Joined: 23 Jul 2001
|Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 9:46 pm Post subject:
| The Germany Incident:
Ten years After
Written by Marty Goldberg
Interview by Russ Urquhart
"10 years ago, what many consider to be the most degrading crime
ever committed in martial arts history occurred in Cologne, Germany.
Grandmaster William Cheung, of Traditional Wing Chun, had been asked
to take time out of his busy seminar schedule to give a special two
day seminar in Germany. Always happy to accommodate people, Grandmaster
Cheung added the two days, unknowingly stepping in to a detailed plan
set up by Leung Ting to defame him. The end result was an illegally
distributed and highly edited video clip that wound up as an addition
to Leung Ting's video tape Dynamic Wing Tsun, and did nothing more but
to further hurt the image of Wing Chun Kung Fu.
This article, composed of interviews with the Grandmaster done
over 1994-95, will explain for the fist time in the pages of IKF, Grandmaster
Cheung's explanation of what went on that day in Cologne. Also for the
first time in print, a detailed account of Leung Ting's four stage plan
for the Germany ambush that was recently exposed by another senior student
of Grandmaster Yip Man's that resides in northern Europe.
At the time of the Germany ambush, there was much turmoil going
on within the Wing Chun family as to who had seniority, who was most
qualified, etc. The general public was exposed to this through letters
back and forth between many of the seniors and juniors, that appeared in
this magazine as well as others.
GM Cheung: "Well, many many years prior (to the incident), Leung Ting and
I were on speaking terms. But, I think it was just some misunderstanding
or something. And also, the other...there was a lot of question and answer
back and so on, on the magazines. Relating to who's seniority, and who's
more qualified. So..you know, it never was in my mind that he would try
something like (the Germany ambush)."
The missunerstanding in question is a result of two pieces of
misinformation. One was an incorrect interpretation of one of Grandmaster
Cheung's letters to state that he would "fight anyone, anywhere, anytime".
Those knowledgable in tradition, know that you can not challenge a senior.
One of the first things taught in any Kung Fu is that no members of the
same family should fight amongst themselves, and secondly to respect your
The second misinterpretation was an incident that occurred in
New York, several months before the Germany ambush. Leung Ting was giving
a seminar in New York on his art Wing Tsun. Unknown to Grandmaster Cheung,
several of his students had chosen to attend this seminar. Leung Ting
wanted a volunteer to help him demonstrate his superior reflexes. He
chose one of GM Cheung's students, who happened to be wearing a World
Wing Chun Kung Fu Association (the governing body of Traditional Wing Chun)
t-shirt. The student managed to get through Leung Ting's guard and slap
his face a couple of times. One of Leung Ting's bodyguards immediately
jumped in, several other of GM Cheung's students jumped in to help, and
a large confrontation occurred, until one of GM Cheung's students finally
calmed the situation down. The event was not planned, and later upon hearing
of the disturbance that occurred, GM Cheung severely reprimanded the students
who had taken part.
What Actually occurred in Germany
GM Cheung: Several months later, somebody asked me to organize a seminar
in Germany for Traditional Wing Chun.The person who asked it, doesn't
practice Wing Chun, so he teamed up with a Wing Chun instructor that
had a school there. So they organized two days, Saturday and Sunday.
Russ: Now the seminar that they asked you, was this part of kind of what
you're doing now, this was a set of seminars you were doing, and someone
said we want one in Germany?
GM Cheung: Yah, yes.
Russ: Had you been to Germany before this?
GM Cheung: No.....yah, I've been there once before, but it was just on
Russ: Did you have much of an organization or a lot of Traditional Wing Chun
people in Germany at that time?
GM Cheung: No, not one single person. It was just someone that came out
from the blue and said "Look, let's do a seminar in Cologne". Before I
went to Germany, I was warned by a friend to keep out of trouble with the
law there because they dealt barbarically with foreigners, putting them in
jail for months without even questioning them if they broke the law. This
was a fact that stuck in my mind. Also, as I was only in Germany to do
one seminar, I did not obtain a work permit, so I knew if this was
discovered I would be in a lot of trouble and probably be detained there
for a long time.
