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Thailand Qi Gong Teacher Training

Is it your purpose in life to share the ancient arts of health and wellbeing? This intensive 200-hour course which builds onto our 100-Hour Course with a much more theoretical background as well as coaching on how to manipulate you brown chi and put it use, for example to heal yourself and others. Learn the tools to elevate yourself, and eventually master yourself so that you become a success in the field of teaching Qigong, health, meditation, or any other path you choose. You will become a pillar of strength who others can lean on, a shining example who inspires others to follow them. You will learn two full systems of Chi Kung: Tong Ling (clearing and circulating) Chi Kung for health, well-being, and longevity, including Bodhidharma's Vein Tendon Chi Kung for strength, resilience, and fascia for joint development. You will earn a Level 2 teacher certification, providing the 200 Hour Qualification that many employers now require.

Meet the instructors

Master Iain & Christian
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  • Become a world-class teacher and leader
  • 9.75 hours of daily training, 5 days a week
  • Internationally recognized Qigong instructor certificate upon completion
  • Receive Master Iains "Get Your Health Back Fast with Chinese Chi Kung" Book
  • Learn theory, psychology, and the practice of teaching
  • Daily breakfast and evening meals five days a week
  • 14 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


20 days with instruction
Airport transfer available:
Chiang Mai International Airport (US$108 per person)
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  • Gym
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Wireless internet

All of the rooms are designed with serious Kung Fu students in mind. Every room has an inspiring mountain view from the front door and a roofed front terrace to sit in the shade and get the benefit of the views and the fresh mountain air. They are within very easy walking distance of the training facilities and the restaurant.

There are two types of rooms, shared and private rooms. Shared rooms hold two people. They are spacious, have separate bathrooms and toilets or washrooms, and are equipped with fans. They are arranged in two buildings, each with six rooms. The front terrace is two meters deep and serves as a social area where students can relax and chat outside of training time.

The private rooms are designed for single occupancy. These rooms are finished to a high standard with tiled walls and thicker mattresses. Each "house" has two rooms which are completely separate. They are located slightly further away from the center of the retreat, which gives a quieter feel. Nam Yang also supplies communal tea and coffee-making facilities and fridges.


Nam Yang will provide you with the tools to heal yourself, elevate yourself and eventually master yourself so that you will be successful in whatever path you choose. By joining this course, they will develop you as a pillar of strength who others can lean on, a shining example who inspires others to follow them. Coming a leading teacher in your field who students will seek out. You will also learn the following:

They will teach you the truth about being a teacher, the things that only really experienced teachers know about because they want you to succeed. Learn how to be a truly world-class teacher, separating yourself from the competition and creating a demand for your classes. This training can be used in other areas of teaching too (yoga, meditation, or martial arts).

They want you to go out and make a difference in the world. If your life path is to help people by teaching them Qigong, they are set up to help and support you along the way.

Why choose Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat?

  • The teachers did not learn from Youtube! Master Iain trained with some of the world’s best: Chinese Masters from China, Singapore, and Malaysia. Moreover, he still practices regularly, even after 41 years. Reading books, watching videos, and attending lectures will never replace experience. These are necessary starting points but it is a lifetime of practice that defines a genuine Master. Refuse to accept anything less.
  • They teach a broad and balanced Qigong program centered on some of the most effective systems. This is real undiluted Qigong that is rare to find elsewhere and has a clearly documented lineage.
  • They don’t just teach you how to do Qigong, they also teach the theory, psychology, and practice of teaching. This is a genuine teaching course.

What you will learn - Level 2:

How each of the Tong Ling Qigong exercises affects the different meridians.

