#123 A Gung Fu Man: Part 1


In this episode we discuss some cards that Bruce Lee sent in 1964 to his best friend Taky Kimura. Taky was Bruce’s best friend, he was the best man in Bruce and Linda’s wedding, and Taky was Bruce’s first assistant instructor in Bruce Lee’s first school in Seattle at the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute.

In 1964, Bruce Lee left Seattle and moved to Oakland to open a second school with James Lee. When Bruce moved he wrote these cards and gave them to Taky, who was now going to run the school in Seattle, as a way to prepare Taky to step into the role of teacher and to be a Gung Fu Man.

"To Taky Kimura
Process in Learning Gung Fu

The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, a calm unperturbedness may be attained too. To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end.

Wishing to cultivate oneself, one first rectifies his heart (mind).

Wishing to rectify his heart, one seeks to be sincere in his thoughts.

Wishing to be sincere in his thoughts, one first extends to the utmost of his knowledge—such extension of knowledge lies in the investigation of things.

Remark: It cannot be when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered.

A rectified mind is a mind immune to emotional influences—free from fear, anger, sorrows, anxiety, and even fond attachment—when the mind is not present, we look and do not see; we hear and do not understand; we eat and do not know the taste of what we eat.

Not allowing outside things to entangle this mind; in other words, outward changes do not move the mind. Its function lies in suppression of the sense, and on reduction of desire.

A gung fu man rests therein, and because he rests, he is at peace. Because he is at peace, he is quiet. One who is at peace and is quiet, no sorrow or harm can enter; therefore his inner power remains whole and his spirit intact.

The nature of water is that if nothing is mixed with it, it remains clear; if nothing ruffles it, it remains smooth.

1. To be one thing and not to change, is the climax of STILLNESS.
2. To have nothing in one that resists, is the climax of EMPTINESS.
3. To remain detached from all outside things is the climax of FINENESS.
4. To have in oneself no contraries, is the climax of PURITY.

Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception and let spirit out, as it will.

The highest skill operates on an unconscious level.

Sincere thought means thought of concentration (quiet awareness.) The thought of a distracted mind cannot be sincere. Man’s mind and his behavior are one, his inner thought and outer expression cannot contradict each other. Therefore a man should set up his right principle and this right mind (principle) will influence his action.

If you look within yourself and are sure that you have done right, what do you have to fear or worry about? You require only to perform your own mission in life without any thoughts of aggressiveness or competition. Follow the will of nature and coordinate your mind and your will to become one with nature, and nature will protect."

Tune in next week for Gung Fu Man: Part 2

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