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Calm your mind, heal your body, and balance your energy with the ancient art of Chinese Qigong - literally ‘energy work’. This course teaches Tong Ling Qigong for health and longevity, Bodhidharma’s vein tendon Chi Kung for developing the fascia, joints, and strength, sun frost white crane Tai Chi, and a variety of meditation exercises to refresh, rejuvenate, and renew mind as well as body!
You will be staying at Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat. 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 a very easy walking distance of the training facilities and the restaurant.
There are two types of room, shared and private rooms. Shared rooms can accommodate two people. They are spacious, have separate bathrooms and toilet 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 centre of the retreat, which gives a quieter feel. Nam Yang also supplies communal tea and coffee making facilities and fridges.
The rooms are very spacious and comfortable with fan and en-suite shower room and toilet or wash room. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat have wireless internet which is free to all those staying.
Two large training areas. Both with breathtaking views. One is open air, perfect for early morning Chi Kung. The other is roofed and matted but unwalled to ensure a constant circulation of fresh air. Ideal when the sun is hot.
This is divided into a matted training area, a hard floor training area and an area with equipment such as the general's pole, punch bags, kicking dummies, weights, parallel bars, chin up bars, gymnastics rings, and much more. It is designed to provide serious kung fu students with all that they need. It is not at all a hotel gym.
Restaurant or kitchen serving healthy food cooked with medicinal herbs. Tea and coffee making facilities. Library, washing machines, and clotheslines. Wi-Fi good enough for video calls and to stream video. The retreat has a good stock of training equipment including weapons, focus mitts, kick shields, skipping ropes, and much more.
The kitchen, gardens, and orchards provide healthy, organic food which you collect and serve fresh. They specialize in growing herbs. Whilst they are not able to grow all of your own food - you 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 you get the best quality food.
Additional facilities include a prayer house, which may be used for meditation or prayer, an office, and a huge statue of Tat Moh (Boddhidharma) the Shaolin founder.
Many are vaguely aware of the great benefits of Qigong and meditation to health and longevity but do not really understand how it works. Here is an overview. Chi (or Qi) circulates around the body in a daily cycle, mainly but not entirely through pathways called meridians and vessels. Chi is stored in energy centers or reservoirs called tan tiens. The two main sources of chi are the earth (yin chi) and the sky (yang chi). When the chi in the body is circulating freely, and is balanced between yin and yang, you will enjoy good health.
Opening the meridians through stretching exercises and guiding chi through them facilitates strong, smooth circulation of the chi. Drawing in fresh chi from the earth and sky keeps our chi plentiful and allows us to balance yin and yang. Expelling stale or excess chi keeps your chi fresh and prevents it becoming excessively strong. By its nature, Qigong is simple and easy yet amazingly effective. Anyone can practice it successfully, regardless of age or fitness. The essential requirements are a properly trained instructor and good, fresh air.
Usually referred to as "Shuang Yang" (sun frost) 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 normal 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.
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. Benefits of the Shuang Yang art: Shuang Yang training gently stretches and releases the body’s tendons in a slow rhythmic fashion, increasing its strength, and stimulating chi to flow. Shuang Yang practice involves a great deal of flexing and twisting in the torso, as well as opening the meridians and energizing the tendons, which strengthens muscles which we do not usually use.
It also wrings out and cleans the internal organs, pushes fluids along their course and manipulates the joints of the spine, keeping them moving freely to promote a healthy spine and body. Shuang Yang training is performed in a meditative state and is a genuine "meditation in motion". It requires sinking of the chi, calming of the mind, and breathing from the core of the body. Regular practice greatly improves health, vitality, and combats ageing.
In line with a long tradition, Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat takes great care in making their tea!
The meditation program includes mainstream Buddhist meditation for mindfulness and awareness, meditation on the Chi energy - circulating, guiding and strengthening, self-healing meditation, visualization, and manifestation. It shuts down the chatter of the mind and focuses you. Students aim to become concentrated, effective individuals able to work as a force for good.
Vein Tendon Qigong is a simple but effective system which tones all of the fascia in the body and increases its elasticity so that it can store energy. It is a straightforward system which emphasizes reverse abdominal breathing and therefore trains elasticity into the internal organs, energizing them and making them resilient to injury.
Further practice of Sun Frost White Crane Tai Chi. Pushing hands: touch sensitivity exercise with a partner which develops connectedness, stability, grounding, and awareness. Further meditation. On Tuesdays a trip to Mae Kong Temple for a special meditation in a very unique environment.
Beginning with a short physical warm up, this is a very intense stretching session with particular emphasis on hips and spine. It opens the meridians and releases bad energy, bad experiences, and bad emotions trapped in the fascia, especially around the hips. It is also great for improving posture which in turn completely transforms our dominant emotions and moods.
Classes covering advanced breathing techniques, relaxation drills, and further meditation. Tuesday afternoon also includes chanting. Thursday afternoon includes detailed small group tuition on the Sun Frost White Crane Tai Chi.
Early nights are recommended.
