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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 listeners say about Striking Distance

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Needs a direction

the book seemed to bounce back and forth between a history textbook about China and Chinese immigration in San Francisco and then secondarily about Bruce Lee. The timelines bounce back and forth a little too much so you're not really clear on where and when you're reading about.

1 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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Loved It

Great perspective of Bruce Lee. I would also add there are great examples of martial artist thirsty for Mixed Martial Arts. Love the history.

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Can't miss read for martial artists

As a practitioner of martial arts, and an eternal student to them, this book is inspiring. A telling of the boom of American martial arts and the true birth of modern fighting techniques, with accounts and stories from many of the active members of the martial arts community. This read truly helped contextualize many of the other books that were written by and alongside the very same practioners and masters spoken on in the book. The trueness of Bruce Lee in this book as well, not written about as if he is an all knowing God and many other pieces praise him, but as simply an outlier among many other great minds. This piece revealed to me many things about the life of Bruce Lee that made his story so much more impressive, and so much more relatable. It also forces you to empty your cup, and pushes the perspective of Bruce Lee and the American martial arts scene in a manner that has seldom been presented. Overall a wonderful read for anyone interested In martial arts, Bruce Lee, or spiritual enlightenment.
Top 5 on Audible no cap.

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A fantastic story well told

I really enjoyed listening to this audible book. very interesting and I think today very timely. I think it goes to show that here in America we all have opportunity and that periodically racism raises its ugly head and we need to squash it back down and we need to learn the best about each other. I have always loved the martial arts and it's because of Bruce Lee. People say that he was the first MMA style fighter. Maybe that's true. But what Bruce really fought against was racism and stereotyping and against those he totally kicked their ass. Bruce was an excellent example for all of us about how to be very proud of your heritage and very proud of who you are and your individualism and also your nationality and culture but also to seek to integrate with the world in general. I think we could all stand to do that a little bit more and be a little bit less tribal. Essentially Bruce's methodology was to look at it all, take what works and from there take what works best for you and perfect it and to get rid of the rest the things that don't work. You know, I think that's what we strive for in the United States as our collective culture. ln our best that's who we are. in our worst our dogmatism and just holding on to old beliefs which are past their time, becomes the problem.

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Great book for Martial artist enthusiast.

Love the book. Learn more about early Asian marital arts activity and practitioners and Bruce Lee.

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Good Read

As a fan and practioner of martial arts it was a lot of review with a few new tidbits of information.

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Great

Great read especially for free
Gonna read again if they will let me
It’s all good in the hood sun

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The Dawn of a New Era

Enjoyed this read listen...love that it magnifies a specific path in Bruce Lee's life. Sheds light on other parts of his story and the impact the Bay Area had on martial arts in America. There's a lot to visualize from these chapters searching for photographs, names and other stories referenced in the text. Heard about this text from a Bruce Lee podcast quite a while ago with the author Charles Russo. That motivated me back then to make a mental note to check it out some day. Have always wanted to read this text so it was cool to fit in some time with the audio book. Highly recommend for those inspired by Bruce Lee's life story and for martial arts enthusiast as well. There are many scenes throughout this text, a lot to imagine...would make for a great film adaptation or a series to really drive that point as to the impact the lives mentioned in this book had and the Bay as Martial Arts Mecca in the United States.

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I’ve learned so much from this book

I’ve always been a fan of Bruce Lee and martial arts. I’ve learned so much more about Bruce and his beginnings in America. Loved it!

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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.