In the South East corner of the Himalayan Range in North Western Thailand snow flows down from a break in the mountains to four of the world’s great rivers: the Brahmaputra, Irrewaddy, MaeKong and Yangtze.
For martial arts enthusiasts, it will come as no surprise that the ‘chi’ or ‘energy flow’ coming down from these peaks gives this area some of the best quality chi on Earth. Perhaps more surprising is that among these mist-shrouded mountains lies a brand new training camp that promises to deliver the ‘kung fu dream’.
Aimed at people wanting to become martial arts instructors and at travellers looking for a traditional kung fu experience, the Nam Yang Tat Moh Training Camp promises the height of kung fu training from ‘the roof of the world’.
The brainchild of Britain’s two times world kung fu champion and chief instructor at Nam Yang’s UK branch, Iain Armstrong, the camp provides two and three year instructor training courses as well as short-term training for travellers.
Ian says: “When I was an up and coming martial artist I would have given my eye teeth for an opportunity like this. The courses are a great alternative to university or a boring desk job and are perfect for ex-military personnel looking for a civilian career”.
Named after ‘Tat Moh’ or ‘Boddidharma’, the Indian Monk who founded the Shaolin kung fu tradition and, in many people’s opinion, martial arts, the camp bases its training on the traditional Chinese style whereby students are responsible for their own practise, with the ‘master’ giving periodic input.
Training is carried out in the morning and evening in one of two large training grounds with bamboo poles, ‘stone lock’ weights and other equipment designed to replicate those used by the famous martial artists of legend. Along with Iain Armstong, training is delivered by Nam Yang Singapore Instructor Dougal Simmons and Master Tan Soh Tin, who at 65 embraces the ‘old way’ of teaching and offers the sort of wisdom that students strive so hard to find in a kung fu master.
As well as covering a wide range of skills including Shaolin Tiger-Crane Art, Sun Frost White Crane Internal Art and Iron Shirt Chi Kung, the syllabus gives students direct responsibility for running classes to develop their instructor skills. For those looking to set up their own school, an optional extension course also provides training in business skills.
Ian says: “At the end of the course, students get a certificate issued by Nam Yang and a level 2 coaching course issued by BCCMA, which qualifies them to teach independently anywhere in the UK. The two-year course costs £12,000 and the three year course £16,500, which includes training, accommodation and breakfast and dinner five days a week”.
Surrounded by stunning scenery, the accommodation consists of three large bungalows with twin rooms, en suite bathrooms and a spacious living room terrace. Delicious Thai-style meals are provided by the camp restaurant and are cooked on site using fresh, healthy ingredients from local farms and forests.
Ian says: “Prior to acceptance onto the course, students will go through an induction test in either the UK or Thailand to allow them to try us out and demonstrate their commitment. They can also visit the camp for a short time to see if the course and lifestyle is right for them before committing.
“The camp presents students with the ultimate opportunity to live the true kung fu lifestyle. We all encounter opportunities to completely change our lives and for those brave enough to follow their dream, the Nam Yang Tat Moh Training Camp is only a step away”.
For further information on the Nam Yang Tat Moh Training Camp email firstname.lastname@example.org, contact 0800 0350536 or Thailand 00 665 306 4303 or visit www.namyang.co.uk.
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