Differences in LT WT?

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by wckf92, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    262
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Hey all.
    I was wondering if anyone here can elaborate on whether or not there are differences between the Leung Ting Wing Tsun taught in China vs the US? From what little I know, there appears to be differences but I'm hoping someone here can explain a bit further and perhaps provide an example or two?
    Thanks in advance for any discussion!
     
  2. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    3,532
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    263
    I don't practice WT. But from what I've read, the European version has a different Lat Sau program than the HK version. Bino or Geezer would be the man to answer this one!
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    The US WT follows the paradigm of the EWTO for the most part, or at least it did.

    The original LT WT in Hong Kong had 10 levels:
    Levels 1-4 were technician, levels 5-8 were practitioners and levels 9 and 10 were reserved for Grandmaster.
    When Leung Ting and his student Allan Fong started going to Germany to teach Keith Kernspecht around 1976, this was the beginnings of the EWTO.

    Kernspecht felt the 3-5 years of training to reach the first technician level was too long to achieve any form of rank so he developed 12 student grades that led up to the first technician level, based on the Western school system.
    From there, the instructor grades remained the same.

    He developed lat sao programs for each of the student levels, which, interesting bit of trivia, he got this idea from his training he had with Jesse Glover, first student of Bruce Lee.

    Apparently, KK and LT were already startling to butt heads in the late 70's so KK reached out to Glover and he did a number of seminars in Germany during the late 70's early 80's.

    Eventually KK and LT reconciled, but KK held onto his lat sao programs he developed, which LT hated.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    262
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Interesting. Thx Yak!
    So, if I understand you correctly...the lat sau program is the difference (or one of the differences?).
    LT = China = 10 levels...?
    KK/EWTO - Europe = 12 levels + Lat sau?
     
  5. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    To clarify, the EWTO has the 12 student levels plus the 10 instructor levels.
    As you would expect, there are many nuances between the two, but yeah, as far as how it's taught and trained, I would say the German lat sao vs the "Hong Kong" lat sao is the big difference.
     
  6. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    3,532
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    263
    I've been told that there was also an FMA influence on some of those Lat Sao techniques. I know that one of them is almost exactly the "Elbow Hubud" drill from FMA!
     
  7. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    262
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Thanks for clarifying.
    So, in your opinion (not sure which "version" you were/are trained in)...is the Hong Kong version more "traditional" and in line with "normal Yip Man WC"?

    From what I've seen of the KK stuff on Youtube...he seems to have 'loose' WC/T...hands that seem to be very unconstrained. Sorry if that comes across wrong but I just don't how else to describe it.

    So is "Hong Kong" version considered IWTA?
     
  8. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I get what you're saying about KK....very formless.
    Who knows, maybe that's the goal....be like water?
    As for me, I'm a hybrid.
    My first 10 years of WT were under Emin
    Boztepe, so while it was AWTO, it was basically EWTO curriculum, or at least his take on it.
    During those first 10 years I also trained extensively with an old Richard Guerra student, so it was basically more along the lines of HK (IWTA) influence.
    The past 13 years or so have been under Allan Fong, so it is HK version.

    While the Germans did much for the advancement and refinement of WT, I think I prefer the HK way....it just seems more organic and more old school.
    The Germans took a streamlined method and in my opinion, over complicated it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Interesting. Latosa Escrima was always taught alongside the WT, so very possible.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  10. Bino TWT

    Bino TWT Green Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    183
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    There are two sides to the LTWT lineage. The EWTO (European) side, and the IWTA (Hong Kong) side. I've done both (Started EWTO, now HK). The training curriculum is different, the end result is pretty much the same. The grading system is exactly the same (any grades above 5th Practitioner are really only organizational, as this is the Master level when the system has been completed.). Different paths up the same mountain.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,761
    Likes Received:
    1,987
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yak Sau and Bino have pretty much covered the topic. But here's my fuzzy recollection, to be taken with a grain of salt:

    When I was with LT starting back in 1980 here in the US, there were 12 student grades and potentially 12 instructor grades, although at that time Leung Ting only held the title of Grandmaster and the highest organizational rank of 10th Level Master of Comprehension .

