Bruce Lee, actor, director, martial artist, martial arts instructor and philosopher, the man to who many the terms karate and kung fu are forever intrinsically linked, severely injured his back during a training accident in August 1970.
Lee was carrying out his usual morning weight-lifting routine, lifting ‘Good Mornings’ as the lift is known. Having failed to warm up properly Lee sharply dropped the weights after hearing a popping sound in his back. Having tended the injury with heat over a period of days, he finally sought medical help and was told the injury was so severe it was unlikely he would ever walk again unaided, let alone return to martial arts.
Lee, who initially designed a bed to help his back, slowly began to heal himself, reading in depth about the injury, the body, spine and so on. Within months he returned to training, all the time healing himself, and creating a way to do so. He called this healing process: Walk On. He is said to have put a business card where he would always be able to see it, with the two words written on it, ‘Walk On’.
Lee said: “With every adversity comes a blessing. You must see clearly what is wrong. You must decide to be cured. Speak so as to aim at being cured.
“Walk on and leave all the things behind that clog up the inlet or clog the outlet of experience.”
Within two years of his injury, Lee would release the highest grossing martial arts film of all time: Enter the Dragon.