Many of us are vaguely aware of the great benefits of Qigong meditation to our health and longevity but don’t really understand how it works. Here is an overview:

  • Qi (chi) circulates around our bodies, in a daily cycle, mainly but not entirely through pathways called meridians and vessels.
  • Qi is stored in energy centres / reservoirs called Tan Tiens.
  • The two main sources of chi are the Earth (Yin Qi) and the sky (Yang Qi).
  • When the Qi in our bodies is circulating freely and is balanced between Yin and Yang, we will enjoy good health.
  • Opening the meridians through stretching exercises and guiding Qi through them facilitates strong, smooth circulation of the Qi.
  • Drawing in fresh Qi from the earth and sky keeps our Qi plentiful and allows us to balance Yin and Yang.
  • Expelling stale or excess Qi keeps our Qi fresh and prevents it from becoming excessively strong.

The basic Qigong system that we teach is Tong Ling (clearing and circulating) Qigong. The system can be learned in one month – less with intensive private tuition – but takes time to practice. However, benefits can be felt immediately.

You will also learn:

  • Additional Qigong exercises for each specific meridian.
  • Exercises to stimulate/fill each tan tien.
  • Exercises for the belt channel: Dai Mei.
  • Yin-yang theory, 5 elements theory and their application to Qigong practise.
  • Shifting where your Chi is concentrated so as to alter your emotional state and body chemistry.
  • Balancing the elements by facing the 4 cardinal directions.
  • Further developing the microcosmic orbit.
  • Therapeutic applications of Qigong.
  • Nei Gung exercises for the internal organs.
  • Strengthening and expanding the aura of Chi around your body.
  • Tan tiens, vessels, meridians, points: more in depth study.
  • Key philosophies associated with Qigong: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
  • Common mistakes, important points to maintain.
  • Extended facial massage stimulating more points.
  • Qigong history.
  • Qigong and the environment, links between Qigong and Feng Shui.
  • Sensing the Chi of plants, animals and people.
  • Projecting Chi.
  • Healing with Chi.

Bodhidharma’s vein tendon Qigong. Hard Qigong for facia and joint health

Vein Tendon Qigong is a simple but effective system that tones all of the fascia in the body and increases its elasticity so that it can store energy. It is a straightforward system that emphasizes reverse abdominal breathing and therefore trains elasticity into the internal organs, energizing them and making them resilient to injury.

Sum Chien. Martial Qigong

‘Sum Chien’, meaning Three Wars or Three Battles is the original Shaolin internal power training exercise and is one of the most potent forms of Qigong (Chi Kung Training), practiced by many different styles of Kung Fu and Karate. The three battles in question are those which we fight within ourselves: the mental battle to master our mind, the physical battle to master our body and the spiritual battle to master our Qi (Chi) – which could be interpreted as both energy and breath. Collectively these ‘battles’ are the stages involved in mastering ourselves. They are a life’s work. Not everyone who embarks in the war to master themselves wins.

Shuang Yang Pei Ho. The Sun Frost White Crane internal art

Usually referred to as "Shuang Yang" for short, this is the internal form of the white crane art. It is performed in a very soft, relaxed way, gently opening the chi flow in the meridians, training elasticity into all of the tendons and massaging the internal organs. Whilst superficially very similar to Tai Chi, it is part of the Buddhist Shaolin tradition, rather than the Taoist Wutan tradition. Many people practice the Shuang Yang primarily to benefit their health, vitality, and longevity.

Whilst the slow, gentle nature of the training make it ideal for older or less fit people, make no mistake, this is a genuine martial art. The Shuang Yang art uses mostly the bow arrow stance, a longer stance than the tiger crane art. Weight is sunk down and movement is generated from the core of the body, moving out to the limbs like a wave through water. Training connects all of the tendons in the body into one resilient, elastic network with incredible strength.

All movements are performed with the whole body. Shuang Yang training is particularly suitable for China. It is the Chinese art of twisting joints, pressing pressure points, and sealing off the flow of breath or blood. As a crane art, the Shuang Yang develops touch sensitivity and encourages sticking to an opponent, neutralizing their attacks and then countering decisively.

