Bruce Lee is one of the greatest martial artists of all time. Surprisingly, Lee’s genes were extraordinary to some extent. He was crazily fast, would easily crush cans with his fingers and was very strong. Cameras during those times were unable to capture his moves. He was a superhuman of those times. Certain facts about Bruce Lee are shocking and interesting. According to few allegations, Lee never lost a fight in his lifetime. The legendary martial artist shockingly died at a young age. Starting from his mysterious death to his hobbies, there are several shocking facts about Bruce Lee you may not know.
Let’s check the list of ten shocking facts about Bruce Lee which are unknown and equally surprising:
10. Bruce was Partly German & A Mixed Ancestry
Lee’s grandfather was 100% German and Lee’s father was Han Chinese. His mother Grace Ho was a Eurasian. Back in the 50s, this non-pure Chinese status led to non-acceptance into many Chinese Kung Fo schools. He had little choice. Fortunately, Bruce Lee got a legendary master Yip Man to learn Wing Chun.
9. His Death is Still a Mystery
This topic is highly debatable. There are many conspiracy theories pertaining to how Bruce Lee died. On May 10, 1973, Bruce Lee collapsed to the ground during an automated dialogue replacement session for Enter the Dragon at Golden Harvest in Hong Kong. He was suffering from seizure and headache. Immediately, Lee was taken to Hong Kong Baptist Hospital where the doctors diagnosed with cerebral edema. The doctors were able to control the swelling through the administration of mannitol. On July 20, 1973, Lee again got back the headaches; his colleague Ting gave him an analgesic, Equagesic, which contained both aspirin and the tranquilizer meprobamate. Lee went to take a nap and never came back for dinner. When nobody was able to wake him up, a doc was rushed in. Before the ambulance came Lee was dead at the age of 32.
8. Excellent Ballroom Dancer
Did you know Bruce Lee was a competitive dancer? The legendary fighter, before his Jeet Kune Do days, he was an excellent ballroom dancer. In 1958, he won the Hong Kong Cha-Cha dance competition. He had a personal notebook that had 108 Cha-Cha dance steps. Today, his personal notebook is in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. It is said that as a US citizen, he had a chance to become a ballroom dance instructor at an age of 18 in the US. Lee was a talented guy in almost many things.
7. Bruce Was Nearsighted
The fast and furious man wasn’t genetically alright completely. We only know the good sides of his body. We do not know Bruce Lee had a bad eye-sight and was wearing glasses. He had even tried on contact lenses. He was one of the first people to try contact lenses. Even with bad eye sight, he was accurate on his shots and kicks. Since Lee was nearsighted, he appreciated Wing Chun’s contact style of movement.
6. His Armpit Had No Sweat Glands
Bruce Lee had surgically removed his sweat glands from his armpit. He was unhappy with the sweaty armpits and they gave ugly looks on camera. He wanted to look great on camera without sweats on each frame. Though, he knew removing sweat glands were dangerous, he wanted to get rid of them for aesthetic reasons.
5. Bruce Lee Had a Girl’s Name
No one in Bruce Lee’s family preferred to call him as “Bruce” or “Bruce Lee” or “Lee”, instead they called by a nickname “Little Phoenix” or “Sai Fon”. According to Chinese beliefs, it was thought by his parents that demons and evil entities would spare the child if he had a girl’s name. Evil spirits do not like boys in the family. He was called as “Little Phoenix” until he was a teenager. Actually, the name “Bruce Lee” was given by a doctor who was supervising him.
4. He Failed a Basic Military Fitness Test
Yes, the strong man Bruce Lee failed a basic military physical test in 1963. The test was by the US Army Draft board. The board rejected Lee because he had poor eyesight and wore contact lenses. After failing the army test, Bruce Lee managed to evade from being shipped off to Vietnam.
3. Bruce Lee Was an Atheist
Since Bruce Lee had mixed ancestry, no religion was forced on him. He was raised as Catholic and Buddhist. Due to this, he grew up as an atheist. As we now that his mother was a Catholic and his father a Buddhist. He was free to choose his religion. When his mother went to the Catholic Church, his father sat at home. This was never bothersome to both his parents. Bruce Lee went to a Catholic school and that was cool for his father as well. Lee was well in the fields of philosophy and theology. Ultimately, he became an atheist. This was even confirmed by Bruce Lee in a rare interview.
2. Loved Cannabis
Bruce Lee was fond of cannabis. After Lee’s death, doctors found cannabis in his stomach during the autopsy. There were initial speculations that cannabis was the reason for his death. Dr. R. R. Lycette, the clinical pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, reported at the coroner hearing that the death could not have been caused by cannabis. He was known to chew cannabis, to be precise a potent “Nepali Hashish”.
1. He Had Chronic Back Pain
On Aug 13, 1970, he was doing an exercise known as Good Mornings when he hurt his back severely. He was lifting weights of 60kg / 135lb. It is evident that this injury was a result of poor warm-up before lighting heavy. The result was an injury to his sacral nerve. The injury was not during movie shooting or during the movie according to many. Although, doctors told him that he can’t be able to continue martial arts like before, he went on to star in four and half more films. He had the chronic back pain on and off during his entire lifetime.