The Numerology of Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was—and still is—probably the best-known Martial Artist in the world. Today’s MMA champions all credit him as being the person who inspired the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, and his efforts inspired a whole genre of movies and computer/video games.
There are a lot of interesting stories (and conspiracy theories) about him, especially about his cause of death, but today we’ll explore the Numerology of this legendary man, to tell something about the cycles and patterns of his short, exciting and powerful life.
Bruce was born on November 27th, 1940. This gave him the following LifePath Numbers:
LifePath = 7, Achievement = 11, Birthday Number = 9
Formative Cycle: >30 : 11/2; Productive Cycle: > 30- 32 : 27/9
Pinnacle of Attainment: >29 : 11; Pinnacle of Obligation: >36 : 7
First Minor Challenge: 7; Second Minor Challenge = 4
Major Challenge= 3
Death = 7/20/1973 = Personal Year 4
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The Influence of #11
Here we find that his Pinnacle of Attainment, his Formative Cycle and his Achievement Number are all #11. I almost always comment that 11 is a very difficult Formative Cycle, because the number is too individualistic and imaginative for young children and makes it difficult for them to build the kind of routines that make success easy. It also makes socialization challenging, at least until the child begins to express (or devote their life to) their personal uniqueness. Most children suppress this vibration and act as a “2” (1+1=2) for most of their early lives, but Bruce also has a first Pinnacle of 11, so it’s almost as if the expression of his uniqueness was forced upon him by his circumstances.
The Life of Bruce Lee
Bruce was born in the Chinatown area of San Francisco, California while his parents were on tour there. His father was a famous Cantonese Opera star and an actor. Cantonese Opera is an amalgamation of all the art forms of China and includes stylized Martial Arts performances. His mother, Grace Ho, was half-Chinese by ancestry. The family returned to Hong Kong when Bruce was just 3 months old.
When he was 9, in 1950 (Personal Year 8), he co-starred with his father in his first leading role in a movie. By the time he was 18, he had been in 20 films.
He got into a lot of fights as a child, so his parents wanted him to learn Martial Arts. He first trained with his own father, who taught him the basics of Wu style, T’ai Chi Ch’uan. When he was 16 (Personal Year 5) he began the study of Wing Chun Kung-Fu with Yip Man, who was such a famous teacher that at least 6 films have been made about him, and several more based on his exploits.
But Bruce had trouble after his first year of training (probably 1958, a Personal Year 6). Somehow, many of the older students had found out that his mother was half-Chinese and refused to train with him. Yip Man took Bruce under his wing as a private student, and he amazed the other students and teachers with the speed and precision of his kicking maneuvers, which in the future would make him famous. In 1958 he also won the Hong Kong Cha-Cha contest, and the St. Francis Xavier (his school at the time) Boxing tournament.
In 1959 (Personal Year 8), he beat up the son of an organized crime member, and his father decided that he needed to return to America to have a safe and happy life. He moved to Seattle and started his own school of Martial Arts, called Jun Fan Gung Fu, which was his personal variation of Wing Chun. He was one of the first teachers of Chinese Martial Arts to accept western students.
He finished Secondary School in 1960 (Personal Year 9). The next year, after starting college, his interest in philosophy and psychology grew to become a very important aspect of his life.
In August of 1964 (Personal Year 4) he married Linda Emery, whom he met while studying at University of Washington.
He dropped out of college in 1964 and moved to Oakland, CA, where he opened his second Jun Fan Gung Fu studio. He also began to perform feats of strength (two-finger Push-Ups) and the “one-inch-punch”, which became a claim to fame.
He impressed the famous Taekwondo Master Jhoon Rhee and they eventually became friends. He taught Bruce the famous kicking techniques of the Korean Style (Chinese Martial Arts did not have them), and Bruce taught him the secret of his non-telegraphed 1-inch punch.
But all was not rosy in Oakland’s Chinatown, in that the Chinese community ordered him to stop teaching non-Chinese people.
This led to a controversial fight between him and another Kung-Fu master, with several people, including other teachers, attending. It’s said that if Bruce lost, he would have to stop teaching western people. There were two versions of what happened.
The teacher he fought with said, that the fight lasted 24 minutes before it was stopped because Bruce was exhausted. However, Bruce’s wife, Linda, and his business partner James said that Bruce won “hands down” in 3 minutes. The teacher he fought challenged him to a public rematch, but Bruce declined. No further threats came to him, and he continued to teach non-Chinese students.
That same year, William Dozier, a well-known TV producer tried to get him a role in a Television show that never materialized. And then came 1966, a Personal Year 6.
The same producer got him the role of Kato in the TV show The Green Hornet. He was also in 3 “crossover” episodes of Batman, another of the producer’s shows. This was the first presentation of Chinese Martial arts made for the American audience. They had to ask him to slow down because his moves were too fast to film in a way that would entertain the audience.
