Grandmaster Leung Ting, founder of the International WingTsun™ Association, began teaching WingTsun™ Kungfu in 1967 as an instructor. In the following year he started a Wing Tsun training class in the Baptist College, the first kingfu class ever established in a university of Hong Kong. Then in May 1970, he set up a well-equipped gymnasium, called the Leung Ting Gymnasium, and commenced to admit students publicly, and turned teaching martial arts into a career.
With the support of his followers and kungfu brothers, Grandmaster Leung founded the Wing Tsun Leung Ting Martial-Art Assocation on 24 July 1973. The full registered title of the Association was in fact the “Wing Tsun Leung Ting Martial-Art Association & Leung Ting Gymnasium”. Membership of this organization was based on all the Wing Tsun practitioners of the Leung Ting Gymnasium but was extended to accept other individuals who had an interest in Wing Tsun but might not necessarily be practicing the technique.
At the end of 1975, the name of the Association was changed to the “International Wing Tsun Martial-Art Association”. The name had prevailed for a number of years until 27 September 1983, when it was further changed to the “International WingTsun™ Martial-Art Association” for the reason that the term “WingTsun™” (as against Wing Tsun) had then become an internationally registered trademark of the Wing Tsun system which Grandmaster Leung Ting had developed.
By late 1990’s, as the title of “WingTsun™” was well known all over the world, and the Leung Ting WingTsun™ System had become a most popular Chinese kungfu style internationally with probably the largest number of students and followers, the name of the Association was finally amended to the present title of “International WingTsun™ Association”.
The functions of the International WingTsun™ Association are twofold: the propagation and promotion of the WingTsun™ System and the training of practitioners.
The Association overall is an organization established to develop and promote the WingTsun™ System in all parts of the world and is therefore open to anybody interested to pursue this mission, whether or not they are practicing the technique. The Association is administered by an Executive Committee with officials elected amongst members.
An important part of the Association is the teaching of the WingTsun™ System and the training of practitioners. The administration of affairs on this side is handled by a special section of the Association overseen by an independent Committee (called the Committee of the Gymnasium). The Committee will ensure that all the gymnasiums are adequately equipped and that all training and coaching are undertaken with the highest standard by approved and qualified instructors. All practitioners enrolled to receive training must first register as members of the Association.
During the past years, gymnasiums of the Association have produced a great number of practitioners of such attainments who could in turn become instructors themselves. To ensure the instructors are genuinely qualified and that the training they give to their students are of the highest standard, a subsidiary organization, named the Instructors’ Organization, is established under the gymnasium section of the Association, which appraises and regulates the attainment of the instructors worldwide as well as assists them in the setting up of their own gymnasium and training classes. Practitioners must first register as a member of this Organization. To become a member of the Instructors’ Organization, an applicant are required to be nominated, and his or her nomination must be passed by all the members of the Committee of the Gymnasium before he or she will be admitted as a member.
In the Instructors’ Organization, all the members are appraised by a strict grading system (divided into 12 Levels) according to the degree of their accomplishment and their contribution to the WingTsun™ System. The rules of the Instructors’ Organizaton do not stipulate the possession of the “Instructor’s Degree” for those intending to set up branch schools, but they do required all the qualified instructors to hold at least the 2nd Level. That is to say, if the principal of a branch school does not have a recognized instructor, the headman of the school must employ a qualified instructor to teach the students.
All branches set up under the WingTsun™ banner must meet strict requirements of the International WingTsun™ Association, and the qualifications of all the instructors and the headmen alike, are kept on the record of the Association, which is open to enquiries by the public. This is to prevent possible imposters and swindlers from ruining the reputation of the WingTsun™ System and the Association.