Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute

Direct Students on Sifu Wong Shun Leung

Non-Fiction - Sports
360 Pages
Reviewed on 08/17/2022
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Eric Lilleør began learning martial arts in 1978, and in 1984 he started his Wing Chun journey. Since 2011, he has been a proud and devoted WSLVT practitioner under the guidance of Sifu David Peterson and Sifu Morten Ibsen. Eric is a certified Sifu under Ibsen’s "Danish Ving Tsun Federation". In 2016, the "World Ving Tsun Association" inducted him into the Hall of Fame as "Sifu of the Year".

Eric has worked in the publishing industry for over 20 years. He is the owner and founder of Mui Fa Publishing, which publishes Wing Chun Illustrated, the world’s premier and longest published Wing Chun magazine, of which he is also the editor. In 2016, Eric acted as the editor of Sifu David Peterson’s book, "WSL Ving Tsun Kuen Hok: An Overview in the Form of Essays", also published by Mui Fa Publishing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

As a tribute to Sifu Wong Shun Leung, Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute by Eric Lilleør reveals various interviews with people who were directly influenced by his unparalleled mastery of martial arts and his simple philosophy of life. Readers get to see how Sifu Wong fought opponents, trained personally, and taught others from the perspectives of 25 of his students. Ernest, an interviewee, was one of the few foreign students who participated in Sifu Wong's successful Ving Tsun seminar in Beijing, China, in 1996. Another interviewee, Wan Kam Leung, narrates the time Bruce Lee challenged Wong to a fight after he called the fight scenes in Lee's movie "too flashy and unrealistic." Bristling with deeply insightful interviews and exclusive pictures and news stories, Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute depicts Sifu Wong Shun Leung's role in martial arts history and how his legacy lives on in different parts of the world.

A real life version of an epic Chinese movie! As someone who grew up watching action martial arts movies, I loved every bit of the book's vividly described scenes, including descriptions of the places where Sifu Wong taught Ving Tsun. One example is a rooftop illuminated by ​"the light from nearby streetlights and buildings". To learn from 25 people who benefited directly from one of Ip Man's top students and an influential figure to Bruce Lee is a priceless opportunity for martial arts enthusiasts. The interviewees are quite perceptive and knowledgeable as they share several thoughtful opinions on martial arts in today's world and in recent history. I would read Eric Lilleør's Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute again, without hesitation, for its hilarious stories, its valuable lessons on Ving Tsun techniques, and its wise and profound words of advice.

Christian A. Stewart-Ferrer

When hearing about Wong Shun Leung—formidably accomplished martial artist, calligrapher, gentleman and truly caring teacher—who wouldn’t wish for a trip back in time to meet such a person? Through an incredible, stirring effort, Sifu Eric Lilleør has, in the absence of time travel, brought forth the best opportunity: a unique, inspiring and touching collection of memories and reflections from almost every WSL student still alive—and even two who are no longer with us. If you have ever enjoyed listening to your Sifu talking about his Sifu, “Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute” is for you! Its pages allow you to peek back through the mists of time; training and dining with Wong Shun Leung, sharing moment after moment, revealing why he became a legend. His skills and achievements alone would have ensured this, but his students convey that his most awe-inspiring trait was his radiant humanity, generosity and warmth of heart. This giant soul cherished Wing Chun but, more than that, he loved his students. How could they but love him back? In this tome, they share with all of us not only their recollections but also their very love. A “Tribute” it is—and few tributes in history are more well-deserved than this one!

Daniel Carrier

One of the best ways to get to know a great teacher is through the eyes of his students. Eric did a great job of portraying the character of Sifu Wong Chun Leung to the reader. It is touching and inspiring to see the loyalty and respect Sifu Wong received throughout his life. I highly recommend Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute to anyone looking for more information about Wing Chun history.

Allon Bell

To say that Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is good would be an insult! In writing this book, Eric has provided a gem for Wing Chun practitioners worldwide, regardless of lineage. My only “complaint” is why was this book not published sooner. Eric clearly isn’t busy enough. Get your copy today!

James Bourdette

Eric Lilleør has done a superb job in creating this masterpiece! Through the experiences of Sifu Wong Shun Leung’s students, you get a deeper perspective of Wong as a fighter, a teacher and, most of all, what a down-to-earth person he was. Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is inspiring, humorous and fascinating! I will be re-reading this treasure many times. Thank you, Eric, for all your hard work!

Glenn Landers

As much as we’d like, we weren’t all there with the “King of Talking Hands” in those now legendary moments in time. But this “unputdownable” body of work by Sifu Eric Lilleør provides an accurate portal to our genius patriarch, Sigung Wong Shun Leung. Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is “laugh out loud, punch-the-air inspiring” and is part of what is now the holy trinity of WSLVT books!

William Scheel

Eric Lilleør’s new book Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute totally engrossed me from the very first page! The book is filled with fascinating interviews with 25 first-generation students of Sifu Wong Shun Leung, along with tons of photos that transport you back in time. Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute basically gives you a front-row seat into the essence of who Wong Shun Leung was as a human being and as the “King of Talking Hands”!

