William Kwok

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William Kwok
Born1972 (age 50–51)
Hong Kong
Native name郭威賢
StyleWing Chun Kung Fu, Taekwondo
Teacher(s)Wan Kam Leung, Kim Suk-Jun
OccupationMartial Artist

William Kwok (Chinese: 郭威賢; born 1972) is a Chinese-American martial artist and promoter of martial arts education.[1] Nicknamed "Kung Fu Gentleman", Kwok founded the Martial Arts Education Society, a non-profit organization which promotes martial arts education and traditional martial arts culture.[2][3][4][5][6] He also served as the co-chair of Harvard Alumni for Education in New York City.[7]

Martial Arts Background[edit]

William Kwok is the elder son of Kwok Yuen-wah, a physical education professor who introduced Wing Chun and movement science to Kwok.[8] Prior to learning Practical Wing Chun from Wan Kam-leung, Kwok trained in various martial arts systems including traditional Taekwondo, under Kim Suk-jun, a disciple of Choi Hong-hi.[1] Kwok is credited with introducing Practical Wing Chun to America. Wing Chun Illustrated writes:

"Like the famous monk Xuanzang in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, who journeyed to India in quest of the Buddhist scriptures, Kwok helps bring Practical Wing Chun to the America, teaching Westerners how to understand and decode this ancient, yet still modern, Gung Fu style."[3]

In 2007, Kwok established Gotham Martial Arts School in New York City. In May 2013, he hosted Wan Kam-leung's first ever American open seminar in New York City. In November 2014, China Central Television produced a documentary, “A Man and Wing Chun”, in which he was featured.[9] In September 2017, he was invited as a guest presenter at the first Wong Shun-leung Ving Tsun North America seminar in Los Angeles, California.

Academic Background[edit]

Kwok is acknowledged for analyzing martial arts techniques with modern movement science and improving the teaching methods.[10] Besides learning movement science from his father, he studied physical education at Columbia University.[11] Before promoting martial arts education in America, he taught business studies as an adjunct professor at City University of New York.[12][13] Kwok also holds a master's degree from Harvard University. He considers the mentorship of his thesis director, historian Philip A. Kuhn, as the "hallmark of his time at Harvard".[14] Kwok is currently a Doctor of Education candidate at Northeastern University; his goal is to develop martial arts-based mindfulness intervention strategies for K-12 students to enhance their social-emotional competence. [6][15][7]

Martial Arts Education Development and Promotion[edit]

William Kwok presenting an interactive martial arts education seminar entitled "Kung Fu · Life" at Princeton University

Kwok is credited as one of the key people who systemized Practical Wing Chun study into a modern-day training program. He promotes the concepts of martial skills and teaching skills as two different skill sets, and that martial arts teachers' training should include teachers education such as curriculum design and analysis, motor learning, and teaching methods. In addition, he emphasizes the need to balance physical training of technique with philosophical training of the mind "like Yin and Yang...complementing and supplementing each other",[1] believing that a strong sense of culture and humility - what he calls "martial virtue"[16] - are critical to the study of martial arts and the improvement of the martial artist.[17]

Kwok founded and acts as president of Martial Arts Education Society in 2018 with the mission of “bringing self-discipline and hope back to our communities." He also developed a program called Martial Mind, a social-emotional learning program for elementary schools.[14]

In March 2018, Kwok was invited as a guest speaker to share his knowledge of martial arts education and Chinese culture in an academic seminar hosted by Harvard Chinese Students and Scholars Association titled "Is Chinese Martial Arts Facing Challenges?" (in Chinese: 中華武術遭遇挑戰?) at Harvard Graduate School of Education.[18]

In October 2018, Kwok presented a seminar he titled "Kung Fu · Life" to students of Princeton University, discussing the philosophy behind martial arts, as well as describing the five sensory systems - the visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and proprioceptive systems - which he believes are important in Wing Chun training.[16][19]

Community Work[edit]

Kwok is actively involved in promoting social justice through the practice of martial arts. He has collaborated with several community-based organizations to organize self-defense and safety workshops and zoominars.[20][21] Kwok's self-defense philosophy highlights the significance of sensory perception and body language as essential skills that empower individuals to take control of their safety.[22] Additionally, Kwok serves as the executive director of two short films, "Kung Fu Grandma" and "Kung Fu Scriptures," which have gained attention for their message of promoting self-defense education and anti-discrimination.[23][24]


