“The Straight Lead”: Teri Tom and Ted Wong
In the wake of Sifu Ted Wong’s death, I thought of the book “The Straight Lead,” by Teri Tom. It’s an
Now you might think that a book only about the lead punch would be simple-Simon dull and repetitive, but you’d be wrong. If you can judge a teacher by his students, the knowledge and seriousness of author Teri Tom speaks well of the late Sifu Ted Wong. Sifu Wong poses for several pictures and is interviewed, as well as being referenced and quoted throughout the book.
The most fascinating aspect of the book is how it goes into great depth about how Bruce Lee developed his lead punch. Bruce didn’t just get a punch from Wing Chun, or from boxing, or simply combine the two. Bruce Lee’s lead punch was the result of intense study and wide reading in the fields of both boxing and fencing, including legendary boxer Jack Dempsey and fencer Aldo Nadi. Regardless of how well you think you know Bruce Lee, I guarantee you will find something new in this book.
The book goes into great depth on the lead punch, on footwork, and on strategy. Teri Tom writes so intelligently and has researched her subject so thoroughly, that you can’t help but be prompted to think more deeply about the martial arts. Even if you disagree with her and Sifu Wong.
And you may very well find yourself disagreeing. The late Sifu Wong was a prime mover behind the “purist” Jeet Kune Do movement, and your view of GM Dan Inosanto may cause your blood to boil, especially in the comments and interview sections toward the end, which are less focused on technique.
For the serious martial artist, those interested in Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do, or the late Sifu Wong, I think this book is a must have.