On the 24th of July 1973 Grandmaster Leung Ting formed the Wing Tsun Leung Ting Martial Arts Association. The association is now called the International Wing Tsun Association (IWTA)and is the mother school for thousands of Wing Tsun branches and affiliated organisations throughout the world such as the International Wing Tsun Association - North American Section (IWTA-NAS), the European Wing Tsun Organisation (EWTO)and the Eastern European Wing Tsun Organisation (EEWTO). The Wing Tsun examination and grading system is strictly controlled by the IWTA and applies to every Wing Tsun school around the world.
The growth of Leung Ting Wing Tsun outside Hong Kong began in the mid 70s with the publication of articles by Grandmaster Leung Ting on Wing Tsun. These articles led to requests by western martial artists for seminars and in 1976 Grandmaster Leung Ting embarked on a tour of Europe which led to the formation of the European Wing Tsun Organisation. In 1980 he gave a number of seminars in the USA which led to the formation of the North American branch.
The European Wing Tsun Organisation (EWTO) is the European branch of the IWTA and has three main functions. To maintain and develop the theory and practise of WingTsun, to act as an umbrella organisation for all Wing Tsun students and instructors and to represent Wing Tsun to the public.
Si-Gung Keith Kernspecht is the founder and chief-instructor of the European Wing Tsun Organisation (EWTO). He began the study of martial arts at the end of the 1950s starting with freestyle and catch wrestling and followed this with Judo (2nd Dan), Jiu-Jitsu, Kempo (2nd Dan), Shaolin Kung-Fu, Shotokan and Wado-Ryu Karate (3rd Dan), Ko-Budo, Taekwon-Do, Aikido and various Thai arts. In 1967 Si-Gung Kernspecht founded this own martial arts school, the Budo-Zirkel (Circle) in the city of Kiel.
In 1980 the headquarters of the EWTO was moved from Kiel to Heidelberg and the EWTO training academy was founded where to date 90% of all European Wing Tsun instructors have been taught. In 1982 both the training academy and the headquarters were moved to Langenzell Castle near Heidelberg where full time Wing Tsun training takes place six days per week. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland alone there are over 2000 schools and there are many other national Wing Tsun organisations throughout Europe headed by Master Level instructors.
Leung Ting Wing Tsun has been taught in Ireland for over twenty years and began in 1987 when a Dublin based Wing Chun instructor attended a training course given by Grandmaster Leung Ting in New York. Following this training course he became a Wing Tsun representative and his Wing Chun school became a branch of the International Wing Tsun Association. Sifu Aidan Canavan who today runs the Dublin City Centre school was one of the original students at this time and took over the running of the club when his instructor stopped teaching due to family reasons. Since then Sifu Canavan has been teaching Wing Tsun in his Dublin school and has hosted many seminars by various Wing Tsun masters including Grandmaster Leung Ting.
Following the re-organisation of Wing Tsun in the UK and Ireland in 1998, Dai-Sifu Rainer Tausend was appointed by the EWTO as the National instructor for Ireland. He is a master level practitioner of Wing Tsun and holds the rank of 7th PG. The "Irish Wing Tsun Organisation" (IEWTO) was formally established in 1999 following Dai-Sifu Tausend's first seminar in Ireland with the aim of overseeing the promotion and practice of Wing Tsun.
Dai-Sifu Tausend visits Ireland many times throughout the year to provide seminars for both students and instructors and is responsible for ensuring that Wing Tsun is taught in a friendly, positive and consistent manner in all of the IEWTO schools