Lee, James Yimm

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Lee, James Yimm Gender: M
Lee Kein Heir
born on 31 January 1920 at 08:30 (= 08:30 AM )
Place Oakland, California, 37n48, 122w16
Timezone PST h8w (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 10°31' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 20°39 Asc.s_piscol.18.gif 05°36'


American martial arts pioneer, teacher, author, and publisher. James Lee is known for being a mentor, teacher and friend of the late Bruce Lee.

Lee was a welder by profession and a U.S. Army veteran.

He was one of Bruce Lee's (no relation) three personally certified 3rd rank instructors and co-founded the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in Oakland where he taught Jeet Kune Do in Bruce's absence. James was responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to Ed Parker, the organizer of the Long Beach International Karate Championships where Bruce was first introduced to the martial arts community.

James Lee became well known for his Iron Palm specialty, and would routinely break bricks at demonstrations. He was the first to publish an Iron Palm book in America in 1957.

Lee was a well-established author and was one of the first to publish martial arts books in English in America. He also helped Bruce Lee publish his first book, "Chinese Gung-Fu: The Philosophical Art of Self Defense." James Lee's published books include: Modern Kung-Fu Karate: Iron Poison Hand Training, Book 1 (Break Brick in 100 Days), Wing Chun Kung-Fu, and Secret Fighting Arts of the Orient.

His wife, Katherine, died in 1964. James Lee died aged 52 on 28 December 1972 from lung cancer caused by welding fumes.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • (has as) student relationship with Lee, Bruce (born 27 November 1940)


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes Sid Campbell and Greglon Lee, "The Dragon and the Tiger: The Birth of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do: Volume 1" (Frog Books, 2003), p. 6: "At 8:30 A.M. on January 31, 1920, Lee Kein Heir was born at his parent's house at 927 Webster Street in Oakland, California. Although Lee Kein Heir is recorded on James Yimm Lee's birth certificate,..."


  • Vocation : Education : Teacher
  • Vocation : Sports : Martial arts
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction