William Cheung

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William Cheung
Born 1940 (age 74–75)
Hong Kong
Other names 張卓慶, Cheung Cheuk Hing
Residence Victoria, Australia
Style Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu
Teacher(s) Yip Man
Rank Grandmaster
Notable students Keith Mazza, Phillip Redmond, Anthony Arnett, Ian Protheroe
Website http://www.cheungswingchun.com/
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Cheung.

William Cheung or Cheung Cheuk Hing (張卓慶, pinyin: Zhāng Zhuóqìng), born October, 1940, is a Chinese Wing Chun kung fu practitioner and currently the Grandmaster of his lineage of Wing Chun, entitled Traditional Wing Chun (TWC). He also heads the sanctioning body of TWC, the World Wing Chun Kung Fu Association.

Cheung attained a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University, after graduating from secondary school in Hong Kong.[1] Cheung is a certified Doctor of Chinese Medicine under the Chinese Medicine Registration Board of Victoria, and a member of the Australian Chinese Traditional Orthopaedics Association Inc. He has also been invited as a Guest Professor to Foshan Sports University (China), and as a Senior Research Professor of the Bone Research Department to Beijing Chinese Medical University (China).

In 1951, at the age of ten, Cheung started his training in Wing Chun Kung Fu under the late Yip Man. According to Cheung, it was from 1954 to 1958 that he was a live-in student of Yip Man and inherited the complete system of Traditional Wing Chun.[2]

William Cheung was also a close friend and senior and training partner to Bruce Lee in the Wing Chun system. He was responsible for personally introducing Bruce Lee to Wing Chun in 1953.[3]


Martial arts[edit]

Duncan Leung, a Yip Man student, says it was William Cheung who first made Wing Chun famous in Australia. "In 1957 another early student of Yip Man, William Cheung, immigrated to Australia. On the way there an incident occurred when he locked himself in the sailor cabin and fought more than 10 sailors. This got into all the newspapers and so Wing Chun was even known in Australia then."[4]

Cheung is known for using "Egg Standing" to demonstrate his skill in weight distribution and overall control of his body. [5]

Teaching accomplishments[edit]

After moving to Melbourne, Australia to teach Traditional Wing Chun professionally in 1973, Cheung began operating a Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu school. In 1976 he was elected the President of the Australian Kung Fu Federation.


  • Cheung, William (1983). Wing Chun Bil Jee, the Deadly Art of Thrusting Fingers. Unique Publications. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-86568-045-6. 
  • Cheung, William (1986). Kung Fu: Butterfly Swords. Ohara Publications Inc. pp. 223. ISBN 0-89750-125-X
  • Cheung, William; Mike Lee (1986). How to Develop Chi Power. Black Belt Communications. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-89750-110-1. 
  • Cheung, William; Mike Lee (1989). Kung Fu Dragon Pole. Black Belt Communications. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-89750-107-1. 
  • Cheung, William; Mike Lee (1988). Advanced Wing Chun. Black Belt Communications. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-89750-118-7. 
  • Cheung, William; Ted Wong (1990). Wing Chun Kung Fu/Jeet Kune Do: a Comparison Volume 1. Black Belt Communications. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-89750-124-8. 
  • Cheung, William (1989). My Life with Wing Chun (second edition). pp. 192.
  • Cheung, William (2007). Wing Chun: Advanced Training and Applications. Black Belt Communications LLC. pp. 175. ISBN 0-89750-157-8. ISBN 978-0-89750-157-6.
  • Cheung, William (2005). City of Dragons: Ah Hing - The Dragon Warrior. Healthworld Enterprises Pty. Ltd. pp. 118.
  • Cheung, William (1994). CMT: Cheung's Meridian Therapy. Cheung's Better Life. pp. 388.

Cheung has produced a number of videos, including The Wing Chun Way, Tao of Wing Chun, My Life with Wing Chun, Wing Chun – Advanced Training and Applications, City of Dragons, CMT – Cheung's Meridian Therapy and PRO-TEKT: A Personal Protection Program.


His fight with Emin Boztepe, then a student of Keith R. Kernspecht, in 1986, at a seminar in Germany, caused controversy in the wider Wing Chun community. What was supposed to be a training exercise became a fight between the two men. Boztepe allegedly gave Cheung no warning before switching from practice to real fight. At the end of the fight even though Emin landed on top of Cheung he had no markes on his face and did a photo shoot after the fight.[why?][6]

Traditional Wing Chun[edit]

Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu (TWC) is a style of the Chinese martial art Wing Chun established by William Cheung, which Cheung claims to be a more authentic and effective version of Wing Chun taught exclusively to him by Yip Man.[citation needed] Cheung claims it is superior to the conventional Wing Chun system, referred to by William Cheung as "modified Wing Chun".


