On this day in 1973, martial artist and film superstar Bruce Lee died of mysterious and still-disputed causes, at the age of only 32. During his life, he probably did more to bring the martial arts into the public consciousness than anyone else has ever done, before or since.
Above, Bruce Lee is pictured with a Wing Chun muk jong (or "wooden dummy"). It is taught that the wooden dummy form consists of 108 movements. This well-known fact is not a secret and can be confirmed through a very simple search on the internet for the words "wooden dummy 108."
Less well-known, however, is the fact that 108 is an ancient number of great significance, which appears in some of the earliest mythologies that exist today, from thousands of years BC. The ancient Vedic ritual of the Agnicayana, called "the world's oldest surviving ritual," involves the construction of a ritual fireplace containing 10,800 bricks, which is another manifestation of the same important number.
The number 108 is a precessional number, encoding a sophisticated understanding of the astronomical phenomenon of precession. Those who defend traditional timelines of human history do not admit that mankind understood or knew of precession at all until less than 200 years BC, and they will certainly not admit that ancient mankind understood it to the degree that they could measure its rate with the precision required to obtain the precessional numbers 72, 108, 432 and the rest.
Thus, to the extent in which he participated in martial arts (and at a very high level, to the point that this participation became part of every fiber of his being), Bruce Lee participated in an activity which even today carries hidden aspects of very ancient human wisdom, transmitting them through the ages, from generation to generation.
May he rest in peace.