On Saturday, the seminar began at 11am, and the organizer, Augustine
Yiu was late to pick me up. By the time I arrived at the university
basketball stadium (gym) where the seminar was to take place, the
participants were already inside. We were approached by two people, a
photographer and a journalist, from a German martial arts magazine who said
they wanted to interview me during the break. They wanted some photos
straight away and asked me to change in to my Kung Fu suit and slippers.
I complied and they took some photos of me in various poses. Because things
were running very late, I didn't have time to change back to my normal
track shoes and outfit.
It was time for the seminar to start and there were almost a 100
people there. So I started with some warm-ups, light warm-ups, Wing Chun
punching, and coordination drills. So after about fifteen or twenty
minutes, I sort of went around to check everybody's movements. So, one
chap came up with a couple of other guys walking behind him. One of them
introduced himself as Emin Boztepe, a student of Keith Kernspecht. He
was holding an issue of Combat Magazine in his hand that contained a copy
of an open letter which I had written to Lok Yiu, Leung Shung, Tsui Shun
Tin, and Wong Shun Leung some time ago. He wanted to ask some questions
about what I had previously said in the article. So I said, "Look, you just
read it, it's very clear". He said, "No, no, no, I want to challenge you."
I said although he did not have the seniority, by all means I would
humour him after the seminar. But let's please do it after. And then I just
walked away and didn't take much notice.
When I started the second sort of technique drill, he came over again,
and I noticed there's about 10-15 people walking behind and around him. And
as soon as he came up, they went and formed a circle around us. And he said,
"I want to fight you now." And I said, "Well, that's different. You said
you wanted to spar and now you want to fight." I said, "Let's do it after
class." And he began mumbling something, and I said, "Look, you know, I
granted you the fight after the class. And strictly speaking, you're not
even in my seniority." So I walked away, but I knew he more or less
was going to try something. So after I walked away, the third step he
rushed in and threw a round punch with his right arm.
Russ: What did you think when this happened? Had you ever been in a
situation like this where you're teaching and someone had done this to
GM Cheung: No. In the exact same terms, when I first came to New York
(in 1983), in the seminar, they always want to test this and test that.
I always give them a chace. But this one, I knew it was different
because he had a whole group of people. When the second time he came up,
there's another 14-15 people with this time I noticed. So when I started
to walk away, the circle had been formed. They sort of put their arm up,
so that the other students could not get close. I had a German interpreter
standing next to me, and as it happened, someone put him in a headlock
and pulled him back behind the circle. And I knew it wasn't one person
at that moment, though I didn't know what the numbers were. So, you
know, he just jumped in and threw the punch and then I swung around and
shot out a Bil Sao (thrusting arm), which stopped his sucker punch. At
the same time, I front kicked him. It was always in the back of my mind,
if I hurt somebody it will involve the law and it will be so complicated.
So I more or less kicked just to push him away. But because I was wearing
the Kung Fu slippers, and the floor was polished timber and very slippery,
I slid away on impact. That was the other thing in my mind, that is why
I wanted to do it after the class (besides the reason that it was not
proper to interrupt other people's time that they are paying good money
for), that way I could change my shoes. Boztepe rushed in again throwing
punches furiously, so I sidestepped. I did the Jut Sao (jerking arm) and
Huen Sao (rotating wrist) to diffuse his punches. Then I used Pak Sao (push
block) to control his elbow. Because the floor was so slippery, I wound
up behind him. So I put him in a headlock, because my intention was only
to restrain him, not to fight him. Then I thought for a moment I was
going to...you know, might as well poke him in the eye and finish it right
there. He was struggling like a wounded mule because he had no countering
technique against the headlock. Because of the slipperiness of the floor
and my shoes, I was sliding around like I was on roller skates. At that
time, I started slipping, and then he fell as well. He was more or less
lying on top of me. Then he was sitting on my stomach, and tried to throw
a few punches which I blocked with Bil Sao's to the elbow. Then I arched
my body so he was trying to balance more or less, and then I kneed him a
couple of times. After that, somebody called out, Boztepe got up and
ran away. And as I got up, then I saw at least 20 people run out from the
gym. Somebody said that they had video cameras and regular cameras.
