I know of this concept mostly from Enter the Dragon, the film that opened up the door to Chinese boxing in the West.

LEE: What was that? An exhibition? We need emotional content.

Source: Enter the Dragon (1973)

It's an extraordinarily famous line, but is it purely movie hooey, or did Lee truly mean something by this?

  • What did Bruce Lee mean by "emotional content"?

According to the Bruce Lee Family website (run by his daughter, Shannon Lee), Emotional Content:

What did Bruce Lee mean by “Emotional Content?” He was describing the feeling of being totally present in your body and connected to your own life force. A spiritual life force that is the energy of creation. This force helps you become a human being from moment to moment. When you are creating emotional content, you are creating in awareness, openness and receptivity to everything around you. You are in a state of relating to your surroundings. You are not in isolation—you are connected.

“Don’t think, FEEL.”

Don’t pull yourself out of a real moment by thinking and intellectualizing. Stay in the moment and be totally present for the total experience.

Emotional content is also about the creation of art. Art is the communication of authentic feelings. We are all artists of our own lives. Bruce Lee believed that art is the work of enlightenment. And the origin of enlightenment comes from understating your own heart and living whole-heartedly.

  • I've found a few other references, but this is the closest I've seen to something official. Dec 24 '20 at 14:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.