‘We play who we are.’
‘Life through rhythm’ is realizing our best selves through drumming. Your drumming will only rise as high as your inner world. This is LTR! We build our inner strengths to create the outer expression. Bruce Lee’s approach and attitude was also LTR. Bruce understood that self expression from movement was the key. The drums are capturing your MOVEMENTS, turning it into a SOUND. And to get the right movement, being in the NOW is essential. The present moment is the seat of all things high performance.
Bruce was also a master at stealing from any other area that would improve his own self expression. I once heard of a cooking class where the students had to choose from a pile of random books about anything but cooking, and distill points from them that they could then bring into their cooking. So if you grabbed a book on sailing, you had to find 5 concepts within sailing that you could steal and take to your cooking. Maybe the 5 concepts might be knowing your gear inside out, thinking ahead and anticipating, working on timing, having patience, and keeping up maximum endurance. The concept is that the secret of mastering one skill is to steal from another.
Bruce Lee was a master at this, stealing from any area OUTSIDE his discipline that would elevate his self expression. His obsession was expressing himself truly and authentically with simplicity, directness, and freedom. The game is to maximize self expression by any means necessary. When this is the goal, we see it’s not really about talent you were born with, but about your systems and rituals you run daily. QUESTION these, and constantly strip away and delete what doesn’t work. It’s not really about talent and being born ‘gifted’, but more about what your daily SYSTEMS are. At least 4X quarterly throughout the year I am constantly reexamining my own systems, building awareness on the results they bring through measuring, and then relentlessly recalibrating them. DELETE what doesn’t work, and DOUBLE DOWN on what does!
The word discipline comes from the Latin word for student, which is the source of the word disciple, or ‘one who follows’. Discipline is SELF CONTROL, and after that comes self direction. What is your guiding north star, your WHY? Discipline is ‘self direction’, so what future self are you guiding yourself towards and being a ‘disciple’ of? It may sound morbid at first, but always keep a vision of you on your deathbed having a big smile on your face having a lived life on your terms, to the absolute fullest. If drums is in your heart, I want to hear YOUR self expression, loud and proud and unapologetically YOU! Bruce lived his life this way every day, and has always inspired me to do the same. Take the LTR and Bruce Lee’s attitude to your drumming to your life!
For a deeper dive into the connection between Bruce Lee and drumming, check out this episode with Mark Kelso HERE:
YOUR BEST SELF THROUGH DRUMMING
Excellent statement Chris!! Well explained… I’ve been a follower of Bruce from the beginning and still studying Jeet June Do. Great explanation as how it pertains and melds into drumming movement…Best, Gregg Bowman
This is fantastic Gregg! I have been inspired from Bruce for so many years now, glad you’re feeling it too! His daughter Shannon has an outstanding podcast called Bruce Lee podcast, check it out if you haven’t already. Stay strong and have fun on the path Gregg!