Anyone who has followed the amazing rags to riches story of Bruce Lee’s incredible journey from a poor and troubled childhood through to his meteoric rise to fame in the 60’s and 70’s martial arts action movies will be aware of the mysterious legend surrounding him of his battles with a demonic entity.
For those of you unfamiliar with the circumstances surrounding this I shall try to elaborate and pick through the many bizarre myths and wild stories that have been generated over the years since his untimely death in 1973.
It has been suggested by some that there was a curse upon the Lee family and that Bruce and his father both inherited it and that to hide Bruce from the demon his father adopted the Chinese custom of giving him a girls name Léi Saifung Pinyin: Li Xìfèng, which literally meant “small phoenix”. Many people believe that it was an evil spirit that was ultimately responsible for Lee’s death on the 20th July 1973.
Of course, all of this has been mythologized over the years not least by the 1993 film ‘Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story’ which was supposed to chart the actors rise to fame and eventual death. The film grossly exaggerates many elements of Lee’s life and towards the end depicts Lee in an actual martial arts battle with an armored samurai demon.
But is there any truth in fact to the story of Lees Demons? I believe so . . . but not in the way you would think and not in the literal sense of demonic haunting.
Sleep Paralysis is a phenomenon experienced by millions of people all over the world and sufferers typically report the same symptoms; they awaken to find themselves completely paralyzed from head to toe and often experience unpleasant symptoms such as vivid hallucinations of old hags or more commonly; dark shadowy figures.
In his 1996 book ‘Bruce Lee; Fighting Spirit’ Bruce Thomas includes a chapter called ‘The Shadow’ which includes statements made by Bruce’s family and friends telling of his battles with a black shadowy figure in his sleep which held him down – a typical symptom of Sleep Paralysis.