Lessons I Learned From Bruce Lee

Bruce LeeLast night I watched Bruce Lee’s “Enter The Dragon” with both my sons. I was saying the dialogues and what was going to happen next with exact precision. My sons were amazed with accuracy, they said that I must have watched it hundreds of times.

What they did not realise is that they were not close to the truth. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve watched all the Bruce Lee movies.

When I came over to England at the age of 12, I did not speak much English and did not have many friends. I started to get picked on at school because I did not take well to the bullies, I fought back and got attacked by the multiple gang members.

I even got attacked by their older brothers outside school. I did not have anyone to protect me, my father was working full-time in the restaurant trade. I was the eldest of my siblings. It was up to me to find a solution by myself.

I watched my first Bruce Lee movie at the age of 13, it was “Enter The Dragon”. It was rented out from the local video rental store. I had to return it the next day, but I was so hooked on it, I managed to watch it twice. I also watched the fight scenes multiple times.

I decided that night, I was going to be just like Bruce Lee. With a lot of persuasion, I managed to get my dad to enrol me and my younger brother into a local Karate school. I dad knew the Kyokushin Karate master as he was a customer at his restaurant in Stratford, East London.

We trained once a week, as my dad could only take use there once a week on the Saturday day class. The other classes were in the evening and my dad was working at these times.

After training for a month, my brother did not want to go any more. I also had to quit as my dad was not prepared to take only me to the classes.

The image of Bruce Lee was still in my mind, I had to look for another club. I enrolled at a local judo club, after a few lessons, I knew it was not what I was looking for. I wanted something with the flying kicks and fast punches.

When I was 14 years old I started learning Hung Gar kung-fu at a club that was within travelling distance. I studied the forms like crazy, practicing the techniques daily. Within 3 months, I had learned the first two forms (the tiger form and the crane form). All of a sudden my instructor Jim Uglow decided to relocate the club to Essex. I was not able to travel this far as a teenager to continue my studies.

I carried on watching more Bruce Lee movies, “Way of The Dragon” taught me how deceptive and greedy people can become in business. I father started having partnership problems at his restaurant. The movie was based around a Chinese restaurant in Rome. One of the workers tries to take over the business by sending in gangsters to try and shut down the restaurant.

He even goes as far as stabbing one of the other workers in the back and saying “All my life, I’ve worked in this restaurant, and what have I got to show for it”.

I started to work in the restaurant part-time during the weekends, finally I had my hands on some pocket money. I was paid £30 for my weekend work, I managed to keep £10 as my pocket money.

I was spending most of this on Magazines like “Combat”, “Fighters”, “Ring”… most of my classmates were spending money on comics and football magazines like “Shoot”.

Another thing I’ve learned for Bruce Lee (Way of The Dragon) is “If it works use it, it does not matter where it comes from”.

I made friends with other boys in my year group who were interested in Martial Arts. I started learning Ishin Ryu Karate from Ticky Donovan. This was one of my best experiences in martial arts. I started learning the katas and became really flexible. The sparring sessions were not that realistic, just techniques to get points in competitions.

I was looking for something to Kick Ass (or save my Ass) with, not points based sparring. I started taking Boxing lessons at the Royal Oak Pub. We were put straight into the ring and the sparring was quite fierce.

I came back with a few bruises, which prompted my dad to stop me from continuing with boxing. His argument was “I have not brought you over to London to become a boxer, if you wanted to become a fighter you should have stayed in Bangladesh and continue your studies at the Cadet College to become an Army Officer.”

At the age of 15 I was getting into so many fights at school and outside school. There were gangs after me as I had fought with gang members.

I started to buy weapons from Martial Arts shops in China Town. I had a collection of knives, nunchakus, shuriken stars and baseball bats.

I even bought Ninja foot and hand spikes and decided to train in the evening at the local park. Me and one of my friends jumped over the park fence and tried climbing trees using the Ninja spikes, it was not as easy as it looked in the movies. Our training session was cut short as the park guard dogs started chasing us.

For a slight instance I was ready to fight the dogs off like the Bruce Lee movie “Big Boss” scene. To my better judgement, I decided to just jump back over the park fence.

One of my school truant sessions led me back to China Town. I managed to perfect the art of jumping over the school fence after morning registration. I also managed to teach this useful life skill to two of my friends.

We scaled the school fence like Ninjas in the morning and caught the number 25 bus to Carnaby Street. On one if these days, inside a martial arts shop I met “Chan”. This was the beginning of my training in Wing Chun kung-fu.

I knew that this was the style taught to Bruce Lee by Yip Man. I travelled to Chan’s house after school to train from 2 hours, twice weekly. One of my friends joined me for a month, but later quit as the training was really intensive.

I managed to learn the first two Wing Chun forms and also Chi Sau (sticky hands). I could not pay Chan much money for the training. I used to take him some curries from our restaurant. Taking the curries to North London on the Underground was a mission. I managed to learn the art of keeping a straight face, while the whole train carriage smelled of curry!

I learned to do what I had to do to get to where I had to go.

At the age of 16, I was part of a street gang myself. It was a necessity for living in the area I resided in. We would chase out and beat-up other groups of youths from our local park and streets. We had our own territory, we were the dons of that area.

It was not like a street gang like these days, we were not taking or dealing in hard drugs. We got into many fights with other gangs. Many of our gang members were stabbed and attacked with baseball bats and other weapons.

We also attacked other gangs with mostly martial arts oriented weapons. I had taught myself to used Nunchakus and also the Balisong knife, which looked really intimidating when flicked around fast.

Between the ages of 16 to 19, my life was totally immersed with gang culture. We formed these gangs to protect ourselves from other gangs of different ethnicity. We were mainly formed of students from schools in Newham (Stratford, Forest gate, Little Ilford, Brampton Manor, Rokeby) we also had back-up from schools in Tower Hamlets (Bow Boys, Stepney Green, Sir John Cass, Daneford).