Ki Innis

Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is one of the best Wing Chun books ever published! The love, care and respect put into this book and that come from the testimonies of Sifu Wong Shun Leung’s students can be felt on every page. This is a must-have book for any serious Wing Chun practitioner who wants to further enrich their art by understanding its roots. No matter what lineage you hail from, this book is full of history and great insights that can benefit everyone with its valuable perspectives—perhaps even perspectives about your own particular lineage. Sifu Wong Shun Leung unites all Wing Chun practitioners because his name commands respect amongst those all familiar with him. As a window into the history of a golden age of Wing Chun in the 20th century, Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute will be referenced for generations to come.

Lamar Davis

When I first learnt of the pending release of Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute, I became excited about getting my hands on it! When it became available, I immediately ordered the soft and hardbound versions of the book. I didn’t hesitate to do so because I knew I would love it. As a Jeet Kune Do Senior Instructor, the Wong Shun Leung lineage is my favourite Wing Chun. When the book arrived, it immediately impressed me! I’m very pleased with the quality of the print and the photos. This is an amazing book, crammed full of very valuable information and a ton of rare photos. Using a question-and-answer format, Sifu Eric Lilleør asks all the right questions. The book features some of my favourite Wing Chun instructors and many I wasn’t familiar with. If you have any interest in Wing Chun, then this spectacular book definitely belongs in your martial arts library! I know I will read and re-read it for the rest of my life! A definite five-star rating! Thank you, Eric, for all of your hard work—it paid off!

Morten Ibsen

Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is a fantastic, inspirational masterpiece by my good friend Eric Lilleør. Those who never had the opportunity to meet or learn from Sifu Wong Shun Leung, but are interested in learning more about the patriarch of our unique WSLVT system, should pick up a copy! The anecdotes, reflections and personal stories shared by 25 first-generation students are genuinely motivational. They provide a rare insight into the life of an extraordinary man who impacted so many lives and whose influence can still be felt in the Wing Chun community today. I’m full of admiration for Eric who brought this massive and important project to life. Congratulations on your achievement, my friend, Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is a spectacular book!

Chan Kim Man

It is with great pleasure that I extend my gratitude to Eric Lilleør, whose devotion made Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute possible. I was deeply impressed by the red cover and the photo of Sifu Wong Shun Leung posing with the Baat Jaam Do—very eye-catching! Upon reading the book, one quickly realises that Eric spent a great deal of time and effort creating this masterpiece. The book covers Wong Sifu’s teaching period from the late 1950s until the late 1990s. Many Sihingdais share insights into Wong Sifu’s teachings, and the happy moments they shared together. Those conversations, and the many photos, touched my heart and made me recall many unforgettable moments. Anyone who loves Sifu Wong Shun Leung and Wing Chun will treasure Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute. A masterpiece indeed! Thank you, Eric, for your hard work.

Alex Danos

Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is a MUST BUY for any Wing Chun practitioner! Sifu Eric Lilleør has done an excellent job. The never-before-seen photos are simply precious, as are the interviews of direct students of the legendary Sifu Wong Shun Leung—their insights and personal stories are invaluable for anyone interested in the life of the “King of Talking Hands”!

Lafayette Harris

If you want to know more about the “King of Talking Hands”, the late Sifu Wong Shun Leung, get a copy of Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute. Two words come to mind when describing Sifu Eric Lilleør’s new book—INCREDIBLE and OUTSTANDING! While Sifu Wong was known as a great fighter, through his students you see a very different side of him, and you get a sense of how much they loved and respected him. It is clear from the words of these first-generation students what a tremendous impact he had on those he trained, and how he was always humble and approachable. There are many photos that I’m sure that many have never seen—it’s like browsing through a historical photo album. Eric did a great job. His hard work paid off in this fantastic book.

Jason Korol

Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute exceeded my expectations! I often find interview books somewhat boring as the questions get repetitive and the answers blend together. Sifu Eric Lilleør did an excellent job of bringing out the human element—the personality and warmth of the man. Sifu Wong Shun Leung wasn’t merely a great fighter, all the students in the book loved him genuinely. There wasn’t a “fear” or “awe” factor on every page, but love and respect. Clearly, he inspired people, and they loved him for it. That’s something that jumped out at me. The questions didn’t become repetitive because there was that human element to the whole thing. Great job, Eric! I don’t think many writers would have given that much room to the relationships. They would’ve focused only on the fighting, techniques and training. So, great job. Love it! The humility of the man inspired the same from his students. That was clear to me as I read it, and I kept thinking about how rare a thing that is these days. Love the book!

Alex Richter aka “The Kung Fu Genius”

As a self-confessed Kung Fu geek, Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute fires on all cylinders for me! I don’t think anyone doubts the tremendous contribution of the late Sifu Wong Shun Leung, the “King of Talking Hands”, to the art of Wing Chun (of any spelling). It is an absolute treat to read the accounts of 25 of his direct students as they give context and depth to one of the modern greats of this style. Eric knocks it out of the park with the quality and care he uses in all his works! Absolutely recommended!

Alton Miller

The amazing collection of photos and stories in Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute brought back many memories. Sifu Eric Lilleør’s efforts in collating and organising the interviews for this book have created a fantastic tribute to the advancement of Wing Chun. Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute comes highly recommended!

