“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”
Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong-American actor, philosopher, and martial arts master. He is also the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial art. He founded it back in 1967, as a non-classical form of Chinese Kung Fu. It has no fixed patterns, and is based on the concept of intercepting or attacking when an opponent goes on the attack.
Some consider him the father of today’s MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). It is considered by the media, critics and other fighters that his influence is extremely great for the popularization of martial arts, and his appearance in pop culture is a kind of bridge between the cultures of the West and the East.
It is a well-known fact that Bruce Lee, in the context of fight, attached great importance to the mental preparation. In his legendary interviews and books, he talked about what he taught his attendees. He taught them how to express themselves through the movement, that is, he taught them the art of expressing the human body in a competitive form.
In order for an athlete to express himself and achieve victory, in addition to tactics, technique and fitness, he must have a balanced mind. On the one hand, the athlete has a natural instinct, and on the other hand, he has control. Both sides should be combined into balance. If the natural instinct goes to the extreme we have stress and nervousness, and if the control goes to the extreme we have a mechanical man, who has no qualities of a human being.
Bruce Lee, too, said that we have to be adaptable to our opponent. Let us move like water, let us be calm like a mirror, let us react like an echo. Such a calm mind, brings an athlete into a state of flow when he has perfect focus and has no distraction from the outside world.
When we are adaptable we use the strength of our opponent and turn it into our strength. That is the very essence of Jeet Kune Do. Its practitioners believe in minimal effort, with maximum effect.
That’s exactly what water does. When water encounters an obstacle, it knows how to get around it, and when necessary, it has the strength to break it.
And because of that: “Be water, my friend” – Bruce Lee told us.