In 1967 (Personal Year 7) he re-evaluated his martial arts techniques in the light of the philosophy (7) and psychology (7) he loved and created his personal style, Jeet Kune Do. He decided to let go of the formal and traditional forms, building the style on practicality, flexibility, speed, and efficiency. But there was more than philosophy to this dynamic form of Martial Art.
He began to focus on developing strength via weight training and cultivating greater speed by various methods. Through 1970 (Personal Year 1) he worked on several films, sometimes acting, but also “behind the scenes.” He entered his Productive LifePath Cycle this year, which carried vibration 9 and offered the opportunity to let go of the past. He was in his Pinnacle of Obligation already, which held the philosophical vibration 7.
His martial arts philosophy was written into the script of a TV show in 1971 (Personal Year 2), where he played a supporting character. He also wrote a script for a show called The Warrior, that never made it to the screen because of creative differences but was produced by his daughter in 2019 for Cinemax.
Bruce wasn’t satisfied with playing supporting roles in Hollywood. He returned to Hong Kong, where he was surprised that people called the Green Hornet “The Kato Show” (oddly, that’s what my friends and I called it too) and regarded him as the star.
He made two box office hits in Hong Kong that broke records throughout Asia in 1971 and 1972 (Personal Years 2 and 3). In 1973, Bruce starred in Enter the Dragon which was released 6 days after his death in Personal Year 4. It was an international success that cost US $850,000 to make and grossed $350,000,000 worldwide, when adjusted for inflation is over 2 Billion USD today.
This film inspired many movies, Anime stories, Manga comics and video games. It also inspired the “Mixed Martial Arts” competitions we see on Pay-Per-View cable and satellite shows.
Friends and family recovered film footage and created books and documentaries after his death, keeping the legend alive to this day. Many films have been made about him, but none matched his distinct style of performance.
Bruce’s philosophy, frustrations, and choices and successes are very clearly seen in his name numbers, especially through this Expression number.
The Name Numbers of Bruce Lee
Now that we’ve explored the Life Path numbers of Bruce Lee, it’s time to delve into his core name numbers (Heart’s Desire, Expression, Personality.)
The birth name of Bruce Lee is actually Lee Jun-fan. But, it is said that the doctor attending the delivery gave him the English name Bruce when he was born. This was a common practice regarding foreign children born in America at the time, unless the parents chose an “American” name. His Chinese name was given to him by his mother, and it means “return again” because she felt he would return to the U.S. at some point.
But that’s not all – he had 3 other Chinese names. They were Lee-Yuen-chan (his clan name), Lee Yuen-kam (given to him as a student) and Lee Siu-Lung (meaning “little dragon”) which is his Chinese screen name.
They changed the character they used to write his original name because there was a naming taboo in which children’s names were thought to bring bad luck if they were written the same way as an ancestor of theirs. So let’s focus on the expressions of these different names, since, unlike Chinese name numerology, we won’t be counting the strokes used to write the names.
Expression = 7 – the name his mother gave him.
Expression= 3 – this is his clan name, generally not used in public. Used when dealing with family affairs.
Expression= 4 – his student name, probably discarded when he left the school where he was known by this one, and not used outside of the school. This was a common practice back in those times.
Expression= 8 – His “stage name”, probably the name most Chinese people knew him by.
Expression = 8 – his English name, most of the world knew of him by this name, and it is the one that gave him fame.
I find it very interesting that his English birth name and his Chinese stage name both have an Expression number of 8.
This has nothing to do with any similarity between western and Chinese Numerology; remember, he was a child actor, and his father was a star in the Cantonese Opera. As a celebrated performer, his father was something of a scholar of calligraphy, Chinese tradition and Confucian philosophy and gave him the name “little dragon” as the result of careful study and “fate calculation.”
So we’ll be focused primarily on his western name and bring in other influences when we need to.
Name = Bruce Lee:
Heart’s Desire= 9
Also, let’s do something unusual and show his Chinese stage name.
Name = Lee Siu-lung:
Soul Urge= 7
Focusing in on the Inclusion table will be a bit interesting because his name is so short that there will certainly be numbers missing. Here’s the table for Bruce Lee:
It’s interesting to note that his stage name table would have been somewhat different because it would have 1 one, 2 twos, 2 threes, 3 fives and one 7. Although he has a few ones and sevens in his “Bruce Lee” table, they are both supplied by his “stage name” table.
The 1 has a lot to do with one’s individuality and self-confidence. It’s likely that the reason that he was hard-working and wanted to stand apart from the crowd was that in the name everyone knew him by, the standard “1 factors” were something he felt he was lacking in, and worked very hard to compensate for.
He also had 2 ones in the name his mother gave him (from A and J), which means, at least from my point of view, that he felt the need to express both individuality and self-confidence all the time. Having 3 five’s and one’s can be really frustrating, because of the originality and charisma 5 can produce creating a lot of friction. But the ones hidden from view, in the name with which he was born, gave him all the self-confidence he needed.