Tony Massengill

Wow! That was the first word that came to mind when I first picked up Sifu Eric Lilleør’s new book, Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute. First of all, it’s a whopping 360 pages! As an author, I understand the work that goes into the writing process, and Eric has done a monumental job with this tome. First, I looked through all the photos, which took almost an hour! The book is filled with great historical pictures, both in colour and black and white. I have read everything I could on Master Wong over the last thirty years, but many of these photos were ones I have never seen. It was great to see early training photos of Master Wong and his students. The interviews with his students are great as well. Eric, by some weird magic, broke the curse of interview books. That curse is that they are usually very redundant and uninteresting after about the first three interviews you read. Not so with Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute! The interview list reads like a who’s who of the WSLVT family! And somehow, through what I am sure was painstaking research, Eric guided Wong’s students, through great leading questions, like an experienced detective, to a vast amount of details. This book not only gives the reader a much deeper look into Sifu Wong Shun Leung, the man, but through Eric’s masterful questions and the willingness of Wong’s students to share their personal experiences, a very clear view of this great man’s approach to his Ving Tsun Kuen Hok.

Mark Brereton

I love Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute! I’m so glad I purchased it. At 360 pages, it’s a monster of a book, and it’s worthy of every one of them. I’m sure Sifu Wong Shun Leung would be in awe at such a spectacular volume—a fitting tribute to a Wing Chun legend. Highly recommended!

Andi Luiten

Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is not only a great read but also includes many never-before-published pictures of Sifu Wong Shun Leung. Because Eric asks every first-generation student the same questions, you get an idea of how their training with Sifu Wong differed over the decades, and the intensity of their commitment. Aside from getting a sense of what it was like to be taught and trained by Sifu Wong, you also get an idea of what it was like to spend time with him outside the Kwoon, going to restaurants, and hearing him tell stories about the old days. I highly recommend Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute!

Frode Strøm

Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is yet another masterpiece from Sifu Eric Lilleør! Years in the making, the book takes you into the minds of some of Sifu Wong Shun Leung’s students from the late 1950s to the late 1990s, as they share fascinating stories and memories about their late teacher. This book will motivate anyone to learn WSLVT! Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is a fantastic read that will inspire you for years to come. Thank you, Eric!

Emilio Pérez

I just received the amazing hardcover edition of Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute by Sifu Eric Lilleør. A great deal of care and attention went into this book—a treasure for any student of our lineage! Thanks to all the Sifus who contributed, and Eric for sharing part of the legacy.

Mark Wong

This amazing book has been a long time in the making. I greatly admire Sifu Eric Lilleør’s perseverance in keeping up with this project and turning it into a reality. For many of you who never knew Sifu Wong Shun Leung, Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute offers great insights from many of his known AND unknown students, ranging from the late 1950s to the late 1990s. Readers are immediately transported back in time, observing all early students of Wong Sifu in training. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle—every interview question elicits an answer that represents the teachings of that period. The transformation, the evolution and the mindset are all part of the whole picture. When the puzzle pieces are placed together, that is WSLVT. I highly recommend everyone practising Wing Chun to get Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute—a true masterpiece of a book!

Ivan Heretynski

Sifu Eric Lilleør’s new book Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is a treasure! Through conversations with 25 direct students of Sifu Wong Shun Leung, the book gives you a deeper insight into the “King of Talking Hands” and his combat philosophy. It contains hundreds of photographs, some rare, some iconic and some from private collections, never published before. Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is a must-have book for any Wing Chun practitioner, but especially for those belonging to the WSLVT lineage.

Jon Dep

For those who learn the Wong Shun Leung Ving Tsun Kuen Hok (Ving Tsun Combat Science) system, I recommend Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute as a rare and precious book. The author interviewed 25 direct disciples of Wong Shun Leung, and by reading from their conversations, we can understand Sifu Wong Shun Leung from many different perspectives. To gain a deeper understanding of the Ving Tsun Kuen Hok system, it is essential to know more about the founder’s ideas and philosophy. Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is perfect for that endeavour! While practising with my teacher, Sifu David Peterson, we often heard him explaining Wong Shun Leung’s thinking method. Now, through reading the memoirs of the 24 other direct disciples in this book, I now have a far better understanding of Sigung’s philosophy. I can sincerely say that this is the most comprehensive WSLVT book by far, and the photos and printing are first class in every respect.

Neville Burns

Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is a worthy tribute to a wonderful man. More than just a great fighter or Ving Tsun exponent, the tributes from his direct students show the tremendous impact he had on those he trained and the fact that he was always humble, very approachable and had a great sense of humour. More than just a Sifu, he was a father figure to his students and one of the most honest and ethical martial artists one could meet. Gong Sau Wong: A Tribute is well researched and contains great photographs of Sigung in many social and training situations, which anyone interested in Sigung’s life will find very interesting. Throughout the book, I spotted many familiar faces, bringing back fond memories of those few times I spent with this wonderful man who gave so much to the art we love, and to his friends, family, and students. Well done, Eric. A fine volume and a wonderful tribute!