William Cheung

In 1966, karatel egend Joe Lewis rocketed to stardom by winning Jhoon Rhee's U.S. Nationals in Washington, D.C. Incredibly, it was his first tournament, and he won every single point with only one technique — the side kick. For six years, Chuck Norris ruled the karate world with his spinning kicks. He won virtually every major title between 1965 and 1970, including six grand championships. He retired, undefeated, in 1970. From 1974 to 1981, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace dominated the full-contact karate circuit. His lightning-fast left roundhouse and hook kicks rose to legendary status as he stunned one opponent after another. He retired 21-0, with 11 knockouts. Superfoot, indeed. Those champions and many more have demonstrated their awesome kicking abilities in and out of the ring. In fact, the martial arts in general are best-known for their kicks. Even Bruce Lee is remembered more for his dynamic on-screen kicking than for the intricate trapping and striking techniques of jeet kune do. If kicking is the hallmark of the martial arts, it follows logically that to become a superior fighter, you have to learn how to deal with those seemingly indefensible lower-limb assaults. How do you stop a technique that, once mastered, appears to be unstoppable? One answer can be found within William Cheung's traditional wing chun fighting system.

Mechanics of Kicking

The laws of physics hold that a force can have only one direction at a time. The longer a movement is committed to a certain direction, the longer it will take for it to change its direction. It has to run its course before it can move on to another path. When an opponent attacks with a kick as opposed to a punch, his foot must follow a longer path to reach you. Distance equals time, so the greater distance gives you more time to react. In dealing with kicks, then, the first step is to properly train your eyes, or visual reflexes, so you can readily determine how your opponent is attacking and which part of your body he is targeting. Traditional wing chun teaches you to watch your opponent's elbow to identify an upper-body strike — punch, palm strike, elbow and so on — because the movement of the elbow indicates the movement of the entire arm. The arm cannot move without the elbow going with it. The knee is to the leg as the elbow is to the arm. Thus, if you train yourself to watch the knee of your opponent's attacking leg the instant he kicks, you will have the best chance of identifying the kick's path and target. If the opponent attempts to bridge the gap with a kick, he must commit himself to that direction of force. As a defense, you can do anything. You have not committed; therefore, as long as you are balanced and have mobile footwork, you are free to move in any direction. Your response should put you in the best position not only to defend yourself but also to counterattack.

Contingency Case

If your opponent executes a kick and it does not make contact — and it is your job to ensure that it doesn't — he will leave you several openings to exploit:

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Learn how martial arts legend William Cheung defeated a muay Thai fighter in his new DVD, Street Fighting Applications of Wing Chun! WATCH PREVIEW!

If you're a wing chun practitioner, you've undoubtedly heard of Grandmaster William Cheung. A student of Ip Man, William Cheung lived and trained with the legendary wing chun master from 1954 to 1958. During his study of the Chinese martial art wing chun with Ip Man, William Cheung absorbed the traditional wing chun kung fu master's complete teachings. In his three-disc martial arts DVD collection, Street Fighting Applications of Wing Chun, Grandmaster William Cheung, the longtime friend and wing chun training partner of Bruce Lee (whom Cheung at one point introduced to Ip Man!), recalls some of his most dangerous street fights and deconstructs the techniques he used to survive the encounters.

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In the martial arts, one school of thought holds that you should change your game to match your opponent’s. Example: If you’re a stand-up fighter and you’re facing a grappler, you should immediately switch into grappling mode. Problem is, that requires you to train to such an extent that each subset of your skills is superior to the skills of a person who focuses on only that range of combat. Your grappling must be better than a grappler’s, your kicking must be better than a kicker’s and your punching must be better than a puncher’s. It’s a tough task, to be sure. Another school of thought holds that you should never fight force with the same kind of force. In other words, don’t try to beat your opponent at what he does best. Instead, use a set of concepts and techniques that will enable you to nullify his attacks and nail him when he’s not expecting it. The best set of concepts I’ve found is called the science of wing chun, as taught by Black Belt Hall of Fame member William Cheung. It offers a strategic approach to combat that’s guaranteed to help any stand-up fighter prevail on the street. Before beginning, a few words about wing chun are in order. Supposedly developed by a woman named Yim Wing Chun, the system is based on scientific principles that allow the practitioner to achieve peak performance in any combat situation, even against a larger opponent. It does so by teaching you how to fight smarter, not harder. The key to achieving that goal lies in the following seven principles.

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In the martial arts DVD series Street Fighting Applications of Wing Chun, Grandmaster William Cheung, the longtime friend and wing chun training partner of Bruce Lee, recalls some of his most dangerous street fights and deconstructs the techniques he used to survive the encounters. In Street Fighting Applications of Wing Chun, Volume 1: Choy Li Fut Challenge, Cheung tells the story of a Hong Kong bare-knuckle rooftop challenge against a choy li fut practitioner in the hot and humid summer of 1956. The fight would raise Cheung'’s profile to one of prominence should he emerge victorious, and on-hand were friends Bruce Lee and Wong Shun Leung to offer advice and input. The topics covered include fighting strategies, observing one'’s opponent, the differences between choy li fut and wing chun, controlling the lead elbow from the blind side, footwork and much more! Cheung is a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame (Kung Fu Artist of the Year, 1983). He has trained since the age of 10, originally under the legendary Yip Man. From his headquarters in Australia, Cheung now operates a worldwide network of instructors and students in the fascinating art of wing chun. He has also become an expert in meridians, pressure points and meditation dealing with internal energies. Today, his programs for the treatment of sports injuries and stress-related illnesses are highly sought across the globe.

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In the martial arts DVD series Street Fighting Applications of Wing Chun, Grandmaster William Cheung, the longtime friend and wing chun training partner of Bruce Lee, recalls some of his most dangerous street fights and deconstructs the techniques he used to survive the encounters. In Street Fighting Applications of Wing Chun, Volume 2: No-Rules Rumble, loyalties and trust are put to the test as Cheung deals with members of Hong Kong's gang population in the late 1950s. When intervenes upon four of them committing a violent crime, Cheung becomes a marked man. A friend offers to smooth out the situation, but Cheung finds himself the target of an ambush by three men—one of whom is armed with a sword. Learn how he survived this no-rules encounter! Topics include dealing with an edged-weapon attack, weapon disarms, thinking on your feet, dagger attacks, butterfly sword drills and footwork for weapon disarms. William Cheung is a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame (Kung Fu Artist of the Year, 1983). He has trained since the age of 10, originally under the legendary Yip Man. From his headquarters in Australia, Cheung now operates a worldwide network of instructors and students in the fascinating art of wing chun. He has also become an expert in meridians, pressure points and meditation dealing with internal energies. Today, his programs for the treatment of sports injuries and stress-related illnesses are highly sought across the globe.

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