Written by Illmatical
Fans of the Last Dragon know that there is more to the film than martial arts, that’s just the surface level stuff. True fans know, the reason it has had such longevity and developed a cult following is the underlying message that we all take with us, regardless of sex, age and ethnicity.
All of us have Sho’nuff manifested in our life, one way or the other: he’s a job you hate, racism, sexism, financial woes or any obstacle that stands between you and your goals. The question is, when you face this adversary, which Leroy are you? Are we Leroy Green: tentative, timid and confused? Or are we Bruce Leroy: glowing, confident and conscious?
All of us, have doubts or concerns. During these moments, we’re Leroy Green. We have the power of the universe in our hands, but we don’t see it. Perhaps we’re coasting through life, avoiding challenges or unsure of our purpose. If you want to be Leroy Green in today’s world, you’ll find yourself always asking questions to the shit you already know; never finding your glow.
Coworkers, so called friends or intimate partners run all over you? Remember how Richie dogged his older brother? He was so disrespectful that he verbally disowned his older brother; while standing in front of him! The bottom line, Leroy Green accepted disrespect. You don’t have to, not from family, peers or anyone else. We have to draw boundaries with people, if we don’t, we’ll go through life kissing Converses.
Remember at the end, when Bruce Leroy caught the bullet with his teeth? No one told him how to do that, it was referenced earlier in the film as if it was part of his character, but obviously, his teacher didn’t show him. He picked it up on his own. Similarly, save parts of yourself. You don’t have to be stingy, but at work, or even with friends (exception will be significant other) you should save elements of yourself, or just show it when it is necessary.
Don’t give yourself away.
Bruce Leroy was ferocious and determined. Despite all of his obstacles: enemies, confusion and new found love, he was focused on finding Sum Dum Goy. Sometimes, we have to do the same, perhaps venturing into the unknown world of parenting, education, relationships or a career.
One of my favorite motivational speakers is Tony Robbins. One point he focuses on are successful people who use rituals to obtain success. Remember how Bruce Leroy was often alone, training on the roof or in the dojo? Whether it is a few minutes of meditation, daily planning or self improvement, we all need time to ourselves. It will be harder for some, perhaps you’re overloaded with homework after school, a parent, or have a hectic schedule, you have to create a successful schedule and rituals that will help you reach the final level.
Do you think Bruce Leroy would have ventured into the building after Arkadian if he knew that Sho’nuff was waiting? Who knows? All of us have some fear. Another great motivational speaker is Les Brown, during a lecture entitled Power of Purpose, he discusses facing fears and obstacles. I’ll paraphrase for brevity, but he points out that our fears are really mental. Many instances, what we’re afraid of, our Sho’nuff, it isn’t as bad as we think. We believe there is an obstacle and honestly, we’ve placed it there ourself or like Bruce Leroy, we have the power to overcome it; if we would only try.
You can’t make the journey of life alone. Know that feeling you get when Leroy’s students burst into 7th Heaven? Especially when you’re watching it with someone who hasn’t seen it and you’re studying their face to see if they appreciate it; wondering if they really get the moment? LOL. During this journey called “life,” you’ll need help. It was Bruce Leroy, the teacher who had instilled the arts and gave confidence to his students – confidence that he too was lacking. Not on your journey yet? Not sure what it is? Cool, your time will come, in the interim, how about helping a Bruce Leroy you know, regardless of who she or he is.
It has been eight years since I met Louis Venosta in Times Square. There I was, meeting the writer who penned one of my favorite movies. Inside of Dean and DeLuca, I remember him asking if I knew what the Last Dragon was really about. Before I could answer he said “It’s about finding the master within.” That meeting changed my life, I set out on my own journey, filled with doubt and uncertainty. I never would have guessed that I would have written my own fiction story and comic book, or that my aspirations would lead me to China. Don’t get it twisted it hasn’t been easy, there have been plenty of Sho’nuffs, Arkadians and a few bad Laura Charles. I’ve had friends Craig Sutton (The Last Dragon Tribute creator) and Majid Afayee (Last Dragon fan) help me when I was catching a beat down from the gangsters of life.
As I write this essay in Taiwan, I’ll admit that it took time for me to own my purpose, to find my glow, to realize who the master was, despite the number of times people told me. Trust me, I’m not better than you, nor am I trying to preach to you. I’m hoping this causerie will edify you, perhaps encouraging you to complete or begin your own journey.
Sho’nuff, is out there, he’s anything and anyone that wants to stop you from not just your goals, but happiness. His nose is flaring: you’re beat down, tired, scarred and exhausted. Take a moment and look inside of the well, look at everything you’ve done with your life, appreciate your achievements. Wherever you are, before you leave the house for work, step on the basketball court, preparing for your first day as a female CEO, getting ready for an important exam, proud parent or starting a new semester in a challenging academic environment, it’s time for you to own your greatness.
You already know the question that life, disguised as Mr. Nuff keeps asking you: Who is the master? Time for you to shine, you’re the only Leroy who can say it.
Check out Illmatical’s Martial Arts Fantasy Fiction Digital Comic Book: Masternever & The Flow of Death
Last Dragon Fans You Don’t Want to Miss This! The Last Dragon 30th Anniversary Celebration
TheLastDragonTribute.com is a blog dedicated to preserving the joy of Berry Gordy’s 1985 Motown meets Kung Fu cult classic The Last Dragon. We also delve into all things Bruce Lee, Martial Arts and enjoy reminiscing about 70′s,80′s & 90′s pop culture. Follow us from the links below for your daily dose of the Glow!