My Way of Wing Chun

The Learning Curve

My Take on William Cheung Wing Chun Controversy

In my About page I mentioned that I spent six months (before moving away) in one of Australia’s Wing Chun schools that follows the W. Cheung (WC hereafter) lineage and teaches the so-called Traditional Wing Chun (TWC). The school I am talking about is actually WC’s head quarters in Melbourne, Australia.

So, who is WC as we know him? He is a well-known persona in the Wing Chun world today. He has published many books, has done and is still doing Wing Chun seminars all over the world and has setup his own Wing Chun association with schools, franchises & affiliations in many countries around the world.

The big question here is:
How did WC succeed becoming such a prominent (some may say “controversial”) figure in Wing Chun?

To answer, we need to look at the certain claims that WC made in the Western world in the 70’s, 80’s and through to the present day. When I say “the Western world”, I mean USA, Australia & Europe. WC claimed that: (a) he is the only and true successor of Yip Man‘s secret Traditional Wing Chun system; (b) he was Yip Man‘s closed door student for four years; (c) he has trained Bruce Lee.

Before looking at these claims, I want to take a step back and give a little context as to what led me to write this post. While I was a Wing Chun student in WC’s school, I was doing a lot of reading about the evolution & spread of Wing Chun during the past 50-60 years starting from the time when Yip Man moved to Hong Kong. I was new to Wing Chun and I wanted to know more about it. While reading & researching, I would frequently come across information or statements that were related to WC: someone claimed this, someone did that, “my Kung-Fu is stronger than yours”, etc. Also, there is a pretty well known duel between Emin Boztepe & WC from the end of 80’s (the duel discussion is outside the scope of this article).

Since I was a member of WC’s school and personally met the guy, I became rather intrigued and immersed myself in this chapter of Wing Chun history. I started doing some serious digging by getting a hold of articles from old martial arts magazines, interviews, old forum posts which are still available on the Internet, personal blogs & personal interviews.

As a result, after a few months (yes, I spent several months slowly collecting & cross referencing information) I started seeing a clearer picture based on the collected information.

Some would ask – “Ok, we get it. But whyyyyyyy? People have been talking about this for decades. Why waste so much time? What is the goal you were trying to achieve?”

Why waste so much time on this? I have to thank my genuine curiosity and my OCD :P. What was my goal? Well, there were some people calling WC a liar, while others were calling him a genius in the Internet-Sphere. Therefore, I wanted to understand, with as much proof as I could find, what actually sparked this controversial discussion and why WC was the center of it.

In the following sections, I analyze WC’s claims based on the cross-referenced information I have found & obtained. Source references provided at the end of the current post. Some of these sources are downloadable at

Please keep in mind that this analysis is not an attempt to discredit/expose WC or his style. It is not a personal attack, so please do not read between the lines. This analysis is merely my summary of the events that happened (his claims) using the sources I found. I really hope that I have written this with an impartial point of view and managed to capture things in the right perspective (whatever that is).

WC claims that Yip Man chose him to be the only and the true secret holder of so called traditional Wing Chun. [1][2]

Before I express my opinion on this, I want to take a step back and explain something about Yip Man.

Yip Man was a very traditional Chinese man. When I say “traditional”, I mean his beliefs & his way of life. Don’t forget we are talking about Hong Kong of 1950’s when the East was just getting started to be wide open to the West. Yip Man was so traditional that he even refused to teach Wing Chun to Westerners.

Furthermore, Chinese families follow patrilineal descent lines. A patrilineal descent line is the line of fathers and sons making up all of the male ancestors. In other words, sons keep the family line going, while daughters, at marriage, are assumed to be removed from the family’s descent line.

So, for a typical Chinese father, his sons mean everything to him. They are his pride, they will inherit his wealth/debts (if any) and the family secrets (if any), they are the continuation of the family blood line.

At that time, WC was just another kid like many others who had visited Yip Man’s school from time to time, a kid who was just another junior at his school, a kid who had absolutely no blood association to Yip Man at all.

Now, having said the above, think about this – why would Yip Man, who was traditional in his beliefs and his way of life, choose WC over his sons? Why would Yip Man choose this 13-year old kid over his own flesh and blood to be the true and the only keeper of the “secret” Wing Chun system?

In other words, did Yip Man find his own sons (who by the way joined Yip Man in Hong Kong only in 1962 [10][15]), thousands of students he taught over the years [14] including his early disciples like Chu Shong Tin (Tsui Sheung Tin) & Wong Shun Leung [14] to be unworthy in carrying the “secret technique” in comparison to the 13-year old WC?

This whole idea is absurd. Nonetheless, this legend was successfully “bought” by the Western world when it was first published in the 80’s [2].