According to William Cheung (Cheung Cheuk Hing), the person responsible for the divergence between traditional and modified Wing Chun was Leung Jan who lived two generations before Yip Man. Leung Jan taught Wing Chun to his two sons and also his neighbour Chan Wah Shun. Leung feared that the bigger and stronger Chan would try to claim the Wing Chun lineage after Leung's death. Thus, Leung taught him a modified, less effective version while reserving the pure, traditional form for his sons. Chan surprisingly still defeated the two sons and assumed Grand-Mastership of the Wing Chun lineage.

Yip Man eventually became Chan's student. Yip Man learned from Chan for four years before moving to Hong Kong to study at college. There he encountered a kung fu practitioner who revealed his identity as Leung Jan's surviving son, Leung Bik. Leung Bik claimed there had been a divergence in Wing Chun teachings and he then taught Yip Man what he called the "traditional" Wing Chun system.

Yip Man would eventually open his own Wing Chun school. As Cheung insists, Yip Man decided to pass on the system to one student only.[citation needed] Yip Man taught the claimed "modified" version to his students (Which includes Bruce Lee And Ip Man's sons Ip Chun and Ip Ching) and chose to teach the "traditional" version to Cheung.[citation needed]

Characteristics and principles[edit]


One of the differences between "Traditional" Wing Chun to the claimed "Modified" Wing Chun is its fighting stance. According to Master Cheung, a fighter from the "Modified" Wing Chun system faces his opponent fully with his toes pointed inwards and fights square on, which is actually a false and misleading claim according to several practitioners of "modified" Wing Chun, attacking straight forward down the opponents middle or centre line. Traditional Wing Chun has sideways stance with a lead leg and a rear leg. However, both hands remain ambidextrous and equidistant from the opponent, and a position is taken up to the outside of the opponent's leading elbow referred to as the blind side to aid in controlling the opponents balance while at the same time allowing for counterattacking.

The sideways stance has two advantages: increased mobility and a protected groin. "Modified" Wing Chun, it is claimed, emphasizes structural stability. Bridging the gap to the opponent is achieved by "shuffling" forward. The soles of the feet are in constant contact with the ground so that balance is not compromised. In contrast, "Traditional" Wing Chun compromises stability for interruptibility of the footwork, and the feet are picked up and placed down ball of the foot first, allowing for change of direction at any point during the step. Also, in the "Traditional" Wing Chun stance, the groin is protected by the lead leg, making it less vulnerable to a centrally-rising kick.

"Central line" theory[edit]

Traditional Wing Chun includes an additional line of reference besides the conventional Wing Chun center line, entitled the central line. In the claimed "modified" Wing Chun, the center line is an imaginary line that bisects the human body lengthwise, cutting through vital areas such as the heart, groin, solar plexus, nose and face. Protecting and attacking from the center line becomes the imperative on which Modified Wing Chun's offensive/defensive techniques are derived.

"Traditional" Wing Chun's central line is slightly different. The central line is any area in front of the torso where both hands may be crossed. It is within this area (or gate) that attacks are greeted and counter-attacks launched. The proposed advantage of the central line is that the practitioner's vital centre line is pointed away from incoming attacks whilst retaining the ambidextrous use of both hands. Footwork is of paramount importance as the "Traditional" Wing Chun fighter will stay out of line of the opponents force but keep the opponent within this functional central line area where both hands can still be used for simultaneous attack and defense. The diagonal stance also allows the rear leg to be used for additional structural support against particularly forceful attacks.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://wcau.com.ua/en/master/william-cheung/
  2. ^ "The William Cheung Story Part IV". Black Belt (Active Interest Media) 21 (4): 21–29. 1983. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Bruce (2005). Bruce Lee: Fighting Words. Frog Books. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-58394-125-6. 
  4. ^ Leung, Duncan. "Duncan Leung Home Page Intro". Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  5. ^ Koller, Randy. "Image of Cheung standing on Eggs". Retrieved 2007-09-08. [dead link]
  6. ^ Jim Coleman & Jane Hallander (July 1995), "Royce Gracie vs. Emin Boztepe: Who would win this matchup of Jujutsu and Wing Chun fighters?", Black Belt 33 (7): 52–54, 57