Martial arts icon Bruce Lee developed dynamic jeet kun do, the "style of no style" that combines and adapts diverse elements and enables fighters to flow like water.
You approach the mat tentatively, eying the lean, middle-aged gent standing calm before the breeze in the middle. There's something about the confidence in his eye that unsettles you as you crouch into a stance, coiled fists and feet poised to explode into action.
Still, you've fought guys bigger and stronger than him before. Took them on and came out standing. This might not be a walk in the park, you think in the split second it takes to raise your fists. This guy looks like he might know what he's doing, but you already start to roll on the balls of your feet and fall forward.
You hit the mat before you even know what's happening, your head smacking the thick rubber with a dull thud the ringing in your ears and that salty, iron taste of blood in your mouth the only reassurance that you are, in fact, still alive.
There is no shame - most martial arts exponents would consider it an honor to be knocked out by Professor Salem Assli. In fact, many would chomp at the bit to even spar with the master of jeet kun do - the martial arts system and philosophy developed by legendary Chinese kung fu master Bruce Lee.
Jeet kun do is dynamic and eclectic: It discards tradition, emphasizes strength and conditioning, and combines elements from different schools so that the fighter flows like water.
Assli, a native of Lille, France, is chief instructor at the Inosanto Academy in Los Angeles, a training center set up by Lee's most famous protege Dan Inosanto (who appears in the 1978 "Game of Death" fighting Lee with kali sticks).
Assli just made a regular visit to Shanghai to conduct training courses at the JKD branch. It is believed to be the only one in China.
Having developed an interest in martial arts at an early age, Assli moved to Los Angeles 25 years ago to further his training.
"I saw Bruce Lee, and I wanted to do stuff he was doing, so it brought me all the way to Los Angeles," says the lethal weapon. He has since released scores of training DVDs and written numerous articles and two books, with two more about to be published.