Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee’s Epic ‘Way of the Dragon’ Fight was Actually Illegal

Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee’s Epic ‘Way of the Dragon’ Fight was Actually Illegal

Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were training partners in the world of martial arts but it carried over into a movie. For his The Way of the Dragon movie, Lee had a big idea around the final, climactic scene. Fans who have seen the flick know that Lee’s character goes up against Norris’ character, Colt.

But this is not just an ordinary fight scene. This one takes up about 10 minutes of film time. On top of that, Lee and Norris clash in the Colosseum in Rome. That usually is a place where people are not allowed to film anything for movies. Lee didn’t take no for an answer. So, how did he work around the rules?

Bruce Lee Bribes Rome Officials To Film

Apparently, Lee went so far as to bribe Rome officials. He offered them some money. In turn, Lee was told that he and his crew could sneak cameras into the Colosseum. The hitch? They had to pretend that they were sightseers. Lee knew that the time spent there with Norris was crucial.

So, when the two men started fighting in front of the camera, they knew it had to be good. Lee had taken The Way of the Dragon away from the United States studio where it originally was to be filmed. When he got it, this allowed Lee to make his own style of martial arts film for fans.

Over the years, fans have speculated about a fight between Lee and Norris. As in, did they really have a fight at any point? Well, Norris over the years has said that he and Lee were sparring partners. He has never let on that there was a real fight. So, that might be something left as a mystery.

Lee Movie ‘The Way of the Dragon’ Debuted In 1972

The Way of the Dragon came out in 1972 and was on the heels of two earlier Lee kung fu movies.

At this time, Lee had become an established name in the martial arts world. Longtime followers of Lee’s incredible career know that American audiences received their first look at him through TV. Lee played Kato opposite Van Williams’ The Green Hornet in the 1960s TV show. That only lasted one season but allowed Lee chances to show his brilliance on screen.

As for Norris, his own career beyond martial arts is well-known by many. Norris starred in his own CBS series Walker, Texas Ranger for a number of years. He’s remained in the public eye, too.

Sadly, Bruce Lee is no longer around to amaze people with his martial arts style. Over the years, admirers have delved into what made Lee tick. They’ve also provided a number of different opinions on his movies. Kung fu students seem to have developed quite an understanding of what Lee would teach. His work and memories live on forever.