I always take delight in pointing out that people like Ed Parker and Bruce Lee were bad people in the martial arts. People always get upset with me and even want to bodyslam me and teach me a lesson. Then, when I tell them what is really what, they can’t do anything but mumble a lot.
Ed Parker apparently never made it to Black Belt in the system taught by Thunderbolt Chow. Heck, halfway through teaching his students, he had to go home to Hawaii because he ran out of material and needed more. And, Chow told him no.
So he made up his own martial arts, hired a kung fu fellow to help make up new patterns and techniques, redid his system (five times), and so on. The result was that he was giving out high degree black belts, hosting tournaments, inspire the starting of whole chains of schools, and some people hold that he was really only a brown belt. And the whole world was fooled into accepting him as the grand poobah of Chinese American Kenpo, and hardly anybody but a dedicated Kenpo practitioner knows where it all came from.
And if you think Ed Parker did some bad things, wait until you consider Bruce Lee! Bruce ‘The Little Dragon’ Lee apparently didn’t finish his Wing Chun training. He was apparently involved in the street gangs of his native country and his parents finally had enough of his bad ways and sent him to cool off in the United States! In the United States, though he hadn’t completed his Ving Tsun training under Yip Man, he started teaching that martial art to whoever wanted to learn.
Not knowing the whole wing chun system, he began bolstering it up with studies in boxing, fencing, and 24 other martial arts. Yes, he was a sponge, but he was teaching Kung Fu outside his community, betraying his race (according to some), and teaching stuff that went beyond the classical martial arts. He was teaching a wild eclectic Jeet Kune Do system that went far beyond the classical forms training of the time.
The end result of all this was a fight where nobody won (Wong Jack Man), and then he throws it all away to try and make it in Tinsel Town! Is that the mark of a dedicated martial arts innovator? Or is that some unbalanced wannabe giving it all up for fame and money?
Now, it is time for this writer to fess up. Most of you readers know what I am doing anyway. I am engaging in a little yellow journalism for sarcastic sake.
Ed Parker, Bruce Lee, and other true innovators studied sufficient in the classical martial arts to know what it was, then they chose, for their own reasons, their own directions. They then did better than their teachers, and expanded the field of the martial arts to the benefit of all. Yes, Bruce Lee and Ed Parker were treasonous bad guys, as are all true artists, as need to be anybody who wants to go beyond same old same old training methods and delve into the true martial arts.
Want to be a founder in the martial arts? Want to develop your own art and discover the truth that Bruce Lee and Ed Parker uncovered? Head on over to Monster Martial Arts.