ethos

Real Kung Fu is a

(better) way of life, not

just a form of exercise.


Nam Yang has a long history of welcoming and uniting people from diverse cultures, bringing them together as part of our kung fu family. Inevitably, members have different cultural expectations, depending on where they have originated. In any Nam Yang club, however, the culture of Chinese Kung Fu takes precedence. This provides a level playing field on which all members can relate equally and, most importantly, train to the best of their ability.

The essence of this Kung Fu culture is contained in Nam Yang’s code of conduct (below). The subtleties can be picked up from the instructors and senior students. Learning about this is an exciting part of the experience at the mountain retreat. Roughly speaking, it means living as part of the Nam Yang family, treating all of your colleagues as you would family and making all newcomers welcome. It means not letting your ego get in the way of training constructively. It means respecting the local culture and not acting or dressing in a way likely to cause offence when out in public. It definitely does not mean that you can’t have fun – our members are usually extremely good at this. Pai town provides a great deal of potential for having fun.

At the mountain retreat, we are all part of the Nam Yang family. The teachers live, train and eat at the retreat. It is their role to lead by example and personify the spirit of kung fu. Irrespective of a person’s culture, we welcome them and treat them equally and with respect. We do expect this respect to be returned.

These are two of the most important values in Chinese Kung Fu. We value them highly. All members, from the lowest to the highest, are expected to embody the values of loyalty and respect.

We believe in behaving with dignity and respect at all times. We provide an environment in which people live together harmoniously in the spirit of kung fu. This means no anger, shouting, rudeness, aggression, argument, putting other people down etc. Sorry, but we will not accept this sort of behaviour no matter how much someone thinks that it is justified. It is because we do not accept this sort of behaviour that our Retreat has the atmosphere that it does – read some of our trip advisor reviews!

Code of Conduct

Joining Nam Yang Pugilistic Association means becoming part of an ancient tradition dating back to Tat Moh (Bodhidharma), the Shaolin Founder, about 1500 years ago. This involves becoming part of a brotherhood (and sisterhood) of respect and loyalty. Members should strive to uphold the following standards.

If you respect others, they will respect you. Show particular respect to your seniors within the club.

Respect means:

  • Obey all reasonable requests from your seniors, especially the instructors.
  • Maintain and defend the good name of the club.
  • Aspire to the highest standards of moral conduct, displaying humility, honesty, selflessness and dedication.
  • Never discriminate against or bully other members.
  • If you have opinions likely to offend other members or cause arguments, then keep them to yourself.
  • Respect others peoples safety.
  • Do not publicly criticize other clubs.
  • Remain polite and dignified whenever possible.

Treat anyone within the club as family. Offer them friendship, help and support at all times and never betray their trust. Mix freely at all times and do not form cliques or exclude others.

Do not use your skill to injure others unless forced to do so in self-defence or in the upholding of justice and righteousness.

When dealing with other members or on club business, conduct one’s self in a dignified fashion, not displaying anger or speaking loudly or offensively.

Dedicate yourself to your art and your association. Pursue your training with diligence.

Act at all times in the interests of the association, placing them above your own self-interest.

Addendum to the Code of Conduct:

Since western students have very different cultural expectations to Asians, we make some allowances and issue guidelines as follows: it is acceptable to point out a possible better way of doing things, misinterpretation, etc., in a constructive manner. The senior party will then take this into account and may revise their decision. Their final decision will, however, stand. In the event of an issue still being unresolved, the complaints / disputes procedure should be implemented.

The code of conduct carries more weight the more directly an issue involves Nam Yang Pugilistic association or any of its members.

Club Etiquette

Please follow these simple rules, especially in the presence of other clubs:

  • Bow to the instructor at the start and end of the lesson; if you arrive late, bow to the instructor and await acknowledgement before joining in.
  • When training with a partner, salute before and after.
  • When demonstrating a technique, salute to partner before and after.
  • If photos of the master are present, bow to masters at start and end of the lesson.
  • Before and after sparring:
  • Salute your partner
  • Salute your instructor
  • Treat your seniors with respects at all time – the more senior the more respect.
  • Show maximum respect and be on your best behaviour. In particular:
  • Bow on entry / departure. If an altar is present, face it when bowing.
  • Do not show any martial arts unless invited to do so..
  • Do not touch any equipment unless invited to do so. This especially concerns weapons and lion dance equipment.
  • Show respect for any altar present: do not stand / sit with your back to it, do not photograph it – if in doubt, ask your instructor.
  • Allow your seniors to begin the meal before you do.
  • Use chopsticks sensibly, when not eating, lay them beside your bowl.
  • Behave respectfully.
  • If there is something about which you are not happy,
    please speak politely with an instructor. We will take all feedback seriously and in the context of our Code of Conduct and act accordingly.
  • Bowing / Saluting. At the start and end of each lesson, bow to the instructor and to the picture of Master Tan if there is one.
  • Allow your seniors to begin eating first. Behave sensibly and politely.
  • Being clean, smart and safe
  • Make sure you are washed before training
  • Cut your finger and toenails.
  • Cover any cuts you have.
  • Make sure your uniform is clean and worn properly.
  • Remove jewellery.

Discipline Within
the Mountain Retreat

We recognise that for people to thrive they need a supportive environment in which they feel safe, valued and wanted. Our behaviour code is designed to create such an environment and we have to make sure that it is followed. The instructors will deal considerately and compassionately with any problems which arrive and explain respectfully when behaviour needs to be modified. They will not accept disrespect or abuse. We do not believe in punishment, rather in teaching right behaviour. So we will ask that our behaviour code is followed by everyone. In the event that someone refuses to follow the behaviour code they will be given a cooling off period during which they may reconsider. Master Iain will decide on the length of the cooling off period and whether it will be spent living and eating at the Retreat or outside. At the conclusion of the cooling off period the person involved will be given an interview with Master Iain the purpose of which will be to agree a way forward and integrate the person into the group again. Following the behaviour code will still be a requirement. In the event that agreement can not be reached, a further cooling off period will be given and the person involved will be asked to contact us when they think that they are ready to come back and rejoin.

Summary: our behaviour code is important, participating here is dependent on following it.

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