The Nam Yang Mountain Retreat is a purpose built, full time Kung Fu / Chi Kung school providing accommodation, food and training. The facilities and the views are awesome. It is not the cheapest martial arts school in Thailand but you get what you pay for.

Our Arts:

We teach the traditional Shaolin arts of kung fu as passed down from Master to student for generations, right back to the days of the Shaolin Temple and, therefore, to its founder Tat Moh or Boddhidharma. Our kung fu encompasses the Tiger – Crane (mostly hard) and Sun Frost White Crane (soft) arts. These arts draw heavily on chi kung (internal energy cultivation) and we teach several chi kung systems including Tong Ling (clearing and circulating) chi kung, Vein Tendon chi kung and the famous but seldom seen Shaolin Iron Shirt chi kung. We also teach the Shaolin weapons and meditation. Our arts have stood the test of time and war, having been used extensively by the Chinese in their fight to free themselves from Manchurian rule. They are the real, original Shaolin kung fu!

Our School:

Our school is situated in the jungle covered mountains of Northern Thailand, close to the fun town of Pai. It benefits from some of the best quality Chi, (air) in the world, which is why we located here, (the effectiveness of chi kung practise is limited by the quality of the chi which we breathe in). We specialise in traditional Chinese recipes for ‘food as medicine’ – essentially our diet is a key part of our training. We support this with Chinese herbal medicines for body toughening, muscle development and the like. Our school is fully equipped for training, and living. The views are awesome. Pai town is emerging as one of the most fun places in Thailand and is a little over 5 minutes from the school – ideal if you feel the need for a day out.

Our Teachers:

We have the best line up of teachers including:

Master Tan Soh Tin of Singapore has been practicing Kung Fu for 60 years and learnt from some of Singapore’s most famous teachers, principally Master Ang Lian Huat, founder of Nam Yang Pugilistic Association. He has received many international honors. He is absolutely fluent in English as well as several Chinese dialects.


Iain Armstrong is two times world kung fu champion and senior student of Master Tan. He is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of iron shirt chi kung and has demonstrated in over 20 different countries. Iain has worked in a number of security related jobs, including being a nightclub doorman in London – he has a very good first hand practical knowledge of how to use Shaolin kung fu in conflict. Between them, Iain’s students have won six world titles.

How you will benefit, from training with us.

We tailor our training to each individual student so not everyone will achieve the same things. This is because all of our students are individuals and come with different needs and aspirations. In the first instance, our training gives health, vitality, fitness, power, speed, co-ordination, concentration and a devastating self defense capability.

It cures many types of illness, especially those resulting from poor lifestyle and diet, pollution etc. It develops great body posture, and muscle tone and severely delays the ageing process. This then develops greater confidence, self esteem and self belief leading to the ultimate goal – a happy, satisfying life.

If this sounds like what you need, take a look at the courses and training that are offered on the website:

Nam Yang Mountain Retreat.

Pai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand.

For classes within Bangkok area, please visit:

Nam Yang Mountain Retreat14 Nam Yang Mountain Retreat15 Nam Yang Mountain Retreat16

Interview by the National Geographic:

Text, images and other links: Courtesy of Iain Armstrong - Nam Yang Mountain Retreat