The final destination of the day after going to Bruce’s house and Ip Man’s grave would be someplace Bruce Lee-related again – in fact I now call this day the ‘Bruce Lee Day’ of my trip even though the fanboyish title never came across my mind while I was in Hong Kong.
Those of you who have watched the Way of the Dragon (1972), spuriously called the Return of the Dragon in the US, would know the part where Bruce and friends take on two karate guys Bob Wall and Wang In Sik (he’s a Hapkido practitioner actually) in some rural area before going to the Colosseum in Rome to face off with Chuck Norris. Although the film’s plot is about Bruce in Italy, most of its scenes were actually shot in Hong Kong. My final mission for the day was to find the place where Bruce filmed his duel with the karate duo more than thirty years ago.
So right after finishing my visit to the Master (i.e Bruce Lee’s) house, I decided to go to another ‘house’ belonging to the Master’s master – the final abode of the late Ip Man, who was Bruce’s teacher. Ip Man was a practitioner of the martial art Wing Chun, a Southern Chinese fighting style from Canton province. As far as reputation is concerned, Ip and Bruce are somewhat symbiotes – Ip produced a martial artist out of Bruce while Bruce’s fame produced a legend out of Ip.
Going to Bruce Lee’s house and other martial arts-related places was my priority throughout my trip in Hong Kong. I have always been a big fan of Bruce ever since the age of 17 and although the fire has mostly died down now, there was nothing more thrilling and satisfying than having the chance to Enter the Dragon’s lair. The house is located at 41 Cumberland Road, ensconced in a wealthy private neighbourhood.