Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee are both famous action heroes who are known for their skills in martial arts. Bruce Lee is known for movies like Enter the Dragon, Fist of Fury, The Green Hornet, and a few others. Chuck Norris is known for movies like Walker, Texas Ranger, The Hitman, Missing in Action, and more. They even worked together on The Way of the Dragon, which was a big hit.

In the movie, the two actors played the role of characters who end up fighting each other. As expected, the producers told Norris he had to gain some weight for the movie. But the result wasn’t what they wanted because Norris couldn’t even do the stunts that were needed and failed horribly in front of Bruce Lee.


Chuck Norris Was Humiliated in Infront Of Bruce Lee

Chuck Norris Gained 20 Pounds to Fight Bruce Lee, Gets His A** Whooped

Bruce Lee plays Tang, a young martial arts expert who protects a restaurant in Rome from a crime boss, in the 1972 movie The Way of the Dragon. Tang teaches Karate to the people working there, and over time, everyone starts to respect him. The crime boss hires Colt, who is played by Chuck Norris and is a world-class fighter, to take revenge on Tang for stopping his plans.

Chuck Norris Gained 20 Pounds to Fight Bruce Lee, Gets His A** Whooped

Tang and Colt face each other and fight. Tang wins, and in the end, he kills Colt. Lee chose Norris for the part because he liked to hire and challenge both well-known and up-and-coming martial artists. But it wasn’t easy for Nortis to play Colt. Before making the movie, he had to work out and gain about 20 pounds so that he would look bigger than Lee.

So when Colt lost, it made Tang’s win look even better. Norris did what was asked of him. But there was something wrong. He couldn’t do some moves, like the jump kicks. In an interview with Empire in 2007, Norris said,

That’s why I don’t do jump kicks [in the movie]. I couldn’t get off the ground!

But it’s clear that the production team found a way to overcome the issue to make a convincing and iconic fight scene.


Chuck Norris Praised Bruce Lee Despite Their Rivalry

Chuck Norris Gained 20 Pounds to Fight Bruce Lee, Gets His A** Whooped

In an interview with Black Belt, Chuck Norris said that even though he and Bruce Lee were fiercely competitive in their careers, he still had a lot of respect for him. He said,

The truth is Lee was a formidable opponent with a chiseled physique and technique. I totally enjoyed sparring and just spending time with him.

Chuck Norris Gained 20 Pounds to Fight Bruce Lee, Gets His A** Whooped

He also said nice things about Lee’s charisma and confidence. Norris said:

He was as charismatic and friendly in the ring and at home as he was on film. His confidence and wit were dazzling, and sometimes even debilitating to others…Lee was lightning fast, very agile and incredibly strong for his size.

Norris also said that Lee was very driven and passionate about winning.

Norris told Combat Culture in an interview that Lee told him he would beat him in The Way of the Dragon. He said,

At that time I held the world title, and kiddingly I said to Bruce ‘Well, who wins Bruce?’ and he says, ‘I win, I’m the star of this movie.’ I say, ‘Oh, I see, you want to beat the world champion, and he said ‘No I don’t, I want to kill the world champion.

But this didn’t change how Chuck Norris saw Bruce Lee or how much he respected him.

You can stream The Way of the Dragon on Paramount+.