Bruce Lee Quotes 1–30 of 121 Quotes

Bruce Lee (27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973) was a Hong Kong American martial artist and actor who is widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of the 20th century.

Below are 30 of 121 sourced Bruce Lee quotes. Sources and related information appear under each quote. Use the 'Cite this quote' link to get citation references.

“Nowadays you don't go around on the street kicking people, punching people — because if you do (makes gun shape with hand), well that's it — I don't care how good you are.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#1

Quote source: Bruce Lee interview on the Pierre Berton Show (1971)

“When I look around I always learn something, and that is to be yourself always, express yourself, and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. Now that seems to be the prevalent thing happening in Hong Kong, like they always copy mannerism, but they never start from the root of his being and that is, how can I be me?”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: Bruce Lee

“You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean I don't want to be like "As Confucius say," but under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens man that people are different.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)

“When you're talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you'd better train every part of your body!”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)

“All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)

“When I look around, I always learn something: to be always yourself, and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: Radio interview with Ted Thomas (1972)

“Boards don't hit back.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: As "Mr. Lee" in Enter the Dragon (1973); Bruce Lee's character said this to Robert Wall's character "O'Hara", after the latter had broken a board in the air with his fist in an act of attempted intimidation.

“A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, "I" do not hit, "it" hits all by itself.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon (1973); In a conversation with an older member of the temple.

“'''Don't think, feel....it is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon (1973); In a training session with one of the temple students.

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“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: As quoted in Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit (1994) by Bruce Thomas (1994), p. 44

“Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely — lay your life before him.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: As quoted in Bruce Lee: Artist of Life (1999) edited by John R. Little, p. 192

“There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: As quoted in The Art of Expressing the Human Body (1998) edited by John R. Little, p. 23

“Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in 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

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Quote source: Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey (2000); here, Lee was reciting lines he wrote for his short lived role on the TV series Longstreet.

“For a moment The surrounding utters no sound. Time ceases. The Paradise of Dreams come true.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: "For A Moment", Bruce Lee's hand-written poem, from Bruce Lee Papers — as quoted in Bruce Lee: Artist of Life (2001) edited by John Little, p. 100

“Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve its end.”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: p. 12

“When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself.”

— Bruce Lee

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Source: • Source: Wikiquote: "Bruce Lee" (Quotes:
Note: Many of Bruce Lee's statements are derived from his own studies of various schools of philosophy and the martial arts, and are sometimes paraphrases of previous expressions by others which he wrote down for his own instruction., Tao of Jeet Kune Do (1975))

“Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#18

Quote source: p. 25

“Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#19

Quote source: This statement probably derives from a famous one of Jiddu Krishnamurti: "Truth is a pathless land."

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“'''Running water never grows stale. So you just have to 'keep on flowing.''''”

— Bruce Lee

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Quote source: p. 48

“If one loves, one need not have an ideology of love.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce (2021, August 5) Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#22

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#22

Quote source: p. 64

“The happiness that is derived from excitement is like a brilliant fire — soon it will go out. Before we married, we never had the chance to go out to nightclubs. We only spent our nights watching TV and chatting. Many young couples live a very exciting life when they are in love. So, when they marry, and their lives are reduced to calmness and dullness, they will feel impatient and will drink the bitter cup of a sad marriage.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#23

Quote source: p. 66

“Of course you’re there. Death is always there. So why was I afraid? Your leap is swift. Your claws are sharp and merciful. What can you take from me which is not already yours? . . . Everything I have done until now has been fruitless. It has led to nothing. There was no other path except that it led to nothing — and before me now there is only one real fact — Death. The truth I have been seeking — this truth is Death. Yet Death is also a seeker. Forever seeking me. So — we have met at last. And I am prepared. I am at peace. Because I will conquer death with death.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#24

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#24

Quote source: p. 77, spoken by Cord, the protagonist of the unproduced film The Silent Flute

“Neither. I think of myself as a human being.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#25

Quote source: p. 87, when asked if he thought of himself as Chinese or American

“The Three Stages of Cultivation — The first is the primitive stage. It is a stage of original ignorance in which a person knows nothing about the art of combat. In a fight, he simply blocks and strikes instinctively without a concern for what is right and wrong. Of course, he may not be so-called scientific, but, nevertheless, being himself, his attacks or defenses are fluid. The second stage — the stage of sophistication, or mechanical stage — begins when a person starts his training. He is taught the different ways of blocking, striking, kicking, standing, breathing, and thinking — unquestionably, he has gained the scientific knowledge of combat, but unfortunately his original self and sense of freedom are lost, and his action no longer flows by itself. His mind tends to freeze at different movements for calculations and analysis, and even worse, he might be called “intellectually bound” and maintain himself outside of the actual reality. The third stage — the stage of artlessness, or spontaneous stage — occurs when, after years of serious and hard practice, the student realizes that after all, gung fu is nothing special. And instead of trying to impose on his mind, he adjusts himself to his opponent like water pressing on an earthen wall. It flows through the slightest crack. There is nothing to try to do but try to be purposeless and formless, like water. All of his classical techniques and standard styles are minimized, if not wiped out, and nothingness prevails. He is no longer confined.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#26

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#26

Quote source: p. 108-109

“Using no way as way; Having no limitation as limitation.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#27

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Lee, Bruce (2021, August 5) Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#27

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#27

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#27

Quote source: p. 112, "To further emphasize this principle [of transcending all styles and forms], Lee placed Chinese characters around the circumference of his jeet kune do emblem that read"

“In Jeet Kune Do, it’s not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed from what you have learned. It is not how much fixed knowledge you can accumulate, but what you can apply livingly that counts. ‘Being’ is more valued than "doing".”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#28

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Lee, Bruce (2021, August 5) Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#28

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#28

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#28

Quote source: p. 117

“You have to keep your reflexes so that when you want it — it’s there. When you want to move — you are moving. And when you move, you are determined to move! Not accepting even one inch less than 100 percent of your honest feelings. Not anything less than that. So that is the type of thing you have to train yourself into. To become one with your feelings so that, when you think — it is.”

— Bruce Lee

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Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#29

Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Lee, Bruce (2021, August 5) Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#29

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#29

Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html#29

Quote source: p. 126

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Use APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the sciences.

Lee, Bruce (2021, August 5) Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html

Use Chicago style for business, fine arts, and history.

Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 5 August 2021, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html

MLA Citation: Use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for the humanities, especially language and literature.

Lee, Bruce. “Bruce Lee Quotes: 1–30 of 121 Quotes.” Last modified August 5, 2021. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/Bruce-Lee-quotes.html

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