Hawkings Cheung recall good times with Bruce Lee

A couple of “juvenile delinquents”???? Bruce Lee and Hawkins Cheung roam the streets of Hong Kong, picking up fights, having fun and refining martial arts techniques. By Hawkins Cheung, as told to Robert Cho, in Inside Kung Fu ???? November 1991

Hawkins Cheung began his training in 1953 under the late great master Yip Man. He attended high school with the legendary Bruce Lee and during the evenings, the two would practice hard wing chun together. To gain combat experience, they will participate in challenging matches; When they had no opponents to fight, they fought each other. They later separated when Bruce went to college in the United States and Hawkins attended college in Australia.
Hawkins Cheung and Bruce Lee (1959)
Over the years, the two kept in touch through letters and phone calls. Bruce was detailing the development of the martial arts through their conversations and correspondence using Cheung as a soundboard. Hawkins Cheung is one of the few individuals who has experienced the progress Lee went through in his martial arts development from Wing Chun to Jun Fan to Jeet Kune Do. The two were reunited in Hong Kong in 1970, when Lee came home to make films. The two exchanged combat experiences and training methods. They remained in close contact until the death of Prussia in 1973. Hawkins also learned well the techniques of other martial arts. He is particularly skilled in Wu’s style of tai chi but is familiar with Yang, Chen and Sun’s methods as well. Master Cheung has also gained experience in Japanese Karate and currently holds a 4th degree black belt. In 1978, Cheung immigrated to the United States to upgrade Wing Chun. He is currently the Head Coach for Hawkins Cheung Asian Martial Arts Academy in Los Angeles. He appeared in several issues of Inside Kung-Fu magazine, at various public events, and appeared on television. He has always been low on his relationship with Bruce Lee. Now that his friend is dead, he finds that many followers of Prussia distort the true meaning of what Jeet Kun does. In this four-part series about Bruce Lee and his jeet kune do, Cheung examines Bruce’s development. , from his early days in Hong Kong to his later days as a movie star, the creation of JKD, and the now-famous art features. Hong Kong in the 1950s was a depressing place. Hong Kong after World War II suffered from unemployment, a poor economy, overcrowding, homelessness, and people taking advantage of one another. Gangsters roamed the street and juvenile delinquents spread.

Hokeng Cheung Wong Chun Leung
Hoking Cheung Wong Chun Leung

I met Bruce in middle school. He had been expelled from the famous LaSalle European Middle School to the Francis Xavier Intermediate School that she attended. I used to make fun of him and call him “Bad Boya”???? Because he was fired. That was the beginning of our friendship. There was a real political situation in the 1950s in Hong Kong. The British led the colony and sometimes treated the Chinese like dogs. Bruce wasn’t a huge star then, he was just a regular guy. We started learning wing chun to survive. When we weren’t quarreling with others, we fought each other. We were arguing about our wing training, and would discuss our personal experience and knowledge. Everyone wanted to be the best dog. We will intentionally withhold information that we have collected. Each person had to find his own source, and not let others know what we had learned. We will intentionally hide a trick that we get from Yip Man, old people, or friends of other styles. We weren’t concerned about how good the gung-fu would look, just whether it worked. Everyone wanted to know how to get the job done. We were good buddies. We won’t share our knowledge publicly, but we did try to steal each other’s card. Whenever we learn a new method or technique, we add it to our collection. Bruce will use a new trick on me, next time I’ll give it back to him first. We were always asking ourselves where was the source of the other? We were allies against strangers, but with no one to fight against, we fought each other. To test and know Bruce’s skill, I would intentionally incite or prepare a fight. I would watch Bruce fight, and be a spectator to see how well he did. He’ll do the same if he wins, we laugh; But if he loses, he will lose face and work even harder to find a better way to defeat the opponent. We would play tricks on our opponents to get rid of them, sometimes hiding our best techniques. What someone might throw at us, we give the technology back to them directly. Our competitive spirit was not only in martial arts, but extended into everyday life. Everyone knew Bruce was good at dancing cha-cha. At school, I knew some Filipino friends who were good too, so I was picking out the steps to show Bruce. The next time I saw Bruce, he had a bunch of new moves! I asked my friend to see if he had taught Bruce those new steps, but he denied any knowledge. I later found out he went to my friend’s Filipino dance instructor to find out more steps! That was our character – to always look for a new source. I later went to the same dance instructor and tried to convince him not to teach Bruce.