Full moon Qigong practice

The moon cycles from full to new every twenty-nine and a half days. The cycle of the moon corresponds to the classic cycling of energy from yin to yang and back, with the full moon representing the most Yin point and the new moon representing the most yang. The yin or yang quality of energy (chi) to which we are exposed has a direct effect on our energy levels, emotions, and behavior. In very simple terms, our energy levels are highest at the full moon and lowest at the new moon. We only tend to be aware of this, however, when we follow the moon’s cycle. We can take great advantage of this by co-ordinating our Chi Kung practice with the cycling of the moon by practicing our Chi Kung and meditation at midnight, outside, under the rays of a full moon!

Abdominal breathing techniques

When practising Chi Kung we often use what is called abdominal breathing as a way to breathe more deeply and take in more oxygen and more chi. You will learn the full details of this, its benefits and how to teach it.

Daily Sample Schedule

06:00 - 09:15

  • Tong Ling Chi Kung
  • Sun Frost White Crane Art
  • Master Iain’s tea talk
  • Morning stretch.


  • Breakfast


  • Theory
  • Teaching practise.

11:00 - 13:00

  • Fitness session
  • Supervised self practice
  • Bodhidharma’s Vein Tendon Chi Kung or individual self study.


  • Theory
  • Teaching practise.

15:30 - 16:30

  • Fitness and flexibility.

16:30 - 18:00

  • Specialist content or individual self study.

9.75 hours/day, 5 days /week: 48.75 hours/week.

Wednesdays and Saturdays are rest days for relaxation and perhaps some self-study and meditation.

Qualifications: Qigong Instructor Level 2

Full 200-hour teacher training certification which builds upon the Level 1 course and includes much more theoretical background as well as coaching on how to manipulate your own chi and put it to use, for example, to heal yourself and others. This is a much deeper course and provides the 200-hour qualification that many employers now require.

Who is this course intended for? What are the entry requirements?

People with a strong desire to become a teacher, leader, and role model but who perhaps lack the time and the money to complete a longer course. It is open to those with no prior experience. Character values are important. If you are rude, disrespectful, lazy, or similar, this is not the right course for you!

What qualification does this lead to?

Successful completion of the Level 1 course will issue you a "Basic Qigong teacher certificate" covering 100 hours of intensive training. Focusing on the core exercises, how to teach them and how to best lead and inspire your students.

What will be your future progression?

$Successfully completing the Level 1 course gives you the opportunity to take on the Level 2 course. After the Level 2 course, if desired, you could apply for our Kung Fu Instructor training. This is not compulsory, though. They will do their best to support you with online training and a variety of future courses.

You will be welcome to stay and train at the Kung Fu Retreat when you want. Ideally, they want you to succeed as a teacher, leader, and role model and to expand the kung fu family. They will do what they reasonably can to support you with this.

What you will need to do to pass

  • Attend the lessons. A minimum attendance rate of 80% is required.
  • Conduct yourself in a fashion worthy of an instructor i.e. with dignity and respect.
  • Follow the code of conduct.
  • Make a reasonable effort with your training.

Most people will pass. Displays of bad character, rudeness, aggression, disrespect, argument and similar may stand in the way of your receiving a teacher’s certificate. The school expects anyone representing them as a teacher to lead by example with good character values.

Does the teaching certificate need to be renewed every 2 years?

Yes. The school is dedicated to maintaining a high standard amongst its teachers. Hence, they require teachers to pursue their own training. They believe that if the teachers slack on their own training and let their standards drop, it will bring the whole association and its teachers and students into disrepute.

What you have to do to renew your teaching certificate


  • Complete at least 14 days of training per two years (i.e. an average of 1 week/year) with a "master level" teacher OR
  • Complete a 1-week instructor’s refresher course.

Online renewal is coming soon and will avoid the need for you to attend in person.

Will you have to pay for your certification renewal?

No, training is charged as usual. Provided that you complete the training, certificate renewal is free of charge.

What resources will the school supply?