Why? Well, IMHO we Westerners are suckers for the mysterious fairy tales from the East, especially in the martial arts world. How could we not believe a beautifully presented story from a Chinese dude who is fit, knows martial arts and who was published in one of the biggest martial arts magazines of those times? Backed by the claim that the man trained Bruce Lee him self and has 2-3 pictures proving his direct connection to Bruce Lee and Yip Man, add Bruce Lee’s fame into equation – this legend was gold. Also, WC had an element of being the first Chinese martial artist making such bold statements in the West. Who would dare to prove otherwise? Interestingly to note, WC became rather outspoken after the passing of Yip Man & Bruce Lee. Why? Is it because two main people who could dispute his claims were gone?

WC claims that he was a closed door student of Yip Man for several years and learned traditional secret style of Wing Chun, unlike the modified style taught to commercial students. To be more accurate, WC claims that from 1954 to 1958 he was a live-in student Yip Man. [1]

There is no concrete evidence (for example a photo)  that WC did live with Yip Man. Surely, during those four years, there would be at least one picture taken of WC and Yip Man practicing together, doing chi sao or eating together. WC displays on the home page of his website two pictures (UPDATE 4th of Aug, 2015: I checked WC’s website and could not locate those two pictures anywhere. I also noticed that his website got redesigned) of himself that support his connection to Yip Man and Bruce Lee. These pictures are concrete evidence that he used to support his legend – direct disciple of Yip Man and the man who trained Bruce Lee.

I am confident, if evidence that WC was a live-in student would exist, WC would be displaying it with pride in addition to the two pictures mentioned previously in order to help his self promotion.

Also, no one else in Yip Man’s school have confirmed this, not even Wong Shun Leung who was WC’s senior. Wong Shun Leung did mention WC numerous times in various interviews [4][6][7], but not even once WC was mentioned as live-in student of Yip Man.

In addition to all that, in the following video [11], WC admits that he was taught by his senior Wing Chun brother, Chu Shong Tin (Tsui Sheung Tin). Wong Shun Leung stated that he watched over WC learning.[4] Ip Chun himself states that “..When Yip Man was teaching, he would never teach one person a special technique and not teach the others. He thought to do this was immoral and so he treated everyone the same..”[3].

Hawkins Cheung (Bruce Lee’s teenage friend and fellow student), teaching Wing Chun in LA, USA in an interview [9] said the WC was only making mischief to promote him self, and that “..modified, traditional – its all bullshit..“, implying that WC invented this historical divergence in the art, in order to promote his own teaching.

However, while in Hong Kong WC was known to have a bad reputation for fighting, which has caused him problems at home with his father who was a detective of Hong Kong police department [6]. Therefore, it is not impossible that WC was staying at Yip Man’s kwoon overnight occasionally in order to avoid problems by going home. Nevertheless, it does not make WC Yip Man’s live-in student and a sole keeper of some martial art secret. IMO, it looks like fact manipulation/exaggeration to me.

WC claims that he has trained Bruce Lee.

This claim is correct in essence, I just think its misunderstood. Yes, he has a picture of him and Bruce, yes they were friends.  It is a fact that WC did introduce Bruce Lee to Wing Chun, Wong Shun Leung did support this claim in several interviews [4][6][7].

Bruce and WC did spent several months training & hanging out together before WC departed for Australia [7]. Yip Man was traditional in his ways and was reluctant to properly teach Bruce who was Eurasian [12]. WC liked to fight, and Bruce was following him. Bruce looked up to William as a fighter while in Hong Kong, which caused the boys to get into trouble from time to time. WC’s father had to bail them out [6]. Bruce acknowledged later on, that while in Hong Kong, he saw WC as one of the best fighters [7]. Furthermore, WC was acknowledged as one of Yip Man’s disciples who helped to firmly establish Wing Chun’s reputation as a fighting art through the challenge matches in Hong Kong [14].

Nonetheless, it was Wong Shun Leung who continued training Bruce after WC’s departure [12]. Wong Shun Leung taught Bruce Lee privately for over one-and-a-half years before Bruce’s departure to US & also watched him train under Yip Man [4][5][7][13]. In the documentary Wong Shun Leung The King of Talking Hands, in an old video footage, Wong Shun Leung confirms that he has trained Bruce Lee at his own home [18].

I think when WC claims that he trained Bruce Lee, it need to be put in proper perspective – it was just for a short time before WC left for Australia, when the boys were teenagers before Bruce even was a serious & excellent martial artist and a movie star in US [7].

