The IWTO grading system

Just like the teaching system in WingTsun, the grading system has undergone further development over the course of time and been adapted to suit the relevant requirements.

One aspect of the traditional grading system has been the development of a family structure which corresponds to the old teacher-student relationship. Terms such as "Si-Fu" (= fatherly teacher), "Si-Hing" (= older brother) are used by Kung Fu followers all over the world right to the present day, even though very little has usually remained of the original way of teaching and living. Nowadays Kung Fu is a recreational activity which has long made the transition from the world of exotic, extreme sporting disciplines. Hundreds of thousands train in one of the numerous styles, though hardly any follow their teacher for an entire lifetime or even live under the same roof with him.

Great Grandmaster Leung Ting already responded to the fact that the huge increases in student numbers could no longer be catered for by the traditional teaching and grading system during the 1970s, when he gave the WingTsun world the benefit of the innovative Technician and Practician grades. When his master student Keith R. Kernspecht built up the largest and most successful WingTsun organisation from its German base, this initial grading system needed to be supplemented with grades for students who had not yet reached the level of 1st Technician. To this end GM Keith R. Kernspecht developed a 12-stage system which is reflected in both the teaching programmes and student grades.