Bruce Lee’s Combat in a Nutshell: an analysis of the strategic contributions of his edited works




Martial arts, combat sports, Bruce Lee, combat, decision making, strategy


The authors received no funding for this work


This research examines Bruce Lee’s martial arts philosophy, with a particular focus on his unique approach to jeet kune do, to address the scientific rigour gap in the analysis of his martial arts methodology. The study adopts a case study research strategy and employs content analysis using MaxQDA v.11 software. A selection of Lee’s official literature, prioritising unchanged writings and those reflecting his direct thought, forms the research sample. The key findings highlight Lee’s development of five ways of attacking, demonstrating an intricate knowledge of timing, distance, and rhythm. His emphasis on adaptability in combat emphasises the dynamic interplay between offensive and defensive manoeuvres. Lee’s preference for parrying over blocking, his focus on evasion, and strategic concepts such as seven stars and three fronts emphasise the importance of protecting vital body areas. In summary, Bruce Lee’s martial arts philosophy is characterised by adaptability, strategic decision-making, and efficient technique execution. His approach, constantly evolving and rejecting preconceived combat outcomes, is underpinned by principles of simplicity, economy, fluidity, and spontaneity. This comprehensive system integrates both offensive and defensive strategies, reflecting his commitment to refining the martial arts into a practical and responsive discipline.


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Author Biographies

Augusto Rembrandt Rodríguez-Sánchez, Universidad de Sevilla

Augusto Rembrandt Rodríguez-Sánchez (Spain). PhD from the Universidad de Sevilla; Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching, specialising in Physical Education and University Degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, both from the Universidad de Sevilla. Currently teaching and researching at the Department of Physical Education and Sport at the Universidad de Sevilla. He is also a member of the research group HUM1059 Critical Approach to Sport (CASport). His areas of interest include those related to aspects of physical education and motor manifestations, martial arts and combat sports, as well as social aspects related to the practice of physical and sporting activity. E-mail:

Joaquín Piedra, Universidad de Sevilla

Joaquín Piedra (Spain). Senior Lecturer at the Universidad de Sevilla. Head of the Critical Approach to Sport (CASport) research group. Specialist in the analysis of sport from a gender perspective, author or editor of four books on masculinities, gender and coeducation in sport and physical education. He is a member of the National Network on LGBTIQ+ in Physical Education and Sport, granted by the Consejo Superior de Deportes. Visiting researcher at Barry University (USA), University of Greenwich (UK), University of Porto (Portugal) and Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain). E-mail:

Gonzalo Ramírez-Macías, Universidad de Sevilla

Gonzalo Ramírez Macías (Spain). PhD from the Universidad de Sevilla and degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences from the Universidad de Granada. Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physical Education and Sport at the Universidad de Sevilla. Member of the research group HUM1059 Critical Approach to Sport (CASport). His research focuses on social aspects related to the practice of physical and sporting activities, mainly of a historical and philosophical nature. E-mail:


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How to Cite

Rodríguez-Sánchez, A. R., Piedra, J., & Ramírez-Macías, G. (2024). Bruce Lee’s Combat in a Nutshell: an analysis of the strategic contributions of his edited works. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas, 19(1), 1–15.