Wong and William Cheung

Cheung, then a chief detective in the Royal Hong Kong Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, had a number of sons who were being tutored in the martial arts by a varied group of teachers. The eldest son, Kong was a swimming partner of Wong Shun Leung’s younger brother. So when Kong’s kung fu instructor decided it would be in the boy’s best interest to leave the Southern Chinese “four styles” system and take up Ving Tsun, it was only natural for him to go to Wong Shun Leung. Kong was a sceptic, so the two of them decided to have a match. Wong had very little trouble in the fight though, so Kong became convinced that Ving Tsun was his next step. 

One day, as the two of them were practicing Siu Lim Tau (the first pattern of the Ving Tsun system) in Kong’s garden, Wong started to demonstrate the proper formation and use of a block called Tan Sau which involves stretching the arm out toward your opponent, palm-up. Suddenly a voice shouted from above them “Oh, so you want a handout? I’ll give you 20 cents for that!” both men looked up and saw a tall young boy standing on the balcony watching them. Wong asked the name of his new audience, so William Cheung, Kong’s younger brother was formally introduced. “Does he practice any type of kung fu?” asked Wong. “Yes, and he really likes to fight,” said Kong in reply. 

Wong asked William if he wanted a match, whereupon William, smiling, rolled up the sleeves of his Chinese jacket and came down. It wasn’t really much of a contest because, as Wong knew, the boy was only about 13 years old, seven years his junior; but there was a special quality about William. He was extremely fierce, for one thing, for a boy his age. He wanted to take up the study of Ving Tsun immediately, but his brother opposed it William had to wait. 

Kong was afraid that if his younger brother learned Ving Tsun he would be very hard to control. As it was, William already had a bad reputation for fighting and was said even to use weapons if necessary. His father had already suffered too many headaches as a result. The day came when Kong left for Australia. William lost almost no time in attending Yip Man’s classes. He learned very quickly, and before long he was seen following Wong’s footsteps as a local Ving Tsun terrorist.