Michael Miller

Michael Miller is a freelance writer, author, and international self-defense and personal protection expert holding a 5th degree black belt in American Kenpo, which is a modern street based martial art. Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing with a minor in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. He has authored several books along with numerous magazine feature articles for international magazines.

10 Comments

  1. Carl
    February 1, 2014 @ 12:42 am

    I need help settling a dispute. Was Bruce Lee ever Chuck Norris’s teacher? I appreciate your answer.

    Reply

    • Michael Miller Michael Miller
      May 13, 2015 @ 5:05 pm

      Hello Carl. I believe I had e-mailed you the answer but just in case, no Bruce was not Chuck’s teacher although Chuck did learn things from Bruce. Bruce also learned things from Chuck. Although Bruce was phenomenal, there were a handful of people, if not more, who were just as good if not better. One of my teachers was the late, great Joe Lewis who was a world champion fighter and later became a student under Bruce. He told me that Bruce Lee the image was much more impressive than Bruce Lee the martial artist. He wasn’t as good or as tough as people thought he was. That’s coming right from one of his students. He told me that there was a reason Bruce didn’t fight. Was he fast? Absolutely. What he a freak of nature in terms of the shape he was in? Absolutely. But he wasn’t the big tough guy fighter his image upholds. I hope I was a help.

      Reply

      • Robert Libby
        February 21, 2016 @ 11:08 am

        With all due respect there is another error. Bruce did not ask Joee to train with him according to Joe Lewis. Mike Stone suggested that Joe train with Bruce and Joe did. This is from Joe Lewis American Karate Systems. And there is a video of Joe’s first full contact fight in I believe 1970 and he is moving like Bruce. Please look at his style then and compare it to his stiff tournament style. And he is fighting power side forward as Bruce taught him
        “Fortunately, someone came along who gave me the inspiration and desire to start moving forward again. I met Bruce Lee in 1967, and in ’68 Mike Stone convinced me to start working with Bruce. I didn’t think much of Bruce at first because his art was kung fu and he was very small, but my opinion of him soon changed. I worked hard with him and won 11 tournaments in a row, non-stop. Bruce asked me to tell people that I was studying jeet kune do and that I was working under him, which I did. In fact, I had him stand beside me at one of Rhee’s U.S. National Championships as my instructor when I received the trophy. I could tell that he liked that. I was the defending champion, he was a special guest, and he ended up as instructor to the grand champion.

        I liked jeet kune do because Bruce got me into doing more movement with my head. Because I’m right-handed, he took me back to my right side forward, which I was using on Okinawa. (I had temporarily switched over to my left side because, in my first National Championships, I had hurt my right heel.

        When I fought in the National Championships, I put my left side forward because I could use either side. I still won the tournament, even with my left side forward.) Bruce switched me back right side, or what in JKD is called strong side forward. He got me to use more release on the ends of my kicks and punches, rather than tightening up at the end. (I could then release my power and have more follow through.) Bruce taught me to block with the rear hand instead of the front hand. He re-emphasized explosiveness, which I already had. He was the perfect coach for me.”
        Here is video proof. I was at the tournament in the still at 3:18. Me and my friend just went “Oh my God” at the same time! We were in the deck just above sand behind so we had a perfect view!
        https://youtu.be/u4l9F_xs_eg

