William Cheung or Cheung Cheuk Hing, born October 10th, 1940, is a Chinese Wing Chunkung fu practitioner and currently the Grandmaster of his lineage of Wing Chun, entitled Traditional Wing Chun (TWC). He also heads the sanctioning body of TWC, the Global Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu Association. Cheung is responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to his master Ip Man when they were teenagers in Hong Kong.
A turning point in Cheung’s life was when a gang leader who was undefeated in combat challenged an old man who was rumored to fight in a little known Kung Fu style of a woman, Cheung witnessed the challenge and watched as the thin old man who was Ip Man quickly defeat the gang leader. Soon after Cheung impressed by the old ma’s skill visited Ip Man and became his student, over the next few months Cheung became a favourite of Ip Man and became a live in student for 3 years, before leaving Hong Kong During his time living with Ip Man Cheung introduced a then 15 year old famous child actor Bruce Lee whom he first met at Bruce Lee’s 9th birthday to Ip Man. Cheung and Lee became friend and training partners. After several months of training every day they both became more involved in street challenge fights until one day Cheung fought a triad leader and seriously wounded him, this prompted Cheung’s father to send him away from Hong Kong to put him out of harm’s way however the problems followed him, he and his family decided that it was better for his safety to migrate to Austrlia to begin a new life.
After moving to Melbourne, Australia to teach Traditional Wing Chun professionally in 1973, Cheung established his Wing Chun studio in Melbourne’s CBD. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, his studio attracts hundreds of new students each year. Cheung also trained students in the USA, including some who became successful in their martial arts careers, such as Eric Oram who went on to train Robert Downey Jr and Christian Bale in preparation for their Hollywood movie roles. He also trained Anthony Arnett who has been winning martial arts tournaments since 1974 and has won grand champion multiple times some of which were for 3 years and 6 years running in different tournament circuits.
After being involved in duels with several triad members he had defeated in China it caused him to fear for his death thus Cheung decided to migrate to Australia in 1957, On the way there an incident occurred when he was forced to fight more than 10 sailors whom were set up by the triads that sought revenge. Cheung had sustained several stab wounds from the fight as some of the men were armed.
In 1984 Cheung set a world speed punching record of 8.3 punches per second at Harvard University in Boston. In 1986 during a seminar in Germany, Leung Ting’s top student Emin Boztep ambused and attacked him during his seminar which lead to both fighters ending up on the ground with Botzepe mounting him, while Cheung exchanged strikes from his guard before it was broken up
Black Belt Hall of Fame Award – Kung Fu Artist of the year 1983
Inside Kung Fu Hall of Fame Award – Instructor of the year 1989
Magazine Front Covers
Over a 28-year period Cheung has been featured on the front cover of 35 magazines between 1982 and 2010, the first being Inside Kung Fu in October 1982 and the most recent Martial Arts Illustrated in April 2010.
Cheung attained a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University, after graduating from secondary school in Hong Kong. Cheung is a certified Doctor of Chinese Medicine under the Chinese Medicine Registration Board of Victoria, and a member of the Australian Chinese Traditional Orthopaedics Association Inc. He has also been invited as a Guest Professor to Foshan Sports University (China), and as a Senior Research Professor of the Bone Research Department to Beijing Chinese Medical University (China).