Martial arts icon Jackie Chan explained why he refused to emulate legendary Bruce Lee’s fighting style in 2015

The legendary Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong-born actor and martial arts artist. Lee is one of the reasons why the martial art is well known and famous in the United States. Lee also starred in America’s first-ever martial arts film, Enter the Dragon. Unfortunately, Lee died while making a film called The Game of Death.

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During his short time in the country, Lee taught martial arts to famous personalities. Actors such as Huggo Chairres, Steve McQueen, James Coburn and basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were some of his students. However, when it came to carrying Lee’s legacy forward, Jackie Chan was the chosen one. However, the martial arts legend refused to do so.

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Why did Jackie Chan refuse to fight like Bruce Lee?

Bruce Lee was one of the most respected figures in the Hong Kong film industry. In 1973, Lee’s death left the industry with an essential task of finding an actor who might fit in the legendary star’s footsteps.

A rising star and another martial arts expert, Jackie Chan was one of the leading names to compensate for Lee’s constant absences. It also meant that Chan had to act and fight like Lee. However, the kung fu master said so in his book Never Grow Up “No one could ever surpass” Lee’s legacy.

Although Chan tried to emulate Lee, he soon found that their fighting styles were wildly different. In his autobiography, Chan mentioned that while Lee used ground kicks in combat, he preferred higher kicks on the other side. Before making his first breakthrough film – Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Lee approached the film’s producer and proposed “A completely different way” to shoot the movie.

Later, Chan managed to write his own story and today he is one of the most successful actors and martial artists like Lee.

When Lee and Chan worked together

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Jackie Chan began his career as a stuntman in films. He also collaborated on the legendary films Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon.

Chan once confessed that Lee was a huge influence on his career and he learned many things from the martial arts expert. During the filming of Fist of Fury, Chan was one of Lee’s many opponents that he had to fight.

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During filming, Chan accidentally punched Lee in the face. After the shot, the Hong Kong film legend rushed to apologize to the then-young Lee.

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