Bruce Lee: Ping Pong Legend

Unless you rarely go on the internet, chances are that you have seen the epic ping pong bout between the legendary Bruce Lee and…some other guy. Bruce Lee wields nunchucks instead of a racket and does fancy spins and kicks as he casually swats the ping pong ball back at his poor opponent, who doesn’t stand a chance. Of course not—it’s Bruce Lee! 

Sadly, this footage is not real. It turned out to be an ad campaign—a very successful ad campaign—for Nokia’s N96 Limited Edition Bruce Lee cell phone in 2008. That doesn’t mean the viral video isn’t spectacular. The actual Bruce Lee may not have performed such an astonishing feat, but it is now part of the Legend of Bruce Lee nonetheless.

Imagine how much training it would take to do something this impressive. Not only would you have to be a master of the nunchaku and a master of table tennis, but you would then have to combine the two skills and start the long, uphill climb through practice, practice, practice until you reached the summit and claimed the title of “Master of Nunchuck-Pong.”

Bruce Lee makes it look easy in the video. He even throws in a few fancy moves because he has extra milliseconds to do so. He turns his head away from the ball as he flicks it back over the net with ease. He chooses to play against two unfortunate players because one just isn’t worth his time (he would have played against even more, but the table wasn’t big enough).

But the question remains: could the real Bruce Lee perform this stunt of nunchuck-pong mastery? After all, he was an amazing martial artist who performed many exploits just as incredible as this fake one. So is it that much of a stretch to imagine the real Bruce Lee playing ping pong like this? 

Since no time machine is at our disposal, we are forced to speculate. Like a child sitting in front of a magician performing his magic tricks, it is best for us to simply believe. Don’t question or analyse. Don’t look for the “trick” behind the “magic.” Instead, just believe. Yes, the real Bruce Lee could have done this. Yes, he could have been—no, he was—a master of nunchuck-pong. It is that simple. The Legend says it is so, and so it is. 

Okay, so this article is having a bit of nonsensical fun, but in truth, this video of the Legend pays homage and honour to the man behind the Legend. It reminds all of us just how great he really was as a martial artist. It’s fun to imagine his exploits becoming grander as the years go by and as the myth continues to develop in our modern-day pop culture.

Furthermore, who doesn’t want to become skilled in the art of nunchuck-pong like Bruce Lee? Time to get out there and start practicing right now.

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