Rock Lee was constantly mocked by his fellow students, while at the academy, because of his inability to use either ninjutsu or genjutsu, even failing to utilize the more simple techniques that all shinobi learn to use at a young age. That would mean all Lee had going for him was taijutsu, and even then that was only average. It seemed impossible that Lee would ever become a ninja, and anyone else in his rare situation would have giving in, but not Lee. Everyday Lee would push his body to the limits, by constantly training in taijutsu, giving him arduous training regimes, that if he failed to meet his promise for completing one task, he would train in an even more difficult task. It is this hard working determination, which has allowed Lee to succeed as a ninja.
Ever since the academy, Lee has been under the watchful eye of Might Guy, the number one taijutsu specialist in Konoha. Guy saw something special in Lee, becoming proud when Lee was able to complete a task, and greatly appreciating his never gives up attitude. Lee also saw Guy as not just a sensei to him, but also a father figure, becoming extremely upset and angry whenever someone made fun of Guy. Lee was eventually signed to Team Guy, along with Tenten and Neji Hyuga, during that time his appearance and personality greatly resembled Guy’s, such as wearing clothing like him and even having the same style hair cut. It was during this time that Lee developed a rivalry with Neji, believing that with enough hard work, someone like him will be able to surpass a natural genius, although Neji believed he is and always will be superior to Lee and his hard work was pointless.
This did not stop Lee, even when he was being beat by Neji in training; he carried on training to make himself stronger. Under Guy’s influence and tutelage Lee trained constantly in taijutsu, and in the style known as strong fist, that deals external damage to the body, such as breaking bones. Lee was able to master many of the styles most difficult techniques, such as the Front Lotus. These types of moves are known to put a lot of strain on the body, and while anyone can perform them, only the likes of Lee and Guy can deal with the strain that it puts on their body, because they have have been through the necessary training to handle it. Since his training, Lee has worn heavy training ankles weights, which increases his strength but decreases his speed to a point which is still considered incredibly fast by his peers.
Upon taking these weights off, his speed increases greatly, to the point he becomes a blur and even Kakashi’s Sharingan found it hard to keep up. Lee is also a natural master in the style known as Drunken Fist, upon drinking even a single drop of alcohol, he becomes violently drunk and his fighting style is unpredictable, almost impossible to follow. In this state, he is constantly trying to impress Guy even if he is not around, and he will attack friend or foe. Lee has also learned to open up the first five of the Eight Gates, which is a difficult feat even for the most talented of ninja, upon opening these gates, his speed and strength are forcibly pushed past their natural limits, at the cost of his health.
Lee is also very polite and respectful, referring to people in a very proper way. He is also very respectful to his opponents and carries a great sense of honor, to the point that his good-natured heart stops him from holding grudges, even forgiving Gaara and building a friendship with him, even after he crushed his arm and leg. Lee also believes that all ninja should show respect to there opponents and becomes angry when people fail to do so. He also believes that by not wanting something, only then will he be able to get it, as seen moments before his battle with Gaara. Lee also has deep feelings for Sakura, asking her to be his girlfriend. Lee has vowed to always protect Sakura, and because of her he has pushed himself even further. At first Sakura does not like this but in time she begins to care for Lee even bringing him flowers when he was in hospital.
Rock Lee is first introduced during the Chunin exams, where upon first sight he seems to be nothing special, until, he is able to stop a kick from Sasuke and a disguised exam proctor. Sasuke is impressed by Lee, and later is challenged by him. Lee wanting to prove himself, by defeating another genius, after easily dispatching Naruto, Lee and Sasuke have a short fight, in which Sasuke is shocked by Lee. The fight is eventually stopped by Guy, just before Lee was about to use the Front Lotus.
During the second exam, this took place in the forest of death, Lee upon saving an endangered squirrel, stumbles across Sakura who was being attacked by the sound Genin, Dosu, Kin and Zaku. Lee was able to battle valiantly for a while, but was overcome by the numbers. After Sasuke drives them back, lee promises to Sakura that the next time they meet he will be stronger. During the final stages of the exams, Lee battled the violent Gaara in an incredible battle, in which Lee uses his most difficult techniques, even opening the first five gates, but he is ultimately defeated, having his arm and leg crushed, and is saved from death when Guy intervenes. After that the medics say that his life of a ninja is over.
Lee would become deeply upset, that his life of a ninja was over, and that he would fail to reach his goal. This would not stop him, as even when he was in the hospital, he would sneak out to train, much to the shock of the medical staff and Sakura, who believed he should be resting. When news that the legendary medical ninja Tsunade had returned, Guy saw this as hope for Lee, and that she could heal him. Tsunade inspected the damage, and even though his body had healed to a certain point, the damage was still great.
Tsunade gave Lee the choice of undergoing a surgery that only she could perform and if it succeeded, Lee would be healed. However, there was a fifty-percent chance he would die. Rock Lee had a tough choice, give up his life of a ninja or risk dying. This scared him greatly, but under the wise words and encouragement of Guy, Lee underwent surgery and survived. This only made him more determined to succeed.