The “hidden 7” in his stage name probably was the force that pushed him to study and express himself in philosophical terms. Not only did he want to prove to the world that Chinese men were not cowards, but he also wanted to prove that fighters were not “dumb jocks.” He studied Taoism, Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and, although it wasn’t obvious, the New Thought philosophy that permeates western literature. You can see examples of that in quotes from him such as: “As you think, so shall you become”, or “The possession of anything begins in the mind.”
Even though he ignored and even derided the mysticism that pervades all schools of Asian Martial Arts, he was somewhat of a mystic himself. A quote that could have come from any mystic, ancient or modern, eastern or western, is: “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.” Again, 7 was the Heart Desire of his stage name and the Expression number of his birth name.
8 may not be visible in the Bruce Lee table, or in the stage name letters, but it certainly runs throughout his chart, clearly representing the persistence and discipline that he developed from being denied work because of his accent to being one of the most popular actors in the world, at least in action films.
Another thing that tells us not to worry if we see missing numbers in our name table is the work we do with the Dynamic Personal Alphabet.
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The Dynamic Personal Alphabet
The Dynamic Personal Alphabet consists of the letters in the Expression. Each letter lasts for the number of years equivalent to the number it bears.
For Bruce’s name, B=2 yrs, R=9 yrs, U=3 yrs, C=3 yrs, and E=5 yrs. His last name is L=3, E=5, and E=5.
We treat the names separately in a two-column table and add each row together to get the moving or secret identity number that strongly influences events by showing opportunities and risks. This moving identity always changes on the birthday, not the beginning of the year.
If we add the numbers of the first name together without reducing them, we find that his first name = 22, which means not only does the Master Number 22 represent his first or social name, it means that his first name has a 22 year cycle, and the letters begin to repeat again. His last name sums to 13, which gives his surname a 13-year cycle. Let’s look at a few years and see how the Dynamic Alphabet works.
In 1963, Bruce turned 23. This means he had completed a full cycle of his first name. So the year, which started on January 1st was still in E or 5, and in November, on his birthday, it changed to B, or 2, for the next 2 years.
For his last name, at the beginning of 1963, the 10th year of his second 13-year cycle, which would leave 3 years left of the E phase of his last name. The B and E combination gave him a moving identity number of 7, and this would have been a Personal Year 3. Adding them together would have made for an Event Number or “excursion point” of 1, a time of new beginnings.
In January of 1964 things changed when Personal Year 4 began. The numbers of the alphabet had not changed, so he still had a secret identity of 7, but now the Event number became 2 (7+4). Because of the other 11’s in his chart, it could be read as an 11, and this was a year when he dropped out of college and moved to Oakland, CA to start another Kung-fu studio with his friend, James. He also married Linda during this time. The fact that he was teaching his own style (unique, inventive) and teaching non-western people (unique, controversial) draws up the power of 11 that runs through his chart. The 11 Achievement, Pinnacle and Formative cycle were certainly shaping his expression at the time, and the power of the dynamic alphabet were certainly backing him up. With all this going on, you can see that his ambitious 8 Expression would not be denied.
The Death of the Little Dragon
Bruce Lee died on July 20th, 1973. He had been complaining about headaches since May. He laid down at the house of a friend after taking a painkiller called Equagesic, and never woke up. He was either allergic to the tranquilizer within it, which has since been taken off the market or had swelling in his brain due to the combination of medication he had been taking for a back injury and heat stroke.
I have mentioned that western numerology is almost never used in China, but this was a Personal Year 4, which happens to be the unluckiest number in southern China. In Cantonese, the word for “4” is pronounced almost exactly like the word for “die.”
Needless to say, conspiracy theories about his death erupted almost immediately.
One said that there was some cannabis in his stomach. The clinical pathologist at the hospital and a forensic scientist sent by Scotland Yard both refuted this theory as irresponsible and biochemically impossible.
Another theory was that he was murdered by an organized “hitman” who casually used what it called a “delayed death punch”, a Kung-Fu legend about a punch that could cause death to happen days or even months later.
Then there was the “Feng Shui Curse” theory. There is a ridge of mountains visible from where he lived in Hong Kong that looks like the spine of a dragon and is called that. Because his Chinese stage name was Little Dragon, those who believe in such things claimed he offended the dragon of the land, which has to do with the flow of life-force or Chi through the city. This theory was probably started by those who were still offended by his having broken the taboo of teaching Chinese Martial Arts to western people and throwing out almost all Kung-Fu traditional methods in the name of efficiency.
Although these rumors still exist today, there’s no doubt that he was a rebel whose ideas flew in the face of the establishment and upset the world of Kung-Fu. At the same time, his willingness to break tradition brought on an entirely new sport, whose “market cap” is valued in the billions of dollars and is enjoyed by fans worldwide.
Whether or not you enjoy that kind of thing, his 22 first name number really lived up to its full potential, in that his chosen work affected billions of people on the earth, and his influence is still going strong 47 years after his death.
To use one of his own quotes:
“If you want to be immortal live a life worth remembering.”
So, what did the numerology of Bruce