Leo Fong was born in Canton, China. He migrated to the United States with his parents at the age of 5, and settled in Widener, Arkansas. He is a graduate of Forrest City, High School, Hendrix College – Conway, Arkansas, Southern Methodist University – Dallas Texas, and California State University – Sacramento, California
As a martial artist, he began an amateur boxing career at the age of 15 years old. He fought Golden Gloves and Intercollegiate for over 5 years before his retirement in the mid-fifties. His amateur record was 18 – 7. He was noted as a knockout artist, with a potent left hook. After his active boxing career, he became an athletic director at Rankin Chapel in West Dallas, Texas where he developed a championship boxing team. He moved West to California in June 1954 where he was assigned as the Senior Minister of Chinese United Methodist Church in Sacramento, California. After a speaking engagement at a Church in San Francisco in 1958, he met Choy Lay Fut Grandmaster Low Bun. It was through Grandmaster Low Bun that Leo Fong was introduced to Kung fu. He trained with Grandmaster Bun for five years until he met James Yimm Lee, and was introduced to Sil Lum Gung Fu, and eventually met the great Bruce Lee. It was through Bruce Lee’s influence that Leo Fong developed his own martial arts approach. He was encouraged to approach life with an ” Empty Cup ” attitude. He has trained in Tae Kwan Do, Karate, Arnis, Escrima, Judo, Jui Jitsu, Wrestling and synthesized the various systems he learned into his own approach which he calls Wei Kuen Do – ” The Way of the Integrated Fist “. He holds Black Belts in Tae Kwan Do, Karate, and Arnis. In 1996 Master George Dillman and Dillman’s Karate Institute International honored him with a 10th Degree Black Belt. Among his teachers are: Angel Cabales, Bruce Lee, James Y. Lee, Chong Yuk Yong, Remy Presas, Low Bun, and T. Y. Wong.
Leo Fong devoted his full-time to developing the concepts of Wei Kuen Do. He saw a strong connection between the physical skills and spirituality. It is the spiritual dimension that can take the average martial artist to a high level of proficiency. All great masters have it, Bruce Lee is one of the greatest martial artists that ever lived because of his spiritual and philosophical depth. Others such as Judo Founder Jigoro Kano, Karate Founder Gichin Funakoshi, and Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba reached the spiritual level. Ueshiba once said, ” When an opponent attacks, I move my mind. ” Anyone who has seen films of the great master deflecting a series of multi-attacks will realize indeed his mind was at work rather than just his body. Kano was able to throw opponents much bigger and stronger than him because his spiritual depth was so rooted that he was super sensitive to his opponents energy.
In Wei Kuen Do, founder Leo Fong focused on all the spiritual elements that can help a martial artist to develop refined skills so in a combat situation a person can hit without getting hit, fight without fighting, transcend size, strength, and stamina. Wei Kuen Do offers one to develop inner skills that will help a person to overcome and transcend some of life’s difficulties and adversities. Wei Kuen Do is more than a fighting art, it is a positive way of approaching totality of life.
Leo Fong, passed away on February 18, 2022, at the age of 93. He was a pioneer of Chinese martial arts in America as well as an author. He was also a martial arts film star who continues to star in the hearts of all who knew him.