Challenge Fights, Winning, Losing and the ‘Infamous’ Emin Boztepe VS William Cheung Fight

I’m not sure why it came into my head but yesterday I was thinking about challenge fights and the Emin Boztepe VS William Cheung fight from the 1980s.  Now that’s waaaaaayyyy before my time as a Wing Chun student but it got me thinking…

First up, the rules of this blog post are as follows:

No picking sides, it doesn’t matter if you’re an Emin Boztepe fan or student, from the William Cheung lineage or if you hate Wing Chun.  This is about our art and constructive comments are welcome below.  YouTube (esque) comments can be deleted by the admin : )

And ultimately no one really knows the truth about what happened that day, at least from a neutral perspective!

Back to my point.

In the words of someone far cleverer than I am: Actors act, writers write and fighters fight.  And if you want to make an omelet you’re going to break some eggs!

The very act of wanting to test your art means fighting.  That puts you into a world very few people will ever really understand and fewer still are prepared to participate in.   By agreeing to fight you’re putting your style, your school and your name on the line.

Your reputation is at stake and your physical well being is on the line.  Fighting is scary and it hurts.

Very few people have the courage to step up and really take place.  Sure people, onlookers, spectators talk as though they could and what they would do, how well they’d perform and what they ‘think’ they’d feel….

… it’s all bu*****t unless you’ve been there and done that.

It’s why listening and reading to Wing Chun students talking, critiquing and arguing the toss of the William Cheung vs. Emin Boztepe fight cringe-worthy.

Regardless of how good or bad you thought (or think) either is they both fought and one had to lose.  It wasn’t really about this lineage versus that lineage.  It was about Master Emin Boztepe fighting Grandmaster William Cheung on whatever day it was back in the 1980s.  Maybe if it had occurred the day before or the day after the result may have been different.

I’d doing my best not to pick sides and add bias!

My point is — Fighters FIGHT to test themselves and their styles.

Someone had to lose and from (personal experience) I know that I’ve beaten people who should have beaten me and lost to people I should have beaten.  It works both ways.  Sometimes I knock them out, sometimes they knock me out — sometimes neither of us knock the other out.

And the next day, if we fought again, the results could be completely different.

Doesn’t matter because fighters FIGHT, they accept defeat and learn from it.  Onlookers can only imagine what it is or was like and appreciate both fighters had the courage to go toe to toe and find out for themselves who was the best on the day — instead of arguing it on YouTube!

Here’s the fight.  The commentary is biased towards Emin and Wing Chun however it does have a slow-mo version to analyze if you’ve got nothing better to do : )

My only personal comments on the video won’t make you or I any better so get back to training!


Filed under Fights

3 Responses to Challenge Fights, Winning, Losing and the ‘Infamous’ Emin Boztepe VS William Cheung Fight

  1. Fredrik

    I was just thinking the same today. I don’t think this video proves who’s the best Wing Chun practitioner. I think the video is a joke actually. For one, they’re only on their feet for 2 seconds and then it goes to the ground. Once on the ground it would be the person most versed in jujitsu, wrestling, etc that has the advantage. Well that plus size and strength. The throw itself could be from any style of martial arts, karate, judo, etc. In my opinion it would have been way more impressive had Emin kept the fight standing up and controlled Cheung using regular chisau tapping him every now and then. But on the other hand both Cheung and Emins style and attitude to fighting seems similar (very agressive) so maybe it’s not surprising how it went down. Not sure what the background between the two was but if you claim you’re the best then you have to be ready to back it up. In his prime Emin was probably one of the most dangerous fighters around. Great skills but also amazing physical attributes. As much as wing chun is a style to level the playing field a bigger and stronger guy with somewhat comparable skill will in most cases have an advantage. Not calling out Emin but I’d love to see him fight in the UFC. It seems a bit convenient for certain Wing Chun martial artists to claim their the best but refuse to fight because the the gloves or rules constrict them. I don’t know either of them but Emin seems like a fairly nice guy, maybe he matured a little, it’s slightly disturbing to see his old videos where he’s beating up his students.

  2. I will be very honest, Emin boztepe is nothing but a simple martial art con artist who learned nothing but seminar selling games.. the william cheung set up was a quick way to be heard by emin and somehow it worked, its like BL is alive and I go attack the 70 some years old man behind . lol .. as far as personality goes he is a dirty business man too,. thats how see the guy !

    • Wing Chun Team

      I appreciate your honest but truth is… it’s still only mine (and your) opinion. Not fact. Like him or loathe him I believe Emin to be one of the best fighters Wing Chun has ever had. Business wise… and seminar selling… let’s skip over that and stick to Wing Chun. Stuff we know about.

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