DGT #41 - Bruce Lee (a.k.a. the Dragon)

Posted by Master of Drankgons on


Sometimes when I hear the word "Dragon" or "the Dragon," I think of martial artist Bruce Lee. It doesn't happen often, but it happens enough that I feel he should be considered an important dragon-related person in popular culture. Bruce Lee starred in a number of dragon-titles films such as Enter the Dragon Way of the Dragon. A movie was even made about his life called Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. This made me realize that I have absolutely no idea what Bruce Lee has to do with dragons. So I decided to answer the all-important question: Why is Bruce Lee referred to as the Dragon?

Most likely explanation: In Chinese tradition, dragons are thought to be powerful, lucky and intelligent, capable of doing absolutely anything.  According to the Chinese Zodiac, Lee was born in both the hour and the year of the Dragon, a  a strong and fortuitous omen. His birthdate: November 27, 1940 at 7:12 a.m. The Hour of the Dragon is between 7-9 a.m. I think I was born at 7:15 am... yes! Sadly, the next Year of the Dragon is not until 2024. DEFINITELY going to try to have child that year between 7-9 am.

Other explanation: Bruce Lee's screen name was Lee Siu Lung in Cantonese and Li Xiao Long in Mandarin, which literally means "Lee Little Dragon. 

Unfortunately, those are the only explanations for how he got the awesome nickname of the Dragon. Even worse, his family referred to him as "Little Phoenix," a girl's name (see below). Sorry Bruce, but those are not great reasons to be called a Dragon. Dragon. Fail.

Fun Facts re Bruce Lee

  • Bruce's family never called him "Bruce." They preferred to call him by his nickname "Sai Fon" or "Little Phoenix." It was a girl's name, deliberately chosen by his parents because they believed that evil spirits did not like boys in the family (their firstborn was a son who died in infancy).
  • Bruce was a name given by a nurse at the Jackson Street Hospital, San Francisco, where he was born (Bruce's father was traveling with an acting troupe at the time). The nurse thought that giving the baby an English name would help avoid any confusion with his American birth certificate (yes, Bruce was an American by birth - he never had any other citizenship).
  • The role for Bruce Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was first offered to his real-life son Brandon Lee, who declined. Brandon Lee died in a shooting accident while filming The Crow in March 1993, less than two months before Dragon's release.
  • Chuck Norris's only weakness is... Bruce Lee! Watch them battle in the movie Return of the Dragon. Best acting performance goes to the random kitten.

  • The latest movie to be made about Bruce Lee is called Birth of a Dragon (2016), which tells the story of Lee’s fight against kung fu master Wong Jack Man in Oakland in 1964. The movie is hated by his family and fans. His daughter, Shannon Lee said the movie was made without consent from her family, and that the portrayal of her father was inaccurate and insulting.

  • MOST IMPORTANT FACT: In The Fast and the Furious, Dragon was on Dominic Toretto's (i.e. Vin Diesel's) TV during a scene in his house. Both films are directed by Rob Cohen. Vin Diesel should be called the Dragon.


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