It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of one of the truly great martial artists of his time, Grandmaster Hawkins Cheung. He died on February 3rd after a long illness. Grandmaster Cheung will always be warmly remembered in the hearts of all of his students, friends and martial arts masters who knew him.

The following is a brief sketch of Grandmaster Hawkins from his website,


Hawkins Cheung was recognized as the most senior Yip Man Wing Chun instructor in the U.S. in recent years, as well as one of the top practitioners in the world. He began his extensive martial arts training with Grandmaster Yip Man in Hong Kong as a youth and continued his training over a span of almost twenty years, up until the Grandmaster’s death in 1972.

Sifu Hawkins Cheung was widely known in the martial arts world for testing and proving his practical Wing Chun skills on the streets in Hong Kong, alongside Bruce Lee and Wong Shun-Leung in the 1950′s. Sifu Hawkins Cheung also held a third degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate. In the late seventies, Sifu Cheung moved to the U.S. to help promote the art of Wing Chun.

Throughout his career, Sifu Hawkins Cheung had instructed many students from various law enforcement agencies, including the F.B.I., as well as members of some elite U.S. military special ops- capable units, such as the Marine Corps’ Force Recon.

Sifu Cheung had been featured in many martial arts publications, including Black Belt, Inside Kung Fu and Martial Arts Illustrated.
In addition, he had prepared and trained actors within the entertainment industry for action roles in motion pictures, both in the U.S. and Hong Kong.


  1. Sifu Hawkins Cheung was an honorable, humble and very open man. He must have been in the US only a short time when we met in a tiny second storey shop in Santa Monica CA. Initially he was very reserved, but when I told him that I was looking for a butterfly knife as a birthday gift for my husband and sensei, he seemed to relax. He gave me an amazing demonstration of the beauty of the instrument. He then asked if he could meet Sensei Jim Nieto. It was an awesome experience.

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