The following article “Remembering the World’s Greatest Martial Artist at Bruce Lee Paradise” is courtesy of guest contributor Jamie Collins. If you are interested in contributing to thislifeintrips.com send me an email!
There have been only a handful of individuals who were able to influence both the Eastern and Western hemisphere in such a way that it changes the history of the world for good. One of those chosen few is Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee, aka The Dragon, is considered by many experts as the greatest martial artist of all time and recognized as the ‘grandfather of mixed martial arts’. And there’s no better place to experience the life and works of The Dragon than at Bruce Lee Paradise. Situated in Guangdong, China just next to Hong Kong, this theme park is a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most influential figureheads.
Named by South China Morning Post as one of the country’s most unique theme parks, the site houses the biggest statue of the martial arts icon which stands at roughly 19 meters. Cao Chong’en, regarded as among the nation’s top sculptors, was the maestro behind the bronze masterpiece. The characters at the bottom spell out the title King of Kungfu.
Elsewhere in the park, tourists may visit the Bruce Lee Commemorative Museum to get a larger dose of all things Bruce Lee. The aforementioned sculptor has an area dedicated to his other works as well at Cao Chong’en Sculpture Gallery.
Additionally, a martial arts academy has been established to accommodate people who practice various art forms. Numerous fighting styles are taught here, but the main is Jeet Kune Do, the style created and popularized by Lee.
Seeing as kung fu bases many of its fundamentals on nature, Bruce Lee Paradise also doubles up as an eco resort, housing lakes, mountains and fields of lush vegetation. Top China Travel specified that there are around 60 species of birds which inhabit the area, with the most popular being egrets.
The Dragon had a huge appreciation for nature, and took inspiration from it that helped form his philosophies and outlook on life. In fact, Lee stated in one of his most famous quotes, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. Become like water my friend.”
But although Lee became famous through his martial arts, he did so much more than just popularize kung fu. For instance, a book shared by Academia, entitled Beyond Bruce Lee, talked about how the cultural icon’s prominence affected societal and political issues, and likened him to figures such as Che Guevara and Jimi Hendrix. He redefined the image of Asians in the public consciousness, and whilst living in times when racism was rampant, Lee advocated for equality regardless of ethnicity, thus becoming instrumental in letting the voices of minority groups be heard.
Today, Lee is celebrated in several works including books like the aforementioned. Furthermore, action movies were never the same again after his films became popular. Virtually every film today featuring hand-to-hand combat sequences has roots, one way or another, in Lee’s methods. The classic Tarantino film Kill Bill even paid homage to the martial artist by making the outfit of the protagonist similar to the iconic yellow jumpsuit worn by Lee in his unfinished film, Game of Death, according to MTV News.
Lee’s almost legendary quickness and kung fu mastery are also interpreted in various ways throughout numerous video games inspired by the martial artist. The Post Game highlighted Bruce Lee: Enter the Game which pits players against skilled AI opponents. On the flipside, the iconic high kick pose of the master is featured as a symbol in the Bruce Lee slot title hosted on Slingo. Regardless of being the main element or a design theme in relevantly inspired works, Lee’s image and status will continue to garner people’s admiration throughout the coming years.
Of all the tributaries to The Dragon, however, Bruce Lee Paradise ranks as the best example in terms of honoring the martial arts icon. And whether you’re a casual visitor or a die-hard Bruce Lee and kung fu fan, Bruce Lee Paradise certainly has something for everyone.
What say you?
Thoughts on Bruce Lee Paradise?
Let’s hear it!
Cover photo source: Autoevolution