Question 1: Do you have an authentic copy of the book?
Answer: Yes, I have an authentic copy. I purchased it from a gentleman who provided a signed affidavit that he acquired it in 1967 by ordering it from the back of a magazine (he didn’t recall which one but it was likely Popular Science). He lived in Studio City, CA at the time and had become aware of Bruce Lee via The Green Hornet television series.
Question 2: What is the significance of page 98?
Answer: For a long time, collectors said that all authentic copies had an ad for a James Lee book on page 98 and that if your book had anything else on that page it was a fake. This is not true. Some authentic copies have the James Lee book ad on page 98 and some have an ad for the Bruce Lee essay, “Tao of Gung Fu”.
Question 3: Were there only 500 copies of the book printed?
Answer: No, this is totally false. No one knows exactly how many were printed but it was probably at least 1,500 copies. There are several facts that support well more than 500 were printed :
Question 4: Did Bruce publish a Spanish language version of the book?
Answer: Bruce didn't. However, Bruce Lee fan and collector Eduardo J. Hernandez of Spain did. Since there was no Spanish version of the book Eduardo edited the book respecting the original version and not modifying anything. Personally I would not consider this a fake intended to mislead. Rather it is a replica or a private edition in Spanish in honor of Bruce Lee. Only 10 books were released, which Eduardo gave to his friends and collectors. It was never sold and there was no profit from it.
Question 5: So what do you think the real story is with the book?
Answer: I believe the original run of the book was 1,500 copies. Later, additional "batches" were printed as needed – quantity unknown – but still considered the first printing by James Lee and Bruce Lee. Evidence to support that not all copies were printed at the same time includes:
..... Evidence to support that not all copies were printed at the same time includes:
Question 6: Rumor is that Bruce Lee stapled the books himself by hand. Is that true?
Answer: No, the thought of Bruce Lee sitting in James Lee’s garage at 3039 Monticello in Oakland CA carefully stapling each and every book by hand is laughable. James Lee had published several books previously beginning in 1957. He used an actual publishing company to create all his books. These were professionally done books with slick covers and glued binding reinforced with staples, not do-it-yourself pamphlets put together by hand in James Lee’s garage.
Question 7: Are copies with a pink cover authentic?
Answer: No. Can you imagine Bruce Lee excitedly showing students, family and friends his brand new book with a pink cover? Bruce may have been raised in Hong Kong but he was very aware of American culture and the feminine perception around the color pink. There is no way he would have chosen this color. While I don’t have a picture to share on this website I have seen pink copies for sale on eBay.
Question 8: Did Bruce Lee publish a second book called “The Tao of Gung Fu”?
Answer: Not exactly. Bruce published an essay in 1966 called the “Tao of Gung Fu” which could be purchased from Oriental Book Sales for $2.00. This was more of a pamphlet than a book. I have only ever seen one copy of this essay for sale and it is undoubtedly much rarer than Bruce’s first book. The back page of the essay has an ad for Bruce's book "Chinese Gung Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self-Defense".
Question 9: Did Bruce Lee publish a book called “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do”?
Answer: Sort of. “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” was published by Linda Lee in 1975, two years after Bruce’s death. Rather than being a structured book it is more of a collection of Bruce Lee’s notes, thoughts and drawings on martial arts accumulated over several years of this life. First edition softbound copies of this book in good condition have a high collector value. Original hardback editions are much rarer and may be more valuable depending on edition (1st, 3rd, etc). In 2011 a revised, expanded version of the original book was published.