To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is. Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was an actor, scholar, instructor and an absolute brilliant practitioner of the martial arts. At a time when the world of martial arts was overly concerned with form, history, lineage, reputation, and style, Bruce Lee was about being ‘objective oriented.’ He wanted to simplify, to filter away fluff so that he’d have only those core skills that would make him a better fighter. He wasn’t being ‘simplistic’ when he says that “the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity.” The ‘simplicity’ he was referring to was for him to keep what was of worth in his system, and to chuck out what he thought had no place in his kit bag.
Miyamoto Musashi, a famed 16th century samurai said that when you are in front of an opponent, all you should be thinking of is ‘cutting.’ No extraneous thoughts should distract you from your purpose, which is to vanquish the opponent. Musashi was not diminishing the vast amount of skills he had, or the strategy he used to best 60 over experts in duels, he was merely talking about what is fundamentally important when two parties oppose each other.
Similarly, Bruce Lee wasn’t about being sloppy. He was an extremely gifted athlete. Highly coordinated. Extensively trained. His quote isn’t about dumbing down training. It is about streamlining the training you get so you can become a better opponent, it is about the mental focus you then adopt once you are well trained, and it is about being real about the difficulties in facing down an opponent.
Keep training well, folks.