Some Wise Words of Bruce Lee
The Martial Arts World of George Fitzgerald
Like many people around the world, on the 31st of August I remembered the sad passing three years ago of my friend and teacher, the late and great Joe Lewis.
I first got to meet and train with Joe back in the year 2000 … what a FANTASTIC way to begin this New Millennium!! After reading about him for so many years it was awe-inspiring to finally meet Joe. To then eventually go on to become one of his Black Belts and a member of the wonderful Joe Lewis Fighting Systems Family is a tremendous honor and privilege, something I will always treasure.
Gone but never forgotten may be somewhat of an overused expression, but certainly in Joe’s case these words will always ring true. Thank You Grand Master Joe, may you forever Rest In Peace.
Please watch this wonderful video dedicated to my late friend and teacher, the Legendary Joe Lewis. It was created by Joe Corley at a time when Joe Lewis was facing his greatest battle. Joe, you will NEVER be forgotten and you have the eternal gratitude of countless people all around the world. I Thank You with all my heart for what you did for me personally. Rest In Peace my friend.
If ever you walk past a seafood restaurant , perhaps on a seaside pier, you may see a big barrel, without a lid, that is full of live crabs. On seeing this you could be forgiven in thinking that the crabs could easily jump out and fall back into the sea.
But you would be wrong. If you spent some time observing them, you’d be surprised to notice that, every time one of the crabs tried to get to the edge of the barrel to escape, all the other ones would pull him back in.
Who are the crabs in your life? Who and what is holding you back from doing what you want? When you decide to work-out, go on a diet, or do something worthwhile, who and what stops you?
There once was a monastery that was very strict. Following a vow of silence, no one was allowed to speak at all, except for just two words every ten years.
After spending his first ten years at the monastery, one monk went to the head monk and said, “Bed … hard!”
After another ten years had passed this same monk went to the head monk and this time said, “Food … stinks!”
Yet another ten years passed and the monk once again met with the head monk, this time saying, “I … quit!”
“Well, I can see why,” replied the head monk. “All you ever do is complain!!”
SIFU George Says…
“ I believe that we have the choice to either focus on the positive aspects of our lives or dwell on the negatives. The monk in this story chose the negatives and therefore was not accomplishing much – he was basically wasting his time. Although he spoke only six words in thirty years, he did nothing but complain the whole time – in his head. That’s why he had nothing better to say when he had the chance.”
Perhaps the most important person to be loyal to, is yourself. Are you? Chances are good that you are way down on the list of who and what you care for.
What does being loyal to yourself mean? Commitment to the values you deem important. For example, do you think your family’s health is important? If so, your health is important too, because you are an important member of the family. You need to do the things that keep you healthy. You need to eat right. Sure, you are busy at work and taking care of the family, but who is going to do all the work if you get sick? It’s easy to skip lunch and eat junk food instead, but would you allow your children to do that? Then why allow yourself. Take the extra 10 minutes to eat a real meal.
In order to stay healthy, you need to exercise three times a week, or more if possible. Martial arts training is one of the best overall exercises, so attending class regularly, or taking quality private lessons, is good for you and good for your family.
As important as it is to take care of yourself physically, so is taking care of yourself emotionally. You must keep the promises you make to yourself, just as you keep the promises you make to others. Every time you cheat yourself, it is like dripping water on a rock. It does not appear to have any noticeable effect, but over time it can erode your self-esteem.
Commitment and support are the keys to loyalty. Commit to being as good a friend to yourself as you are to your family and friends. Support the good habits that keep you healthy and strong, so that you can continue to serve those you love.
Here I am with my good friend and student, Stuart Phillips. This was December 2013 when Stuart was about to do a blindfolded haircut on former footballer, Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock. We joked that I was there in the event of anything going wrong, but of course there was no chance of that happening. Stuart is a true master of his craft and a genuine celebrity hairdresser.
