Bruce Lee Signed Document Promoting Herb Jackson to First Rank of the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute
A superb highly ornate partially printed document. Dated "Jan 30, 1968". The certificate is signed by Bruce Lee using both his chop signature stamp in red, and his hand drawn signature symbol in Chinese for the dragon. Herb Jackson additionally filled out the certificate in his own hand, and signed the document "Herb Jackson". Dan Insanto, signed the document as Instructor. 10.25" x 13". Matted with a phenomenal color print portrait of Bruce Lee to a completed display size of 24.5" x 17.25". Discreet minor restoration to outer lower edge of document not affecting Bruce Lee's signature. Water staining to Insanto's signature. Overall lovely patina and toning with a few small spots. The piece will include a letter of authenticity from Herb Jackson's son, Mark Ashton-Jackson who received this piece by descent.
Bruce Lee opened The Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in 1967, after filming one season of The Green Hornet. Dan Insanto was one of only three people who were personally certified by Bruce Lee as an instructor. Herb Jackson was Lee's original back yard student, close friend and confidant, and ultimately took an active role in improving Bruce Lee's training equipment. Dan Insanto had initially taught Herb Jackson, and was a co-signer on this certificate. The spectacular early document comes from the first year of operation of Lee's Institute, and names Jackson to the first rank in the discipline of Jun Fan Gung Fu (or Kung-Fu). The institute's Taijitu yin-yang emblem is printed at top center in red and bronze, and is flanked by red and bronze dragons and flames which run vertically along the outer left and right margins.
The largest influence on Lee's martial arts development was his study of Wing Chun. Lee began training in Wing Chun when he was 16 years old under the Wing Chun teacher Ip Man in 1957, after losing several fights with rival gang members. Yip's regular classes generally consisted of the forms practice, chi sao (sticking hands) drills, wooden dummy techniques, and free-sparring. There was no set pattern to the classes. Yip tried to keep his students from fighting in the street gangs of Hong Kong by encouraging them to fight in organized competitions.
After a year into his Wing Chun training, most of Yip Man's other students refused to train with Lee when they learned of his mixed ancestry, as the Chinese were generally against teaching their martial arts techniques to non-Asians. Lee's sparring partner, Hawkins Cheung, states, "Probably fewer than six people in the whole Wing Chun clan were personally taught, or even partly taught, by Yip Man". However, Lee showed a keen interest in Wing Chun, and continued to train privately with Ip Man and Wong Shun Leung in 1955. Wan Kam Leung a student of Wong's, witnessed a sparring bout between Wong and Lee and noted the speed and precision with which Lee was able to deliver his kicks. Lee continued to train with Wong Shun Leung after returning to Hong Kong from America.
Accompanied by a detailed letter of authenticity and provenance stating "This document was given directly to Herb Jackson from Bruce Lee. Herb Jackson was a close friend, student and confident of Bruce Lee. Herb Jackson handed this down to his son, Mark Ashton-Jackson" with the Letter of Authenticity noting " Â… This item was given to my father Herb Jackson as a gift from Bruce Lee in and around 1968. My father Herb Jackson was a very close friend and confidant of Bruce Lee and was also one of his private backyard students in Los Angeles in the mid to late 1960's Â… This item is historical in nature and marks a point in time when Bruce Lee was seeking international fame for this martial arts/film career"
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