As Bruce Lee said many of times, the purpose of any martial art shouldn’t be to teach a man to defend himself or to attack another. The purpose would be to learn how to express yourself, no matter what the situation is. In other words, martial arts are all about learning how to be a better you.
As Bruce Lee said it, there shouldn’t be more martial arts styles, because we, as human, are all the same (even if at the same time we are different, we are unique). Furthermore, a style would also mean chaining one’s self. It would mean ceasing the constant evolving.
As many other philosophers said, a human being is not a given fact, but constant developing. Life, as Bruce Lee saw it also, is a permanent walk, a continuous process. A martial arts style will also let you develop yourself, but only within given boundaries. In other words, you become limited.
But if you renounce any style and focus only on expressing yourself, only on mastering all your reflexes, then your freedom won’t be hindered by anything.
Of course, Bruce Lee is known for being the founder of Jeet Kune Do, which is basically a martial arts style (even if he called it the style without style). So, in a way, Bruce Lee contradicted himself: by trying to get rid of the limitations of the traditional martial arts styles, he created some others. And he regretted this afterwards.
However, a deeper meaning can be subtracted from this contradiction as well, a statement which can also be found expressed by him: your truth is your truth alone. In many of his interviews, Bruce always began his sentences with what seemed as being just verbal tics: in my opinion, I believe, to me, and so one.
Nothing else than filler-words, right?
Of course, you might say that he was a foreigner and that he didn’t know how to express himself in a foreign language. However, I believe that he was perfectly aware of what he was saying. I believe that this is what he wanted to say: never impose your own truths upon someone else. Let the others decide for themselves. Let the others learn for themselves.
Your only purpose, from this point of view, is to become your own master. You can show the others the way you have found, but it must be them to decide whether or not it suits them.
As a conclusion, this next quote falls right into place: I said, “empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash! Be water, my friend’…like that, you see?