Shaolin Kung Fu traces its history back to about 420 AD when the sage Bodhidharma taught his unique exercises to the monks of Shaolin.

Nam Yang Pugilistic Association was founded in 1954 in Singapore by Great Grand Master Ang Lian Huat to continue the unbroken lineage.

We are a Kung Fu family which has now spread across the globe and are dedicated to the practise, spirit and philosophy of real Chinese Kung Fu. We use the ancient teachings of Kung Fu to help overcome the challenges of modern life, advance our members and help improve our society. To help achieve these goals we need to train teachers and leaders. This new style concentrated course is intended to produce the next wave of teachers who will help spread the benefits of our training and, in so doing, our society and its people in this time of need.

In one month we can not make you into a legendary Kung Fu master but we can get you off to a good start.

In the words of Kung Fu Grand Master Tan Soh Tin:

"In Kung Fu you need to do only two things to achieve success: start and not give up!"


Benefits of this course:

  • Join one of the most established international Kung Fu families.
  • Learn to empower people with confidence, self esteem, strength, health, fitness, wisdom and inner peace.
  • Defend your self and others.
  • Learn how to speak with your body language, facial expression and eye contact.
  • Embark on a continuing journey of learning and discovery.
  • Extend your personal boundaries, conquer your limitations.
  • Lead the way in shaping future generations.


This course includes both hard and soft Kung Fu and Qigong; examines the history, traditions, ethos, culture and philosophy of real Kung Fu and includes practical down to Earth training on how to teach, how to lead people and ‘people skills’. Experienced teachers know that these skills will make or break you as a teacher!



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. A reasonable level of physical fitness is desirable.

Since the schedule is very demanding, only the dedicated should apply.

Character values are important. If you are rude, disrespectful, lazy or similar this is not the right course for you!

What will I learn?
Tong Ling Qigong for Health and Longevity. Soft Qigong, an ideal complement to hard Kung Fu training.
  • 4 initial lessons to learn the exercise routines.
  • Practise sessions most days – with instructors working around and correcting you.
  • Experience real Qigong practise in an ideal environment.
  • Additional theory lessons: the body’s energy system, benefits to non verbals, character traits, emotional health etc, countering stress and anger – the power of calm.
  • Full moon Qigong practise.
  • Lessons on how to teach / teaching practise. The only real way to learn is to do it!
  Bodhidharma’s Vein – Tendon Qigong. ‘Hard’ Qigong to develop muscles, tendons / 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! 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 practise have given rise to this astonishingly simple but effective system. Introductory lessons include:
  • 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 and psychology.
  • How to teach.
Daily practise is for 15 minutes.   Shuang Yang Pei Ho Rou Rouan Chien. The Sun Frost White Crane Soft and Gentle Art. 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. You will learn:
  • The full 66 step form, learning roughly three postures a day
  • Martial applications
  • 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.
  • Supervised teaching practise.
  Sum Chien. The most essential training method of real Kung Fu. Often thought of as the ‘hard’ expression of kung fu, in its original form (as we 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! Learn:
  • the moves and drill through them so as to reform your body
  • theory so as to unlock the deeper aspects and less obvious benefits
  • how to teach Sum Chien and practise on the rest of your group
  Basic stretching. A flexible body is important for the practise of Kung Fu and Qigong. We know a lot of secrets as to how to stretch your body out and in so doing open your meridians. Detailed theory on:
  • How to stretch
  • Regular practise
  • How to teach
  Shaolin internal strength. The hallmark of Shaolin kung fu. This is generally considered very advanced but we will train you in the basics during your time with us. Benefit from:
  • Clear explanation of the concept
  • Learning the training exercises
  • Training with our specialised equipment in our ‘Kung Fu gym’
  History and traditions. Master Iain  has lived 37 years in this fascinating culture and travelled to over 30 countries in pursuit of real Kung Fu. Learn:
  • The real story of Shaolin from its founder, the Indian monk Bodhidharma to present.
  • Insights into the hidden world of Kung Fu.
  Philosophy. Basics of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism and how they relate to our arts.   Ethos, culture. 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.   Pushing hands. The Kung Fu ‘wrestling’ exercise which trains stability, touch sensitivity, evasion, balance and reaction.
  • Introductory lesson
  • Periodic lessons on technique.
  • Daily practise.
  Breaking. Everyone gets to break one or more roof tiles and has the option of a concrete block.   Basic conditioning. Daily practise in toughening the hands and wrists.   Teaching, leadership, psychology.
  • How to teach
  • How to lead.
  • How to motivate.
  • How to inspire.
‘Great teaching is less about filling a bucket than about lighting a fire’.
  Organisational / administrative procedures. How to run your own Kung Fu group.
What is the schedule?

