Koom Retreat & Training Center is on a 2 Acre family olive farm with the mission to teach martial arts, self-defense, meditation, and promote cultural exchange.
Born in Morocco and a 46th Generation Sufi, speaker of 5 languages, educated in the French system and holder of a bachelor's degree in finance, Sham lived for 20 years in California. After a successful career in real estate financing & restaurant operations, Sham has been called to live and learn from live masters from Hindu, Taoist, Sufi and Buddhist traditions in China and Morocco. In June 2017, he received authorization by his Taoist and Sufi masters to share and teach the techniques he learned.
Master Khalid was born in 1971 in Marrakech. He has taught Kototama, Qi Gong, Chakra yoga, Aikido, and Kyosho (art of self-defense). He was fortunate to have teachers who received their teaching directly from the source. He started Aikido at a very young age, 13 years old, and was able to draw all the secrets of this discipline to become today an Elkidoka with verified aptitudes. He is today a recognized aîkidoka with tested powers and skills. At the source of Aikido, there is Kototama, an art form which Master Khalid was able to discover inochi therapy and create his own art Aikishendo.
Master Carlo is a disciple of Nakazono.
from Malta, December 2020
"Peace, love, support... you can call it home"
This place is a true oasis of peace in the middle of Morocco. I spent 30 days at Koom and the level of hospitality I experienced is remarkable. Hicham and his family are doing their best that you feel like at home. Everybody is so nice and helpful and you can feel that this is all very genuine. Nobody is trying to squeeze the money out of you like on some other retreats, but quite opposite - they're making sure that you have everything you need and feel comfortable on their premises as a part of the package.
Place is stunning, it's a farm house surrounded by olive trees garden. The energy of the place is great, it feels really good to just be there. Perfect place to cut off from industrialised world and re-charge the batteries.
Food is amazing and it's a lot! Really a lot! If you manage to finish everything what is prepared, congratulations, you're a real kung fu warrior ;)
Training program is very good. Hicham has quite individual approach to all students and everybody is getting lots of attention to progress at own pace. Doesn't matter how old you're, he will adjust accordingly. I really appreciate his "no injury" approach - something often overlooked in other places. I also enjoyed a lot, cultural classes and our conversations about spirituality and life - it's a safe environment where you can discuss anything. Very valuable.
Thanks you very much Koom for amazing 30 days, it was really a pleasure and I hope one day in the future our ways will cross again-inshallah!
from Germany, November 2020
"30 days martial arts training in the Moroccan sun "
After months of deliberation I decided to embark on a journey to Morocco to learn martial arts... during the height of the Covid pandemic. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The training centre is located of a functional olive farm away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech city and a few km from a small village, which makes it easy to loose focus on what is going on in the world.
The training follows the traditional daily routines found in Chinese martial arts academies featuring a mix of martial arts, general fitness enhancing classes and strengthening classes. I wasn't expecting my general fitness to be trained too, which was a bonus. Shifu Sham focusses on each individual in the group so we all had our own personal goals and targets that were set at the start.
I left the training centre with newly acquired martial arts skills, increased muscular strength, new friends with shared interests and an enhanced level of joy and peace. You also learn how to practice unicity meditation with the daily meditation sessions.
In addition to the training we all felt extremely lucky to eat delicious healthy meals cooked by a french and moroccan cuisine chef who is an advisor for food sensory panellists. It certainly beats rice 3 times a day.
My daily routine has already changed since returning and I have become one of those people you see doing tai chi and qi gong in the park in the morning! Excited to see where the path leads.
from Germany, April 2020
"Koom Retreat Center"
It was a nice experience having martial arts mind set and meditation in one
from Germany, March 2020
"29 days of Growth"
I booked the 29 days package on a whim, and I was not disappointed. Koom Retreat is the perfect place to detox physically, mentally and emotionally. The main instructor Hisham is amazing, I learned how to reset myself in ways I never imagined. Getting control over mind and body at the same time. Life lessons learned through the usefull techniques of martial arts. I also met amazing people who I am now proud to call friends (both guests and staff). I can't wait to come back. If you are looking for a change of lifestyle, this is a great place to get you started.
from Sweden, March 2020
"As a dancer I got so many inspirations!"