During the retrieval of Sasuke, Lee suggests that Neji goes with, Naruto, Shikamaru, Choji and Kiba, but he himself is upset that he can’t go and help. Lee later explains to Tsunade why he wants to succeed as a ninja, even at the cost of his own life, saying that despite having no ninjutsu or genjutsu he could still become a great ninja. During this arc, Naruto is fighting Kimimaro, of the sound five, and is about to be killed. At the last moment Lee arrives and kicks Kimimaro away, telling Naruto to go on, while he faces Kimimaro.
At first Lee and Kimimaro are on equal footing, before Kimimaro starts to dominate that match, and right before he is about to kill Lee, he is stopped as Lee takes what he believes is medicine but is instead sake. Upon consuming it he becomes intoxicated and becomes unpredictable, even outclassing Kimimaro, who is forced to use his curse seal. Lee is overpowered and when Lee finally awakens, Kimimaro proves too much, even stopping the front lotus. Lee is saved by the interference of Gaara, who battles Kimimaro. The two are saved from death, when the illness of Kimimaro finally gets the better of him. Lee and Gaara then build a friendship.
In part 2, Tsunade sends team Guy to help support team Kakashi during the rescue of Gaara, who was now Kazekage, and had been taking by the Akatsuki. Team Guy is attacked by Kisame, who traps Lee, Neji and Tenten in a water prison, using clones, while the Kisame battles Guy. During that fight Guy uses the first six chakra gates, to defeat Kisame. Lee and Tenten were saved by Neji who broke free from his prison and saved the others.
Rock Lee and his team arrived outside the Akatsuki headquarters, a few moments before team Kakashi, despite setting off a few days later. The squads find out that, there is a barrier, and seals located in different locations, that needed to be removed, before they were allowed to enter. When the seals were removed, Team Guy had to battle a clone of them. Lee figured out that the clones did not tire, but lacked emotion and could not improve themselves. Lee and his team defeated the clones, and went back to help team Kakashi, only to find Gaara dead. Lee and a group of others witnessed, Chiyo sacrifice her life to revive Gaara. After they all welcomed Gaara back, Guy was carrying a wounded Kakashi. Lee, seeing this as a training exercise, asked an annoyed Neji to jump on his back. Neji did not approve.
During the invasion of Pain, Team Guy was on a mission, completely unaware of what was happening in Konoha. The team were traveling back, when Tenten said they should rest. Lee noticed Guy looking up in the sky and asked what was wrong. Guy said that the birds were fleeing from the village. Thinking something was wrong, the team decided to head to Konoha. Lee and the rest of his team eventually return to Konoha during the heat of the Naruto/Pein battle. Finding everything in ruins and many people either dead or injured. They also notice Hinata and get her medical treatment after finding Sakura. Lee and Neji then want to support Naruto but are told by Katsuya to not help because Naruto did not want them to get in the way. Lee is later seen with the rest of Konoha greeting Naruto after he had saved everyone. Later in the Kage summit arc, Lee is seen with the rest of the Konoha 11 deciding on killing Sasuke. Later, he Kiba and Sai are with Sakura as they are there to find and defeat Sasuke. However, Sakura puts all three to sleep after Sai tries to stop them. Lee is later seen, when Naruto tells the Konoha 11 that he alone will defeat Sasuke.
Powers and Abilities
Rock Lee, despite having no talent whatsoever in either ninjutsu or genjutsu, is still a very skilled ninja. Through hard work and a determination that is arguably even greater than that of Naruto's, he has been able to succeed. Lee is a taijutsu specialist and utilizes a style called Strong Fist, that deals blunt, external damage to the body. Such as breaking bones. This style has been shown to put a lot of strain on the body when using the more advanced techniques, to a point where only those who have pushed there bodies to the limits, can deal with these moves.
Lee is also incredibly strong and fast, even when wearing his ankle weights, his speed is still impressive. Once he takes them off, his speed vastly increases, which often surprises his opponents. Rock lee has pushed his body so much, and is so determined to succeed, that even when unconscious, he is still able to stand, train, and even fight. An example being in his fight with Gaara, despite being knocked out, and having his arm and leg crushed, he was still able to get up, through pure muscle memory.
One of his signature moves is the Front Lotus, in which by opening the first gate, he knocks his opponent in the air, constricts them with his bandages, and pile drives his opponent head first into the ground. The Front Lotus deals incredible damage, but due to certain unusual circumstances, everyone Lee has used this on has survived. A more complicated version is the Reverse Lotus, which requires the first three gates to be opened. Lee will deliver a bone crushing blow that knocks his opponent into the air, then bounces off his surroundings striking his opponent at near-inhuman speeds, before hitting them back down to the ground. These attacks, are almost impossible to defend against, because of there speed and power, but they are also a double edged sword, that deals severe damage to the user as well.
Lee is a natural master in Drunken Fist, a style that only comes naturally to a person, meaning it can’t be learned or taught. Once Lee consumes even the tiniest bit of alcohol, he becomes an unpredictable fighter, attacking both friend and foe. This mixed with his already incredible taijutsu abilities, makes him an almost impossible opponent to defeat. In this mode, his speed, reflexes greatly increase somehow. Lee has also learned to open the first five of the Eight Gates. These gates are located, on specific points on a person’s chakra system. By flooding these points with chakra, Lee can forcibly release the brain's instinctual restraints on the muscles, allowing him to utilize more from his body than normally possible. By opening the last gate, it is said that even an average person could briefly surpass even a Kage, but the user would inevitably die.