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Was Bruce Lee the 8 Tigers of Junction Street?

August 30 2015 at 6:53 AM
LJF  (Login LJF)

Many books including Bruce Thomas's "BL Fighting Spirit" and The BL Estate's BL biography claimed that Bruce Lee belonged to the 1950s HK junction street eight tigers and he was the leader of that gang. In addition, both Hawkins Cheung and William Cheung were also the members of this junction street gang. Is it true?

Research shows that “Junction Street” was actually “Junction Road” in Kowloon (refer to the picture in the link). There was indeed a street gang called the “Tigers of Junction Street” which was formed by 8 teenagers who called themselves the “8 tigers of Junction Street.”

Master William Cheung, Bruce’s Wing Chun’s senior and childhood buddy, told his student, Sifu Ann Cheung that Bruce visited him one day and wanted to introduce him to some of his friends. William said, “His friends were being pestered by a branch of an under-world gang. Bruce's friends were called the "Junction Street 8 Tigers". When William got to the meeting at Junction Street, "Robb", "King" and "One-eye" were there. After self-introductions they told him Bruce and the rest of the kids would turn up soon.
The "Junction Street 8 Tigers" were a newly formed teenage gang, made up by the kids living in the neighborhood of Junction Street. Their pledge was to stand up for justice, help the weak, fight the bullies and all for one, one for all.”

“The 8 Tigers consisted of:
1) King (the leader) and
2) his brother John, aged about 18 & 17 respectively.
3) Big Mouth, 19 years old, who was the son of a very famous opera singer,
4) Robby, about 17 and was half Chinese and half Portugese.
5) Lunny, 19 years old, whose brother-in-law was in the Hong Kong Parliament.
6) Ah Chun, about 19,
7) One-eye and
8) Speedy, were both 18 years old.”

So far only #6 Ah Chun is identified as “Leung Pak Chun.” More research needs to be done to find out the identities of the remaining Tiger’s gang members. (If really want to include Bruce, William and Hawkins, then they would be the no.9th,10th and 11th tigers).

More info could be found on Sifu Ann Cheung website:
So, it was obvious that Bruce was the friend of the Tiger’s leader, King. Bruce’s father - Lee Hoi Chuan was very strict towards his children and would have beaten him if he knew he had joined a street gang. William Cheung and Hawkins Cheung too, all came from a well-to-do family, their parents would definitely forbid them to join such a gang. Furthermore, William Cheung’s father was a Chief police officer in HK. Hence, that surely prompted him from joining a street gang. Although Bruce, Hawkins and William were not members of the eight tigers but they were somehow very close to this gang, especially Bruce. However, Bruce thought to himself if one day he was to be ambushed by another street gang and his friends from the gang were not around him, what would he do. This made Bruce wanted to learn martial arts to defend himself. So, he joined the Wing Chun school upon recommendation from William Cheung.

Moreover, Bruce, William and Hawkins were close to the "Tigers of Junction Street," and was involved in numerous gang-related street fights more and more often. In one of his last encounters, he beat up the son of a feared triad family. While Bruce was blackened with an eye first, he knocked his oppoent out, breaking his arm. The police were called as a result."
Eventually, Bruce’s parents decided for him to leave HK to pursue a safer and healthier avenue in the U.S. His parents confirmed the police's fear that this time Lee's opponent had an organised crime background, and there was the possibility that a contract was out for his life.

Another incident which caused William Cheung and Bruce to stop seeing the "Junction Street Eight Tigers" was that the gang did some shoplifting and both William and Bruce were taken with them. The gang ran so they had to run too, but they had not taken anything.

Shortly afterwards, both William Cheung and Bruce Lee decided to make a new start at life, away from the street gangs of HK, by attending school overseas. William Cheung joined his brothers in Australia, whereas Bruce, who had been born in San Francisco, returned to America and took his rightful place as a US citizen in 1959.

 Respond to this message   

  • Re: Was Bruce Lee the 8 Tigers of Junction Street? - Nick Clarke on Aug 30, 2015, 9:32 AM
  • Junction Street Tigers ... other published sources - Chuan Jun Fan on Aug 31, 2015, 2:05 AM
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