Bruce Lee, trailblazer
"Enter the Dragon" really is an amazing movie. It must, by sheer volume, be one of the most imitated films ever made, since half the B and C martial arts films of the ensuing 20 years hijacked its plot structure, bringing heroes and villains together for a tournament to the death at the behest of some sinister millionaire.
The great thing about Lee is that he was the real deal. He didn't set up his stuntmen like dominoes to pull of some carefully staged acrobatic move that nobody would ever use in actual combat. (Which is not to say that I don't find that sort of choreography entertaining when done well.) Lee's moves in "Enter the Dragon" are fairly straightforward - in that nunchaku scene you mentioned, he's doing moves that most students quickly become familiar with. He just does them faster and smoother than most people ever will.
Lee's mystique was likely enhanced by his untimely passing, but somehow I can't see him ever sliding into the Steven Seagal donut-fueled self-parody stage.