This video biography of Leo T. Fong was presented during his induction into the 2006 Black Belt Hall of Fame as Kung Fu Artist of the Year. Throughout the decades, Leo T. Fong has worn many hats—actor, writer, director, producer, minister, social worker and fitness coach—but his most important role has been that of kung fu master. Leo T. Fong has attained master-level rank in taekwondo, jujutsu, sil lum kung fu, choy li fut kung fu and wing chun kung fu. Leo T. Fong often receives credit for inspiring Bruce Lee to develop his boxing skills and for helping him formulate jeet kune do. Leo T. Fong’s impact on the American martial arts community dates back to the 1970s. First, he penned Sil Lum Kung-Fu and Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu for Ohara Publications (now Black Belt Books). They were the first books about those arts written in English and aimed at the general public. Leo T. Fong was recommended to draft the text by his friend and training partner, Bruce Lee. During the 1970s and ’80s, Leo T. Fong became one of the first people to produce and star in martial arts instructional films. As a martial arts teacher, Leo T. Fong integrated self-defense principles and techniques with spiritual lessons, and the result inspired and educated thousands. By combining fitness training, psychology, spirituality and the martial arts, he created chi fung, a complete mind-body-spirit workout. He teaches it 10 times a week to hundreds of followers.


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At first glance, most people — most martial artists, even — will zero in on the smaller person in any fight and deem him or her to be at a distinct disadvantage. It's a natural tendency to draw this conclusion based on obvious attributes such as height, weight and reach. However, that tendency does not always lead to accurate conclusions.

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Native or not, at the very least, we all owe our ancestors a certain amount of respect. After all, it was their love and great determination to thrive that got us where we are today. I, for one, will go out of my way to make sure I remain grateful in remembering these sacrifices — all of them — from 14 different nationalities. Understanding their hardships helps me realize who I am today and what my blood has recorded within my veins.

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Why did you begin teaching the martial arts?
I always wanted to be a teacher, and nothing seemed as rewarding as teaching martial arts. The martial arts combine many different disciplines: history, philosophy, kinesiology, wellness and more.

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Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
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