Russ: Did anyone try and do anything?
GM Cheung: No, because they already formed a circle. And also, I knew at
least some of them had weapons. When they formed the circle, that's when
I got some indication from their belts that they had something there.
Russ: By weapons, you mean guns or?
GM Cheung: No, they were armed with knives or something. See, and only
during the last month or six weeks when I talked to another Wing Chun --
modified Wing Chun -- instructor, and he told me there's no way they would
let me win, because they would come one after one after one for five or
six times. If I beat up one, the other one would jump in straight away.
And then another one, and another one. And then even after five or six,
then the whole lot would jump in. There's no way they would let me win.
Russ: So was he saying that he knew this was going to happen?
GM Cheung: Yah, it was all planned. You know, they deliberately set the
interview before...so that the journalists was there.
Russ: Do you feel this was a plan just by these guys that did this, or do
you feel that Leung Ting was aware of this and had something to do with this?
GM Cheung: Leung Ting was for sure behind it, and then this Keith
Kernspecht, Leung Ting's student in Germany. They were behind it. But,
because, well he didn't land any punches. I just happened to slip on the
ground, and he was on top. And so, after they ran away, there was a little
bit of chaos. But I told them "Don't worry about it, we'll carry on with
the seminar." So everybody, apart from those people who ran away, everybody
stayed. So we carried on for another 3 1/2 hours.
In fact, during the break, after another hour and a half, during the
break the journalist was asking for more photo's. So I had to pose for more
photo's. And I'm sure at least one or two..maybe not all of them ran away..
because we don't know who they were, so they're still in the seminar. And
then when I was posing for photo's for the camera, some guy yelled out--
oh, what about he got beaten up, what about this or that. So the journalist
started asking questions. But I said, "There was a little situation, you
know." I told them what happened.
Russ: So what was your feeling at that time? Were you very angry?
GM Cheung: Well, I was a bit disappointed more than angry. I was
disappointed that...firstly, in Kung Fu, the respect towards elders, towards
seniors is very strong. And they claim to be Wing chun people. Then to set
up such an ambush. You know, I was a bit disappointed. And also, I felt
that was a bit low because I knew there's no way they would let me have a
fair fight because they had all these people there. And more so, because
there were other disciplines there, there was some Karate and some Tae Kwon
Do disciplines there.....to witness such behaviour. You know in fact, because
I didn't know they were going to try something the next day, so I cancelled
the next day. And about two weeks later, I got back to Australia, I had
received about 10 letters offering their support, the people that attended
Russ: So once you returned to Australia, did you try and contact Leung Ting?
GM Cheung: No, no, because I had some commitments in Sydney. So it happened
to be Dave Cater and one of Black Belt's journalists was in Sydney. And we
had lunch there. This was just like two weeks after the event.
Russ: So they had heard....
GM Cheung: Oh, they knew about it.
Russ: What do you think, or what happened as a result of it?
GM Cheung: Well, it just let everybody find out how low can Leung Ting get
to. But I did have a meeting with my Association people, and we decided we
would not go down to that low.
Russ: I would assume a lot of your people wanted to retaliate?
GM Cheung: Oh yah, but I told them no, I don't want that. See, you can only
fight a dog down to the dog's level. So I told them no. But they did send
letters, because they weren't satisfied. And this guy Emin, he sent a few
letters stating he wanted another rematch or something. And I just told him,
I said, "Look, you're not in the seniority to do a rematch." I gave him six
photo's and six persons, if he wants to have a good fight just pick any of my
instructors. Never heard from him since.
Russ: But, you didn't want to fight a rematch, or?
GM Cheung: Nah, nah, he's no match. He can't throw punches (laugh). I mean,
I would not have granted him another opportunity to degrade martial arts.
The whole episode took over 20 seconds to take place. I have seen both
the unedited version of the event on tape, as well as the edited version
available to the public (on Dynamic Wing Tsun). When we were on the ground,
Boztepe threw seven or so punches and I blocked all of them. This is proven
on the videos, because it still showed despite their editing. They cut out
my kicking Boztepe when he first jumped in, and also putting him in a head-
lock. They still could not make it look like I was hurt. The fact that I
resumed teaching the seminar after the fight and had another photo session
with the magazine in the break later only confirms that I blocked all of
Boztepe's punches. But I still wonder whether Boztepe was hurt from the
strikes of my knees.
