One of our greatest strengths is the quality and experience of our teachers. We have one of the best kung fu teacher line ups in the world. Our principle teachers all speak absolutely fluent English and are used to teaching westerners as well as Asians.
Grand Master Tan Soh Tin
Head of Nam Yang Pugilistic Association.
Master Tan is one of the world’s leading authorities on old style Shaolin kung fu and one of the very few old Chinese kung fu masters to speak fluent English. He has been training in Shaolin kung fu for 59 years now. He was born in Singapore to Chinese parents during the second world war and has seen great changes during his lifetime.
Master Tan’s knowledge is an encyclopedia of kung fu. More than this, he has the depth of wisdom which is always expected of an old school kung fu master but is seldom found.
Master Tan usually stays at the Kung Fu retreat from December to January and during May – June. Please mail us for details.
Master Iain Armstrong
1st disciple student of Master Tan, head of Nam Yang’s UK branch and two times world champion.
Master Iain is famous for his high quality kung fu teaching, his instructional films and magazine articles and for the extremely successful competition and demonstration teams which he coaches. He is a mine of information but retains a very practical, down to earth, and realistic approach.
Iain learned his fighting skills on the streets of South London and has never forgotten those lessons. Over the years, he has coached the British full contact team, judged the world championships, washed in broken glass, been hit with a tree felling axe in front of 10,000 people in Trafalgar Square, met the queen of England, organised a lion dance for 10 Downing Street and promoted professional fight competitions.
He writes a column for ‘Combat’ magazine, sits on the executive committee of the BCCMA (British Council for Chinese Martial Arts) and is the organizer and chief referee for the Britain’s traditional kung fu and lion dance championships.
Iain is charged with running the Nam Yang Mountain Retreat and is present for 8-9 months each year, usually from May – September and late October – February. In between these times he teaches at the Nam Yang schools in a variety of countries including the UK, Italy and Russia.
Iain in action:
“I’ve been working through Iain’s book, and have got up to the start of Chapter 9 so far, very inspiring. The only problem is, I just want to start putting it into practice, and am having a hard time sitting still and reading!” – Gillian (PhD)
Master Dougal Simmons
Senior Student of Master Tan and instructor at Nam Yang Pugilistic Association, Singapore.
One of the few westerners to be accepted as a kung fu instructor in a predominantly Chinese community such as that in Singapore. Dougal has an excellent memory for routines and a wealth of experience from his many years in Singapore.
Dougal, along with other kung fu teachers, makes periodic visits to the Kung Fu Retreat.
We believe that our masters are the best because they all have very many years of real, traditional kung fu training behind them, are all loyal and dedicated to our association and know how to handle themselves in a real fight, not just in training.
Jan is a highly dedicated martial artist who excels in a wide range of skills. A fast learner and ‘Kung Fu natural’ he has a wealth of training and experience with the Nam Yang family and serves as a great example of the Kung Fu spirit and ethics. He recently decided to leave Europe and fully dedicate himself to training and teaching Kung Fu. He has a big repertoire of techniques from the Tiger Crane combination and the Shaolin weapons and a deep understanding of meditation. If you ever get overwhelmed with learning new moves and routines, Jan will always be happy to assist you. His natural, patient way of teaching will help make your stay at the Kung Fu Retreat a truly great experience.
Jan is based permanently at the Kung Fu Retreat and often leads the teaching.