“Water Can Drip, and It Can Crash”: As New Study Claims Bruce Lee’s Death From Drinking Excessive Water, Jackie Chan Described the Martial Arts Legend’s ‘Be Like Water’ Speech in His Autobiography

Published 11/24/2022, 10:45 AM EST

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Bruce Lee was a distinguished martial arts artist also credited for bringing Western attention to the art. In 1973, his shocking demise at 32 sent waves of grief and remorse among his fans across the globe. Even though Lee died nearly five decades ago, concerns about his death continue to be a topic of debate.

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A recent theory suggests the martial arts legend’s death happened due to a kidney dysfunction to excrete water and maintain homeostasis. In light of this, the legend’s discourse on the correlation between water and human behavior, as mentioned in Jackie Chan’s autobiography, comes to mind.

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“Never Grow Up,” Chan’s book has several references to the ‘Little Dragon.’ Chan expressed particular admiration for his ‘Be like water, my friend’ speech acknowledging his superior intelligence.

Jackie Chan hailed Bruce Lee as an intellect

Besides extraordinary skills as a martial artist, Lee was also an intellectual who studied philosophy. Recounting his words, Chan shared the legend’s widely renowned speech on water. Lee drew inspiration from water and advocated ways to emulate it in one’s behavior. “Be like water, my friend.”

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Water is shapeless and formless. Emphasizing the unique nature of water, Lee advised developing such a personality that “you can’t catch hold of it, or hit it or hurt it in any way.” Furthermore, he reminded us of the versatility of water, stating, “When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. Pour it in a bottle, and it becomes the bottle. Pour it in a teapot, and it becomes the teapot.”

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Martial Arts Legend Bruce Lee Made His Maiden Acting Gig in 1940 When He Was Only Two Months Old

After giving the water a humble and adaptive outlook, he pointed out its tremendous potential. “Water can drip, and it can crash.” Chan wrote that he could never come up with something as meaningful as this. Also, he reiterated, Lee was endowed with a good education to make such an excellent speech.

A recent study about Lee’s death

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In the December issue of the Clinical Kidney Journal, a study “Who killed Bruce Lee? The hyponatraemia hypothesis” suggests that Lee collapsed due to an excessive intake of water. Although there are several hypotheses around the mysterious death, considering the information available, the paper proposes hyponatremia as the cause.

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Moreover, the studies reveal Lee had not consumed significant amounts of water that day but had the potential risk of the condition taking into account his high fluid intake because of practicing a juice diet. In 2018, reports revealed that he died of heatstroke.

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Watch Story: The Real Reason Why Bruce Lee Had His Armpit Sweat Glands Removed

In 1973, he was diagnosed with cerebral edema when he was rushed to the hospital due to headaches and seizures. Following his death, it was revealed that he collapsed because of a reaction to the pain medicine he was given.

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Written by:

Ramya Bachu

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Ramya Bachu is a US Sports author for Essentially Sports. Ramya has a Master’s degree in Psychology. She strongly believes in the power of discipline, consistency, and willingness to learn to achieve greater heights.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa

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