You will be supplied with Master Iain’s book, "Get Your Health Back Fast With Chinese Chi Kung": receive a digital copy after paying and a hard copy on arrival. %You will be given access to a large volume of notes, videos, and pictures stored online.

What support will the school give you as a newly qualified teacher

They will help with publicizing your classes where they can, provide letters of endorsement, give you access to the logos, supply uniforms, etc.

Included excursions

As part of your learning about Chi and the environment, you will make a trip to practice your Qigong on a mountaintop and in a cave. You will also practice sensing the Chi of trees, plants, and animals. Depending on demand, the school might also arrange a day trip to explore the beauty of the local area.


Master Iain Armstrong



The Nam Yang Mountain Kung Fu Retreat School is designed to be the ultimate martial arts training and meditation venue. It is set on 2.1 acres of land on the side of a mountain spur, bordering the jungle and maintaining awesome views across the Pai river valley to mountains rising steadily to the Himalayas.

In the early morning, when you begin training, the mountains are usually shrouded in mist which gradually clears as the sun rises. The school is built in the local Shan style architecture according to Chinese Feng Shui principles. Thailand is a great country. It is one of the most popular destinations for international travelers. Thailand is close enough to Singapore that their top masters can travel easily.

The North of Thailand has some of the very best chi in the world. It flows down from the Himalayas. This makes for a perfect place to practice chi kung and seriously boosts health and vitality. This was the primary reason for choosing the location of Nam Yang. The Pai Valley is an area of incredible natural beauty. High in the mountains, it epitomizes the Kung Fu dream of training in the pure, fresh air with awesome views, away from the distractions of modern life and the pollution of modern cities.

It is easy to grow and prepare healthy natural food in the farmland around Pai which allows you to eat the sort of diet that supports your training. Thailand is a fairly economical country in which to operate. It is not the cheapest in the world but is very cheap compared to western countries. The Pai district is popular with tourists because there are so many things to do. You will have two days off each week and have a fairly long break from training in the middle of the day.

A stay at the mountain retreat can be a holiday as well as a training experience. Nam Yang Mountain Retreat is located in the foothills of the mountains overlooking the Pai river valley in the northern part of Mae Hong Son, Thailand’s remote North Western province. Mae Hong Son translates as ‘the land of mist’. It is dominated by fairly high, forested mountains and is sparsely inhabited, mainly by Thailand’s famous hill tribes.

Pai is the main tourist center in Mae Hong Son province and is ideally suited to receive and entertain foreigners. It has a population of about 3000 who, at peak times, are heavily outnumbered by tourists. Pai acts as a hub for activities and excursions, such as trekking, elephant riding, caving, ox-cart riding, rafting, off-road driving or motorcycling, waterfalls, temples, and hill tribes.

The favorite way to get around for most is to rent a small motorcycle for about 80 THB per day. It contains a multitude of bars and restaurants with very reasonable prices. There are many market stalls selling local food and goods, and shops selling any supplies you are really likely to need. As you would expect in Thailand, the town also boasts a number of beautiful Buddhist temples run by monks.



  • Gym


  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant


  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Wireless internet


For most of the guests, food is a highlight of their stay!

During this training, you will be served breakfast daily and evening meals on training days (5 days a week). The kitchen gardens and orchards provide healthy, organic food which they collect and serve fresh. They specialize in growing herbs. Whilst they are not able to grow all of their own food, they support poor farmers in the hill tribe villages by buying food directly from them at market prices ensuring that they get a good income and they get the best quality fresh food.

Because they grow the food naturally, the supply is seasonal. Different fruits and vegetables come into season at different times of the year. September to October is perhaps the most prolific month. The hot, dry season from March to April yields the least. Food is prepared with an emphasis on the use of beneficial herbs to increase its value.

The diet is calculated to best support the Qigong training. They understand that you are what you eat. Food prepared on-site is as fresh, organic, and healthy as possible and is usually delicious in local Thai or Shan style or occasionally Chinese or southern Thai style.

