I have a 1975 first edition of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do which lists no sources, references, or acknowledgements. Over the years, people have found that many of Lee's notes in the book were not his original ideas, so later additions of the book list an acknowledgement (a single paragraph in a tiny font in the middle of the title page) as to the source of some of the notes. These acknowledgements were not in the original book because there were no sources listed in the notes as to their origin. If Lee was planning to write a book from these notes, how would he know the original sources of all the notes? In all is interviews where he put forth his philosophy of fighting, he stated his thoughts as if they were his original thoughts. It appears that Lee was claiming all the notes to be his original ideas.
Just because you are charming, witty, a good athlete, and an actor does not mean you are necessarily very bright or insightful. Lee's supporters seem to believe the end justifies the means; that Lee's shortcomings should be overlooked because of all he did to promote the martial arts.Not only was there little original thinking in Lee’s thoughts on the martial arts, there was probably little original thinking in the sources from which Lee gained his insights. After all, all we are talking about here is hand-to-hand combat between two human beings. Humans have been fighting since Cain fought and killed Able. Does anyone actually believe that, nowadays, anyone can come up with any thoughts on fighting that have not been thought of in the last few thousand years of human conflict?Lee chronicled ideas he had read or observed that he thought were important. This does not make him a great innovator or philosopher; it just makes him an avid collector of ideas. There have been thousands of “founders” of new martial arts in the years since Lee’s death. Just as Lee did, they have merely repackaged “old” ideas to make something “new.”Kip Brockett, in his article Bruce Lee Said What?, documented some of the misconceptions about Bruce Lee’s martial arts insight. The following are some of the misconceptions revealed by Brockett.