup your mouth to all who do not know a thing about martial arts yet comment on Bruce Lee’s abilities. First join a karate class and know what it is like becoming a martial artist.
    All your joints will start paining with just the basic exercises taught in Karate Classes.
    All Bruce Lee’s fighting scenes are flawless which itself is a proof that he is the best.

  9. I grew up with Bruce Lee being my motivation and he was great just like other great people like Pele, Mohammed Ali, Anton Senna and so forth, so we must give credit where it is due.

  10. DAVID 'O QUEEF on

    To be able to do what Bruce Lee did with nunchuks is–almost–unbelievable. You can say that someone ‘messed’ with the footage, but it looked real to me.
    Now, take what he could do with a pair of sticks tied to together, and multiply the accuracy, prowess, strength and control necessary to win a real fight, and Bruce Lee would be champion of EVERY weight class in MMA today.

  11. I guess if mister lee put on a cape and flew you would still believe this.
    Why don’t ye all grow up Bruce lee was an actor.
    And not a very good one at that.
    My favourite film is rocky but I still know Stallone is an actor.
    By the way mister lee invented nothing MMA was invented in ancient Greece.
    Its called Pankration.
    Grow up pop corn face.
    Here are some real fighters.
    1 Gracie’s
    2 Ali Tyson Marciano
    3 Billy Robinson
    I could go on.

  12. Hahahah! What does that word mean in English?
    I know Bruce lee did not invented the concept of mixed martial arts.
    Maybe you don’t like the fact the Greeks did so and not an oriental man?
    What’s up with that lie?
    Saying Bruce lee or Gene le Bell or the Gracie’s invented MMA is like saying the teenage mutant ninja turtles invented ninjutsu or Elvis invented music??
    All these fighters did is popularize the idea of mixed combat nothing else.
    So I suggest you study martial history that is before fists of furry.

  13. If you think Bruce Lee is an expert at the nunchuks.
    Then Watch this man Tadashi Yamashita (star in american ninja 1).
    Note If sites didnt make Bruce out to be superman then nobody would belittle him.
    And I am not doing that either after all bruce was one of the first orientals to incorporate pankration concepts into his oriental concepts.
    But I am just asking people to be realisitc.

    • What would we get by being realistic about this ?
      He is gone and its not like its going to make a major difference on anybody’s life by knowing it was all just unreal. But his image of being so wonderful would inspire millions he wasn’t just an actor, he is an icon.
      I don’t believe in super speed etc, but i believe he was phenomenal. I don’t like competitor fighters much they get boring to watch atleast for me being girly girl. But yet bruce lee’s choreographed fights is very thrilling to me. he had a sort of energy about him.
      (no he wasn’t a phony he very worked hard to get what he had! )

  14. First of all it wasn’t Pat Morita that cought the fly in Karate Kid, it was the kid who did it. And second why would it be harder to catch a rice falling then a fly flying around. The rice is much more predictable while the fly flies randomly and without a certain known trajectory.

    • We have corrected our mistake concerning Par Morita’s fly catching abilities. We will leave it to our readers to decide which is more difficult: Rice catching vs. Fly catching.

Leave A Reply