It was awesome. I could write a whole book about my time there, but to keep it simple and easy to read I can offer this:
This retreat was not only like a holiday. It was a lesson for life, an unforgettable experience of uttermost importance to me. For the external, the movements, I learned many applications I can develop in the future and use in my dance.
For the spiritual, especially the meditation and sufi talk did it for me. Since Sham always adapts to the students needs, he is always open for questions or to help. You learn methods you can always use in life, stuff you can always come back to.
All in all, it was great. I found an amazing place I can always come back to with amazing people. 10/10 would recommend!
from Great Britain, February 2020
"A Unique Experience."
I enjoyed the month I spent at Koom immensely. It's a broad experience, and I found all aspects useful. The training was great. We were pushed and encouraged. Sham was always there to help us improve. The program's structure ensures that you are kept occupied throughout the day, and when the "rest days" come, they allow for much needed recovery time. Excursions over the weekend are possible; we had a wonderful day in the mountains, and another exploring Marrakech. But it was the people that I met that were the highlight for me. I recommend this Retreat to anyone who is serious about making big changes.
from Great Britain, February 2020
I liked the schedule.It gave a very good structure to the week. Sham really pushed you to your limits The overall atmosphere at Koom was great. Staff were really nice and also Shams family. I especially loved having the animals around added a bit of fun and company The weekly trip out to the local hammam I really enjoyed with some local shopping. Definately worth going for a month.
from Latvia, December 2019
"Definitely coming back! "
My wife and I really enjoyed our stay at Koom. Our goal was to live and eat healthy, train hard and have an insight in the Arabic language / way of life. Sham and his family gave us this and so much more. They were very hospitable and threated me and my wife as family. We both had no experience in any martial arts, and my physical condition was bad. But Sham was really patient with us, and helped us to push our limits! Sham is a very experienced teacher with love for all sorts of people. He cheered us up every morning with his smile. The view of the massive Atlas mountains from the rooftop was breathtaking. We are definitely coming back for more! Much love, Aron and Kristina
from United States, December 2019
"See you soon"
I find the space Cham holds throughout the day for all the varying skill levels fantastic. The training itself switches up day to day.
Having the freedom to come here and focus on getting fit 4hrs a day really helped me also focus on my full time studies.
The family atmosphere and delicious food were so incredible I am coming back for the Christmas New Year season.
from Great Britain, November 2019
Koom is an amazing place. It is located half an hour out of Marrakech towards the Atlas mountains on an olive tree farm, where Cham (who founded the centre and runs it, in addition to teaching the classes) lives with his family. The particular highlights are:
- There is a very friendly vibe about the place. Both Cham and his parents and wife are very kind and hospitable, encouraging you to ask for anything to make your stay more enjoyable.
- The classes are pitched at the appropriate level for the ability of the student. There are relatively few students there at any one time (over the month I was there, the maximum was 6, but 2 or 3 was more typical), meaning you get a lot of individual training to help you develop. The classes are varied, which helps you avoid getting bored with repeating the same classes.
- The food is fantastic. Cham's mum is in charge of the kitchen, where with some help, she cooks up fresh dishes from scratch for both lunch and dinner every day. This food is healthy, tasty, plentiful and can be varied as needed for dietary restrictions etc.
- The facilities were good/ clean/ appropriate for the setting.
from France, December 2020
" Marrakech for ever..."
Un lieu propice au travail sur soi. L'exigence pour donner le meilleur de nous même.
Des personnes compétentes et chaleureuses qui vous accompagnent selon vos besoins.
Des échanges enrichissants sur les différentes spiritualités.
Une variétés de pratiques entre les traditions énergétiques chinoises et le développement des qualités physiques.
La rencontre de la magnifique culture marocaine.
