I’m not sure why it has to be protected by a fence, but there is a statue commemorating Bruce Lee near Chungking Square in L.A.’s Chinatown. When Martine and I celebrated Christmas in Chinatown last month, we noticed Asian family groups taking pictures with the statue. Small wonder: After Bruce’s martial arts films were released in this country, he became a role model for Asian boys who had hitherto been regarded as dorky and innocuous. Even my black friends flocked to see his movies and expressed shock when he died at the age of thirty-two. Needless to say, foul play was suspected.
I myself never went in for what I call “Martian Arts,” but I believe it’s a useful discipline, especially for young men. Once you start on the road to developing yourself into a master of the sport, you learn a lot of good things—including patience. A feisty eight-year-old won’t quickly be able to disarm an opponent the size of, say, Chewbacca; but, as the Chinese say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.