Friday is a special day. As usual the training will begin at 6:00 a.m., but you will head out of the retreat to a local beauty spot (different one each week) where you will practice Qigong, sun frost white crane tai chi, and perhaps meditation and appreciate the different energy. Mountain tops, giant Buddha statues, viewpoints, and waterfalls are amongst the venues Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat chooses. You will return to the Retreat at 9:15 a.m. for breakfast.
After breakfast, Friday is mindfulness day on which you will engage in a full day of quiet, deep meditation, and Qigong practice. Meditations include laying, sitting, standing, and walking with a variety of guided journeys delivered by a teacher. You will also engage in quiet, mindful practice of the sun frost white crane Tai Chi, gentle stretching, and active relaxation. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m. followed at 7:00 p.m. by evening Qigong practice.
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.
Michael is an enthusiastic teacher whilst at the same time maintaining a very relaxed attitude. He first came to the Kung Fu Retreat in 2015 and loved what he found so much that he returned home and worked hard until he had saved enough money to return and join the instructor training program. He intends in the future to open his own kung fu school. Although he has lived most of his life in the US Michael is originally from Guatemala and speaks Spanish as well as English. He is very interested in the history of Shaolin Kung Fu and Nam Yang Pugilistic Association.
This training will take place in Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat, Pai, Thailand. When Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat set out to design the Kung Fu Retreat, they inspired to make all of their dreams about a perfect Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and meditation school come become reality. They spent many years choosing the ideal location then set about building a full time, a residential school with all of the elements needed by serious students and teachers alike.
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. It is easy to grow and prepare healthy, natural food in the farmland around Pai and this allows you to eat the sort of diet which best supports your training.
This area is famous amongst the Chinese for having some of the best chi in the world. It flows down from the plateau of Tibet, high in the Himalayas towards the lower land to the south. This makes it perfect for the practice of Kung Fu And Chi Kung.
Pai is an incredible town with a unique culture. It is massively popular with travelers and has all of the facilities that you might want. Very easy to get by in English. A fun town where everyone wants to stay longer.
The retreat is set on two acres of land on the side of a mountain spur, bordering the jungle, and with awesome views across the Pai river valley to mountains which rise steadily to the mighty Himalayas.
In the early morning, when you begin training, the mountains are usually shrouded in mist which gradually clears as the sun rises. Indeed, the sun rises are a highlight of many people's stay. The school is built in the local Shan style architecture according to Chinese Feng Shui principles.
The views from the retreat are truly awesome and all of the rooms are built so that when you walk out of your front door you get the full impact. Most of their students say that although the pictures look amazing they do not do justice to the reality!
For most of Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat guests, the food is one of the highlights of their stay. 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 all of which are entirely organic. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat is now partially self-sufficient for fruit and vegetables. What they don’t grow by themselves, they will choose carefully usually from the local farmers' market or from people they know well.
The rice is bought from a rather remote hill tribe village in the mountains. By buying rice directly from poor ethnic minorities, they support their families. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat prepares local style food with an emphasis on the use of beneficial herbs to increase its value. Their diet is calculated to best support your training as they understand that you are what you eat.
Food prepared on site is as fresh, organic and healthy as possible and is usually delicious local Thai or Shan style, or occasionally Chinese or southern Thai style. Meals will start with one or two types of fruit and usually some salad. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat then typically serves two main dishes with rice. Most dishes are vegetarian but Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat does serve meat. There will always be at least one vegan dish as part of each meal. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat will also try their best to cater for specialist diets.
Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat supply 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. They also serve specialist teas 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. Almost any style of food can be purchased in Pai, (Italian, western, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian, and much more).
The local diet is based mainly around rice, meat, fresh-water fish, vegetables, fruit, and spices. Kindly note that seafood is relatively expensive in the mountains. Local fruit and vegetables are great, fresh, and very cheap.
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:
There is also a masseuse available on call who specializes in traditional Thai massage, herb massage, and oil massage. The cost of the massage is 200 TBH per hour. Compared to prices in the West, this is ridiculously cheap.
Chiang Mai International Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Arriving at Chiang Mai is much nearer to the Kung Fu Retreat, but Bangkok has more flights and is usually cheaper. Once in Bangkok, you can book a domestic flight to Chiang Mai.
Once in Chiang Mai, take a minibus to Pai. Minibus trip 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 views are breathtaking and the journey is an adventure.
You are recommended to travel during daylight. The most popular minibus provider is AYA service. Their office in Chiang Mai is opposite the train station. Book the next available minibus if you have not booked already.
Once you arrive in Bangkok, you can get an overnight sleeper train from Bangkok’s central station, Hua Lam Phong, for around 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.
Minibuses run between about 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 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, it is recommended that you still go to the AYA service office when you arrive and book a minibus for the next day. Then look for a guesthouse nearby. You should get a nice room with fan for 400 to 500 THB.
Once in Chiang Mai, take the 25-minute flight to Pai Airport (PYY). When you first arrive in Pai, the easiest way to get to Kung Fu Retreat is simply to book a taxi. The taxis are a little way up the main street from the AYA service office. A motorcycle is the cheapest taxi and should cost less than 100 Baht. For a minibus or taxi car, it will be 200 THB to 250 THB. For further information, please kindly to send Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat an inquiry.
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