Some critics of Bruce Lee often point out his lack of tournament fighting record as supposed proof that he could not fight.
However this only proves their lack of knowledge of how Martial Art tournaments in 1960’s America were organized and handled.
But first let’s look at where he came from although born in San Francisco, Bruce Lee grown up in <em>Hong Kong</em> and according to his parents he was not the most well behaved boy getting into many street fights and being involved in gangs.
According to his relatives this type of street fighting got him wanting to learn martial arts for supposedly defending himself. As many people might know he has settled on <em>Wing Chun.</em>
According to <strong><em>Wong Shun Leung</em></strong>a Chinese Martial Artists and someone who personally knew Bruce Lee back in <em>Hong Kong. Kung Fu </em>competitions back in 1950 -1960 were called <em>Beimo </em>competitions that were semi-organized bare knuckle fights with no rules no safety equipment and no time limits, incidentally they were also illegal.
Although due to their illegal nature it is unlikely that official records were kept but it is reasonably safe to assume that Bruce Lee just as many other<strong><em> Kung Fu</em></strong> fighters had taken part in such fights in his early years. In addition it would also be safe to assume that he might have lost or won some of them as it is unreasonable to think that Bruce Lee was a great fighter from the day he was born. However if it makes you feel better I do not know of any fighter past or present who has not lost at least one fight in their career, as losing is also part of learning.
When Bruce Lee moved to America he was against faced with another obstacle that would have prevented him from entering a martial art tournament.
The fact is although Karate style tournaments flourished from 1960 -1980, it was not until the 1980’s when <em>Kung Fu</em> style tournaments started to be officially organized. For this reason any <em>Kung Fu</em> practitioner wanting to take part in a Martial Art tournament needed to do so under the rules and regulations sanctioned by judges of Karate.
This of course would greatly disadvantage any <em>Kung Fu</em> fighters if not but for the simple reasons that Karate is based on a point system which works on the first come first served basis whereas after each point scored the competitors are separated and start again with no kicks allowed below the belt.
Whereas <em>Kung Fu</em> specially the <em>Wing Chun</em> style of <em>Kung Fu</em> is based on a series of punches and low kicks to the leg and is also known as the “science of infighting”. So why would Bruce Lee be interested in taking part in such competitions?
Here I would like to point out that Bruce Lee did enter an amateur boxing tournament in college that he has consequently won defeating the then champion. Granted it was an amateur boxing match but never less at …