“Black Belt” magazine mentioned that Bruce Lee’s “Return of the Dragon” in 1973 is an obvious tribute to the training experience that Bruce had with WC [1]. That said, there is a picture floating on the Internet of Wong Shun Leung, Raymond Chow & Bruce Lee together on the set of “Game of Death” (shot in 1973 and released six days after Bruce’s death). Therefore, it is implied that Wong Shun Leung helped Bruce Lee with the fighting scenes.

I think if an obvious tribute should be made, it should be made to Wong Shun Leung instead of WC for training Bruce: WC was not Bruce’s Wing Chun master & was not responsible for Bruce’s future achievements in Martial Arts. It was Wong Shun Leung & Yip Man who really helped Bruce become what after time turned out to be – a solid Wing Chun practitioner (which led Bruce to Jeet Kune Do after). The  teachers of Bruce who really influenced him as a fighter were Wong Shun Leung & Yip Man, and not WC [13]. Wong Shun Leung just never used it for self-promotion and commercial goals. Bruce thanked Wong Shun Leung & Yip Man in a letter addressed to Wong Shun Leung for teaching him the ways of Wing Chun [7].

In conclusion

While in Australia, WC continued training hard using Wing Chun concepts he learned from Yip Man and quite possible from other sources before Yip Man [6][8]. From my personal conversation with David Cheung, (WC’s brother who spent several years learning under Wong Shun Leung in Hong Kong), I got to know (based on what David has told me, I do not have concrete evidence, it was a conversation over dinner between myself, my wife and David in Melbourne, Carnegie, Rosstown Rd) that WC sponsored David to come to Australia in early 80’s in order to complete learning the Wing Chun system from him.

Having written all this, does it mean that WC style is crap? No, I am not saying this nor I am implying this. Yes, WC’s style is different, but that can be due to various reasons:

  1. While Yip Man did reach a few students in Foshan, his greatest efforts were made when he moved to Hong Kong in 1949. There he further refined his system, reorganizing and revising his forms (varying them from time to time and student to student). Yip Man’s very individualistic reaching method lead to him producing very talented disciples, however, it also lead to a system with different branches and varying opinions of what Yip Man taught [17].
  2. Yip Man taught in a traditional manner. This meant that Ip Man would give some information only once in a while. If you were not alert and missed the point, then hard lines. He would expect the students to grasp the whole meaning from maybe one or two words of explanation. Of course, he welcomed questions and discussions which showed that a student was thinking for himself. Hence the information was not evenly distributed. Some students might get little bits of loose information, whilst others received more information. You had to be able to read between the lines to arrive at an answer; there was no systematic manner of explanation. Grandmaster Yip Man used to believe that teaching one good student would be better than teaching ten bad ones. Hence, he would not spend too much time with a student whom he thought not worthy of his time. This is why some teachers of Wing Chun teach in different manners. From Yip Man’s one word of explanation they may have got the wrong meaning which they now pass on. Their grasp of the ideas which Yip Man gave depended very much on their intelligence, attendance to class and so on their training attitude. This is not a criticism of Yip Man but rather it reflects the attitude of the time which was very much traditional [19].
  3. It is also possible that while in Hong Kong, Yip Man was not the only source that WC learned from. Since WC’s father was a high ranking policeman in Hong Kong, it was not impossible that he arranged for William to study Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun [6][8].
  4. When a Wing Chun student went abroad, it was likely he would not have completed the whole Wing Chun system. There were some people who had completed the system and were more experienced. They would take the whole Wing Chun system to the country they went to, but there were many others who had barely learnt half the system. Some had only just started studying Tsum Kui (the second form), so they would go abroad with only half the system. That is why there is such a contrast between different teachers of Wing Chun – due to their own making and so that is why we have so many “styles” of Wing Chun [3].
  5. When teaching, the worst thing that happens is when someone asks why is your Wing Chun different from another teacher’s Wing Chun. However, the teacher will never say that he made this part up himself and so would say that Yip Man personally taught them these different forms in secret. In saying this, the teacher does not realise that he is in fact ruining the reputation of his own Sifu, Yip Man and his attitude to teaching [3].
  6. I had the honor in meeting Sifu Keith Young in Melbourne. When WC started to teach in Australia in the 70’s, Sifu Keith was a first batch student. Sifu Keith confirmed that over the years WC was making alterations/corrections to the same techniques he was teaching to his students. Interesting to point out, why WC started formally to teach only after the death of Yip Man?

That is probably why we see these days differences between WC style and others. I have met WC a number of times, and attended few of his seminars while at his school. From my experience, I could see that WC is a strong believer in his style of Wing Chun, definitely excellent in it and thought other styles to be inferior to his.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day, its not only the style/Sifu that matters but how much training student has put it. One can have Sifu like Yip Man, but without diligent training it would be a waste of time. I am not the first to say this – any style can be good if properly trained for. Whatever style WC has/had, he is excellent in it, because he trained hard for it.

