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Welcome to Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival, now in our 17th year. Festival dates are October 7-15, 2016. Events are all-ages unless noted otherwise. Book sales are offered when and where appropriate. Events without ticket reservations are first-come first served. Click the phone icon to the right below, to download our new mobile app version!

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Thursday, October 13 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Striking Distance: Bruce Lee in the Bay Area

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Even today, the legend of San Francisco-born Bruce Lee still resonates around the world, his image as popular as Bob Marley or Che Guevara. Journalist Charles Russo speaks and shows rare photos from Striking Distance, which chronicles a widely unknown history of Bruce Lee and the Bay Area's pioneering 1960s martial arts scene. $10

In the spring of 1959, 18-year-old Bruce Lee returned to San Francisco, the city of his birth, and quickly inserted himself into the West Coast’s fledgling martial arts culture. Even though Asian fighting styles were widely unknown to mainstream America, Bruce encountered a robust fight culture in a Bay Area that was populated with talented and trailblazing practitioners such as Lau Bun, Chinatown’s aging kung fu patriarch; Wally Jay, the innovative Hawaiian jujitsu master; and James Lee, the no-nonsense Oakland street fighter. Regarded by some as a brash loudmouth and by others as a dynamic visionary, Bruce spent his first few years back in America advocating a more modern approach to the martial arts and showing little regard for the damaged egos left in his wake. 

In the Chinese calendar, 1964 was the Year of the Green Dragon. It would be a challenging and eventful year for Bruce. He would broadcast his dissenting view before the first great international martial arts gathering and then defend it by facing down Chinatown’s young ace kung fu practitioner in a legendary behind-closed-doors high noon–style showdown. 

Participants
avatar for Charles Russo

Charles Russo

Charles Russo is an award-winning journalist who lives in San Francisco. 



Attendees (20)