Wong Shun Leung

Wong Shun Leung was born in 1935. He started training with Yip Man when he was 17.

In Hong Kong, Wong fought more than 60 times between the ages of 18 and 32 and never lost a fight. Wong was a renowned fighter and earned the title "Gong Sau Wong" (King of talking with the hands) after surviving countless "beimo," or "comparison of skills," throughout the 50s and 60s, emerging every time as undefeated and undisputed champion. These were no rules, no protective equipment fights between representatives of the various schools of combat in Hong Kong. Wong won the majority of these contests within a few punches.

Wong's reputation as an invincible fighter attracted the attention of the young Bruce Lee, who had only recently joined Yip Man class after having been introduced to the system by his friend William Cheung. Initially, Lee had trained with Cheung, but when Cheung left for Australia, Lee became Wongs protegé. Lee was so keen to learn from Wong that he even found devious ways of monopolising his time. On more than one occasion, he would tell his classmates Wong was ill, or otherwise indisposed, once he was sure they had all departed the scene, Bruce would double back to Wong's to take advantage of the now private lesson. Wong became aware of this little ruse and gave his young disciple an especially realistic lesson, complete (so the story goes) with black eyes, split lips and a bloody nose! Bruce Lee was never able to defeat Wong Shun Leung in combat.

Many of Lee's fighting concepts can be traced back to the lessons he learned from Wong. Lee was keen to involve Wong in his movies, and when shooting "Enter the Dragon" he invited Wong to come on location to discuss the fight scenes.

Over the years Wong was involved in a number of film and television projects. Wong also starred in a training video, entitled "Wing Chun: the Science of In-fighting" which was produced as part of a series of instructional tapes in the early 80s. He also occasionally authored articles for a number of Chinese-language martial arts magazines, and was the subject of several articles and interviews in magazines all over the world.

Wong was also a practitioner of the ancient Chinese art of "tit dar" (bone-setting), the traditional method of treating sprains, bruises, dislocated and broken bones (a very useful skill, considering his line of work!).

He was also an accomplished self-taught calligrapher with a profound knowledge of ancient forms of writing unknown to many modern Chinese, with which he would spend many hours writing classical poetry.

Wong shared his knowledge with great enthusiasm, believing that anyone, regardless of race, color or creed, was worth teaching. his only real gripe being with instructors who wasted their student's time with endless, useless techniques and combat drills.