Your training will extend over 6 days a week with Saturday being a rest day and a half day on Wednesday.

A typical daily schedule is as follows:

6.00am – 9.15am Morning training commencing with Qigong and Shuang Yang Pei Ho.

9.15 Breakfast followed by a break.

11.00am – 1.15pm Mid day training.

1.15 – 2.30pm break.

2.30 – 6.00pm Afternoon training session beginning with teacher training for 1 hour.

Total 9 hours / day, 50 hours week.

Who are the teachers?

The course will be lead by Master Iain Armstrong who will deliver a lot of the training directly. The rest of the lead teachers will be:

  • Dave Bevan
  • Emily McCarten
  • Lefa Moffat
  • Freya Snelling


Assistant teachers will help as required.

What are the Costs?

Full package with private room: $3,600US

Full package with room shared between 2: $3,000US

Payment Schedule:

Deposit of 40% secures your place, to be paid on booking. Balance on arrival please.

What is the content of the ‘History’ section?
  • What does ‘Nam Yang’ mean?
  • The story of Bodhidharma.
  • The development of Shaolin Kung Fu.
  • The story of Hung Ee Kan and Tee Eng Choon.
  • The story of Tee Ley Master
  • Ang Lian Huat and his teachers.
  • Master Ang Lian Huat and the founding of Nam Yang Pugilistic Association.
  • Nam Yang in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Master Tan Soh Tin
  • Nam Yang in the 1970s – 1990s.
  • Nam Yang 2000 – 2017
  • Nam Yang post 2017.
  • The Story of the Kung Fu Retreat.
  • Philosophies underlying Chinese Kung Fu: Buddhism.
  • Philosophies underlying Chinese Kung Fu: Taoism
  • Philosophies underlying Chinese Kung Fu: Confucianism
  • Kung Fu Ethos: code of conduct. How does it relate to our philosophies?
  • Kung Fu Ethos: how does our training reflect our ethos.
  • Nam Yang personalities.
What resources will be supplied?
  • Master Iain’s book ‘Get Your Health Back Fast With Chinese Chi Kung’: digital copy after paying deposit, hard copy on arrival.
  • Access to a large volume of notes, videos and pictures stored online.

Ideally we would like you to take up online membership with us which will give you access to substantial video training but this is not included in the course price and is not compulsory.

What lessons will I take part in?

To name a few, lessons could inlcude:

  • Benefits of our art: self esteem, confidence, communication, energy.
  • What do people want from Kung Fu training?
  • Why is Kung Fu relevant to people in the present time?
  • Shuang Yang: meanings behind the names of the 66 moves.
  • Kung Fu and psychology: how does Kung Fu affect our thinking?
  • Going beyond thought. Embodied psychology. Flow. Emotion.
  • Chi, stress and anger. Sinking your chi.
  • Non verbal communication: speaking with your body and your tone.
  • Coaching sum chien – bringing it to life!
  • Being a teacher – being a good teacher.
  • How to conduct your self as a teacher
  • Communication: how best to help your students understand.
  • Connecting with your students
  • How our art affects our character
  • Organising a Nam Yang Group.
What will I need to do to pass?
  • Attend the lessons.
  • A minimum attendance rate of 95% is required.
  • Conduct your self in a fashion worthy of an instructor – i.e. with dignity and respect.
  • Follow our code of conduct.
  • Make a reasonable effort with your training.

Most people will pass although displays of bad character, rudeness aggression, disrespect, argument and similar may stand in the way of your receiving a teacher’s certificate. We expect anyone representing us as a teacher lead by example with good character values.

If I do not pass first time can I take the course again?


If I did not pass because I missed part of the training can I take just that part again?

Yes, in which case you will only have to pay for that part of the course.

Is there a grading system?

During your time with us you will take one certified Kung Fu grading (examination). The cost of this is included in the course fee – you will not be asked to pay extra.

What qualification does this lead to?

Successful completion of this course will secure you a Level 1 teaching certificate allowing you to teach Kung Fu and Qigong with the recognition and authority of Nam Yang Pugilistic Association.

What support will you give me as a newly qualified teacher?