He has had some amazing clients, is the official hairdressing writer for on-line OK Magazine and is the recipient of multiple awards. This year alone he won two awards at the English Hair & Beauty Awards – ‘Best London Salon of the Year‘ and ‘Best UK Salon of the Year’ … he received the award for ‘Best Salon in London’ at the London Lifestyle Awards 2014 … and most recently he was declared the ‘Best Male Hairstylist in the UK’ at the International Achievers Award 2014!!
A true Warrior Spirit can help anyone achieve all of their goals in life and Stuart is a Warrior!!!
Sunday 31st August 2014 marked the second anniversary of the sad passing of Martial Arts immortal, Joe Lewis. The first heavyweight World Kickboxing Champion, twice elected the Greatest Karate Fighter of All Time … and NUMEROUS other accolades, his genius is truly missed.
I am proud and fortunate that I am among those lucky enough to be one of his Black Belts, his student … and most importantly, a friend. Rest In Peace Joe.
It is incredible to believe that today, the 2oth August 2014, marks seven years since the sad passing of my friend and teacher, Sifu Larry Hartsell.
Sifu Larry was widely regarded as the premier fighter of those fortunate to be classed as original students of Bruce Lee. It is well known to the students of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do that Bruce Lee broke combat down into the four ranges of Kicking, Boxing, Trapping and Grappling. The serious students of Jeet Kune Do are also aware that the development of the grappling range techniques in this system were assigned to Larry Hartsell.
Larry Hartsell authored several books on the subject of Jeet Kune Do Grappling. “Entering to Trapping To Grappling and takedowns, Counters, and Reversals.” In addition he nine internationally distributed videotapes on the grappling arts. These books, videos and his skill in the grappling arts have resulted in Larry Hartsell being listed in the “Who’s Who in Martial Arts” and cover shots with numerous feature articles in Inside Kung Fu, Black Belt, Martial Arts Training, Inside Karate, Australasian Fighting Arts, and many others.
Larry Hartsell’s skill in hand-to-hand combat, his weapons training and his development of techniques in the grappling range led to a wide and varied range of professional experiences. With his training under Bruce Lee, his degree in criminology, his ten years of law enforcement experience, and his training under Dan Inosanto, Larry Hartsell was in wide demand as a professional bodyguard for celebrities like Mr. T of the A-Team fame, and as a trainer for both the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.
Sifu Larry conducted two outstanding seminars in 2004 at my former school, the Tang Lung Combat Academy, and I felt immensely proud and privileged to be his seminar assistant in Los Angeles 2005 at Black Belt magazine’s first Festival of Martial Arts.
Not only was he a legendary Martial Artist, but also a genuinely warm-hearted person who is missed by countless people all over the world. Sifu Larry, God Bless You.
Probably the greatest influence in my life as a Martial Artist was the legendary Bruce Lee. I started my Martial Arts journey in the same year that Bruce died, back in 1973. For those of you not of the right age to know this time, it would be hard for you to understand the Kung Fu and Bruce Lee boom of the 70’s. Of course nowadays, martial arts are to be seen in every blockbuster action movie; but back in the early 1970s and earlier, fight scenes looked very different!! It was the explosion of Kung Fu movies, spear-headed by Bruce Lee that changed the movie scene forever. It was after sneaking into one of the late night cinemas (because you had to be 18) to see my first Bruce Lee movie, Fist of Fury … that my path in life was firmly set.
So, I was very happy that in a list of the 100 Fittest Men Ever, published by Men’s Fitness magazine, Bruce Lee came in at Number Two, beaten only by Olympic swimming legend, Michael Phelps. Of course I think that Bruce should have been Numero Uno, but I guess my opinion is slightly biased! In fact, there were several other Martial Artists and boxers included in this list, such as Chuck Norris, George St. Pierre and Mohammed Ali.
The Martial Arts have long been recognised for their value as a means to physical fitness. Just as an example, it has been estimated that a good kickboxing workout can burn up to 8oo calories in just one hour!! Depending on which art is practised, a martial arts routine works the body for flexibility, strength, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, speed, endurance, balance and just about every other attribute required to reach a great level of fitness. In fact, if you never have to use Martial Arts as a defence against physical assault, you are still practising the art of self-defence against all kinds of ailments. Prevention is after-all, always better than cure.