WC is a very good business man, superb I must say. I actually give him kudos how he managed to spin his story which brought him his commercial success in the 80s and 90s. Well, how could this not have worked? Bruce Lee and Yip Man passed away in the 70s, and WC in early 80s while in Australia could claim anything he wanted. No one could dispute him. Of course, with the explosion of the internet and ease of access to information (especially in the present day), I believe the self proclamation became harder for WC.

When the time was right, WC knew exactly how to market him self by building on Bruce Lee’s fame in US and Australia, giving him self a title of grandmaster (we Westerners are suckers for big titles) and publishing pretty stories in world wide known magazines. The main reason why WC succeeded making a name for himself is because he was living in the Western country and targeted Westerners. But, having said that, this would have never worked in Asia/Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, WC would be one among many. As I mentioned previously – a truly good business man, no doubt.

Obviously what WC has claimed over the time did upset WC’s Wing Chun brothers in the old country (Hong Kong) [16][17]. I have a feeling that most were offended by the distortion of the truth and not by the fact that WC is getting wealthier. Therefore, Hong Kong Ving Tsun Association including Wong Shun Leung and Ip Chun issued a letter to clarify WC claims or (I quote) “clarification the distorted affairs”. To which WC posted his own response in Australasian “Fighting Arts” magazine, vol. 10 no. 3.

I guess you do need to upset some people if you want to get rich, which is exactly what WC has done and what has happened in Wing Chun world over the years. Therefore, these days it does not really matter if someone writes that WC is a liar/genius or their takes on this whole controversy thing. WC has achieved his goal long time ago – he is the “grandmaster” for many people around the world.


  1.  William Cheung, Black Belt Magazine vol. 20 no. 12, pp. 21-25 (Dec 1982)
  2.  The William Cheung Story Part 4, Black Belt Magazine vol. 21 no. 4, pp. 21-25 (Apr 1983)
  3.  Ip Chun, The Spread of Wing Chun, Qi Magazine no. 56, pp. 40-41 (Jul/Aug 2001)
  4.  Bey Logan, Bruce Lee’s Teacher, Combat Magazine vol. 12 no. 9, pp. 50-55 (Aug 1986)
  5.  Jose M. Fraguas, Kung-Fu Masters, pp. 172-173 (2002)
  6.  Roy Horan, A Wing Chun Phenomenon, Black Belt Magazine vol. 21 no. 9, pp. 28-35 (Sep 1983)
  7.  Wong Shun Leung, Reminiscence of Bruce Lee (1978)
  8. (Last viewed on: 15 Jun 14)
  9.  Bruce Thomas, Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit : a Biography, pp. 308-309 (Nov 1994)
  10.  Michael Tse, Ip Chun, Qi Magazine no. 18, pp. 16-19 (Feb/Mar 1995)
  11. (Last viewed on: 15 Jun 14)
  12. Lo Sum, Secrets of Kung-Fu vol. 1 no. 2, pp. 52-54 (Oct 1974)
  13. Hsuan Kung Tze, A Scandal of the Yung-Chun School – Someone Falsely Claims To Be “LEADER OF THE SCHOOL”, Secrets of Kung-Fu vol. 1 no. 10, pp. 24-27 (Oct 1977)
  14. Robert Chu, Rene Ritchie, Y.Wu, Complete Wing Chun: The Definitive Guide to Wing Chun’s History and Traditions, pp. 8 (1998)
  15. Robert Chu, Rene Ritchie, Y.Wu, Complete Wing Chun: The Definitive Guide to Wing Chun’s History and Traditions, pp. 9 (1998)
  16. Robert Chu, Rene Ritchie, Y.Wu, Complete Wing Chun: The Definitive Guide to Wing Chun’s History and Traditions, pp. 10 (1998)
  17. Robert Chu, Rene Ritchie, Y.Wu, Complete Wing Chun: The Definitive Guide to Wing Chun’s History and Traditions, pp. 120-121 (1998)
  18. (Last viewed on: 08 Aug 15)
  19. Paul Whitrod, Wing Chun: A Master Talks (The Wong Shun Leung Interview), Combat Magazine vol. 20 no. 1, pp. 29 (Jan 1994)

42 responses to “My Take on William Cheung Wing Chun Controversy

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  6. Jayron April 25, 2013 at 10:47 am