Friendly sparring: Wong Chun Leung and William Cheung

William Cheung Wong Chun Leung was Prussia’s source for Wing Chun. They were our seniors, but we couldn’t tell them publicly what level we were in for fear that they wouldn’t show us more. However, if an Elder gets into a street fight and loses, we can tell his level. If we can’t spot a problem, we’ll have to ask the old man (Yip Man) from different angles. As we matured, we began to share more openly. I lived two blocks from Bruce. Being from well off families, we would sometimes ask our driver to take each other, if we wanted to spend time together we would sometimes spend the weekend at each other’s house. When we had the final exams, we used to study together. We are still playing our old game. We were playing tricks on an unsuspecting participant, one person playing ‘good guy,’ the other being ‘bad villain’???? Once upon a time, we convinced two of our younger European colleagues to fight each other. They were younger than us and were good friends. We separated ourselves from Bruce, and to see who the coach was the better one, we picked one and trained them to hit each other. Bruce’s nickname was ???? s at school “Gorilla,” ???? Because he was muscular and would walk around with his arms out to his sides. Everyone feared him, but I was the only one who called him “chicken legs”. ???? Heâ???? d get really angry and chase me all over the school yard. Our friendship was very close.

Hawkins Cheung in tai chi
Hawkins Cheung in tai chi

Our school was the best at football, but Bruce and I were not involved in any team sports. One day, there was an announcement that an inter-school boxing tournament would be held. St. George’s English Middle School hosted the tournament. Our school did not have a boxing team. Someone at our school suggested we form a boxing team together. We had a reputation in school that we were the naughtiest, so someone suggested that Bruce and I get involved. Game night, I went to the hero’s locker room. He was my friend’s brother. Bruce was supposed to confront him. I spoke to the champ and warned him that he is now facing the gorilla, who was an expert in gung-fu, not boxing, so you better watch out! The hero is intimidated, because he hears that Bruce and I are practicing gung-fu together. On the other hand, Bruce was worried that we hadn’t been cornered before. At the beginning of the fight, Bruce attacked his opponent from the inside with a dark tan and cut off his opponent’s center. The champ was psychologically unbalanced, while Bruce continued to use Tan Da while pursuing straight punches to the champ’s face, blasting him. Bruce won the championship! The next match was me and another match for the lightweight championship. I was disqualified for using pak da, which the judges deemed against the rules. In 1958 we graduated from high school. Bruce said he was going to the United States at his father’s request. Bruce did not want to go, but his father forced him. Bruce was afraid of his father and had to comply. I was deciding to go to university in Australia. I asked Bruce what he wanted to study. Bruce replied that he would become a dentist. He cracked and laughed at him! “You are a dentist”???? I said: Your patients will lose all their teeth. ???? Bruce said his father would support him and pay for his expenses in the United States, but he wanted to be independent. To earn money on the side, he said he would teach Wing Chun. I replied that he did not have much to teach him at that time; We both only learned the second Wing Chun form, Chom Que, and 40 moves on the doll. We had a friend we call “Uncle Shio”???? (Chio Hun Sang), who taught the northern styles of gung-fu. Bruce thought it was a good idea to learn some of the more beautiful and cool techniques before he left. Bruce learned the northern method of ingenuity. In late 195, Bruce had already planned to hide his art. Many were looking for showmanship, not killer. Bruce will give them what they want.


Hawkings Cheung presents Wing Chun تطبيقات applications

We go to Uncle Sheena’s club at seven every morning. We started learning lam ad (a basic set of nordic style gung-fu). I hated Mr. Sheena’s dog, and his dog hated me just as much because he barked every time I visited. At last, the early morning and the boisterous dog made me leave. Bruce continued for another two months and learned gung lik kuen (strength training fist set), bung bo kuen (basic praying mantis set), and jeet kuen (quick fist), all northern-style combos. Before any Hong Kong resident leaves for a new country, you should check with the police station to make sure your record is clean. Bruce applied for this certification, and found that our names were on the blacklist of known juvenile delinquents. Call me at home. “Hawkins, big problem,” ???? exclaimed Bruce. – Our names are on the list of known gangs. I’m going to the police station to clear my name, and while I’m there, I’m going to clear yours too. A few days later, a police investigator came to my house and questioned me about gang ties. Bruce’s efforts to acquit me actually got me in even bigger trouble. My father had to pay this investigator so that my name would be cleared from the register, otherwise I would not be able to attend university in Australia. Bruce hated it! The day he left, I took him to the pier. After many years of being close to twins, we will be separated for the first time. It will be many years before our paths cross again.

Source: www.hawkinscheung.com

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