        Reply

    • Robert Libby
      February 21, 2016 @ 10:43 am

      Okay. I am 64 years old. I trained under Larry Hartsell. Larry trained NFL lineman at the team training camps, and especially Randy White, a hall of famer for the Dallas Cowboys, numerous government agencies, and the Navy SEALS! Larry on a YouTube interview said he started training with Bruce because Bruce beat his ass! And we all know what pansies NFL lineman and SEALS are 😉 And the NFL respected Larry. They even did it for a long time due to the effects. What they (Dan Inosanto, Larry Hartsell, Tim Tackett, and other JKD people) taught is still used to this day. https://youtu.be/NIEYyraiaLU 49er training camp and a very young Paul Vunak!
      https://youtu.be/0k5pIkflNPk?list=PLD4066E6843756AB4 Dr. Bob Ward of the Dallas Cowboys and giving credit to Bruce Lee’s JKD and other tools!
      The author is wrong. Chuck Norris was a point sparring champion and never had a full contact match in his life. I respect Chuck for his work ethic and accomplishments, but he was not a “professional” fighter. Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, and Benny Urquidez were.
      Joe Lewis said in an interview that “Bruce hit like a heavyweight:
      https://youtu.be/S7oa_PNSzCE
      https://youtu.be/0k5pIkflNPk?list=PLD4066E6843756AB4 Randy White talking about how martial arts made him better as a football player. He also trained with Francis Fong.
      So how do you question this? Larry lived in awe of Bruce’s abilities and Joe seems to also. I asked Larry what it was like to spar with Bruce and he said “scary.” Bruce never had a pro fight, that is true, but his whole system revolved around full contact and he sparred full contact all the time. And with Larry Hartsell who was 6’0″ and 200 lbs. And Larry is considered one of the best of all time.
      I will end with a true story. I was 16 years old. My father got a call on a Saturday morning at about 6:30 am. It was for me. It was from the Ed Parker Santa Monica school where I trained. My dad was not happy but he supported my training 100% and they said it was an “emergency.” It was an emergency. They had to go bail Larry out of jail for a bar brawl. The problem was that Paul Dalton and Norm Pattiz both has 2 set sports cars (Datsun 1600s). So they needed another car.They also knew I would be in at like 9:00am So I got there and they explained it to me. The West Los Angeles division was on Purdue St. and was like 2 minutes from the school. So we get there and I talked to the cops while Norm did the paperwork and paid the bail. Ed Parker had called Norm to do it as Ed lived in Pasadena and Norm lived nearby. He and two other guys had taken out like 8 to 9 guys from what the police told me. They said that in the report the bar was wrecked and Vern Holliman had been picked up and thrown threw the front plate glass window. But Vern got back in and fought. The third guy was a 6’4″ Irish coal miner named John Powers who couldn’t spell Karate, but used to box. The cops said Larry put 4 to 5 guys in the hospital. Larry beat the charges as the other side started the fight. And Larry was really banged up. He had on an ankle wrap, a swollen hand, and some facial bruises. The cops had to take them to the hospital as they were injured. As we got them out Larry saw Norm and Larry lowered his head and said something like “Norm I’ve never been so humiliated in my life” and Norm shot back F#%$ you Larry- you can’t even spell humiliated.”
      So a guy that trains Navy SEALS, the NFL, and takes takes out 4 to 5 guys in a fight was in awe of Bruce Lee. Do you really think Chuck would even have a snow ball’s chance in Hell against Bruce? Bruce would have hammered Chuck Norris!

      Reply

  2. jordan
    March 22, 2015 @ 2:23 am

    he trained w/lee. i don’t know if lee formally taught him. as far as these guys claiming to beat lee or do well against him, jim kelly said that he knew who sparred w/lee & didn’t want to admit that they sparred w/him, but out of respect he wouldn’t say since these guys have reputations to uphold. he did say that nobody could “kick lee’s ass”. he was unbeleivable. u can watch interviews w/kelly on youtube where he talks about lee & answers questions about him.

    Reply

    • Michael Miller Michael Miller
      May 13, 2015 @ 5:09 pm

      Jordan, thank you for your comment. As I mentioned in my other response, yes Chuck trained with Lee and they both had a mutual exchange of info. None of them were each others’ formal teacher. As for Jim Kelly, that’s his opinion. He wasn’t by Bruce’s side every time he sparred someone. I’m telling you first hand information that came from those who were there. One of my instructors fought both Bruce (friendly sparring match), and Chuck Norris (in a tournament). He said that he and Bruce were even. Bruce got him a few times and he got Bruce a few times. When he fought Chuck Norris, it wasn’t even a fight. He admitted that Chuck tore him apart. So from his experiences with both men he said Chuck would’ve ruined Bruce. Either way, nobody has done more for the martial arts than Bruce Lee. He will always be the biggest martial arts icon in the world in my opinion.

      Reply

      • Alex Chen
        September 2, 2017 @ 1:51 am

        You’re quoting people who might have a personal vested interest to make themselves and their associates (martial art style) look good.

        Jim Kelly did not have a close relationship with Bruce, but he himself said Bruce was untouchable on many accounts. Louis Delgado, Mike Stone and a few others from that era said pretty much the same thing.

        Bruce, on the other hand, never ever boasted about himself or who he beat. It was the other witnesses or people who trained with him that spread the accounts of how good he was. Never ever take a person’s “firsthand account” especially when it’s possible that the person telling you the story has his ego at stake. Just think Vic Moore and all his lying claims on Bruce – all utterly debunked when the actual video of the championships demo surfaced.

        Reply

  3. mark
    December 4, 2015 @ 3:00 am

    Chuck norris got a black belt in tang soo do.not tae kwon do

    Reply

  4. Wayne Arthur
    February 5, 2016 @ 10:08 pm

    You know, I don’t think there’s any doubt! The fact that Norris truly was a real fighter says it all. As noted in the above Lee never really fought, he taught! Another no-doubter, Joe Lewis would have annihilated Ali in a fight, but then again most good kick boxers, and almost all MMA would do the same! Wayne Arthur

    Reply

  5. Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris in epic movie battle | Manlihood.com
    September 23, 2017 @ 6:52 am

    […] of our most popular posts here at Manlihood.com was written by Michael Miller. The post chronicles the legendary fight […]

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