Although both Ip Man and Bruce Lee were followers of Buddhism, they both emphasized the oneness of all humanity which would include their oneness with their Christian-faith brother and sister humans. This being so, I thought that I would do a brief study and comparison of the similarities between those ideas of Ip Man and Bruce Lee and the concepts spoke of in the Christian bible. The similarities are frequent and powerful:
Ip Man Quotes:
1. “We all have inner demons to fight, we call these demons, fear and hatred and anger. If you do not conquer them then a life of one hundred years is a tragedy. If you do, then a life of a single day can be a triumph.”
a. Compare to Psalm 23:1-6.
2. “Do not fight with the strength, absorb it, and it flows, use it.”
3. “It is difficult for a student to pick a good teacher, but it is more difficult for a teacher to pick a good student.”
Bruce Lee Quotes:
1. “Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”
2. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
3. “I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”
4. “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be (aggressive), but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around it or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind. Be formless. (Be) shapeless, like water: If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. (If) you put water into a bottle, (then) it becomes the bottle. (If) you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
a. Compare to John 7:37-39.
b. “When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.”
5. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
6. “Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”
a. See Philippians 4:8 for comparison to this Bruce lee quote as well as for comparison to the following Bruce lee quotes:
i. “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”
ii. “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”
iii. “Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”
iv. “Remember no man is really defeated unless he is discouraged.”
v. “Defeat is a state of mind: No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
7. “ . . . God . . . is within. You don’t ask God to give you things: You depend on God for your inner theme.”
a. Compare to John 14:20.
8. “Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.”
9. “Know the difference between a catastrophe and (a challenge. To realize that it is a challenge), that . . . is part of coming into your own: It is part of waking up (to the truth).”
10. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
11. “It’s not the daily increase but (the) daily decrease (that is to be sought after). Hack away (all that is) unessential.”
a. See Proverbs 9:16 for scripture about “simplicity.”
12. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
a. Compare to James 2:17.
13. “Fear comes from (not understanding): We can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said, ‘When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.’”
a. Compare to Mark 7:21-22.
14. “A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.”
a. Compare to Romans 5:3-4.
15. “It’s like a finger pointing (the) way to the (stars): Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all (of) that heavenly glory!”
a. See Matthew 7:3-5 for scripture about “hypocrisy.” Too often people use poor examples of “Christians” to say, essentially, that “all Christians are hypocrites, therefore Christ himself must be purely fictitious. Bruce Lee was speaking on many levels when he made the referred to quote. The level that hits “close to home” for me, is that I have often looked at a person using his finger to point the way to Jesus Christ, but instead of looking towards the cross (Christ), I fixated on the hypocritical man who was pointing his finger in that direction. Therefore, I reiterate: Do not fixate on the finger or the one who holds up the finger, but rather, look in the direction that the finger is pointing. Even within the bible itself can be found flaws, but again, the bible is just the metaphorical finger. Do not fixate on the bible’s imperfections, but rather, look towards the direction that most of the new testament points towards: Jesus Christ.