What they are growing

  • Vegetables: Aubergines, gourds, a variety of greens, cucumbers, pumpkins, winter melons, green beans, Chinese radish, dill, carrots, sweetcorn, bamboo shoots
  • Fruit: Mangoes bananas, papaya, red dates, passion fruit, jackfruit, oranges, pomelos, limes, cafir limes, lum yai, Thai custard apples, tamarind, pineapple, guava, pomegranate
  • Trees which they have planted but which have not yet borne fruit: durian, avocado, egg fruit, coconut, star fruit, rambutan, lychee, snake fruit
  • Herbs: Moringa, ginger, Thai ginger, lemongrass, holy basil, sweet basil, coriander, turmeric/curcumin, blue pea, mint, aloe vera, eucalyptus, black pepper
  • Coffee

Meals start with one or two types of fruit and usually some salad. There are then typically two main dishes with rice. Most dishes are vegetarian but they do serve meat. There will always be at least one vegan dish as part of each meal. if you need a specialist diet, please let them know.

Drinking water is supplied free with meals and is available from the kitchen free of charge at any time for resident students. You will also be served specialist teas around two to four times a day. Either high-quality Chinese tea, something integrally connected with Kung Fu training, or herbal tea for health benefits.

The instructors eat in the dining area together with the students, which is a testimony to the quality of the food and helps provide a good ethos for the school. Mealtimes are therefore ideal for discussing Qigong, Kung Fu, and asking questions. Almost any style of food can be purchased in Pai such as Italian, western, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian, and more.

The local diet is based mainly on rice, meat, fresh-water fish, vegetables, fruit, and spices. However, seafood is relatively expensive in the mountains. Local fruit and vegetables are great, fresh, and very cheap. Please note the school does not supply lunches.

Most of the students prefer to choose their own lunch from the wide variety on sale in the town. Since they draw students from a very wide variety of countries and cultures the food that they serve will be different from what many people are used to. Choosing a lunch that they are used to seems to be very helpful for many of the people who have recently arrived.

They do have a student fridge available to store food so if you do not wish to go to town every lunchtime, no problem. It is also very easy to ask someone to buy you lunch from the town and food delivery services now operate in Pai – so you can simply order food in! Many people choose to eat fruit for lunch, a choice influenced by the abundance of high-quality local fruit available very cheaply.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Pai is a hub for adventure tourism. Most of the students hire a moped so as to get around and appreciate what the area has to offer. Moped hire is very cheap. Safety first is recommended when dealing with mopeds. There is a huge range of activities available locally, including:

  • Chinese tea growing communities
  • Elephant camps
  • Exploring caves, with or without guides
  • Nightlife in Pai town
  • Off-road motorcycling or driving
  • Rafting, either a serene trip down the Pai river or more adventurous white water rafting
  • Swimming in pools or in rivers
  • Tubing
  • Visiting hill tribe villages
  • Visiting temples
  • Walking
  • Waterfalls
  • Ziplining

Spa treatments

There is a masseuse available on call who specializes in traditional Thai massage, herb massage, and oil massage. The cost of the massage starts at 200 THB per hour. Compared to prices in the West, this is ridiculously cheap!

What's included

  • 9.75 hours of training for 5 days each week
  • All training mentioned in the program
  • Internationally recognized 100-hour Qigong instructor certificate on successful completion of the course
  • Course textbook: "Get your health back FAST with Chinese Chi Kung" by Master Iain Armstrong
  • Video footage of all of the routines taught as part of this course
  • 28 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast and evening meals five days a week
  • Drinking water and teas made with beneficial herbs
  • Use of all facilities including gym and training areas when not being used for teaching

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Additional activities
  • Goods purchases
  • Insurance
  • Kung Fu gradings
  • All lunches
  • Personal expenses
  • Private tuition

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

The best way arrive in Thailand is to fly to Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is much nearer to the Kung Fu Retreat but Bangkok has more flights and is usually cheaper. There is an abundance of hotels, guest houses, etc. in Bangkok to suit all budgets, should you need to arrange an overnight stay. There are usually a lot of good deals available on Ebookers and similar budget airfare sites. Otherwise, search individual airlines and check what deals they are offering.

