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Chael Sonnen on the TRUE Myth of Bruce Lee

Chael Sonnen on the TRUE Myth of Bruce Lee

Joe Rogan had Quentin Tarantino on his podcast, and he brought up the scene in “One night in Hollywood”. In that movie (made by Quentin Tarantino), one of the actors is playing Bruce Lee.

And he gets into a fight and Bruce Lee loses the fight. This is based around a true story and the person that Bruce fought, was a Vietnam War veteran.

Quentin Tarantino took a lot of heat for that. Like if Bruce Lee ever got a script and he was going to lose a fight, he would not do it. He would refuse just like a pro wrestler.

This was a thing that still holds up to this day. This is not a phenomenon unique to Bruce Lee, it is a real thing.

Quentin had somebody playing Bruce who had to do just that and look like a total jerk, got called out by a soldier and came in second. He admitted before that he was not there and did not witness this happen. He says that he has heard from every single eyewitness that it happened exactly the way that he portrayed it, and there was major pushback. Particularly by Bruce Lee’s daughter, who came out and said, “Hey, you made my dad look like a jerk. He was not a jerk, you made him lose a fight. He did not lose that”.

She picked it apart, so Quentin talked about that, he said, “Look, I got no problem with her. I do not want any kind of smoke, that is his daughter. I respect it but everybody else screw you, because it is exactly what happened, and Bruce was a real jerk.”

He told Joe Rogan; Bruce had no respect for American stuntmen. Bruce Lee thought they were beneath him. He thought they did not have the talents and when he wanted things to look real on camera, knowing he is the star, knowing they need the paycheck, he would just let it go.

I am attempting to tell you about the story that Tarantino told because Tarantino has never apologized for doing that and he got back last he said, “You know what? No, I do not apologize for doing it. I have waited for years to find an opportunity to do it because I do not like the way this story has been told and retold. The guy was a jerk. And there is a part of me that takes pleasure from that. I will tell you there is a part of me that takes pleasure only because of the myth of Bruce Lee. That is exactly that. It was a myth.”

One of the things that Bruce believes is training in all disciplines, so you can get access to that forbidden fruit. I started martial arts in 1995. 

And back then if you went to a karate gym and you belonged to a jiujitsu gym. Even if you did everything right, you walked in, filled up the paperwork. 

You pay your monthly fees. And you would have to have a letter from your first coach. Saying that you could come to this gym. And vice versa, even if you try to just slip it in and not get caught in one of them. If you were found out, they would tell you do not to come back until you bring me a letter. It was just a respect thing.


But you stick with your craft. And you guys that are UFC fans from the beginning know what I am talking about, when we called it mixed martial arts it was because it was the contention of the martial art styles against each other. Tae kwon do versus judo, boxing versus karate.

The ’90s is when they started to change that which is not so long ago. Bruce Lee when he was doing this in the 70s and having this philosophy of training as many arts as you can and then whatever happens to work for you, take that from the art. If you learn a great front kick in karate, take it. If you learn a great sidekick in Taekwondo, take that. Ultimately, that is where Bruce’s art of Jeet Kune Do came from.

When somebody like me comes out. And I am a jerk about it because of the misconception and every fraud that we have ever had in the sport of combat. All have one thing in common, which is Los Angeles, California.

 Every one of them, from Seagal to Van Damme, Judo Gene, bless his soul. They all can tie back to one area which is Los Angeles, CA, why? I will tell you, they used to open their garages, or they do not. The workouts are in their backyards, and they will get a bunch of bums around that wanted to be good.  Convince these bums they were good. Those guys went on and became writers and cameramen and producers and directors and they help to perpetuate the myth. Now those guys would put their hand on a stack of Bibles and swear what a great fighter those previous names were.  

They only great compared to you and the three other guys who were in this backyard work-out that were not paying any dues right now. Just one of these things. You are not wrong. Everybody has that same perception. Greatest basketball player or previous football guys. It is the greatest guy that you have seen or the greatest guy you went to school with, right? This is how these things work.

So, when the method of Bruce Lee starts to carry on and you have MMA fighters paying respect to him, all the way up to Conor McGregor. Who I think does appreciate it probably grew up on some Bruce Lee movies and was even influenced by what he saw on the screen, but there is absolutely no truth to the fact that he is carrying these things over right? Khabib will pay tremendous respect to Sambo.

The above post are the thoughts of former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen. We thank him for his contribution. Click here for is video version of the post above.

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