My martial arts training has helped to save my life on several occasions. Once I was surrounded by three guys from another gang who were going to rob me, one of the guys pulled out a knife. Two of the guys were a couple of years older than me. I was 16, they were around 18. I managed to knock out the guy with the knife with a round house kick to his head.

If I was in my right mind, I would not have done this. My instincts took over and after knocking out the guy with the knife, I managed to run off. I knew even after I got robbed, I was going to get cut up or stabbed.

At the age of 19, I got my first proper job as a computer operator at a freight forwarding company. This lasted for a year, I left to study for a degree.

At this stage of my life I wanted to improve on my kicking and flexibility, so I started studying TaeKwonDo at the Pilsung school in Poplar with Master Mark Tuft. I managed to pass four gradings and could do full splits and also jump spinning kicks.

My decision to continue studying was mainly influenced by Bruce Lee’s quest for knowledge. I wanted to have a degree like Bruce Lee. I wanted to study Philosophy or Psychology, but was persuaded to study Computing by my dad and his friends.

After getting my degree, I found it had to land a job. I worked at a local computer store and learned to build PC and also continued developing my programming skills.

I developed databases in MS Access and later moved onto working for a Database Marketing company. The pay was only £15,000 yearly, but still average for 1995.

In 1996 I managed to pass the tests to join the Graduate program at a management consultancy (Cap Gemini). I worked myself up in this company and my earnings went up to £30,000 yearly.

I still continued my training in Martial Arts, I joined Sifu Austin Goh’s martial arts school in Covent Garden. I studied Wing Chun there for two years, and attended lessons 2 to 3 times weekly after work.

After 3 years as an IT Consultant, I got bored with the daily routine. The work I was doing was not very challenging, I knew I was capable of more and could earn more money.

I left my job and started contracting in the IT field, I was earning around £20 – £25 per hour from 1999 onwards. I had learned new technologies and was able to link them with older robust systems.

I developed the Student Management System for Tower Hamlets College in Active Server Pages (ASP) by linking into their Oracle Database and also running cron jobs over night to update the data.

I continued my martial arts studies with Sifu Paul Whitrod (Chow Gar Praying Mantis). I managed to learn the first four forms. I had conditioned my body really well and toughened my fist, shin and forearms to an amazing level and also developed a deadly hammer fist strike (Gau Choi).

At that time, I also had a young family and I was in great shape physically and mentally. Everything was going really well for me.

Not a bad life so far, from immigrant to gang member to IT Consultant….

SCREECH, CRASH, BANG… Shattered Glass Fying into My Face…. Where am I? What’s happened?

My life was turned upside down, my world had turned black. I was involved in a major car accident. My wife and two young children were in the car as it was hit by another car at high speed.

My wife suffered from a broken collar bone and broken pelvis bone. There was shattered glass in her eyes and glass cuts on her face. The kids aged only 7 and 4 had glass cuts to their faces.

After I had worked out what had happened I managed to kick my driver side door open, I managed to pull out both by kids from the wrecked car. My wife was trapped in the car, the fire brigade had to cut up the car to free her.

She was unconscious, there was blood on her face. This was the moment I had to have faith that she was going to be ok.

I made up my mind that she was going to recover from this. She spent a lot of time in hospital and I spent a lot of time in silent prayer.

At times like this you realise how important family is, the value of what you have in life. The value of your health, the things that you take for guaranteed in everyday life.

I had to look after the kids full-time and also be there for my wife, beside her bedside in hospital. I had to reassure her that everything was going to be fine again.

She kept on saying that she could not feel her legs, but I kept on reassuring her it was only temporary. She was released from hospital, the doctors did not know whether she would be able to walk or not.

After several months of physiotherapy and visualisation exercises, she managed to take her first steps. It was like watching a baby walk for the first time, the emotions really over flowed.

I started to cry and hugged her and assured her that she was going to make a full recovery.

All this time I had to take my kids to psychotherapy so release the memories from their minds. They were frightened to get inside a car, but eventually they got over it.

My wife went for psychotherapy and also managed to get rid of the fear of getting inside a car.

All this time I had suppressed my emotions and went into depression after 18 months. I managed to get out of it my reading books related to mind science.

I had also started couple of businesses after this life changing incident. Both of these businesses failed and I lost all my life savings, over $100,000 in total. I have also lost over $100,000 in other investments.

All this has left me in debt of around $30,000. Luckily have been able start paying it off slowly. I have decided not to declare myself bankrupt. I’m paying off $450 every month to eliminate this debt.

At one time whilst I was working as an IT consultant, I managed to build up a monthly side income of over $4,000 using the internet.

I know for sure I will be able to pay off all my debt and also create financial freedom.

This reminds me off the time when Bruce Lee was bed ridden with a broken back. This is the time he came up with his most powerful concepts and ideas. He wrote several books on his fighting methods and techniques.

Even though his body as paralysed, his mind was active. He used what he had to the best of his ability. This incident still inspires me to this day.

I know that I will become successful again, but this time I will do it by benefiting a large number of people. I want to impact the lives of millions of people worldwide now and even when I am no longer in this physical form.

I want to leave behind a legacy like Bruce Lee. Mine will be in the field of Success Programming and Mind Science.

There is one quote from Bruce Lee that still inspires me…

“There is No help like Self-Help”

Sometimes things happen in our lives to move us towards another path.

My belief is that, as long as you accept where you are and have a vision of where you on to be, you will get there.

Like Bruce Lee said “Be like Water, My Friend.”

We need to adapt to whatever life places in front of us. Accept the challenges, adapt and take action to reach your goals.