  • To Chiang Mai

For flights, check BangkokAir as they should come in at 1000-2000 Baht each way and take about 1 hour 15 minutes. You could get an overnight sleeper train from Bangkok’s central station, Hua Lam Pong, for a little over 1000 Baht each way. Booking in advance is recommended. Please be aware that trains in Thailand often run very late.

The trains are very comfortable and afford great views of the Thai countryside. If you are on a very tight budget, you can go to Kao San Road in Bangkok and get an overnight coach for about 300 Baht or so. This is the least comfortable way to travel. They recommend the flight, especially if you have not spent much time in Thailand before.

Arrival by taxi or minibus to Pai

You have a choice between taking a minibus or taxi:

  • Minibus

The minibus trip from Chiang Mai is about 150 Baht and has awesome views. It takes about three and a half hours, most of which is spent on amazing winding roads through mountains the like of which you have probably never seen before. The views are breathtaking and the journey is an adventure in itself so they recommend that you travel during daylight.

You will want to book with the provider Prempracha Transport. To get there from the airport, simply take a taxi with a meter or a Tuk Tuk to Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station. It should take 15 to 30 minutes depending on traffic and cost very little. On the Prempracha Transport website, you can book your seat in advance and pick up your bus ticket once you arrive at the bus station. Once you arrive, if you didn’t book your seat in advance, you will need to book on to the next available minibus.

Minibuses run between about 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. If you arrive in Chiang Mai later than about 3:30 p.m., you are likely to need to either stay overnight in Chiang Mai or get a taxi to the Kung Fu Retreat. If staying overnight, which is the cheapest option, they recommend that you still go to the Prempracha office when you arrive and book on to a minibus for the next day.

Then look for a guesthouse. You should be able to get a nice room near the centre of Chiang Mai with fan for 400 - 500 THB. If in doubt, try looking on Tripadvisor.

  • Taxi

They can arrange for a taxi from Pai to come to the airport to meet you. Alternatively, you could speak with drivers in the taxi rank outside the airport. Recently taxis have been charging about 4,200 Baht for the trip. This does vary and will likely be higher if late at night or in December/January.

If they arrange a taxi for you, they will need to pay in advance so please do not pay the driver otherwise he will think that he has just got the best tip of his life and likely take a week off! If you do want to give a tip, 100 – 250 Baht would be about right. If you want to book a taxi through them, please let them know so that they can arrange the taxi. They do ask for at least a 48-hour notice when possible and will do as best as they can to assist you.

Arrival by taxi from Pai to the Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat

When you first arrive in Pai the easiest way to get to them is simply to book a taxi. The taxis are a little way up the main street. Motorcycle is the cheapest taxi and should cost less than 100 THB. For a minibus/car 200 to 250. Ask for Kung Fu or Kun Iain/Kun Pu/Kung Fu Retreat. Alternatively, hire a moped and ride to the Kung Fu Retreat. It will take about 10 minutes.

Directions from Pai to Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat

Head out of town towards the airport/Mae Hong Son. On the far side of the airport, turn right, parallel to the runway. They are the first turn on the left, about 400 meters down the road, on a sharp right-hand bend. They have a prominent sign. A little way before the sign is a flashing orange sign signaling sharp bend/left-hand turn.

Airport: Chiang Mai International Airport Airport transfer available: Chiang Mai International Airport (US$108 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
29 days / 28 nights
from --
Training information

If you have already taken the Level 1 course and would like to only take the Level 2 course, please just let Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat know and they will help you book the Level 2 course by itself (June 15 to 29, 2022 or January 21 to February 4, 2023).

Wednesday June 29, 2022
(29 days / 28 nights)

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