Russ: You didn't see this as a challenge match in the traditional sense,
because it seems like from what you told me there wasn't the respect, this
just wasn't a traditional challenge....
GM Cheung: Nah. You can not challenge your senior. I would never grant a
challenge to a junior. There are times and places for them to say things.
See, Leung Ting is two generations from me. And this guy is another two
generations down. If these things start to happen, the whole organization,
the whole discipline will collapse. So, they have to go back and study the
Russ: So it's 8 years later, how do you feel about this?
GM Cheung: I don't think it really matters, because those people are not
training in Wing Chun anymore. Well, they might claim to be teaching Wing
Chun, but they're not teaching Wing Chun.
Russ: As part of the Reunification tour, have you tried to speak to Leung
GM Cheung: Yah, in fact when I was in L.A. two months ago, David Cater had
told me that Leung Ting was also in town. I gave Dave Cater three phone
numbers that he could get to me in three different cities. But I didn't
hear from him.
Russ: When you and Leung Ting were speaking, because you mentioned that
earlier, what sort of relationship did you have?
GM Cheung: Well, it was all right, it was quite cordial.
Russ: Did he respect your seniority and your position, or was it just kind
of where we both do the same thing?
GM Cheung: He was always addressing me as Sisook, which is one generation
away from him. So he always did that to skip one more generation. I mean,
showing respect is not for the other people, it's actually for your self.
Russ: So do you see him ever recognizing your total seniority and recognizing
the Traditional Wing Chun family?
GM Cheung: Oh yah, because nobody can change the truth.
Four Stage Plan of Germany Ambush
First stage: The Set Up - prior to the attack, the conspirators
organized an interview and photo session with a German martial
arts magazine, which was to take place before the seminar
commenced. This ensured that they had photos of GM Cheung in the
state before and after the attack. They also lured him to change in
to his silk Kung Fu suit and shoes, because they knew that this attire
is not practical in activities such as sparring or fighting,
especially on a hardwood polished gym floor.
Second stage: Hand to Hand Combat - There were six first lot reserve
fighters standing nearby to take over if Boztepe, the first challenger,
was defeated or appeared to be defeated. However, there were not
any specific plans regarding whether the reserve fighters would join
in one after another or all together. It was decided earlier that,
during this stage, they would stick to hand to hand combat. During the
time of the fighting, the photographer and video cameramen would record
as much material as possible for later usage. I.e. editing, splicing,
duplicating, copying, etc., to make an artificial documentary in order
to discredit GM Cheung. There was a total of eighteen people involved
in the ambush, including one still camera operator and two video
Third stage: The Armed Assault - This plan was to be carried out if the
second stage failed. The rest of the conspirators were instructed to
attack GM Cheung (as well as any people who tried to help) with weapons
they would smuggle in to the seminar. The instruction was to restrict
the weapons to blunt instruments.
Fourth stage: The Witnesses - The plan also allowed some of the
conspirators to stay back to bear witness afterwards."
keep in mind that there are different versions, and points of view of the story.
Joined: 23 Jul 2001
|Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 10:45 pm Post subject:
|Boztepe went on to challenge other people such as Gracies as well. Here is what he wrote:
A WORLD-WIDE OPEN CHALLENGE TO THE GRACIE-FAMILY
Los Angeles, 26th October 1994
5th level Practician EWTO / IWTMAA
Headman of the AWTO (American WingTsun Organization)
"After having watched your "Ultimate Fighting Championships" held by the Gracie-Family, I cannot find them very "ultimate" but only amusing. These so-called "ultimate fights' may impress laymen or beginners, but in fact they are no more real than the professional Wrestling shows on TV.
What depresses me is that I heard of some rumors that I would not dare to accept your challenge. In fact I have never received any such challenge! Do you want me to appear like a coward? When I talked to Benny Urquidez in Germany, he told me that you people had played him the same dirty old trick for propaganda. Not long ago you even challenged the great man of American wrestling Gene LeBell. A very brave act indeed, since Mr. LeBell is over 60 years old.
