The following is an excerpt from Chris Kent’s new book, LIBERATE YOURSELF - A Guide to Personal Freedom, which is currently available through Amzon.com or www.chriskentjkd.com.
When the first public Jeet Kune Do training facility opened in 1974, it quickly became the “Mecca” for anyone interested in learning about or studying Bruce Lee’s art and philosophy. Known as the Filipino Kali Academy (the words “Jeet Kune Do” didn’t appear anywhere on the outside), people came from all over the globe to train at the school. In my years of training and assisting at the Academy, I saw countless people whom I refer to as “Bruce Lee shadow chasers” come and go. I called them “shadow chasers” because they spent their time running after the image or “shadow” of Bruce Lee. These people believed that if they performed the exact workout that Lee did, ate the same food he ate, read the same books and listened to the same music Lee listened to, dressed the way he did, even cut their hair in the same style that they could literally become just like Bruce Lee. Some of these individuals would imitate every little nuance and action Lee did in his movies, from the way he held his hands, to shaking his head, to pulling up his trousers before kicking. They would mimic his facial expressions and even his cinematic vocal noises. These people adopted the persona of Bruce Lee instead of being themselves. What they failed to understand is that it wasn’t being “like Bruce Lee” that was integral to Lee’s success, but in his being Bruce Lee, in expressing fully the honest feelings, emotions, and nature of his innermost being.