Under his father’s tutelage, Ryusei “Ryuji” Imai, a little Japanese kung fu master, has learned the adaptive martial art techniques of Jeet Kune Do and is the #1 fan of the legendary Bruce Lee. His online following has even nicknamed the young man “Mini Lee.”
Born in Nara, Japan, on April 16, 2010, Ryuji has been watching Bruce Lee films ever since he was 1. His whole family are huge Bruce Lee fans, so, naturally, the boy developed a penchant for martial arts, and he aspires to be like his idol Bruce Lee.
“I love Bruce Lee and so does Ryusei. We’ve always played music and movies to him, but when we saw him playing nunchucks along with a movie scene, it certainly surprised us,” Ryuji’s father, a karate fighter, told Barcroft TV.
To be as perfect as the iconic martial arts superstar, Ryuji started training regularly with his dad when he was only 4 years old.
“I made a lot of mistakes at the start, like I couldn’t get the exact timing. Sometimes I was too fast, sometimes too slow, but I’m getting better and better,” Ryuji said.
Ryuji’s father, a karate fighter, told media outlets his son trains for 90 minutes every morning from 6 a.m. before going to elementary school. When he comes home from school, he would spend almost an hour running, and in the next two hours, he would undergo kicks and nunchuk training.
“Basically, we train every day. On a school day, before school starts, we do stretches and some muscle training,” said Ryuji’s dad.
coming July 20(1973) 45th anniversary of Bruce Lee's death. if Bruce Lee was alive, i would meet and want to learn JkD
The little boy’s hard work has paid off. Even though he is now just 9 years old, he already has six-pack abs.
When he was 5, he amazed everyone with a video he posted on his social media page in which he was able to mimic Bruce Lee’s nunchaku scene from the 1973 martial arts film Game of Death to a tee.
In another clip, Ryuji flawlessly imitates the famous scene of Bruce Lee from his 1973 martial arts film Enter the Dragon.
Ryuji’s amazing martial arts skills, incorporating Bruce Lee’s lightning-fast fighting moves, captivated many social media users. He has become so popular that he has garnered over 323,000 followers on Facebook and some 468,000 followers on Instagram.
Dubbed the “Bruce Lee kid” or “mini Bruce Lee,” Ryuji was even given a role in the 2018 action comedy film Oolong Courtyard. In the movie, the small boy throws powerful fists and high kicks, easily defeating two seemingly healthy and strong grown men with his incredible Bruce Lee’s moves.
“The moment I realized his talent was when he’s appeared on the TV and stage – he never got nervous and looked like he was having fun,” the boy’s father shared.
Ryuji’s similarity to Bruce Lee is quite uncanny. His quick reflexes, and the way he delivers his punches and kicks is a mirror image of his hero. Some have speculated that he might even be the reincarnation of Lee himself!
Although Ryuji is young, he knows that he must keep advancing. If you follow his updates on Facebook, the improvement of his skills is quite noticeable.
Ryuji’s kicking and nunchuck skills are awe-inspiring as are his speed and agility. This little chap is a true martial art acolyte, as one can see from his self-discipline and in the way he never gives up developing his abilities.
“I want him to devote himself to what he loves, with an honest heart, and never give up, and to remember that and enjoy himself,” Ryuji’s father said.
Way to go, Ryusei “Ryuji” Imai!
Watch Ryuji do what he does best in this viral video: