Ving Tsun versus Jeet Kune Do

From that point on barring occasional visits by Lee to Hong Kong either for filming or to see his parents, Wong’s relationship with Lee was carried on through the mail. When Bruce first started teaching Ving Tsun in the States he would often write to Wong to clarify certain technical aspects of the style. As he continued to develop in his martial abilities and throughout the creation of Jeet Kune Do, Lee kept Wong well informed of his theories and progress. 

Wong Shun Leung was the type of man Lee could relate to. He was true fighter with a analytical approach to the martial arts. When Lee finally did arrive in Hong Kong, he would visit Wong d the two men would talk theory and technique for seven to eight hours a day. 

It was during one of these marathons discussions, just prior to Lee’s death, that Buce said felt perhaps he should never have started Jeet Kune Do. When Wong asked him why, Lee explained that although in theory Jeet Kune Do was an advance system of combat, in practice it didn’t seem to work because it was too difficult for a teacher to teach the somewhat abstract style to a number of students with varying capacities and expect them not to become confused. 

Bruce Lee himself had learned in a traditional way. He first fought in the streets to gain experience and then tried to develop his own experience and ideas into a new format. He had learned all the elements of Chi Sau, but it was difficult to base his new teachings strictly on Ving Tsun. A link in the chain was missing. 

Wong suggested that perhaps Bruce was trying to cover too much ground in short a period of time. But on the other hand, Wong agreed absolutely with Lee’s analytical approach to combat. In order to keep a breast of the times, he too felt that one should not always accept what is being served without testing its validity. 

Wong Shun Leung and Bruce Lee on the set of 'Enter the Dragon'

Wong Shun Leung was, like Bruce Lee, innovative in his thoughts. Although he appeared to have been teaching in a very authoritarian and traditional way, upon deeper inspection he was very ready and willing to advise and elucidate any queries a student might have had. He also believed in teaching Westerners-which was in direct opposition to the mandates of Yip Man. 

Traditionally, Chinese masters refused to accept Western students due to two factors: one, hostility still remaining from the Boxer Rebellion and two, he fact hat most Westerners are much larger and stronger than the average Chinese. It would be quite logical to assume that, given his size and advantage, f a Westerner were to have the same level of expertise in kung fu he would be able to defeat Chinese opponents.