No matter what form of martial arts you study – whether it be karate, taekwondo, jiujitsu or Muay Thai – you are fully aware of who Bruce Lee is. Considered to be the greatest martial artist of all time and founder of his own fighting style, Jeet Kun Do, Lee has been influential in inspiring people all over the world to learn the various self-defense art forms that he himself did so many years ago.
The Washington Post recently featured Abbas Alizada, a 20-year-old martial arts student from Afghanistan. Alizada gained notoriety due to his uncanny resemblance to Lee and the way he can mimic his moves almost to perfection.
"Bruce Lee inspires me," Alizada told the Post. "I learned all my moves watching Bruce Lee movies. I am very proud that everyone now knows me as Afghan Bruce Lee."
Alizada has become both a YouTube and social media sensation, particularly in his home country. Not only is he inspiring children in his home city of Hazara, but he is also helping to change the image of Afghanistan by using his talent as an opportunity to help outsiders view the country in a more positive light as opposed to being consistently associated with negativity.
"All anyone hears about Afghanistan is the insecurity, the violence, the political problems," Ahmed Najat, an Afghan businessman, told the newspaper. "Abbas's motivation shows to Hazara youth that if you are also motivated, you will be respected in the country and in the world, too."
Four-year-old perfectly masters Bruce Lee's moves
Many people have tried to duplicate Bruce Lee's mastery of martial arts, but most have failed. However, Abbas Alizada is helping to change that notion, as is a young child from China who has wowed people all over the world with his ability to perfectly duplicate Lee's facial expressions, as well as his proficiency with nunchucks.
The South China Morning Post featured him in a recent article and provided readers with a video clip of the child imitating Bruce Lee's nunchuck routine in the film, "Enter the Dragon," down to the iconic yellow jump suit with the black stripes running down the sides.
The impersonation was so impressive that those commenting on the YouTube video suggested the child might have a future starring in his own movie someday. The story of this young boy and Abbas Alizada illustrate the power that martial arts have to connect people no matter where they are in the world.