MY SIFU of 31 years, Hawkins Cheung, passed away peacefully on February 1, 2019. I studied privately with him, so many have urged me to write about him.
Wing Chun: An Art of Life
Wing Chun to him was more of an art of life, of balance, with a Yin/Yang perspective from the center. He was a very open-minded and fun person to hang out with. He used the centreline of Wing Chun Kuen, applied in daily life.
His Wing Chun Mind
Sifu asked me to write articles for Inside Kung Fu, which revealed aspects of his fighting method. He explained: “One must have the confidence to walk in and intercept the opponent, then finish him. It seems simple, but it’s not so cut and dry in combat.”
Hawkins asked me to punch him in the face. As a fighter, he wanted me to go for it and really try. He wasn’t afraid, nor would he take it as an insult. I admired him as an instructor not afraid to Chi Sao, trade brows, or spar. When I punched, he used Pak Da on me that raised a huge welt on my forearm, and his heavy fist in my face! Luckily, he pulled his punch. The power was something I did not expect at all. “Did you feel the shock? Did you blank out?” he asked.
Hawkins moved here in the late 1970s. His classes were based on the group classes from the 1950s at Ip Man&rsquo