    On the issue of Ip Man choosing William Cheung over his sons, keep in mind that that both Ip Chun and Ip Ching started training wing chun only when they became adults, since they did not have good relations with their father as children being that Ip Man had extra marital affairs. I don’t clearly remember if it was Ip Chun or Ip Ching but one of them used to be a lawyer whom began training after their retirement in that profession around at age 40(or at least in their late 30’s)

    Also if you examine other Wing Chun lineages that are non-Ip man and non-Chan Wah Shun related, such as the Hung Fa Yi lineage for e.g they have the exact SAME style and footwork as William Cheungs system. Which also confirms the changes made in the system as it was passed down between Leung bik and Chan Wa Shun. Some people say the story of Leung Bik meeting Ip Man was another fairy tale made up by William Cheung, but if you notice in the movie “Ip Man The Legend is Born” this so called “fairy tale” is supported and endorsed by Ip Chun himself whom actually PLAYS as Leung Bik.

    That’s my 2 cents on this matter.

    • Wooden Dummy April 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Jayron,

      Agreed, if the sources I used here on the blog are true, the Ip Sons joined his father in Hong Kong in 1962 (according to Michael Tse, ). Which around 10 years before Ip Man’s death. In other words, when WC was in Hong Kong, the Sons were not…

      But, taking into account how traditional Ip Man was, if indeed there was some sort of secret technique, I tend to think Ip Man would have kept it for his off springs or at least would pass it to one of the senior students like Wong Shun Leung.

      Also, It is quite possible that Ip Man was not the only teacher WC learned from while in Hong Kong, hence the different foot work, etc. But I really doubt it that Ip Man actually “chose” WC per se for anything. WC simply spent around 4 years with Ip Man as a kid/teenager and went away to Australia.

      I am not trying to discredit WC as a Wing Chun practitioner and teacher, I am simply trying to show that the legend sold to Westerners about secret technique and being the chosen one is just a fairy tale.. Of course having said that, there is only so much I can prove or write about as I will never have real concrete proof 🙂

      • Jayron April 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

        Well if there was a ‘secret technique’ its not so secret anymore. From trying both William Cheung’s system and the other more popular Ip Man Lineages, there is an entire WEALTH of additional wing chun characteristic and effective techniques that are in his system which simply cannot be found in those lineages, including Wong Shun Leung’s. Try meeting Masters from the Leung Bik related lineages, and you’ll find that their wing chun system and William Cheung’s are almost exactly IDENTICAL.

        • Wooden Dummy July 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

          Yep… Its indeed possible that WC learned from others, as you pointed out Leung Jan (梁贊) related lineages:

          • 1. Leung Jan => Leung Bik (梁壁)
          • 2. Leung Jan => Lai Ying/Yeung => Wong Jing => Mai Gei Wong/Wong Wu Fong => Wong Nim Yi
          • 3. Yuen Kay San or Yuen Kei San (阮奇山) => Wong Jing => Mai Gei Wong/Wong Wu Fong => Wong Nim Yi

          So who knows what WC picked up and where…

        • Wooden Dummy June 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm

          I have included an issue of “Secrets of Kung Fu” Vo. 1, No. 2 (October 1974) magazine for download at . There is an article there about Yuen Kei San Wing Chun. This follows my previous comment if you are interested

      • Paulette June 6, 2021 at 7:06 pm

        But if we wanted a sparkling dojo and a crisp cotton uniform and a polite lineage we would take karate lol Kung fu is all about drama, infighting and a hazy opium filled garage somewhere and sweats and a tshirt and a load of mystical hoo ha lol I mean everyone knows the beloved GM told some serious whoppers but that pigeon toed shuffling feet style is for the birds lol.

    • Mark Lowe December 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      I notice that too. I’m trying to make sense of this all as I wish to start learning wing chun and trying to sift through the politics only hurts a new comer to the art. What these opposing groups need to do is get together, sort out their differences peacefully in respect to wing chun and its future. I was told around my 20’s that I was wasting my time learning kung fu as no sifu would teach non Chinese properly. I listened to this babble (from a well experienced Chinese person and friend) and now at 46 highly regret accepting it. It seems once you look deeper people such as Ip Man, Bruce Lee and William Cheung have every intention of teaching this gift to anyone that will treat it with respect and learn for the right reasons.

      Thanks for posting what you did. Very valuable perspective for me. Cheers.

      • Wooden Dummy December 19, 2016 at 3:03 pm

        Mark… Thank you for your comment. If you do not mind about my 5c here, I would recommend you to just start learning and run with it. Do not worry about politics because it will drive you insane. The “my Kung Fu is better than yours/his” mantra is a never ending one.

        I do have one comment regarding what you said, which was:
        “… It seems once you look deeper people such as Ip Man, Bruce Lee and William Cheung have every intention of teaching this gift to anyone that will treat it with respect and learn for the right reasons…”.