  • In 2014, Kwok was a recipient of the Honor Award from the Martial Arts History Museum.[25]
  • In 2015, Kwok received a Community Leadership Award from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.[26][27][28]
  • In 2017, Kwok became the World Ving Tsun Athletic Association's first recipient of the Silver Achievement Award.[29]
  • In 2018, he was presented with the Certificate of Merit and a citation of his contribution to promoting Martial Arts and Chinese culture by New York State Assemblyman Peter Abbate.[15] The following year, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from US Congressman Max Rose.[30]


  1. ^ a b c "Building a Legacy". Wing Chun Origins Magazine (2): Cover, 4–12. 25 April 2020.
  2. ^ Battaglia, Kleber. "William Kwok: Taking the Path of Yin and Yang". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b Battaglia, Kleber. "William Kwok: Journey to the West". Wing Chun Illustrated (12): 46.
  4. ^ ""Modern Ip Man" William Kwok Discussing Martial Arts Education and Martial Virtues" (in Chinese). Radio Free Asia, Cantonese Division.
  5. ^ "William Kwok enhances quality of martial arts teaching through promoting martial arts education and preserving traditional Chinese culture" (in Chinese).
  6. ^ a b "The Combative Corner". The Combative Corner. 11 April 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Our Team". Harvard Alumni for Education. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  8. ^ "郭源華教授書法展". Sing Tao Daily. Archived from the original on 2016-06-04.
  9. ^ "Featured in "A Man and Wing Chun", documentary produced by China Central Television" (in Chinese).
  10. ^ "壹電視:現代葉問!44歲華裔男美教「詠春」成名" (in Chinese).
  11. ^ Francisco, Eric (January 18, 2016). "A Real Wing Chun Master Explains It's OK 'Ip Man 3' Is Mostly Made Up". Inverse Entertainment.
  12. ^ "哈佛碩士迷詠春 不當教授紐約開拳館 - 萬維讀者網". news.creaders.net. USA News.
  13. ^ "Sifu William Kwok". Wing Chun Origins Magazine (1). 25 April 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Introducing William Kwok, Chapter Co-Chair, NYC". Harvard Alumni for Education.
  15. ^ a b "Martial Arts Educator William Kwok Honored By New York State Assembly". PRWeb. November 26, 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  16. ^ a b "WAN Kam Leung Practical Wing Chun – Sifu William Kwok's 5 Sensory Systems and Wing Chun practice".
  17. ^ "WAN Kam-leung Practical Wing Chun - Sifu William Kwok's Kung Fu Philosophy (English with 中文字幕)". Wall Street TV. 20 March 2018.
  18. ^ "陈笑仪、郭威贤哈佛大学谈「捍卫武术的名誉和价值」". bostonese.com Online Journal / 双语网. 5 April 2018.
  19. ^ "CSA Kung Fu Seminar". www.facebook.com. Princeton Chinese Students Association. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  20. ^ "松柏之家社區服務中心等 8大道辦防身安全培訓班". www.singtaousa.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  21. ^ "ABC's of Practical Self-Defense". Ten 10 10. 8 June 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  22. ^ "詠春名師郭威賢傳授防身術 運用感知及身體語言自衛". www.singtaousa.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  23. ^ "籲反仇恨犯罪 短劇「功夫婆婆」YouTube上線". www.singtaousa.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  24. ^ "「功夫婆婆」團隊新作6月底上映 「武林秘笈」喜劇形式講述自衛". www.singtaousa.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  25. ^ "郭威賢獲選武術史博館優秀武術家" (in Chinese). Sing Tao Daily. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03.
  26. ^ "PCFSN Community Leadership Award". President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
  27. ^ "美國中文電視:詠春拳大師郭威賢 (William Kwok) 獲頒總統"社區領袖獎" 47獲獎人唯一華裔". YouTube.
  28. ^ "William Kwok Honored With President's Council On Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award". The Street. May 26, 2015. Archived from the original on January 3, 2017.
  29. ^ "Members & WVTA Schools". World Ving Tsun Association.
  30. ^ "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition". Facebook.

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