"LEARN ROUTINE. FOLLOW ROUTINE. BREAK ROUTINE": HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF, 1965, INSCRIBED BY BRUCE LEE TO HIS CLOSE FRIEND AND THE HEAD INSTRUCTOR AT HIS SEATTLE MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO, TAKY KIMURA
(LEE, Bruce) ACCAS, Gene, ECKSTEIN, John H., and HOOVER, J. Edgar. How to Protect Yourself on the Streets and in Your Home. New York: Pocket Books, 1965. Octavo, staple-bound as issued, original printed cream paper wrappers; pp. 60. Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box. $17,000.
First edition of this commonsense guide to preventing crime, inscribed on the verso of the front wrapper by one of America's great martial artists to his close friend, best man, and pallbearer: "To Taky, Bruce [Chinese signature]," with his advice also handwritten in Chinese below: "Learn routine. Follow routine. Break routine."
Written in response to a mid-1960s crime wave, this photo-illustrated book, produced in association with This Week Magazine, attempted to provide commonsense self-protection strategies to Americans. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover even provided a letter full of "Teen-Age Tips," concentrating on dating, strangers, and immoral behavior. The booklet gained new life in Indiana Representative John Brademas' congressional "Crime Report." Brademas lamented that "[t]o the distress of law enforcement officials, many citizens neglect to take simple, inexpensive precautions which would be effective anti-crime measures," and offered suggestions from this "useful 60-page booklet" (Congressional Record, Volume 114, Part 8, 10772). This copy is inscribed by martial arts legend Bruce Lee. The iconic Lee, who died at age 32, "sparked a revolution in cinema and action films… in pursuit of mental and physical perfection" (New York Times). In her biography of Lee, his wife Linda writes: "Bruce amassed a colossal library, impelled by an insatiable desire to learn everything he could… [It] was the most important room in the house… amounting to several thousand books dealing with every aspect of physical combat, ancient and modern, as well as weapons of all kinds, calisthenics, sports, filmmaking and both Eastern and Western philosophy. Bruce practically lived in his study, and would often remain there working at his desk into the dead of night" (Bruce Lee Story, 80, 156). In his books, "Lee wrote notes, often verbatim transcriptions in longhand, from passages he found both true and helpful…. Always a thinker, Lee was fascinated by the insights into spiritual truths that could be garnered through adjusting the focus of human awareness" (Little, Artist of Life, xiv). This type of spirituality is evinced in the content of this inscription. At the time this book was published, Lee had not yet broken into film, but was at the height of his athletic career. Just two years earlier, Lee had established his first Gung Fu school in Seattle. The inscribee, Taky Kimura, would later become the head instructor at Seattle's Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute. Lee and Kimura met in Seattle in 1959; Lee was only 18 and Kimura was a 36-year-old Japanese martial artist. Despite the age spread, the two became fast friends. Kimura even served as best man at Linda and Bruce Lee's wedding in 1964. When Lee died just nine years later, Kimura was one of the pallbearers. Accompanied by a copy of a Certificate of Authenticity written by the inscribee, which reads in part: "My name is Taky Kimura and I was a student of the martial arts master and legend, Bruce Lee. I knew Bruce Lee from his early days in Seattle, Washington in 1960 to the time of his untimely passing in 1973. We were very close friends, and as I developed as a martial artist, I eventually assumed the role as the head instructor of the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute. The item described below was obtained by me directly from Bruce Lee." Lee's inscription neatly translated to English in pen on copyright page.
Very nearly fine condition.