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This highly concentrated 200-hour course is intended for those with a strong desire to teach, a thirst for the best instruction, but limited time to train. Those who take part should be capable of training 50 hours a week for four weeks. It leads to an internationally recognized teaching certificate as a level one Instructor and gives access to the level 2 teacher training course.
The rooms at Nam Yang are very spacious and comfortable with fan and en-suite shower room and toilet or washroom. You could choose between a private or shared room. The school itself is built in the local Shan style architecture according to Chinese Feng Shui principles. They grow their own vegetables. There are also kitchen and dining area where food are prepared using homegrown ingredients wherever possible. There’s wireless internet which is free to all those staying in the school.
The course takes place at the Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat, a dedicated, full-time, international Kung Fu training center and it will be taught by the senior
instructors present. Master Iain Armstrong, the head teacher, is heavily involved in teaching this course and will deal directly with each student. This is a chance to achieve the dream of a lifetime and become a Shaolin Kung Fu teacher to help, teach, and empower others.
During this training, you will learn Tong Ling Qigong for health and longevity and soft Qigong, an ideal complement to hard Kung Fu training. You will learn four initial lessons to learn the exercise routines and practice sessions on most days with Instructors working around and correcting you.
You will experience real Qigong practice in an ideal environment and additional theory lessons about the body’s energy system, benefits to non-verbals, character traits, emotional health, countering stress and anger, and the power of calm. You will experience a full moon Qigong practice and lessons on how to teach along teaching practice.
The "hard" Chi Kung to develop muscles, tendons and fascia and joints. Contrary to what we are often led to believe our strength is limited by the development of our fascia, not our muscle! And our ability to withstand blows is determined not by how strong we are at our strongest point but how strong we are at our weakest points – it is the weak points that give way. 1,500 years of constant practice have given rise to this astonishingly simple but effective system.
Introductory lessons including breathing with the diaphragm, abdominal compression, building elasticity in the fascia, opening the joints and using the whole body as a single unit. Benefits to non-verbals, character traits etc. You will have a daily practice for 15 minutes and will learn how to teach and teaching practice.
Internal kung fu at its most developed. This is the soft form of the revered Shaolin White Crane Art as taught in the temple in Quan Zhou, Fukien Province, China. Daily practise building by roughly three postures a day including martial application. Correction and concentrated feedback by experienced teachers.
Theory on history, background, the names of the moves and their benefits to health (physical, mental and emotional), lifestyle, wisdom, consciousness and enlightenment along with supervised teaching practice.
The most essential training method of real Kung Fu, often thought of as the ‘hard’ expression of kung fu, in its original form (as they will teach to you) it is a mixture of hard and soft. This famous routine trains mind, body, spirit, emotion and, linking them all together, breath. As the old masters of Kung Fu agreed, if you only learn one routine, learn this one.
You will learn the moves and drill through them so as to reform your body, learn the theory so as to unlock the deeper aspects and less obvious benefits, and learn how to teach Sum Chien and practice on the rest of your group.
A flexible body is important for the practice of Kung Fu and Qigong. They know a lot of secrets as to how to stretch your body out and in so doing open your meridians. You will also learn detailed theory of how to stretch, enjoy regular practice, and also theory and practice on how to teach.
The hallmark of Shaolin Kung Fu, this is generally considered very advanced but we will train you in the basics during your stay. You will learn clear explanation of the concept, learn the training exercises, and try the training circuit with specialized equipment at the Kung Fu gym.
You will learn five different kicks drawn from traditional Kung Fu; groin kick, front thrust kick, side thrust kick, heel kick, and crane kick.
You will learn the real story of Shaolin from its founder, the Indian monk Bodhidharma to present, insights into the hidden world of Kung Fu, and enjoy question time with Master Iain who has lived 37 years in this fascinating culture and traveled to over 30 countries in pursuit of real Kung Fu.
You will learn basics of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism as well as how they relate to the arts.
You will learn about the "Nam Yang Code of Conduct" and how it relates to the philosophies of basics of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, understanding the culture of Kung Fu and why family values are so important.
The Kung Fu "wrestling" exercise which trains stability, touch sensitivity, evasion, balance, and reaction. You will have an introductory lesson, periodic lessons on technique, and daily practice.
Everyone gets to break one or more roof tiles and has the option of a concrete block.
Daily practice in toughening the hands and wrists.
During this sessions you will learn how to teach, how to lead, how to motivate, and how to inspire. "Great teaching is less about filling a bucket than about lighting a fire".
You will learn how to run your own Kung Fu group. Your training will extend over six days a week with Saturday being a rest day and a half day on Wednesday.
The total of the training will be a total of nine hours per day and 50 hours a week.
