Chuck Norris convinced Bruce Lee to change up his kicks

By: H&I Staff     Posted: September 30, 2021, 3:48PM

Few Hollywood friendships are as legendary as Chucks Norris and Bruce Lee’s. The two had first crossed paths with one another during the 1960s. At the time Lee was starred in Green Hornet as Kato while Norris was opening and managing multiple karate studios. 

In 1967, both Norris and Lee attended the All American Karate Open Championship where Norris won and Lee was giving a demonstration of his martial arts. Impressed with one another, the two met after the event and began discussing martial arts and fighting. This would of course lead to a sparring match between the two fighters that would go on until 4 in the morning.

Both living in Los Angeles at the time, they returned home and would work out and spar in their backyards. During this time both Lee and Norris would debate their ideas and philosophies on fighting. One contested topic was on kicking.

Lee didn’t believe there was ever a need to kick an opponent above the waist, an area where Norris primarily landed many of his kicking blows.

”I said, ‘Well that’s good and it’s bad, Bruce. You should be able to have the ability to kick anywhere. And that way, if you only want to go high, that’s fine, but if there’s an opening high then you should be able to take advantage of that,’” recalled Chuck Norris on his advice to the late Bruce Lee.

Seeing Norris's point of view on the topic, Lee began training his kicks to aim above the waist. In just a few months of training Lee would already be as good as Norris.

After two years of training together in Hollywood, Lee moved to Hong Kong to focus on his movie career. Lee would later invite Norris to appear in his big breakout movie, The Way of the Dragon, to play the villain, Colt.

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