Wong Jack Man
Wong Jack Man
|Style||T'ai chi ch'uan,
|Occupation||Martial arts teacher|
|Wong Jack Man|
Wong taught classes in T'ai chi ch'uan, Xingyiquan and Northern Shaolin at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. He retired in 2005 after teaching for 45 years. His classes continued under his student Rick Wing.
The fight with Bruce Lee
Accounts of Wong's fight with Lee are controversial, as it was unrecorded and held in private.
According to Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee's wife, Lee's teaching of Chinese martial arts to Caucasians made him unpopular with Chinese martial artists in San Francisco. Wong contested the notion that Lee was fighting for the right to teach Caucasians as not all of his students were Chinese. Wong stated that he requested a public fight with Lee after Lee had issued an open challenge during a demonstration at a Chinatown theater in which he claimed to be able to defeat any martial artist in San Francisco. Wong stated it was after a mutual acquaintance delivered a note from Lee inviting him to fight that he showed up at Lee's school to challenge him. Martial artist David Chin reportedly wrote the original challenge, while Wong asked Chin to let him sign it.
According to author Norman Borine, Wong tried to delay the match and asked for restrictions on techniques such as hitting the face, kicking the groin, and eye jabs, and that the two fought no holds barred after Lee turned down the request.
The details of the fight vary depending on the account. Individuals known to have witnessed the match included Cadwell, James Lee (an associate of Bruce Lee, no relation) and William Chen, a teacher of T'ai chi ch'uan. According to Linda, the fight lasted 3 minutes with a decisive victory for Bruce.
Lee gave a description, without naming Wong explicitly, in an interview with Black Belt.
- "I'd gotten into a fight in San Francisco with a Kung-Fu cat, and after a brief encounter the son-of-a-bitch started to run. I chased him and, like a fool, kept punching him behind his head and back. Soon my fists began to swell from hitting his hard head. Right then I realized Wing Chun was not too practical and began to alter my way of fighting." 
Cadwell recounted the scene in her book Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew:
- "The two came out, bowed formally and then began to fight. Wong adopted a classic stance whereas Bruce, who at the time was still using his Wing Chun style, produced a series of straight punches. "Within a minute, Wong's men were trying to stop the fight as Bruce began to warm to his task. James Lee warned them to let the fight continue. A minute later, with Bruce continuing the attack in earnest, Wong began to backpedal as fast as he could. For an instant, indeed, the scrap threatened to degenerate into a farce as Wong actually turned and ran. But Bruce pounced on him like a springing leopard and brought him to the floor where he began pounding him into a state of demoralization. "Is that enough?" shouted Bruce, "That's enough!" pleaded his adversary. Bruce demanded a second reply to his question to make sure that he understood this was the end of the fight."
This is in contrast to Wong and William Chen's account of the fight as they state the fight lasted an unusually long 20–25 minutes. Allegedly, Wong was unsatisfied with Lee's account of the match and published his own version in the Chinese Pacific Weekly, a Chinese language newspaper in San Francisco. The article, which was featured on the front page, included a detailed description of the fight from Wong's perspective and concluded with an invitation to Bruce Lee for a public match if Lee found his version to be unacceptable. Lee never made a public response to the article. Wong later expressed regret over fighting Lee, attributing it to arrogance, both on the part of Lee and himself.
- "The time was late winter, 1964... this fighter was also 24 and also of Chinese descent." (Dorgan)
- Dorgan, Michael. Bruce Lee's Toughest Fight, 1980 July. Official Karate
- San Francisco Jing Mo Athletic Association. Grandmaster Wong Jack Man.
- GM Al Dacascos, Kajukenbo Today. September 19, 2007.
- "..the right to teach Caucasians the ancient Chinese fighting secrets. It is a notion that Wong finds ridiculous." (Dorgan)
- "most—but not all—of his students during his first years were teaching were Chinese" (Dorgan)
- "Lee had boasted during a demonstration at a Chinatown theater that he could beat any martial artist in San Francisco and had issued an open challenge.." (Dorgan)
- "a mutual acquaintance had hand-delivered a note from Lee inviting him to fight." (Dorgan)
- Marilyn Cooper. Pushing for Peace. Kungfumagazine.com.
- Gene Ching. Keeping Secrets. Kungfumagazine.com.
- Borine, Norman (December 16, 2002). King Dragon. 1st Books Library. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-7596-1387-4.
- Lee, Linda. (1978). Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew. Warner Books Inc. ISBN 0-446-78774-4.
- "Wong's version of the fight, along with the challenge, was run as the top story on the front page..." (Dorgan)
- "Wong attributes both Lee's initial challenge and his response to the same emotion, to arrogance. "If I had it to do over," he says, " I wouldn't."" (Dorgan)