All the unarmed combat training is a game of the display of skill & talent. Bruce Lee did not emphasize the “flashy” stuff because he stated that it was not realistic. But all Martial Art training is not realistic in a live & spontaneous situation that is completely dynamic & unpredictable. Martial Art training is for Artistic self-expression. If Bruce Lee was able to perform amazing acrobats like Tony Jaa, I’m sure he would have jumped at the opportunity to display his talent on screen, but fact was, he was not capable of performing acrobats, that is why in “Enter the Dragon” a stunt double had to be hired to perform the forward flip at the beginning of the movie. Bruce Lee was not an acrobatic person, so to protect his ego, he stated that the “flashy” stuff is not worth developing, he talked down on acrobats because he was unable to perform it himself.
Because he had a nice physique, he loved to show off his muscles, but in all actuality, real combat efficiency has nothing to do with how impressive your muscles appear to be. But he wanted to show off his physique in order to demonstrate to others how hard he has trained. He decided to show off to the world his muscular physique to replace his inability to perform acrobats. His negative statements about flashy techniques was an ego defense. All talented Martial Artists show off in one way or another. One Martial Artist will show off his nice physique like a bodybuilder (Bruce Lee), another Martial Artist will show off his “flashy” techniques (Tony Jaa), another Martial Artist will show off his amazing strength, another Martial Artist will show off his amazing speed (Bruce Lee), another Martial Artist will show off his amazing flexibility (Van Damme), another Martial Artist will show off his stunt performances (Jackie Chan), a fighter will show off his ability to hurt other people (sport fighters). Everybody is in the business to show something off in order to gain attention & profit.
Bruce Lee might have spoken down about flashy techniques over simple, practical, & efficient techniques. But I would surely rather promote flashy techniques over violent sport fighters who use simple, practical, & efficient techniques to hurt others for personal gain. Simple, practical, & efficient techniques are only beautiful when they are displayed in artistic, creative, & peaceful ways. They become very ugly when displayed in violent ways. The most simple, practical, & efficient way to kill another is to point a gun and shoot. The beauty in Martial Art is complicating the simple in order to develop it into an Art that takes decades to perfect. Millions can point a gun and shoot, but very few will be able to be as acrobatically capable like Tony Jaa. Anybody can learn to point & shoot in a matter of seconds, but to learn how to perform a split will take many years of training.
Bruce Lee has been a big inspiration to me & I am not criticizing his statements out of disrespect but I rather use his statements to spark our own inner awakening towards truth. The expression of Bruce Lee is only half complete, it is up to us to complete the rest, we need to discover the other side, we need to see the other perspective. Bruce Lee had a huge ego in his expression & anytime there is an ego, the ego will create many beautiful lies. Beautiful lies will then mistakenly be perceived as the truth, we need to see past these beautiful lies & discover the truth within ourselves. Yes Bruce Lee is a big inspiration to many, but he is no longer here to explain his teachings, so we cannot limit ourselves to his dead quotations, we need to see that all the answers are within, even if some of these answers may seem to contradict the past statements of Bruce.