        My comment is that in this day & age, the times we live in are vastly different to the late 60s and early 70s. In other words: “…William Cheung has every intention of teaching this gift to anyone that will BE WILLING TO PAY…”. To be fair – it is not only WC, but anyone else too (others who still can prove close enough affiliation to Ip Man, Bruce Lee or/and Ip Man First Batch students). It is a business these days for many people and I think it is good to keep that in mind.

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  8. jerry August 30, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I want to bring up one critical point that no one ever brought it up. William Cheng’s father was a policeman in 50’s and 60’s. In Hong Kong, drug users were always harassed by police. Ip Man didn’t get harassed by police because of WC’s father. In all “Ip Man” movies, none of them portrayed Ip Man as a drug user. In real life, Ip used drugs. WC and Ip Man were in a “you scratch my back, I scratch your back” type of relationship.

    Ip Man taught students based on how much money they could give him. He needed money to buy drugs. I am not surprised that WC learned some advanced techniques from Ip Man! Some older kung fu masters always have different versions of their styles. Whoever can afford to pay, he will learn more.

    • Wooden Dummy August 30, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Jerry,

      Well, maybe… I did mention in the post that WC’s father was a policeman, and it is not impossible that they had this convenient arrangement going on, just like what you described…

      Having said that, how would anyone even know whether Ip Man was getting harassed or not and it was all due to WC dad’s grace? Who knows – we can only speculate now by making assumptions: WC’s dad was a cop and Ip Man smoked opium, so the two must have had an arrangement.

      Whatever it was, I am skeptical that WC learned something extra from Ip Man, something that Wong Shun Leung or Chu Shong Tin (Tsui Sheung Tin) have not learned already…

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  10. d4g6k11 February 24, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I would like to try Wing Chun but my local area has only WC schools. I usually research what I’m about to invest a lot of time into and I’m a concerned about what I’ve read regarding the WC controversy and whether it is a style worth learning. I know you take great pains to point out that you aren’t disparaging the WC style itself and Jayron also makes some interesting points regarding similarities between WC and other Wing Chun lineages. But I’m still concerned. Where can I find more information, other than your download and footnotes, that can validate the WC style enough for me to take the plunge?

    • Wooden Dummy February 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      What can I say? Read other sources and try to cross reference information. But, I promise you – its a headache, too much digging into some rumors/gossips of the past. My advice to you – just try it for a few months. See how you feel, you can always stop

  11. Drifter12 December 11, 2015 at 3:05 am

    At the end of the day, you can research all you want…But it comes to down emptying ones cup and actually immersing oneself in a wing chun style and then immersing yourself in another different wing chun style when the time is right. Even though I started off wing chun under Cheung’s school…my journey led me to HK and China where I resided and studied for over half a decade. When I look at my own wing chun now, it bare’s little resemblance to what I learnt in Cheung’s school…but I have Cheung to thank, for without him, I would probably not have known about wing chun or begun the wing chun journey. Everyone has a starting point.

    • Wooden Dummy December 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Drifter, thank you for your comment.

      Sure, I understand – if not WCheung, you would not have started with your Wing Chun journey, I get that. I liked what you said about emptying ones cup. In my case, WCheung also was the first point of my introduction with Wing Chun, but so what?

      I am not saying that you or people in similar situations to yours should not be thankful to him or forget his contributions to the spread of Wing Chun. This research was mainly for my own curiosity and that’s it. I never claimed WCheung to be a fraud, all I am saying that he has exaggerated few facts here and there.

      If someone wants to continue buying into the legend(s) that WCheung has created in order to generate more money from his World Wing Chun Empire in the Western countries – by all means, I have nothing against that. It is a free world 🙂

    • diegestthis September 10, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Can you name any main differences?
      Point out any obvious flaws?

      From that post, it’s emphasized the styles taught in WC schools are completely different.
      (In which case, please feel free to elaborate.)

      • Wooden Dummy December 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        I never claimed that the styles are “completely different”, I just pointed out that they are “different” or can be different due to individual experience & understanding of the art. Also, “completely different” can be a pretty subjective term. All I can say here is, I recommend you to visit Wing Chun schools from different lineages in order to get a first-hand experience. I think it would be much better and productive.

        Thank you for your comments!

  12. diegestthis September 10, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    At the end of the day, your write up is a biased as WC’s(William Cheung) side of the truth,

    No style or secret technique will beat hard work and determination,

    No amount of research or discussion will bring back the dead to clarify points for me;

    AS BRUCE states, to be styles, to adapt to anything, is the point,
    you grasp Wing Chun, if you like it, you continue, if you don’t, you find something else.

