When it comes to martial arts, much is known about Bruce Lee and his development of Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do. In fact, there is even old footage of him performing his strikes in a competition setting, proving its practical applications away from the world of cinema. However, when it comes to martial arts, a lot less is known about his son, Brandon Lee.
Brandon Lee spent most of his adult life trying to carve out his own identity away from his father’s spotlight. An actor in his own right, he came to fame for his biggest role in The Crow. Sadly, he died on the set of The Crow after accidentally getting shot. Like his father’s death, his loss of life instantly turned Brandon into an iconic figure in the film industry and The Crow became a cult classic. However away from the cinema, little is known about his life as a martial artist.
What is known is that like his father Bruce, Brandon had the footwork and choreography skills down to a tee. This was evident in the 1991 action flick Showdown in Little Tokyo. Here, Brandon put his skills to use, and during fight scenes, it was clear that he was accomplished in at least moving like a fighter. As mentioned earlier though, less was known about his martial arts background and Brandon Lee’s status was always an actor, to begin with. Unlike his father Bruce, his life wasn’t as blended with martial arts, at least in the public eye.
However, there is more evidence of his martial arts skills away from the media spotlight. In an interview with Dan Inosanto, it was revealed that Brandon was a skilled martial artist who was naturally very good. Brandon had briefly mentioned training alongside Inosanto at his dojo over the years. For those that don’t know, Dan Inosanto was the training partner of Bruce Lee and trained with him in Jeet Kune Do. Alongside this, he was also skilled in weapons-based martial arts such as Eskrima and Silat.
During the interview, Inosanto stated “He excelled at everything he trained in. He became certified in Thai Boxing, as well as his father’s arts. As an adult, he came in earnest to study and train. He really became serious, and he was truly talented. I trained him with the idea that perhaps someday he could take over his father’s system.” With this said, it turns out that Brandon Lee genuinely was a serious martial artist.
To summarise, Brandon Lee probably wasn’t as dedicated to martial arts as his father was. However, he was still young and learning with the idea that he may have gone on to grow in his own martial arts journey. As mentioned by Inosanto, Brandon may have just been getting started as he ventured further into martial arts. Interestingly, he was also great at Muay Thai according to Inosanto. Like his father it seems, he was ahead of his time when it came to the trends of martial arts at the time.
So there we have it, it turns out that Brandon Lee was a serious martial artist who specialized in Thai Boxing.