Je pense que c'est le lieu idéal si vous souhaitez préparer un séjours de pratique des arts martiaux en Chine pour vous préparer physiquement et techniquement. Les conditions sont idéales car vous êtes dans une ambiance familiale et bienveillante.
La pratique est exigeante et Hicham est un expert qui sait adapter les objectifs selon les capacités de chacun, d'autant que le groupe d'étudiants reste petit.
Si vous n'allez pas en Chine vous aurez comme moi envie de revenir dans ce lieu unique pour approfondir des techniques qui vous apporteront une base solide pour développer votre énergie.
Ce fut un grand bonheur pour moi de cultiver mon Qi sous le ciel de Marrakech et sous les ailes de Koom...
Merci à Hicham et sa magnifique famille ainsi qu'aux autres professionnels et à mes collègues étudiants. A bientôt
from Sweden, February 2020
To be honest, I liked absolutely everything about this retreat. The atmosphere and beauty of the farm, the food, the sweet cats, the daily program, training and events, the other people attending the retreat..
Hicham is such an amazing human being and great teacher. His wife and family are amazing people too. I enjoyed every second of my time here. I highly recommend this to everyone. I wish to be back soon and stay for longer time. This experience is a memory I will keep in my heart forever and I'm so deeply grateful for it all!
Aintzi Martínez Urruzola
from Spain, February 2020
"Great experience that I will repeat for sure."
Everything was awesom.
That place makes me feel at home.
from Spain, January 2020
"Unique Xing Yi internal training, friendlier than Thailand"
Very worthwhile friendly internal and external training from Sham. Santi Shi Xing yi internal training is quite hard but great for rooting and stability. Sham does really care about his guests, students and creates a family atmosphere.The room is simple. Equal time for the 4 students, meant lots of 1 to 1 time.
from Denmark, January 2020
The trainers family and the staff were wonderfull and the training were perfect.
from Great Britain, December 2019
"Martial Arts in Koom"
I am a 2nd degree black belt in karate and I went to Morocco to look at the Chinese martial arts as a prelude to going to China and Japan to explore the Chinese influence on karate. I was pleasantly surprised by how challenging doing things slower was as part of Tai Chi. The change to Sanda that is more powerful and explosive was also challenging and the use of meditation and sufficient recovery time was also excellent.
Master Sham not only know his martial arts but also knows how to bring the best out of his students. I did not realise how enjoyable power stretching could be!
The atmosphere created by Master Sham, his family and staff at Koom is such that it brings out the best side of the people that attend. I met wonderful people during my stay from different parts of the world and though we all had a very challenging workout we enjoyed it and had fun together.
The food and the fruits available also made the time at Koom very pleasant. Event though Christmas is not a national event in Morocco the family made a special Christmas meal with turkey to make us feel welcome. This just shows the lengths that they will go to make the students feel welcome!
Thanks to one and all at Koom, I am already planning to return in April 2020!
from Great Britain, November 2019
"Amazing experience "
The retreat is on an olive farm in a perfect location to take a needed break from the world.
Everyone was friendly, the food was amazing and the training program really had you focusing on creating a better you, both physically and spiritually.
I only stayed a short time, but I have come away feeling like I’m in a better place to take on the world again.
If you feel you need some time out, whatever your reason might be and you are already considering this retreat, just book it! You will not be disappointed.
from Great Britain, November 2019
"Really worthwhile experience"
The course found a great balance and variety of activities, blending the physical with the spiritual aspects of the different practices. Sham was a great teacher and host and was very accommodating to my needs as I am currently recovering from an injury and was not looking for a boot camp style experience. Would recommend
from Mexico, November 2019
"The most amazing week"
I would like to start by thanking Sham and his whole family for hosting me on that amazing week, time flew by so fast.
The property is beautiful, the trainings were so intense but at the same time so satisfying. I would go to bed every night so tired but so happy that Ive learn so much. I also enjoyed a lot getting to know my classmates. The week I spent at Koom was beyond what I expected, everything was incredible, the food, the culture, the classes, the people.
