kung fu

Create a new life path with
real meaning and purpose!

Learn how to harness the ancient teachings of Kung Fu to help other people
find meaning in their lives and overcome the challenges of modern society.

Basic Info

What You'll Learn





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      August 26th, 2023 – September 23rd, 2023
      January 27th, 2024 – February 24th, 2024
      August 31st, 2024 – September 28th, 2024
  • Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat, 116 M. 5, Pai, Mae Hong Song, Thailand 58130
  • Level 1 teaching certificate allowing you to teach Kung Fu and Qigong with the recognition and authority of Nam Yang Pugilistic Association.
  • FOOD
  • 2 meals per day on training day – vegetarian & vegan available
  • Training 9 hours/day – 50 hours/week

Full package


Paying for an Instructor course does not guarantee passing the course or receiving a teachers certificate. Read the FAQ (bottom of this page) to learn what you will need to do to pass 


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!”


This course includes

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!

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.

What You’ll 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 Chi Kung

‘Hard’ chi kung 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! And 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 including 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 etc.

Daily practise for 15 minutes.


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.

Daily practise building by roughly three postures a day including
martial application. 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.

Learn the theory so as to unlock the deeper aspects and
less obvious benefits.

Learn 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 of how to stretch

Regular practise.

Theory and practise on how to teach.

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.

Clear explanation of the concept.

Learn the training exercises.

Try the training circuit with specialised equipment in our ‘kung fu gym’.


Five different kicks drawn from traditional Kung Fu:

Groin kick | Front thrust kick

Side thrust kick | Heel kick

Crane kick

and traditions

The real story of Shaolin from its founder, the Indian monk Bodhidharma to present.

Insights into the hidden world of kung fu.

Question time with Master Iain who has lived 37 years in this fascinating culture and travelled to over 30 countries in pursuit of real kung fu.

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.


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’.

Some example of lessons that you will take part in:

  • 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.


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.

Master Iain Armstrong

Master Iain is a Kung Fu philosopher and author with 36 years of living Kung Fu. Trained personally by Grand Master Tan Soh Tin in Singapore, he’s a two-time world champion and veteran of real street battles. Famous for his high-quality Kung Fu teaching, his instructional films and magazine articles, and for his demonstrations of Iron Shirt Qigong, Master Iain is a mine of information but retains a very practical, down to earth, and realistic approach. Most people who meet him are struck by his air of calm, patience, and wisdom.

Our teachers are our greatest asset. In any school, and in particular in martial arts schools, nothing makes more difference than the quality, experience and character of the teachers. They are the people who make the school great. We know that a great teacher not only needs to know their Kung Fu, they also have to know how to pass it on to others. We also have a fantastic support team

“I signed up for (the 200 hour teacher training course) on the back of almost 3 months training and I’m so glad I did. My development as a leader, teacher and as a person came through many hours of FaceTime with Master Iain. He is an incredible person and to be learning from someone who is the embodiment of Kung Fu, is somewhat priceless. My Kung Fu came on leaps and bounds but i took much more than extra hours training from him. This course was 50 hours a week, for 4 weeks and it was incredibly difficult and would not be for everyone, but if you’re motivated and willing to put in the work the rewards are many.”




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

Nam Yang

asked questions

Click to expand each category
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 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 will be my future progression?
Successfully completing this level 1 course gives you the opportunity to take on of our teaching internships which lead to level 2 certification. 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.
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 teaching will be done by the resident teaching team here.


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.


Full package with private room: $4,620US

Full package with room shared between 2: $3,300US

Can I extend my stay beyond 4 weeks?

Yes. You will be welcome to continue at the Kung Fu Retreat and further your training. There are two ways of going about this:

  1. Apply for a teaching internship. This is our recommended option.
  2. Simply book an extension. The cost will be as usual, based on the length of stay. We will continue to coach you as a teacher and arrange teaching practise for you.
    Please let us know exactly what you want on your booking form.
What will I need to do to pass?
  • Attend the lessons. A minimum attendance rate of 85% 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. 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.
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?


  • Complete at least 14 days training per two years (i.e. and average of 1 week / year) with a ‘master level’ teacher or:
  • Complete a 1 week instructor’s refresher course.

Online renewal is coming soon. 🙂 

Will I have to pay for my certificate renewal?
No. Training is charged as usual. Provided that you complete the training, certificate renewal is free of charge.
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.
What resources will you supply?

You will be supplied with Master Iain’s book ‘Get Your Health Back Fast With Chinese Chi Kung’: digital copy after paying, hard copy on arrival.

You will be given access to a large volume of notes, videos and pictures stored online.

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.
When will the next courses be?

August 27th, 2022 – September 24th, 2022.

If you are interested in booking this course, please fill out our booking form to let us know and tell us what you most want to gain from it. We will get back to you as soon as we can and do our best to make individual arrangements to suit you.

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