ESPN’s extremely anticipated documentary Be Water, from the 30 for 30 Collection, explores the extraordinary lifetime of martial arts legend, Bruce Lee.
The movie chronicles Bruce’s early days and his rise to changing into a world celebrity after being rejected by Hollywood, merely for being Asian.
The documentary is advised by way of the angle of Bruce’s household and shut pals, and encompasses a treasure-house of archival footage that reveals the various sides of Bruce, his inspirational artwork, and his life philosophy.
On watching the trailer, die-hard followers have been additionally fast to choose up on a well-known picture of Bruce together with his mentor and good friend, the even-more legendary grasp of Wing Chun-style kung fu, Ip Man.
For followers of Bruce who aren’t accustomed to this grandmaster of Wing Chun, right here’s a fast explainer about Bruce Lee’s grasp, Ip Man, and the essential function he performed in Bruce’s tragically brief life.
Who was Bruce Lee’s grasp?
Bruce Lee was born in America however spent most of his childhood in his dad or mum’s homeland of Hong Kong. When he was 16, Bruce joined the martial arts class of a neighborhood legend named Ip Man.
Ip Man was born right into a merchant-class household in 1893, and on the age of round 9, started his martial arts coaching. In his 20s, Ip Man lived on mainland China and labored as a police officer, educating Wing Chun on the aspect to family and friends.
However as an officer for the Nationalist Kuomintang authorities, he was pressured to maneuver his household to Hong Kong after the Chinese language Communist Celebration took over in 1949’s Civil Conflict.
In Hong Kong, Ip Man began to show Wing Chun for a dwelling. A lot of his college students went on to kind faculties of their very own and would compete in martial arts competitions the place their victories elevated Ip Man’s personal fame as a grasp.
Sadly, Ip Man wasn’t nice with cash, and in 1967, his former college students established an athletic affiliation with the purpose of serving to Ip Man to get his monetary affairs so as.
The grasp of Wing Chun died in 1972 of throat most cancers, which many attribute to his years of smoking tobacco and opium.
Ip Man taught Bruce the best way to go from a streetfighter to a kung fu grasp.
By all accounts, Ip Man was a tremendous and sort grasp. He taught all his college students in a different way and tailor-made his trainings to swimsuit a scholar’s pure talents. He didn’t consider his faculty as a enterprise, however quite as a approach to assist college students, who he thought of his household.
Ip Man’s nephew and scholar, Lo Man Kam, remembers the times when he shared a studio with the well-known Bruce Lee. He advised Put up Journal that when Bruce got here to Ip Man, he was a streetfighter.
He would typically turn out to be too aggressive throughout sparring matches and Ip Man needed to always remind him that Bruce was “studying kung fu. [He was] not studying the best way to struggle.”
Ip Man’s life impressed a movie sequence.
If you wish to study extra about Ip Man and his life, the Ip Man film sequence is a superb place to begin. Starring Donnie Yen as Ip Man, the film options superb preventing sequences that put the grasp’s expertise on full show.
Donnie Yen ready for essentially the most emotionally and mentally draining function of his life by committing to 6 months of Wing Chun coaching and studying extra concerning the nice grasp from his two sons.
Be Water can be broadcast Sunday, June 7 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.