    All styles of Wing Chun have it’s positive and negatives, in fact all fighting styles as a whole, have pros and cons.

    I have been training Wing Chun for a few years now, not WC lineage – but for me, just so long as WC is semi-authentic and hen learnt it from Hong Kong around the time Kung Fu was authentic, is good enough for me.

    I’ll never know the truth and I feel being I’ll never dedicate myself to one style forever, because then that shuts down other doors, other positives and other benefits of other styles because I’ve dedicated myself to.

    No style rains superior, ever.
    It’s the practitioner who rains supreme,
    WC practitioners who learn his style of Wing Chun should be happy they’re not being taught broken down bullshit from white sifu’s who’ve learnt some bastardized English version of a make-belief fighting style.

    Either way, nice OP, op!

    • Wooden Dummy September 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Well yeah, I could not agree more with “No style or secret technique will beat hard work and determination”

    • Mark Lowe December 13, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Very good points. I’m considering starting and this thread was helpful in understanding various aspect. The original article very helpful also. Thank you both.

  13. Kurt January 14, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Thank you very much. Interesting that WC is not listed on the official list of Masters and Grandmaster from the HK association. or this one

    Anyway I also read somewhere that Ip man had 2 daughters. Is this true? Apparently they
    died because of lack of food.

    When ego gets in the way most people will say and do almost anything.

    Does Ip ching and Ip chun have any children? Does anyone know there names?

    Thanks again,

    • Wooden Dummy February 5, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      I am not sure about the daughters fact, so I cannot comment. Regarding the “why WC is not listed”, I think it is due to what he was claiming over the years. In other words, those HK guys disowned him 🙂

  14. Glen March 23, 2017 at 11:56 am

    WC wasn’t a closed door student, he was an open door student. It was Ting who claimed to be ‘closed door’. This is documented by pictures of the funeral, with WC wearing the disciple sash, and Ting an armband. Ip Man was Traditional, as you say, and teaching non-Chines [lo-fan] was verboten! [was why Bruce Lee had to leave Ip’s school] I suspect WC was keeping his SiFu out of the same trouble he received from his peers regarding BL training lo-fan in America. Once Ip passed, he could speak up?
    The picture you speak of with WSL, was from ‘Game of Death’. Actually, WSL was suppose to be on the top floor and in the final death match, he was to kill Bruce. [Killing the lead character? WAY ahead of his time!]

    I was in the MA world at the time and EVERYONE saw money in the Wing Chun/Bruce Lee tie. The only one I saw who didn’t go for it was WSL. WC DID learn Bil Jee from Ip. This is evident from the 8mm film WC had made. I think WC was just oblivious to the fact a select few also learned it. It DOES have dim-mak point striking that WSL disregards as nonsense and most of the GFu teachers acknowledge as real.
    Is his Wing Chun ‘pure’? Who knows.. but it IS effective. -See the picture of him being escorted off the boat arriving in Australia, in shackles. hahaha
    WSL was one of two who were Bruce’s mentors. The other was his childhood friend, Duncan Leung, whom he introduced to Ip. just sayin.. my 2 cents!

  15. John Torey May 4, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    My name is John Torey and I studied WIng Chun/BJC for 14 years and know many people in the circles. I prefer that people dont make comments unless they can prove it, whoever they are.
    I have been a student of WC, David Cheung, Barry Pang, Bob Jones and others and all are excellent martial art teachers and all have a degree of egos. Nothing wrong with that.
    I have had my concerns about laying claims to something after someone has died and you cant prove it but with technology today, anything can be fabricated anyway.
    However, I ask that you provide your full name rather than Wooden Dummy, lets see who you are.

    • Wooden Dummy May 12, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your comment. This post (as the title suggests) is my perspective, based on the information I have read or/and came across, plus my own short personal experiences in the world of Wing Chun & understanding of Southern China culture. In other words, this post is my own opinion on how things may have unraveled in the past. Also, if you noticed in my post, I do not dismiss W.Cheung as a martial artist.

      If my post has made you upset/annoyed or angry, for that – I am sorry, as that’s not why I wrote it.

      Thank you

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  19. Look Jung February 2, 2019 at 5:56 am

    So, you possibly trained with Peter as well?
    Ex-military bloke.
    Sifu Keith is a nice bloke . Stern, tough but nice.
    There’s not too much I wanna say in regard to this.
    Who am I to judge or question?
    Si-Gung looked after me when I trained there.
    I could type a big Fuck-off comment about his heart and manner of “looking out” for me.
    Long story very short- I got jumped by 4 guys at age 15-16 and he took me ‘under his wing’ so to speak.
    Si-Gung, Keith and Rahsun were my most memorable teachers.
    To me, it’s not the story that matters, it’s how you allow your mind to learn from the person the story came from.
    Even a certain serial killer in history was not only crazy enough to do the things he did and thought, he was also smart enough to manipulate the system and beat charges. (Forgot his name;my bad)
    Believe none of What you hear and half of what you see but apply all you’ve learnt unroll you must learn it again.

