Before you start on your martial arts journey, we are going to discuss the importance of inspiration.

True inspiration must come from within, but you can have a great deal of help if you look at others who have achieved what you want to achieve or who have become experts in their particular field.

This section will look at the example of probably the most famous martial artist and movie star, Bruce Lee as a source of inspiration. How, from a young age even up to his unfortunate death, he faced prejudice and ridicule. Bruce Lee had to strive to achieve his goals. He persevered to become one of the most revered martial artists of his era.

Let’s talk about Bruce Lee, the Chinese name Li Jun Fan.

Born to parents Lee Hoi-Chuen, and Grace Ho on November 27, 1940, San Francisco, California. His father was a well-respected star of Cantonese opera in Hong Kong. His mother Grace Ho was a member of the Ho-tung Bosman family, a very influential family in Hong Kong.

A nurse gave Li Jun Fan the name Bruce at the Jackson Street Hospital, however, he never used this name until he entered secondary school and began studying the English language.

When Bruce was three months old, the family returned to Hong Kong. This return trip is where the immigration documents reveal that his mother Grace Ho, identified her mother as British.

This small fact would be one reason why Bruce Lee would have difficulty being accepted by some Chinese community members. They shunned him because they believed he wasn’t entirely Chinese.

Always fighting

Growing up, Bruce Lee often got into fights, but he had no formal training until the age of 13 when he lost his first fight. This loss led him to study Wing Chun with a Wing Chun master by the name of IP Man.

Again, when some of IP Man’s students found out about Lee’s apparent ancestry, they refused to train with him. Despite this setback, Bruce studied diligently and became very proficient in the Wing Chun system.

Bruce studied Wing Chun for five years, and he much respected IP Man as a teacher and wise man and would frequently visit with him in later years.

A lesser-known fact about Bruce Lee what that he was an excellent dancer, in 1958 he won the Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship. Bruce took the study of dancing as seriously as he did his Kung Fu.

This kind of prejudice followed him when Bruce Lee returned to America in April of 1959—shunned by some students when he studied drama and philosophy at the University of Washington.

Bruce’s passion for Kung Fu was one of the main reasons he studied philosophy; he wanted to delve into the philosophical underpinnings to see how he could relate these to martial arts techniques. Despite all of the setbacks, Bruce used his Kung Fu to his advantage; he supported himself at University by teaching Kung Fu.

Linda Lee

When Bruce met Linda Emery, he would encounter even more prejudice and racism. For a Chinese man to date an American girl wasn’t the done thing back then. Linda Emery would later become Linda Lee as his wife when they married in 1964.

Bruce Lee went on to open up his first martial arts school in Seattle called Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu.

When Bruce and Linda moved to Oakland, Bruce opened a second school, and more challenges awaited him. In 1964 Wong Jack Man challenged Bruce Lee to a fight because Bruce was happy to teach anyone Kung Fu.

The other Kung Fu teachers were not pleased about this fact. The challenge and the terms of the fight were that if Bruce were defeated, he would stop teaching the non-Chinese people Kung Fu. Bruce Lee went on to win the battle.

Enter the Dragon

Bruce Lee is most famous for his starring roles in movies like Enter the Dragon and The Big Boss. Still, his life story, his struggles, attitude and determination, are not only inspirational but a testimony to him as a human being. Would he have been able to achieve what he did in his relatively short life if he didn’t study martial arts? What do you think Bruce Lee would be doing today if he were still alive?

What about you?

If you look at the definition of the word inspiration, the Cambridge English Dictionary states the following: someone or something that gives you ideas for doing something.

Can you think of somebody that inspires you? Or have you read the story or watched a movie that has got you motivated? How did it have a positive effect on your life?

Have you ever inspired anyone? Would you know if you had? Sometimes, people will watch from afar, see what you are doing, and take inspiration from the fact you are doing something they would like to aspire to be. You never know who is watching.

Case study: Zipporah

I had a young lady that is still training to this day, who has had a remarkable transformation. Even though she is at such a young age, the change in her has been incredibly impressive.

When Zipporah first came to my club, she wasn’t attending because she loved martial arts. She didn’t want to participate in the class. Her mum brought her to classes because she knew the benefits training would give her.

Although she was very bubbly, with a beautiful smile and very polite, she lacked a lot of confidence and would always be concerned during classes that she wasn’t doing an exercise or technique correctly. Often trying to get out of the classes if she could, I have to give credit to her mum, always using gentle encouragement and being consistent in attending class.


I also had to be mindful when initiating instruction; this young lady had been through quite a lot of traumatic events at such a young age; if I were to shout instruction too loudly, this would make her fretful and often end in tears. Any loud noises such as banging the pads together could be a trigger.

Over a few months, with gentle guidance and encouragement, her mum and I noticed changes in her attitude both physically and in-class participation, which was heart-warming to see. Gone was the girl with a lack of confidence and fretfulness.  Instructions could now be given loudly, and there were no more tears.

After around six months of training, the transformation was clear to see, if any new children were to come to class for a free trial, Zipporah was one of the first to greet them, ask their names, show them the training facility, the location of toilets, and the club etiquette, she would make them feel welcomed, and I didn’t even have to pay her!

Two years into her training, this young lady is the go-to person to demonstrate a technique or perform exercises correctly. She will happily stand in front of the class to do a class warmup, and she even volunteered to help in our mini martial arts programme. to many people, she meets.

Would you like to train with us for free?

We offer a discovery session to everyone that is interested in training with us. If you would like to book yourself for a Free session and experience what we have to offer please click here >>

Do you have any questions?

If you have any questions that you would like to ask before attending or about our training in general, please use our contact page by clicking here >> and we will be happy to help 

Taking the Martial

Sifu Bagley’s own journey starts with Kickboxing and a little Lau Gar kung fu. The conditioning and the physical side of taking part in tournaments, travelling around the country pitting his skills against other like-minded people, of which there are thousands was a big attraction in the early days.

Please check out Sifu Alan Bagley book on Amazon