Grandmaster Sum Nung （1926 ～ 2002 ） By Rene Ritchie
Dr. Sum Nung was born in South America in 1925 but returned to China with his family as an infant. Settling in Foshan, Sum Nung took a job at Tien Hoi, a restaurant off Kuaizi (Chopstick) alley, in order to help support his family during the tough times under Japanese occupation. Sum Nung had always been interested in the martial arts and in 1938 had begun training in Wing Chun under Cheung Bo.
Cheung Bo, known as Dai Ngao (Big Bull) Bo was a large and powerful man with a formidable reputation as a fighter who worked as a chef at Tien Hoi restaurant. Cheung Bo had learned the art from Nationalist Army doctor Wai Yuk-Sang who had been a student of Ngau Si of the Kuaizi Street Meat Market. Ngau had learned the art from the renowned Guangzhou marshal Fung Siu-Ching (a disciple of Red Junk Opera performer Painted Face Kam). Seeing great potential in the young boy, in 1940 Cheung Bo arranged for Sum Nung to continue his studies under his good friend Yuen Kay-San.
Yuen Kay-San was a highly skilled master who had learned Wing Chun kuen as a youth from the Foshan Imperial constable Fok Bo-Chuen (a student of Red Junk Opera performers Wong Wah-Bo and Painted Face Kam). Later, Yuen had completed his studies of advanced application and close-body fighting under Fung Siu-Ching.
Sum Nung studied under Yuen Kay-San intensely for many years and achieved a profound understanding of Wing Chun kuen's methods. In the late-1940ss he moved to the nearby provincial capitol of Guangzhou to establish his medical practice, but continued to visit his teacher until Yuen passed away from illness in 1956.
In Guangzhou, Sum Nung combined and refined some of the san sik he had learned from Cheung Bo and Yuen Kay-San to help in the early training of his students, developing in them a powerful foundation.