".......Like many, I was attracted to martial arts at a young age. The theories and combat training that accompanies these far east martial arts were more than philosophical to me and to many of my generation. The main reasons were the ability to take away the natural habits and behaviors of our own culture. But also new perspectives and opportunities for personal development. The only martial arts available were mainly the martial arts from Korea and Japan. With great curiosity, I practiced the Shotokan Karate from 1970 to 1976. Then my attention went to Taekwondo until 1979.
'Advantage in many confrontations and challenges.'
When the first representatives of Ving Tsun appeared at the German martial arts scene, that made a great impression to me. The same effect as the previously mentioned introduction of Japanese and Korean martial arts earlier in that time. In many demonstrations and predominance in many confrontations and challenges, this original Chinese school put its footsteps into the earth. In a short period of time, it therefore gained a worthy position between the previously established Japanese and Korean schools. The effect of this soft but intelligent boxing style on the already existing setting of martial arts was as spectacular. For many of my generation this was a new beginning. My first acquaintance with Ving Tsun was based solely on some initial information available about this Chinese family system. It seemed like what I always associated with Chinese boxing. Without a doubt, I joined in 1979 (until 1981) At that time, there were only representatives of this famous family style in Germany. For me, this was the oppurtunity to learn more about this method and to eventually learn it as well.
"A serious accident with the result the loss of my entire left hand. "
A serious accident resulting in the loss of my entire left hand led to dramatic conditions in my life, but also in the initial phase of my Ving Tsun career. Having long discussions with my teachers and trainers, I was brought to attention that in, view of my disability and associated problems, this would result in insoluble difficulties in my Ving Tsun. This would exclude any possible further training. During this period, I felt that there was also no willingness to learn how to deal with my particular disability. Despite my great willingness, Ving Tsun to learn and master it successfully. The huge amount of money I had already invested was, would turn out to be worthless. lf I decided not to give up the Ving Tsun so easily. Saddled with this impossible assignment, I could easily settle my feelings. I should go my own way.
"I've put many illusions away from me."
My inner and outer Ving Tsun journey did not start until the fall of 1980 with the loss of my hand. Trusting on my willpower and research, I finally came to the school of my sifu and true Ving Tsun teacher. Since I entered his school in 1983 Wong Shun Leung had accepted me as his student. In the traditional manner and with all the consequences. He paid a lot of attention to my Ving Tsun study and became a problem-oriented teacher. In the time I trained at Wong Shun Leung, I put a lot of illusions away from me. I also learned important specific insights into the history and techniques of Ving Tsun. I can tell so much about this period, but there's just no time fort hat now.
'Ving Tsun has enriched me in many areas.'
Nevertheless, I want to conclude that through the close cooperation with Wong Shun Leung, the logic, directness and effectiveness of Ving Tsun has become clear to me. It gave me perseverance, opportunities to explore new areas and new insights. But it also revealed the possibilities I had despite my disability. Even though it was accidental it also caused that I will never be able to reach specific techniques in my arsenal. As a result, Ving Tsun has interwoven a mental approach in me. The applications and productivity have enriched me in many areas. To a large extent thanks to my sifu. Wong Shun Leung's willingness not to overcome my specific handicap, but to deal with it, opened many doors to me. Researching, positive and fearless. Like Ving Tsun itself ... In conclusion, I would like to say that my interest in Ving Tsun and my friendship with Wong Shun Leung created many opportunities for me and support me back there to help others. A notion...."
At Ving Tsun USA we try and uphold the simple and direct approach that the late Masters, Yip Man and Wong Shun Leung espoused in their teachings.
Thanks to Philipp Bayer ( the most prolific Ving Tsun practitioner around today and a direct student of Wong Shun Leung ) and several of his visiting students from Europe, we see Ving Tsun for what it truly is, an aggressive combat system, nothing more, nothing less.
If one is searching for mysticism or something with an acrobatic flair, this would not be the system for you. At Ving Tsun USA, our students come from all walks of life. Whatever your personal motivation, we are here to ensure a safe learning environment for you to achieve your goals.
Kevin Gledhill was introduced to Philipp Bayer by his sihing Desmond Spencer in 2004. Philipp Bayer was invited to give a 5 day seminar in NYC. It was at this meeting that a unique and incredibly efficient approach was presented to K Gledhill which had a tremendous impact on his understanding of VT. Philipp Bayer's high level of awesome skills and clear unambiguous execution of VT fighting illuminated the path that he needed to take in order to further develop himself and guide his student's development. K Gledhill has subscribed to Philipp Bayer's mentorship ever since, traveling to Germany and other European locations to train personally with P Bayer and attend seminars. Kevin Gledhill is the Head instructor at WSLPBVT USA and is available for group and private lessons and has given seminars for federal law enforcement agencies.
Yip Man 1 October 1893 - 2 December 1972
The late Yip Man was the very master that has been accredited for the instruction of Bruce Lee. Yip Man was the first to bring Wing Chun Kung Fu from its maiden land of Foshan, China to Hong Kong. There, Yip Man would go on to teach Wing Chun for the remainder of his life. Having taught very high profile individuals such as, Wong Shun Leung and Bruce Lee, Wing Chun had gained global recognition. Numerous documentaries and feature films have been made in honor of the late Yip Man.
Kevin Gledhill and Philipp Bayer
WSL and Philipp Bayer
Wong Shun Leung (1935-1997)
The late Grandmaster, Wong Shun Leung was the champion student of Ip Man. Known across all of Hong Kong as Wing Chun's challenge champion, he earned a nickname from the press: 講手王 (Gong Sau Wong), which translates to "King of Talking Hands", meaning his hands did all the talking for him and that he was no bluff.
Wong Shun Leung gained fame through the many illegal rooftop fights that occurred between different disciplines of Martial Arts back in the mid-1900s of Hong Kong where he was known to be undefeated and ending fights within seconds of them beginning. His victory count has been confirmed to be at least 60 wins and is projected to possibly being over 100 wins.
Although Ip Man is the official teacher of the late Bruce Lee, Wong Shun Leung was also accredited for the actual teaching and instruction of the late martial arts icon. Bruce Lee has flown Wong Shun Leung to America and has also acknowledged Wong Shun Leung in many occasions, a letter crediting him with his teachings of martial arts signed by Bruce himself still exists to this day. Wong Shun Leung may have trained the famous Bruce Lee, but he himself made Wing Chun famous through his endeavors and fights. He took the most logical and scientific approach to Wing Chun possible and he was never afraid to question and test the system.
While many different accounts mention many different, controversial events in regards to the origins of the system and how it was transferred, there is no debate around the legendary Leung Jan (梁贊). Leung Jan was a Chinese herbal doctor in Foshan, China. Historical accounts also recognize him by the title "Mr. Jan of Foshan" (佛山贊先生). He was the pride of the region and was known all across China. Wing Chun has a history of champion students like Wong Shun Leung, but the first to gain this type of recognition was Leung Jan. Mr. Jan of Foshan was also known for:
The King of Wing Chun (詠春拳王) from being undefeated for over 300 challenge fights from all sorts of different styles.
The systematization of the Wing Chun system, creation of the standard forms and learning methods to create consistency in the system.
He had several students throughout his life, among them were his sons. One of his sons would go on to directly teach a young Yip Man in Hong Kong by chance, his name was Leung Bik (梁壁).