Real Kung Fu is a (better) way of life, not just a form of exercise. Our Shaolin Camp has been carefully developed to allow all of its inhabitants to live the true Kung Fu lifestyle to the full. This is a major part of its attraction.
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.
Leading By Example
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.
Loyalty and Respect
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!
Please find below our code of conduct. It gives us guidance on living in harmony with each other in the true spirit of Kung Fu and sets us goals to aspire to.
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.
1) Obey all reasonable requests from your seniors, especially the instructors.
2) Maintain and defend the good name of the club.
3) Aspire to the highest standards of moral conduct, displaying humility, honesty, selflessness and dedication.
4) Never discriminate against or bully other members.
5) If you have opinions likely to offend other members or cause arguments, then keep them to yourself.
6) Respect others peoples safety.
7) Do not publicly criticize other clubs.
8) Remain polite and dignified whenever possible.
B) Brotherhood / Sisterhood
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.
Please follow these simple rules, especially in the presence of other clubs:
Respect during lessons
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.
Respect for seniors
Treat your seniors with respects at all time – the more senior the more respect.
Visiting other clubs
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.
Before and after sparring:
Salute your partner
Salute your instructor
Part 2: Being Polite
a) 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.
b) 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.
c) Allow your seniors to begin eating first. Behave sensibly and politely.
Complaints / Disputes Policy.
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.
Discipline Within the Mountain Retreat.
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. Ultimately, though, any students posing a threat to others or seriously offending the people around them and the ethos of the Kung Fu Retreat may be asked to leave. Rest assured, though, that in the ten years that we have been open so far we have not yet asked a student to leave.