Master Iain is a Kung Fu philosopher and author with 36 years of living Kung Fu. Trained personally by Grand Master Tan Soh Tin in Singapore, he’s a two-time world champion and veteran of real street battles. Famous for his high-quality Kung Fu teaching, his instructional films and magazine articles, and for his demonstrations of Iron Shirt Qigong, Master Iain is a mine of information but retains a very practical, down to earth, and realistic approach. Most people who meet him are struck by his air of calm, patience, and wisdom.
Andrew is a very patient, clear Instructor. He has a good eye for detail and a calming nature about him. His favourite aspect of teaching is helping others achieve their goals of self-improvement and seeing their progress. The way that all aspects of Kung Fu link together as a martial art and in life is what fascinates him most about it. Andrew teaches our traditional fighting lessons, assists Master Iain with instructor training and takes charge of discussions on kung fu culture, philosophy and wisdom if Master Iain is away.
This Kung Fu training course will take place in Nam Yang Mountain Retreat, 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.
The mountain retreat 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 which rise steadily to the Himalayas.
The training facilities include two octagonal training areas: an open area 18 by 18 meters and a roofed area 13 by 13 meters with two centimeters thick mats throughout. There is also a training circuit with poles, a tyre dummy, punch bags, and parallel bars. Additional facilities include a prayer house, which may be used for meditation or prayer, an office, and a huge statue of Tat Moh (Bodhidharma), the Shaolin founder.
The mountain retreat provides fantastic photo and video opportunities, with constantly changing views according to the season. It is also sheltered behind a mountain ridge so that no built-up areas are within view - only farms, small villages, and forested mountains - but is in fact only five minute ride from the lively town of Pai with its multitude of restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. so you really do get the best of both worlds!
The mountain retreat is designed to give a complete experience, providing the best training, food, fun, air, medicine, views and rest. This way, you get the best experience and the best results. You can expect to leave the Nam Yang Mountain Retreat feeling healthier, stronger, and more alert than when you arrived.
Thailand is a great country. It is one of the most popular destinations for international travellers. If you are going to stay somewhere, why not stay somewhere really nice? It is close enough to Singapore that the 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 pure, fresh air with awesome views well away from the distractions of modern life and the pollution of modern cities.
Quality food is essential for martial artists in hard training. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat has their own kitchen garden, herb garden, and fruit trees. They are fully self-sufficient for rice and papaya and largely self-sufficient for vegetables. Nam Yang also produces a fair amount of fruit, according to season.
What Nam Yang doesn’t grow themselves, they choose carefully. They prepare local style food but use selected medicinal herbs to improve its value. The diet is calculated to best support the Kung Fu training.
Food prepared on site is as fresh, organic, and healthy as possible and is usually delicious local Thai or Shan style, or sometimes Chinese or southern Thai style. Meals start with one or two types of fruit and possibly some salad.
Typically, there will be two main dishes with rice. Most dishes are vegetarian but some meat and fish are also served. There will always be at least one vegetarian dish with each meal. Nam Yang also tries their best to cater for specialist diets.
Nam Yang supplies breakfast daily and evening meals on training days. Drinking water is supplied free with meals and is available from the kitchen free of charge at any time for resident students.
The instructors eat in the dining area, together with the students, which is testimony to the quality of the food and helps provide a good ethos for the school. Meal times are therefore ideal for discussing Kung Fu and asking questions.
Almost any style of food can be purchased in Pai (Italian, Western, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian, etc). The local diet is based mainly around 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.
During the off days, you could explore Pai Town around and about. Pai acts as a hub for activities and excursions, for example trekking (usually with overnight stay at a hill tribe village), elephant riding, caving, ox cart riding, rafting, off road driving or motorcycling and visiting waterfalls, temples, hill tribes, and many more.
Chiang Mai International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$131 per person
Please book your flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Chiang Mai is much nearer to the Kung Fu Retreat but Bangkok has more flights and is usually cheaper. Transfer from and to the airport is available upon request.
If on a budget, Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat recommends you fly to Bangkok to Chiang Mai, then to take a minibus / Aya Service to Pai and a taxi to the retreat from there. The flights from Chiang Mai to Pai Airport (PYY) are currently no longer available. For airport transfers from Chiang Mai to the retreat, Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat can arrange a taxi from Chiang Mai Airport (CNX) to the retreat for around 4100 THB (131 USD).
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 THB or so to Chiang Mai. This is the least comfortable way to travel.
To get to Pai, take a minibus trip that costs about 200 THB 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 Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat recommends that you travel during daylight.
When you arrive in Pai, the easiest way to get to retreat center is simply to book a taxi. The taxis are a little way up the main street from the AYA Service office. Motorcycle is the cheapest taxi and should cost less than 100 THB.
If you arrive in Bangkok, you could get an overnight sleeper train from the central station, Hua Lam Pong, to Chiang Mai for a little over 1000 THB 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.
Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat can arrange for a taxi to come to the airport to meet you. Alternatively, you could speak with drivers in the taxi rank outside the airport but Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat recommends you settle on a price before heading off.
If Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat arranges 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.
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