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Charles Russo ☆ 6 review

Aybe the hagiography that exists around Bruce Lee needs to be toned down a bit and you ll now whyRead it You won t be able to put it down I thought the book would provide a fair and balanced treatment of the fateful Bruce Lee Wong Jack Man fight but despite listing Rick Wing s a longtime student of Sifu Wong as well as being a self described Bruce Lee fan book Showdown in Oakland provides greater details that for me sound believable than Russo s account At issue also are details purportedly described by a witness Sifu David Chin based on a supposed 2011 interview that conflicts with Wing s version So who s telling the truth here Sifu Wing claims both Chin and another witness Sifu Bill Chen declared it or less a tie Wing maintains that Bruce Lee s punches reportedly had very little effect and that the onlookers because it was getting out of hand not necessarily due to Wong getting beaten badly Russo says that Chin only told people that it was a tie because he felt bad for Wong Jack Man So would that extend to misrepresenting the actual outcome to Rick Wing Too many unanswered uestions and conflicting accounts further exacerbated by the fact that the Bruce Lee camp blatantly made up the whole narrative about how the fight originated as a way to stop Lee from teaching non Chinese The final verdict on this book It s probably suitable for hardcore Bruce Lee fans but for those primarily interested in the Lee Wong fight you re better off purchasing Rick Wing s book as a Kindle download I have it and endorse it wholeheartedly Great read. Nd then defend it by facing down Wong Jack ManChinatowns young ung fu acein a legendary behind closed doors showdown These events were a catalyst to the dawn of martial arts in America and a prelude to an icon Based on over one hundred original interviews Striking Distance chronicles Bruce Lees formative days amid the heated martial arts proving ground that thrived on San Francisco Bay in the early 1960s.

SF Shigong and some of my Martial uncles who deserve of spotlight which he acknowledged Actually he interviewed one of my Shifu for this book This I have been waiting so long for THIS book because1 This rocks as a piece of long form journalism It s informative but reads cinematically like you re watching a movie As a journalist colleague who s had the great pleasure of working with Russo I ve gotten to see him dive into incredible depths to surface this review might contain spoilersFirstly this book focuses predominantly on the early years of Bruce Lee s life in the US between 1959 1964 during the San Francisco Chinatown Oakland period I found this fascinating as it focuses on for me one of the most interesting periods of the Little Dragon s life in terms of being pivotal in shaping the trajectory of his martial arts growth and developmentAnother pulling point for me is that this book is written by a San Francisco journalist who has comprehensively researched his writings with 100s of interviews as such at no point does this book come across as an attempted revision of history unlike the similar Showdown in Oakland which leans on speculation and one sided assertions from Wong Jak Man students associatesThe book adds some nuance to Bruce Lee s character and how he rubbed people You have to read this if you want to now the mind of Bruce Lee The book is definitely brave in debunking a lot of the Lee mystiue It s also cleverly written almost like the writer was on the spot for so many ey momentsYou ll end the book thinking that R Regarded by some as a brash loudmouth and by others as a dynamic visionary Bruce spent his first few years back in America advocating for a modern approach to the martial arts and showing little regard for the damaged egos left in his wake The year of 1964 would be an eventful one for Bruce in which he would broadcast his dissenting worldview before the first great international martial arts gathering

This is a well written and intensively researched historical look at the martial arts culture in America It is as comprehensive as it is detailed This is a great book and will make an awesome film if it is done right It is a great gift idea for anyone who is interested in the subject I can endorse this book because it is so well written and brings back those days so vividly By the way I personally have no reason to doubt the validity of the author s description of the Wong Jack Man fight given that I overheard Bruce and James Lee talking about it in a private conversation just the two of them a day or two afterwards Jimmy was too celebratory about the fight for me to ever doubt that Bruce had won it As I said in my interview in issue 11 of the Original Jeet Dune Do uarterly Who was Jimmy trying to id otherwise Certainly not Bruce Lee who was there at his own fight and didn t need Jimmy Lee to tell him what had happened The reader learns so much from this book about the San Francisco Bay Area and the different students and practitioners of different martial arts systems who trained with Bruce in that era The writing is just superb and draws you in AKA James French A little disapointed A very well written and engaging account of the history of Martial Arts in the Bay Area As a martial artist and Bruce Lee fan I found this book totally captivating and couldn t put it down Truly recommend this book even if you aren t per se Bruce Lee fan The author did an incredible job documenting the roots of USA CMA history Highlight one of my. In the spring of 1959 eighteen year old Bruce Lee returned to San Francisco the city of his birth Although the martial arts were widely unknown in America Bruce encountered a robust fight culture in the Bay Area populated with talented and trailblazing practitioners such as Lau Bun Chinatowns aging ung fu patriarch; Wally Jay the innovative Hawaiian jujitsu master; and James Lee the Oakland street fighte.

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Charles Russo on Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts in America