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  21. Samuel October 8, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I understand what you’re saying. And I could understand how some of his fellow students would be upset if he did do those things. But to be honest, as a student, as long as what he teaches works to get you out of a bad situation I’m not that concerned with where it came from. The whole lineage thing has become quite the marketing tool. Especially now that the movies have made Yip Man even more popular than he already was. Everyone wants to promote that they have a direct line with him in their teaching. I can’t lie I got caught up in that too. For a long time I looked for someone who had been a student of Wong Shun Leung, because I warned to learn his way of Ving Tsun. But I live in a rural town in NC so not many (actually not any) schools near me that teach WSL Ving Tsun. So I have to learn what I can from books, online and going to seminars when I can (which are two states away). I’m no longer concerned with where the teaching came from as long as it works. The down side to that is if you find out something doesn’t work in a fight, by that time you’re screwed. But if what he is teaching wasn’t effective, I’m certain it would have been exposed by now. Like someone esle said it’s sad these guys can’t get together. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    • Wooden Dummy December 1, 2019 at 6:05 pm

      Hi Samuel,

      Thank you for your comment. I understand where you are coming from with your line of thought – you gotta do the best with what you have at your disposal, by putting aside any gossip and controversies. I totally get it.

      Regarding the

      But if what he is teaching wasn’t effective, I’m certain it would have been exposed by now

      I will just say – how many people who are practicing Wing Chun (or any other martial art, boxing, judo, etc!) can say that they have been in a real fight situation? There is a huge psychological element to being in a real fight. In other words, you can be learning whatever style for years (even boxing) and be taught by Yip Man himself, but if one has never been in a fight, in the moment of need one won’t be able to use the skills or will use those skills ineffectively.

      Unless one can apply his skills in a real combat situation or a type of sparring which can be as close as possible to a real fight, one can never have a full confidence in what has been taught.

  22. Maurice January 2, 2021 at 2:28 am

    If indeed they are lies, Let’s look at what types of lies William told and compare them to the to the lies that other Wing Chun masters tell. William lied about how he learned what he learned and from who in order to become famous all over the world, big freaking deal LoL how many lies do politicians make??
    William said he beat up 10 sailors on a ship let me say that again ”Sailors” not martial artists, for someone that is described by Bruce Lee himself as one of the best fighters in Hong Kong it would be easy to defeat 10 untrained men (the average guy can’t even throw a proper punch specially back then). Mind you on that ship William would have been the biggest and fastest guy there, he broke a record for speed punching in US university. In HK the gave him the name ”Big boy”.

    Now for the ridiculous and unsubstantiated claims of other masters and I’m just going to use two examples out of the the thousands of masters that bullshit on their biographies.

    Wong Shun Leung, this guy says he had over 300 bare knuckle fights and won. Nowadays we don’t even believe that Ip Man won 300 bare knuckle fights so why would you believe Wong did, btw remember William towered over Wong cause he was so short, it’s what we call little man syndrome going around saying you beat up 300 guys. Wong bad said some nasty shit about Ip Chun to another martial artist so he got challenged to fight on the spot but Wong chickened out, doesn’t sound like someone who fought 300 guys.

    Emin Boztepe also claims to have won that magic number over 300 bare knuckled fights. In Europe were he wasn’t always the biggest guy and seriously the way he wrestled William to the ground was pathetic, if he won 300 fights he would have easily KO’s William or at least left a bruise on his face after he fell on him, there was no visible marks on Williams face after the photo shoot straight after the seminar. I wonder why that point is always left out. What Emin did to William no way would have worked on a bigger guy than him.

    So what is worse bullshitting about beating up over 300 actual fighters with no rules bare knuckle or lying about your lineage to get spread wing chun to 22 countries??

    William Cheung never went around saying he beat up over 300 actual fighters like the other masters, Yuen Kay Shan or Sum Nung would have beat the shit out of Ip Man and Wong nobody will deny that.
    William trained Anthony Arnett the wing chun fighter with the most amount of trophies than any other wing chun master.

    This hate page towards a master who has men like Bruce Lee saying he was a top fighter and spread wing chun to 22 countries when nobody knew what it was it the most PATHETIC thing I’ve every come across on a blog.

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