The training areas are sometimes used for private tuitions but usually are available for personal practice.
Outdoor training Ground. 18m x 18m
With stunning mountain views, our open training ground is ideal for early morning and evening practise. In particular, the sunrises are a truly surreal experience. Fresh mountain air. Great energy. Natural light. Perfect for photography and videography.
Roofed Training Area
Cleverly designed with a roof but no walls so that fresh air constantly blows through and keeps the temperature down. This area is ideal when the sun is hot or rain is falling. Natural light during daytime, electric lights for night time training. Mountain views.
This area is floored with 2cm thick jigsaw matts to allow for practising throws, takedowns and rolls. Also has a water filter to supply drinking water, hanging sandbags and training equipment (see below).
There is a second, Roofed Training area with similar features. Although there is no water filter or hanging sandbags / training equipment, the first roofed training area is only a few seconds walk away!
Kung Fu Gym
Not just another hotel style gym. This is a specialist Kung Fu / martial arts gym designed to provide the facilities that serious training demands. Facilities are a mix of old style kung fu equipment seldom seen now and more modern equipment which we think is beneficial.
It is divided into three sections.
Section 1: Gym area. This has:
General’s poles – Bamboo or wooden poles for training arm and leg techniques and toughening the body – especially the wrists. Considered essential by many of the old masters but usually ignored today because difficult to set up. We are very proud to have these.
Tyre dummies – Another difficult piece of equipment to set up but one of the best for training direct kicks like the front thrust, side thrust and back thrust. Both power and technique are needed to make the tyre buckle. Feel welcome to kick these as hard as you like – that is what they are made for!
Punch bags – We have five heavy bags and one light bag. All are of different designs and are suited to slightly different training methods. Hung and filed to professional standards.
Weights – Although the use of weights is controversial in martial arts we do have a small weights set and bench. Good for use by martial artists, not intended for serious bodybuilders.
Parallel bars, chin up bars, stretching bar and gymnastics rings – All of these are great for bodyweight training (callisthenics) which we think is ideal as part of a Kung Fu training regime since it emphasises strength and tendon development over muscle size.
Sandbags – A must in any credible Kung Fu school. Canvass bags filled with sand for iron fist training.
Matted training area – Equipped with 2cm jigsaw mats.
Hard floor training area – Has punch bags and wooden poles (Mei Hua Chong) for balance, stepping etc.
Meditation / Prayer Room
The central point in the Retreat. This is where we have our altar to the Buddha as well as the principle Kung Fu deities Kwan Kung (the Chinese God who is the patron of Kung Fu and sworn brotherhoods) and Bodhidharma, (Tat Moh) the monk who founded the Shaolin tradition. Occasionally used for ceremonies it is usually available for quiet prayer, meditation and contemplation. It has a very unique, charged atmosphere. Respectful behaviour, please.
No Kung Fu school is complete without weapons! Although they are not as important a method of defence as in days gone past training with weapons is a great way to develop strength, stability, coordination and confidence. Perhaps, more importantly, it is fun! Few people fail to feel a thrill of excitement when they first enter the weapons room.
We are equipped with focus mitts, kick shields, rubber knives, various bamboo safety weapons, skipping ropes, boxing gloves and a variety of weights and stretching aids all of which are available for you to practise with.
Giant Statue of Bodhidharma
Bodhidharma is considered the founder of Shaolin Kung Fu as well as Chan (Zen) Buddhism and is credited with introducing both shoes and, very importantly, tea into China.
Not really necessary for Kung Fu training, but fascinating to sit and watch when relaxing between training sessions. These Thai turtles are our pets.
We have a large restaurant / dining area where we prepare food and teas which we consider best compliment our training. We specialise in the use of beneficial herbs. Meals are a social time when students and teachers eat together and talk.
Chinese tea and Kung Fu are inseparable! Our tea table serves as a focus for discussion of Kung Fu theory, ethos, tradition, philosophy, culture, history and values. We have a good selection of teas and are constantly experimenting with different ones.
Our wifi is good enough to make video calls with skype etc and to stream video. It can drop out but usually for a few seconds only. Bearing in mind that we are based in Thailand’s most remote province on the edge of the jungle we find this quite amazing. There is no extra charge for using the wifi, it is included in the training fee.
We have a number of gardens and an orchard where we grow fruit, vegetables, herbs and coffee. You will be very welcome to walk around them and maybe sit down to meditate, relax or read.
Although we do not encourage smoking, we realise that for some it is a necessity so we have a special smoking building far enough away from the rest of the buildings not to interfere with others. It is roofed with a light for night times but not walled so as to facilitate views and fresh air.
We have two coin-operated washing machines that cost 30 Baht which will take care of laundry. We also have washing lines for drying clothes.