Wong Shun Leung - Bruce Lee's Mentor & A Real Fighting Kung Fu Master

Wong Shun Leung, is a true Kung Fu fighter of his time who went undefeated fighting dozens and dozens of rooftop challenge matches in 1950-1960's Hong Kong.

A rare breed who actually pressure-tested his Kung Fu skills and used his fighting experiences to better fine tune his style, he is known affectionately by the Wing Chun Kung Fu community as "The King of Talking Hands".

The King Of Talking Hands 

Wong Shun Leung

Wong Shun Leung believed that if you wanted to know how good you were, you didn't need belts, sashes, or ranks. "Just go out and have a fight. Then you'll know how good you are."

What was left out of the famous Ip Man movies starring Donnie Yen was that Bruce Lee also received a lot of Wing Chun teachings from his Kung Fu "big brother", Wong Shun Leung.

A Kung Fu legend in his own right, Wong Shun Leung first started training in western boxing. One time, he accidentally struck his boxing trainer while training, which angered his teacher into an all out fight.

Wanting to retaliate for the humiliation, his boxing instructor came at him, but was instead knocked out completely by Wong Shun Leung, who left the gym immediately afterwards out of frustration.

Upon hearing about Ip Man, a master of a little known Kung Fu style named Wing Chun, he went to go meet this man and immediately challenge his students into a fight to see what it was all about.

Donnie Yen as Ip Man and Huang Xiaoming as Leung Sheung (Wong Shun Leung) in Ip Man 2

Donnie Yen as Ip Man and Huang Xiaoming as Leung Sheung (Wong Shun Leung) in Ip Man 2.

After defeating a few of Ip Man's top students immediately, Ip Man, who was in his 60's at the time, stepped up to show Wong Shun Leung his moves.

Wong Shun Leung, who was only in his teens at the time, was immediately dealt with swiftly by only a few moves from the much older Ip Man.

Recognizing true greatness, Wong Shun Leung quickly converted to training in and dedicating his life to Wing Chun Kung Fu under Ip Man's tutelage.

A mere few months after starting his training in Wing Chun, he was already gaining notoriety for using this "woman's Kung Fu" style to fight and defeat dozens and dozens of challengers in illegal rooftop fights back in 1950-1960's Hong Kong.

After taking on all challengers in Hong Kong and remaining undefeated in over 50-60 fights, he earned the name "King of Talking Hands".

Wong Shun Leung Wing Chun (Ving Tsun) on the Wooden Dummy (Mook Yan Jong)

What Rickson Gracie is to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mas Oyama is to Kyokushin Karate, Wong Shun Leung probably is for Wing Chun.

This is due to the fact that more than any other person (aside from Ip Man or Bruce Lee), Wong Shun Leung put the style of Wing Chun on the Kung Fu map as a fighting system to be respected, by being an actual fighting Kung Fu master that fought and won against all challengers during his time.

Bruce Lee's Kung Fu Mentor

Wong Shun Leung visits Bruce Lee on set

Wong Shun Leung visited Bruce Lee on one of his movie sets, Enter The Dragon, and provided some fight choreography tips.

Despite the popular accepted story of Ip Man being Bruce Lee's only teacher, many sources verify that Wong Shun Leung was the person who Bruce Lee learned the majority of his Kung Fu and Wing Chun (Ving Tsun as it's known now under Wong Shun Leung's lineage) fighting skills from.

Wong Shun Leung was his longtime Kung Fu brother and friend, and they continued to share messages and talk about Kung Fu years after Bruce had left for Hollywood.

Wong Shun Leung even had disagreements with Bruce Lee and sparred / fought with him, later on convincing him that his martial art of "Jeet Kune Do" was merely his incomplete interpretation and understanding of the Wing Chun system, which Bruce never completed due to time constraints.

Wong Shun Leung with Bruce Lee on a Golden Harvest movie set

Eventually, Ip Man allowed Wong Shun Leung to improve upon the Wing Chun system with his more scientific approach (as tested by his combat experience), and thus he began to refine and teach the fighting style in a simple, direct, and efficient manner.

The Wong Shun Leung way of Wing Chun then became known as Ving Tsun Kuen Hok (Ving Tsun - The Science of In-Fighting), with many eventual notable students under its lineage such as Bruce Lee, Philip Ng, Stephen Chow, Nicholas Tse, Philipp Bayer, David Peterson, and many more.

- Dynasty Team

June 08, 2021 — Dynasty Team
Tags: Kung Fu

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