In 1970, Bruce sustained a rather severe injury to his back. His doctors ordered him to discontinue the practice of martial arts and to remain
in bed to allow his back to heal. This was probably the most trying and dispiriting time in Bruce's life. He stayed in bed, virtually flat on his back for six
months, but he couldn't keep his mind from working - the result of which is this book. The bulk of these writings was done at that time, but many scattered notes
were recorded at earlier and later times. Many of Bruce's own theories are directly related to those expressed by these writers.
Bruce had decided to finish the book in 1971 but his film work kept him from completing it. He also vacillated about the advisability of publishing
his work because he felt it might be used for wrong purposes. He did not intend it to be a "how-to" book or a "learn kung-fu in 10 easy lessons"
book. He intended it as a record of one man's way of thinking and as a guide, not a set of instructions. If you can read it in this light, there is much to be
aware of on these pages. And, you probably will have many questions, the answers to which you must seek within yourself. When you have finished this
book, you will know Bruce Lee better, but hopefully you will also know yourself better.
Now, open your mind and read, understand, and experience, and when you've reached that point, discard this book. The pages are best used for
cleaning up a mess - as you will see.
In the hands of a singular man, simple things carefully placed ring with an undeniable harmony. Bruce's orchestration of martial arts had that quality,
most apparent in his combat motion. Immobilized for several months with an injured back, he picked up a pen. There, too, he wrote as he spoke, as he movedówith
directness and with honesty.
Like listening to a musical composition, understanding the elements within it adds a specialness to the sound. For this reason, Linda Lee and I are liberalizing
the introduction of Bruce's book to explain how it came about.
The Tao of Jeet Kune Do actually began before Bruce was born. The classical wing chun style that started him on his way was developed 400 years
before his time. The 2,000 or so books he owned and the countless books he read, described the individual "discoveries" of thousands of men before him.
There's nothing new within this book; there are no secrets. "It's nothing special," Bruce used to say. And so it wasn't.
Bruce's special key was knowing himself and his own capabilities to correctly.