I highly recommend this book for the Martial Philosopher.
Although not directly written or compiled by Bruce Lee’s notes, as it is compiled by Linda Lee Caldwell, it is almost as though it is the rough writings of Bruce Lee himself. I say this with the appropriate reverence, as Bruce Lee is still one of the major influences on martial arts cinema today – even after almost 40 years!
He was also one of the major influences in bringing Asian philosophy to the western world. Although the majority of what he is saying are attributable to his discussions and writings, we must never forget that he was a Philosophy student at the University of Washington. Although U of W claims that he was a drama major, Lee has claimed he was a philosophy student. That notwithstanding – Lee spent many years in the Hong Kong school system and would learn first hand a lot of the philosophies that were so very foreign to the western world at the time… and even today are not fully understood.
This book is a mix of Lee’s own philosophies, as well as reiterations of classic Asian philosophers thoughts, with some context and explanation to bridge the gap of what is said to what is meant, and from East to West.
My only issue with this book is that it these classics are not cited, which unfortunately makes the book appear to be completely and uniquely Bruce Lee’s philosophy. Although I enjoy the myth, I have the highest esteem for the man and would not want to elevate him beyond what he already has done. Personally, I believe that he would want people to muse on these things without the baggage of the past sages and their continuous debates, but I also don’t believe that he would want everyone to believe that he was more than what he presented.
All in all, I believe that any Philosopher (Martial or otherwise) should have this as a reference in their library.
Score: 4 out of 4.