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Chong Woo Kwan

Wing Chun kung fu

Here are some images from my time (1970s) learning martial arts in a Chinese kwan in London. See if you can pick me out in the one above. Here’s a hint – my nickname was “O’Hara”, after the character played by Bob Wall in Enter The Dragon, the cult kung fu movie from the 1970s. (Yes, this was after my ‘skinhead’ days.)

Joseph Cheng.

Lee Shing

Our Sifu was Joseph Cheng.  He was himself a student of Lee Shing Si Gung (Master Shing Lee), whom I met, and before whom I went through my examinations in proficiency. Lee Shing was himself a student of Yip Man, whose recorded Wing Chun lineage goes back eight generations to Ng Mui herself, the teacher of Yim Wing-chun after whom the fighting style is named. You can read an article about Lee Shing by his pupil Austin Goh, and see videos here.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep up with training when I left London, but I still remember a lot of the moves, and frequently go through some of the exercises and forms. Cheng Chong Si Fu (Master Joseph Cheng) went on to become a personal bodyguard for a Saudi prince, or so I heard.

Sifu’s given name, ‘Chong’ can be seen in the calligraphy of the school’s emblem. It is a combination of the characters for ‘centre’ and ‘heart’, and has the meaning of ‘loyalty’. The school’s full title, ‘Chong Woo Kwan’, may be rendered in English as ‘Loyalty Martial School’

Our school as it featured in a martial arts magazine from Hong Kong.

Yip Man – in effect my honoured great-grandfather in kung fu.

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