We will help with publicising your classes where we can, provide letters of endorsement, give you access to our logos, supply uniforms etc.

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

Yes. We are dedicated to maintaining a high standard amongst our teachers. Hence we require teachers to pursue their own training. We believe that if our 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 do I have to do to renew my teaching certificate?


1. Complete at least 14 days training per two years (i.e. and average of 1 week / year) with a senior teacher or:

2. Complete a 1 week instructor’s refresher course or:

3. Stay subscribed to our online instructor training and pass a straight forwards online assessment.

How much will I have to pay for my certificate renewal?

If you collect the certificate in person, no charge. If we supply the certificate by post $14.99.

What will be my future progression?

Successfully completing the level 1 training gives you the opportunity to take the more in depth level 2 course in the future. This is not compulsory, though. We will do our best to support you with online training and a variety of future courses. You will be welcome to stay and train with us at the Kung Fu Retreat when you want. Ideally we want you to succeed as a teacher, leader and role model and to expand our kung fu family. We will do what we reasonably can to support you with this.

Can I split the course over two visits?

Yes. Although we don’t particularly recommend this. For people who can only take short breaks from work or other commitments it is possible to take this course in two parts – most likely of two weeks each. The certificate will be issued at the end of the course.

Can I extend my stay beyond 4 weeks?

Yes. You will be welcome to continue at the Kung Fu Retreat and further your training. The cost will be as usual, based on length of stay. We will continue to coach you as a teacher and arrange teaching practise for you. Please mail us for full details.

When will the next courses be?

The next level 1 course will run Saturday, March 30th - Saturday, April 27th, 2019

We will have another level 1 course on Wednesday, September 4th - Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

As featured on :

National Geo
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What our students say about us :

National Geo

The retreat is located – not by chance – in an harmonious place that fills you with its peaceful glow and even a sea dependent, who grew up by the coast and can’t spend one week without longing for the sounds and smell of the ocean (only people raised by the seaside know what I mean), feels completely at peace there! This truly is a life sanctuary that will replenish you with a magical vibration attuned to all living things! There aren’t many places with this vibe. I felt this in the Pacific Islands, especially Rapa Nui and Bora Bora, and both the Pacific and Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat were the only two times in my life when I felt like crying when leaving a place…

(Read more) Natália C. – 3 March 2018


While they suggest staying for a week or more my boyfriend and I were only able to stay for 2 days. They welcomed us in even for this short stay and made us feel just as important as students who were there for months. The training was well rounded, and the instructors were knowledgeable, patient, and all spoke fluent English. Training starts at dawn and is almost all day long which made our two days feel like a week on our body. We felt like we were at a true Kung Fu training camp with bamboo structures, great nutritional food, amazing mountain scenery, and incredible instructors. Everything was better than we expected…

(Read more) Kockununa – 9 February 2018


A most satisfied student here....after learning 'Chi Gong' in UK by authentic Chinese masters I practiced this arts teachings for many years, benefiting in all it has to offer to prepare for Kungfu. What I quickly realised in Nam Yang is that I was doing many incorrect postures causing me pain in the long term. Learning 'Chi Kung' from Master Ian and his team was without question what I needed to truly learn this ancient art. All the team individually helped me fine tune key areas of my life physical, mental and spiritul…

(Read more) Serksta – 1 February 2018


I booked initially for 1 week but extended twice, until I had to return to my country. I never thought i would have such an interesting time. The combination between qi kung, kung fu, strong warm ups, meditations, strechings, weapons, sanda... makes the experience so complete for body, mind and spirit, as they say. It’s a healing place, in any sense, physical or mental. The instructors are one of the most remarkable things of the retreat: since they love the kung fu as a way of life, that feeling is transmitted on the trainings. They are serious with their job, and friendly on the treatment, patient and strict at the same time. The way of teaching is based on explaining the reason why of every movement, so everything makes sense. You find easily the motivation for learning and enjoying, and wanting more…

(Read more) Lara A. – 10 November 2017


Master Iain and his instructors cater for all types of students at differing levels and grades of either internal or external kung fu. I am mid forties and fairly fit yet the retreat in Pai made me feel healthier and rejuvenated in such a small space of time without the usual 'thrashing' or 'beasting' you may have faced in other martial arts / boxing .. why? It was down too the good balance of hard / soft training that was conducted in a mature and intelligent manner - all of which is built on respect for each and every person at the retreat...

(Read more) Chris – 15 February 2018

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