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Publisher's Summary

In the spring of 1959, 18-year-old Bruce Lee returned to San Francisco, the city of his birth, and quickly inserted himself into the West Coast's fledgling martial arts culture. Even though Asian fighting styles were widely unknown to mainstream America, Bruce encountered a robust fight culture in a San Francisco Bay Area that was populated with talented and trailblazing practitioners such as Lau Bun, Chinatown's aging kung fu patriarch; Wally Jay, the innovative Hawaiian jujitsu master; and James Lee, the no-nonsense Oakland street fighter. Regarded by some as a brash loudmouth and by others as a dynamic visionary, Bruce spent his first few years back in America advocating a more modern approach to the martial arts and showing little regard for the damaged egos left in his wake.

In the Chinese calendar, 1964 was the Year of the Green Dragon. It would be a challenging and eventful year for Bruce. He would broadcast his dissenting view before the first great international martial arts gathering and then defend it by facing down Chinatown's young ace kung fu practitioner in a legendary behind-closed-doors, high-noon-style showdown. The Year of the Green Dragon saw the dawn of martial arts in America and the rise of an icon.

Drawing on more than 100 original interviews and an eclectic array of sources, Striking Distance is an engrossing narrative chronicling San Francisco Bay's pioneering martial arts scene as it thrived in the early 1960s and offers an in-depth look at a widely unknown chapter of Bruce Lee's iconic life.

©2016 Charles Russo (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic guide to great tim in martial art histo

I stayed up till 3 am listening to this fantastic guide to early USA martial arts!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great storytelling

I felt like this red very similar to blood in the cage on the story of Pat miletich and the rise of UFC but this time it was in the context of Chinese martial arts and the rise of Bruce Lee

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Fantastic insight into the environment..

Fantastic insight into the environment around Bruce Lee. You'll get an interesting view of martial thinking worldwide during and of the time building up to Lee's prominence. It showed that ideas for floating around before then, and just needed the right spearhead to push martial arts forward out of a secret society/superstition into practical arts.

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Very Informative!

Great history about martial arts in America and how Bruce Lee played a part in shaping it.

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    2 out of 5 stars

Not What I Expected

If you want a book that covers Chinese and Chinese-American history for 50% of the book, while touching on Bruce’s life and randomly zooming in on a few of his fights while staying true to an obscure writing style...enter wild tangents about other people’s fights who have very little to do with Bruce. Just not what was expected. Great narration! 👍

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic! A must for true Martial Artist

Before watching Birth of the Drangon, read / listen to the true story on how Bruce Lee, and his martial arts came to be.

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The REAL Birth of the Dragon

A must listen for any Bruce Lee/martial arts fan. Very informative. Shannon Lee cosigned this

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Chinese Martial Arts history interwoven with Bruce

At first I believed I was listening to Striking Thoughts but realized I bought the wrong book halfway.
It was a pleasant surprise...love history so I want upset. Especially the way this was formatted. The author's ability to blend the 2 topics, Chinese martial arts and Bruce Lee's martial background was a joy to digest!

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being a practitioner Wing Chun it's great to hear

being a practitioner of Wing Chun, it's great to hear this version of history of how Bruce Lee came who he was

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Amazing...but where is the rest?

The only reason this book didn't get 5 stars was because it ended to quickly. The story goes into great detail about Bruce in the first part of his life and the history of martial arts. However, it stops abruptly just as Lee's career and life gets started. Loved the book but wished it went further. Still worth the listen for sure.

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  • Chris Gonzalez
  • 01-22-18

Great for the Bruce Lee fan

Nice detail about the evolution of martial arts in America and how Bruce Lee was a part of it. Please not this is not a bio on Bruce Lee.