    Since then, having sold, ...er promoted Keith Kernspecht the rank of 10th Level and title of Grandmaster, Leung Ting assumed the higher rank of 11th Level Master of Almightyness. That was quite a few years ago. I do not believe LT has moved up again however, since the 12th Level was originally supposed to be a posthumous honor!
    I guess he'll have to be content with being almighty for a while. ;)

    Now both these guys are really accomplished WC guys, miles out of my league, as are their senior students. I totally respect their skill, just can't help myself poking fun at those over-the-top-titles. I'm the type of guy that even has trouble with the term sifu, and feels more comfortable just being called "coach". :)

    As far as the curriculum goes, LT had a simpler curriculum with form, drills, and chi-sau work for each level, moving into a number of choreographed chi-sau "sections" starting at the advanced intermediate level and continuing through the instructor levels. The first four instructor ranks (similar to Japanese "dan" ranks) were termed Technician ranks, while level five and above were called the Practician (master-level) ranks. To reach a level 5 rank would typically take at least 12-15 years of training, a lot of money for private lessons, and honestly, a very high level of skill. But even so, it did not mean you knew the entire system. I've talked with fifth-level "masters" who still had not learned the entire Bart Cham Dao form and applications (and neither have I).

    As others have stated, Keith Kernspecht expanded the curriculum and developed the Lat Sau material. The Germans brought this material to the States in the late 80's. I was first exposed to this material by Thomas Dolniski and then by Emin Boztepe. In the early 90's Emin moved to the US and, for a while, ran LT's US organization, during which time the US branches began incorporating this curriculum. Around that time I stopped training WC for personal reasons, and consequently did not learn much of that program until decades later.

    Anyway, after a few years Emin broke away to start his own EBMAS organization, and Jeff Webb of Austin took over the helm of LT's group. Jeff was originally my Si-Dai or "younger kung-fu brother" but had the unique opportunity to study with several high level German instructors, including Master Kernspecht himself, while stationed in Germany in the USAF. He developed remarkable technical skill, and when he ran LT's US organization he continued developing the Lat Sau curriculum in spite of LT's expressed dislike of these "funny movements".

    Later, around fall of 2007, he also split from LT and now runs his own organization, the NVTO. I resumed my study of the martial art the same year, and because of my friendship and respect for Master Webb, began training with him at that time. And, yes, now I do teach a slightly modified version of the Lat Sau program and really enjoy it. And a note to KPM. I can't speak for others, but my passion for Escrima has absolutely influenced some of my Lat Sau, so yes, you will find some hubud-like sections in there! ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,761
    Likes Received:
    1,987
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Oh, and Keith, you will find some Wing Chun ideas in my Escrima, too! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    In all fairness to LT, I was told by Rene' Latosa that LT was actually awarded that level by the EWTO/ Kernspecht.

    But yeah, I agree with you Steve, maybe a little less of a grandiose title would have been better...Something along the lines of "Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler" maybe ?
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  14. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    BTW, yeah, the way it was presented to me was 5th level was the completion of the empty hand part of the system. The pole was 6th level and the knives 7th.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,761
    Likes Received:
    1,987
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah, but either can be taught earlier. Many tears back I learned the pole and part of the BCD, and believe me, I'm no master!
     
  16. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    262
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Is the LT pole form the shorter version of the longer version? (I've heard Yip Man passed along two versions or more). Go figure. haha
     
  17. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,761
    Likes Received:
    1,987
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    As far as the EWTO awarding that title to LT, well just think about it. ...First,I knew LT, and believe me nothing like that would ever happen without his approval. The guy is very cagey. Secondly, when it became convenient and advantageous for KK to assume the 10th Level MOC and Grandmaster titles in the EWTO, you have to also bump up LT. You don't seriously think he'd want to share his same rank with a former student of his? And thirdly, in the IWTA and EWTO no high level promotion ever came without the business angle being factored in. ;)

    And considering all that, is it any wonder I haven't been promoted in over 30 years. ...oh, I suppose you might bring up the fact that I was out of WT for a long time and didn't really train hard enough when I was in it...but lets not go there! :p
     
  18. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    The version I learned has around 27 moves.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,761
    Likes Received:
    1,987
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    LT's long pole form is the shortest form in his WT system. The BCD is the longest.

    Other WC/VT branches have slightly or extremely different versions of these forms depending on who you are talking about.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  20. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    516
    Trophy Points:
    178
    oh, I'm sure it was a mutually beneficial business agreement and I'm sure a lot of money changed hands.
     

Share This Page