Chael Sonnen, the bad boy of combat sports is back at it again, this time taking jabs at Bruce Lee. According to Sonnen, the legendary martial artist’s philosophies hold up, as everything he claimed turned out to be true, but at the end of the day, Bruce Lee never really fought professionally so nobody can know how good of a fighter he really was.
A Twitter Comment That Started The Rant
The entire Chel Sonne rant about Bruce Lee was inspired by a Twitter comment. According to a comment Chael got, Bruce Lee never really fought, was not a champion, and did not risk anything, so he can not really be called a fighter.
Admittedly, there is logic to this way of thinking.
According to Sonnen, many professional fighters who never made it to rankings or titles would beat up Bruce Lee “real bad”.
Sonne did give Lee props about his philosophy, as he was the only one in the late 60s that advocated training many different arts at the same time. Such thinking was revolutionary for the time. Bruce Lee’s take was that training in such a way is the best way to prepare for a real unarmed situation.
However, it did not work that way. People did not cross-train back then because they thought that they were all learning the best possible art and learning secrets directly from “grandmasters” themselves.
Chael shared a funny story from his bouncing days about a colleague he had named James who claimed he was training a secret martial art at a kung fu gym where an 83-year-old woman beats anyone in the gym.
Understandably, Chael found such thinking amusing, to say the least.
Chael Sonnen’s Reasons Why Bruce Lee Couldn’t Fight
Back to the point about Bruce Lee actually not begin able to fight for real, Chel’s further elaboration on the subject goes along the lines of “I can kill you in seven different ways with my thumb”.
People training “secret” and ‘deadly” techniques in controlled settings only and never ever testing them live just means they’ll get beaten up when and if they try. The evidence backs this up.
“if you are training, and you’re not exhausted and ripping in sweat, it is for nothing. you’re not doing anything that needs to be respected,” says Chael Sonnen.
To further reiterate his point Chael asks when have we seen BJJ guys and wrestlers succumb to a groin strike or punch. The answer is never. They’d never do it.
Chael Sonnen actually puts Bruce Lee in a category of trained actors, along with the likes of Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris, although he admits Chuck has a competitive background in point-striking.
That said it is difficult to disagree with him. All of these martial arts icons of Holywood did not compete in the octagon cause it didn’t exist yet, but they did not achieve much outside of it either.
They were part of Hollywood stories, and nothing more. Bruce Lee was the same, an actor trained in martial arts, but not a real fighter.