Bruce Lee is arguably the most influential martial artist in history because he essentially introduced Chinese martial arts to the world. Within a short span of time, he inspired millions to practice martial arts.
“Little Dragon” Bruce Lee (aka Cantonese, Lee Jun-fan; Mandarin, Lee Xiao-lung) was born in San Francisco during the Chinese Year of the Dragon (November 27, 1940). When he was a child actor in Hong Kong, he would run around the set with a praying mantis on his shoulder, thus his interest in the praying mantis fist form of kung fu. After practicing choy lay fut, Bruce Lee began studying wing chun under Ip Man in 1954. (The film Ip Man 2 says 1956).
To avoid gang fights in Hong Kong and get his U.S. citizenship, Bruce Lee moved back to the United States in 1959 and began teaching wing chun at his newly opened Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute. Recognizing the weaknesses of traditional kung fu training, Bruce Lee created his own martial way, jeet kune do (way of the intercepting fist). He believed one’s movements and mind should flow like water, which is why his school motto was “using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation.”