Thank you Sham for having me, and trust me I will be coming back from Mexico to Morocco in a near future.
from Morocco, October 2019
"everything was nice"
the friends the food the place
from Great Britain, September 2019
"Life changing experience - found my inner warrior again!"
Such an awesome time at Koom! I haven't done martial arts for 10 years, though studied kick boxing and Judo and hold a 1st Dan in ITF Taekwon Do. Still I was a little nervous at 51, female and travelling alone. No worries though, Cham made the experience very easy, whatsapping answering all questions and being there outside the airport to pick me up when I arrived. Koom is idyllic. Out in the countryside with the mountains as backdrop. The place used to be a religious centre and you feel the focused vibe when you walk through the gates. The rooms are around a central courtyard full of fig trees, lavender and rosemary and has a central fountain, Meditation type music was playing, blue sky, sunshine - wow! Dinner was served and was healthy and plentiful. Then we went up to the roof top and Cham taught me some Shaoilin basics as the sun went down. Next day early breakfast is followed by an 8am run through the olive trees and a thorough stretch. I'm a Pilates teacher and sports therapist by trade so was impressed with the diligence of the warm up. Training is done in 3 x 1.5 to 2 hour sessions daily & was tailored to the needs of the group (which ranged widely but everyone was accommodated). We covered Sanda, Xing Yi, Shaolin basics, Qi Gong and Chen style Tai Chi. We also did power training and power stretching. There's a spring water pool, washing machines and line, meditation room. meditation classes, massage classes..I could go on! Left feeling I got my fire back. Book this!
from Great Britain, May 2019
"An amazing life changing experience "
I learned so many things in just a week of being at Koom. The experience was very unique and very catered to the individual. I really enjoyed staying on the farm and enjoying the local produce and food was fresh and very good.
This was my 2nd time doing any form of martial arts and the workouts and they were very much a push but not so far that you were uncomfortable but Cham will adjust the workout to your pace.
An overall very amazing experience. Would definitely go again!
from Netherlands, March 2019
"My time at Koom"
Everyone there is welcoming you with great warmth, the school has a beautiful ancient ambience which brings you directly to a 1001 night feeling. The trees and animals, the fountain, it all adds to the feeling of taking good care of yourself. The food is truly amazing, the schedule has a great variety and Hicham has a lot of joyful motivation to work with you. He has interesting views about life that you can discuss with him and he is open for feedback. The family is very kind and you can learn a lot about Sufism and Moroccan culture.
from Netherlands, March 2019
I have learned so much this week on Internal and external martial arts. I feel fitter and with the fresh air and lovely food presented every meal I feel more healthy after the full week of training and Koom Retreat. It was a wonderfull spiritual experience.
from United States, February 2019
"perfect oasis between mountains, desert & Marrakech"
I had the most amazing time in Hishams Martial Arts Camp! Everyone at the Koom Retreat Center is so nice trying to make you have the best time and taking good care of you. The room was nice and clean and Hishams mum is probably the best Maroccain Cook you could imagine - healthy delicious and divers food every day!
Programm wise it was also the perfect balance between exhausting sporty exercices taking you to the limits, more relaxing meditation, some cultural classes and free time in between and after the schedule!
Thanks for everything!
from Ireland, February 2019
"Peaceful retreat on beautiful farm "
I wanted to get away for new year but also to train as I have an upcoming Amature fight. Hicham works you hard which I wanted but also plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the farm. Lots of rooftops to soak up the sun on. Within a few days I was so relaxed and de-stressed. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and I even picked up a bit of French and Arabic. There's also a little village about 30 minute walk away and Marrakesh is about 30 mins in a taxi (€10). Would return for sure - such a beautiful and peaceful place.
from Germany, January 2019
Koom Retreat is a place to unwind.
Stillness is the word here. Settle down and just be there for some days. Minimalism is a key word. The beautiful gardens and the epic sunrise and sunsets will be all the entertainment you need alongside the full day program. Prepare yourself to be confronted with a juxtaposition between your routine and learning you really do not need much.