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UFC Exec Reed Harris Discusses Bruce Lee’s Role in MMA

November 9, 2012 | Posted by Larry Csonka

- UFC Exec Reed Harris recently spoke about the importance of Bruce Lee in regards to today’s MMA. Here are the highlights…

Harris’ Thoughts on Bruce Lee: “When I was in high school in Illinois, we heard about this movie called ‘Enter the Dragon,’ and we went and saw it at the Glen Art Theatre in Glen Ellyn, just outside of Chicago. Literally, it changed my whole life. I was playing football, and a couple of days later, I sought out the only martial arts studio in the whole area, and I started training tae kwon do. I would watch all of his movies over and over to see his techniques,” Harris said. “It completely changed the direction of my life. I became a lot more disciplined, and I would train all the time and work on doing the techniques properly.”

On Lee Being The Father of MMA: “He was Hong Kong’s native son, and he really was the father of MMA. During his movie career, and even since he’s passed away, Bruce Lee had a big impact in Hong Kong, so when we came to Macau, we thought it would be great to be able to honor him. gain, he was the founder of entire sport. He was cross-training in all these different disciplines. Up until not that long ago, people like me would do one discipline all their life because it was almost disrespectful to your art and your teacher to study another martial art. But that’s kind of all gone away now.”

On Teaching New Fans About MMA: “Look at Brazil,” Harris said. “Three of four years ago, I had people in Brazil telling me to be careful because while jiu-jitsu was accepted and popular there, MMA was not. Now look what’s happened. I think the same thing is going to happen in China. Once they understand that the traditional martial arts are part of our sport and that it’s really about taking those arts and expanding the knowledge base, they’ll see it’s really what Bruce Lee wanted. Bruce Lee created his own art, Jeet Kune Do, because he didn’t like the limitations of these singular martial arts in their own little silo. He wanted to combine them all and improve those techniques, which is exactly what our fighters do.”

Credit: mmajunkie.com

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Larry Csonka

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