Now in the second "Ultimate Fighting Championships"-Show you people even (ab-)used two stupid wing chun-men to perform some funny movements so as to represent "Kung Fu". And at the same time you claimed to have defeated two "wing chun'-fighters in the first bout.
Although I am a WingTsun-Fighter of the Leung Ting WingTsun-System, which is very different from the generic wing chun-style in theory and practice and is highly compatible in ground-fighting, I feel bad that you brothers use these kinds of dirty tricks to put down the late Great Grandmaster Yip Man's other students, their schools as well as other respectable martial arts styles or stylists!
I keep the record of over 300 bare-hand fights and have never been defeated. However, I have never talked bad about my losers and all the other styles. But so as to educate you Gracies to respect the others, my students I hereby turn the tables on you by challenging all you people of the Gracie-Family.
I can send 5 or more fighters from the AWTO to fight the Gracies. If you have more fighters in the Gracie-Family, just inform me and I shall report this to the International Headquarters and we will satisfy you with as many fighters as necessary.
We like the so-called "No rules at all" Game as advertised in your propaganda. No gloves, no time-limit, the person who knocks out his opponent is the winner. This is exactly the way we WingTsun-people fought in China in the olden times. We do not mind fighting you people in the ring set up by your own organization. The only thing that we want is to fight openly, so all the audience, reporters, TV-people and martial artists can see if you can really fight against us. We only want two conditions:
1) We only fight you Gracies. For we do not want to give you the chance to use any helpful idiots to protect you as "shields". So we will only fight you directly and no others!
2) The winner takes all the money. We only want our expenses paid. The rest of the money will all be used for charity.
If you Gracie-brothers dare not to accept our challenge, I do not mind. But remember: Never put down any other martial art styles from now on.
This letter was sent to the Gracies and published in many (international) ma magazines.
I have added here a question and an answer of this related matter. This 'fragment' came from a complete interview that was placed in the OCT 95 edition of the Martial Arts Illustrated, Frank Schäfer Sifu.
"People have often claimed that if you don't compete, you can't prove how good (or bad) your martial art is..."
"Well, I think this attitude is beginning to change a bit now. I challenged the Gracie brothers because of their big mouth and now they are only excusing themselves, they only want to fight in their own environment. They no longer accept any challengers outside the UFC or even outside the state of California.
The truth of the matter is, Gracies never fight outside of their own school and their own environment. Now, when they say they won't accept any outside challengers any more, I say "what any more?" I never saw them fight outside of their own organisation in America! Basically, they are just talking around and I don't want to get too deep into this now.
But in short, I recently had a phone call from Rorion Gracie who respected everything that I had said, two of my friends listened in on a speaker phone. And Rorion said that this thing would go on and on forever, letter would be sent back and forth forever and the fight will never take place.
I said: Listen, Mr. Gracie, you are the one who has called me a coward, but it's not on me, it's you who is the coward. Just take off your suit and tie and come out on the street! And now he even refuses to admit that he once challenged (Mike) Tyson, but he did just that in an article entitled "The Amazing Gracies", published in American Kung Fu and Karate Illustrated.
Obviously they (the Gracies) did this for publicity and now they are accusing me of challenging them as a publicity stunt!
I'm alone in the USA. I don't have a family to hide behind and everyone who knows me, knows that I didn't challenge the Gracies just to get personal publicity.
Now they (Royce Gracie) are calling me a circus clown, but look who's fighting in a cage! I am not a clown, I'm a serious martial artist and I have many famous martial arts champions backing me up as my friends; Gene LeBell, Bob Wall, Bill Wallace, Benny Urquidez as well as my own students who know I'm for real. I didn't go out looking for personal publicity.
Okay, I beat up William Cheung once because he was trying to pull the same stunt as the Gracies are doing now. The point is, the Gracies are hiding out in their own environment or they go out five, six brothers together..."
Here are some clips of Boztepe:
What do you guys think?
[ This Message was edited by: ChangWuJi on 2002-02-14 23:51 ]