Shannon Lee, the daughter of martial arts icon and jeet kune do founder Bruce Lee, recently granted Black Belt an exclusive interview regarding the production of Tao of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition — a refurbished, augmented and enhanced update of her father’s most famous book. She touches on what went into the new layout and how it was modernized for a contemporary audience while still retaining the martial arts and philosophy content that made the original edition such a quintessential classic not only in the Bruce Lee canon but also in the whole of martial arts and philosophy literature.
TAO OF JEET KUNE DO INTERVIEW/BOOK-PREVIEW VIDEO
Shannon Lee on the Production of the Expanded Edition of Tao of Jeet Kune Do
First on the agenda for the Tao refurbishment was clarity. “What was great about this process — because I was very involved in [the Tao's] re-editing — was that as you read through it, you had to really … [because] we wanted to be really clear about, ‘OK, this paragraph is referring to this sketch,’ so we had to draw all these lines and make all these correlations,” Shannon Lee explains. “And then we wanted to make sure that those things were clear in the new manuscript.”
Because of the style of the original book’s assembly in the 1970s, it could be argued that some very important instructions may not have been highlighted as effectively as they could have been. So Shannon Lee and the Black Belt editors began determining what needed to be offset and framed for special attention. “We decided to do things like, ‘Oh, this is an exercise that [Bruce Lee's] recommending for you or a training aid,’” she explains, “[so] let’s put it in a box so that stands out. Bruce Lee is saying, ‘Do this.’ It was a really interesting process to think of the book in those terms and to want [it] to come across with as much clarity for the readers as we possibly could.”
TAO OF JEET KUNE DO AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK!
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Shannon Lee has high hopes for Tao of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition as an enhanced reading experience for readers and fans of her father’s martial arts skills and philosophical ideas. “Hopefully, in this new manuscript, the clarity and the enhancement of all the imagery and the way things have been boxed and categorized will flow,” she says. “Because if we wanna do anything for Bruce Lee, we wanna flow. He was all about flow. So hopefully that will come through.”
Featuring digitally enhanced illustrations by Bruce Lee himself, translations of Bruce Lee’s original Chinese writings, a history of how the book came into being and new editorial contributions by Diana Lee Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Tim Tackett, Chris Kent, Jerry Poteet and many others, the beautiful Tao of Jeet Kune Do: Expanded Edition is available in our online store.