Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bruce Lee's Adventures in Oakland



#Oaklandish #BruceLee

"Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now, you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend." -- Bruce Lee, on his life philosophy.

Above is Oaklandish's mini-documentary about Bruce Lee's history in Oakland, California, where he opened a martial arts school in the late 1960s and had a historic fight with Wong Jak Man over Lee's teaching of kung fu to white people. Now, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums hopes that the former studio, currently a car dealership, will be officially recognized as an important place in history. From the Bay Citizen:
The mayor (himself an avid martial artist) wanted a plaque placed on the site of the old studio in time for a martial arts tournament he hoped Oakland would host later this year. The tournament is off, but the Landmark Advisory Commission is still considering making 4175 Broadway one of the city’s cultural heritage sites. The discussion is more significant than a piece of brass on the wall of a car dealership. Finding the best way for the city to acknowledge Bruce Lee’s time in Oakland would provide a sorely needed precedent for recognizing other cultural contributions made in Oakland, said Dan Schulman, a member of the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board. From events as significant as the drafting of the Black Panthers’ 10-Point Program in North Oakland in 1966 to less-weighty moments like the invention of the Mai Tai at Trader Vic’s at 65th Street and San Pablo Avenue three decades earlier, Oakland needs a method to officially recognize its past.

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