Bruce Lee, MMA and Shaolin Monks -- the Internal Fighting Arts Podcast Interview with Matthew Polly
November 18, 2018
Matthew Polly and I have a lot in common.
Bruce Lee inspired us when we were young and sparked our interest in studying martial arts.
We have remained Bruce Lee fanboys even as we have grown up.
We both went into journalism.
I discovered Matthew's work when I bought "American Shaolin" a few years ago, a book he wrote after spending two years living, training and performing with Shaolin monks in China. It was a real-world look inside this mysterious world, and I loved it.
A couple of months ago, I was in Barnes & Noble and decided to look at the martial arts section. Once upon a time, it took an entire bookcase to hold the martial arts books. Now, the books about traditional arts don't even stretch across one shelf. It's depressing.
But I saw a new, big biography of Bruce Lee on the shelf, titled "Bruce Lee: A Life."
When I saw Matthew Polly had written it, I bought it.
It is such an exhaustively researched, wonderfully written book that I had to ask him to be on the podcast. I was very happy that he agreed.
At the same time, I saw that he had spent two years training in the MMA and wrote a book called "Tapped Out." I ordered the book and began reading.
I couldn't put it down.
Another thing we have in common is that neither of us take ourselves too seriously. The books he wrote about his experiences are full of self-deprecating humor. He's a funny guy.
In this interview, we talk about "Bruce Lee: A Life," his experience in the MMA, his experience with the Shaolin monks, and the lessons we can learn from each of these fascinating subjects.
Every martial artist should read Matthew Polly's books. Here is a link to the podcast. It is also available on iTunes, Spotify and other podcast distributors.
-- by Ken Gullette