New students are welcome at anytime. The first class is free so just bring some loose comfortable clothing and some water.
About the club
The club was opened in 2009 by our instructor Grahame Tinsley. He is a 5th degree black belt with over 30 years of experience and he has trained at several centres with various senior instructors. Since 2001 he has trained with Sifu Steve Leppard at the Kings College/Central London club.
Grahame Tinsley teaches his students with the same focus and commitment which he has been and continues to be taught, and believes in developing students into well rounded martial artists and individuals. He ensures all students get the best from themselves, both physically and mentally and passes on all the benefits that Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan has to offer. He believes size is irrelevant in martial arts and as such strives to ensure all students develop their technical understanding. Practical application is also vital and therefore self defence is an important component of classes. He adopts a balance of traditional and modern teaching and training techniques to ensure students benefit from a variety of approaches, yet always in a safe, rewarding and fun environment.
Classes – Wednesday’s, 8-10pm / Saturday’s, 9-11am
Amenities Building, Isambard Complex
Cost – During the pandemic, classes are free. Students just need to cover the cost of membership and gradings.
Email – Brunelkungfu@yahoo.co.uk
Facebook – Brunelkungfu
Twitter – @BrunelKungFu
System dates for 2020
Gradings – 17th October
All students will need Brunel Sports Federation membership to join the Kung Fu Club. Login using your Brunel Student ID and select Kung Fu Standard Membership. This is free. You will also need to pay for Union Sport Standard Membership.
When students have tried a few classes we will expect them to take out system membership and annual insurance through the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts. The cost is £30. This will allow students to take part in grading examinations, system training courses, spar in class and use weapons. Uniforms, t-shirts and training equipment can also be ordered in class.
Our style of martial art originates from the Shaolin temples in both northern and southern China, and is now taught at centres around the world.
We employ traditional training methods which have been used for centuries to teach Kung Fu to Shaolin monks, alongside more modern methods to help our students learn self-defence techniques and improve their fitness.
We believe that this helps our students to get away from the pressures and distractions of modern life and develop mental and physical strength whilst learning a traditional Chinese martial art which is relevant to modern life. We believe that in order to become a martial artist, regular training is essential and students should respect the value of the knowledge given. We understand that for beginners, attending your first training session can be an intimidating experience, as one does not know quite what to expect. It is worth remembering that everybody has shared this same initial experience, and it is therefore our aim to make newcomers feel as welcome as possible.
We also have various social events throughout the year, an annual weekend system training course and dinner, training at various other London/UK centres and international trips to Malaysia.
The first training session is free of charge so that you can determine whether this martial art and the teaching style are what you’re looking for.
Classes are typically around 2 hours long, and are usually of mixed ability, sexes and ages. There is also a good ratio of female to male students. We believe this is because our style does not depend on explicit muscle strength. You are always welcome to join us in training at any time during the year. Just bring some loose comfortable clothing and some water.
Jewellery should not be worn and those items which cannot be removed (e.g. rings) should be taped over. You can train bare foot or with trainers. You may also use headbands and wristbands if it helps you and those with long hair should have it tied up.
Nam Pai Chuan Shaolin Kung Fu is great for so many reasons; it increases your fitness, discipline and strength, but it is also a lot of fun with a wide range of people. The training sessions allow you to switch off from hectic everyday life and concentrate on improving your skills and technique. I find it both meditative and a great way to release through exercise whilst learning about the system and the mindset of Nam Pai Chuan. In particular I find working on the syllabus for each grading rewarding, because as you learn more, you can also feel yourself improving and it is great to see others improving alongside you.” Madeleine Bonham Jones
“A friend of mine recommended I try Shaolin Kung Fu. I was sold from the first session. Training is intense and has made me feel fitter than ever. The discipline and focus needed for learning techniques and forms has helped me to improve in my studies. But most of all, the community has been incredibly welcoming – both competitive and kind, I couldn’t ask for a better group to train with.” Ben Horn
“A couple of years ago I came across Brunel Kungfu, part of NPC. Sifu Tinsley heads this centre and with over 30 years’ experience in martial arts, he carries on the same strong teachings of Master Lai many years ago. His vast knowledge, patience, generosity and vigil eye ensure we become the best we can be.” Grazia H
This can include a warm up, specific stretching, cardiovascular exercises and body conditioning. Training then moves onto learning kung fu techniques. Being a broad based style we incorporate a variety of different methods to teach specific things which are relevant to the class. This could be paired pad work, learning how to use one of the traditional weapons, or even basic locks and throws.
Our training is done in a way that each class provides a steady and continuous progression to help students master the basics of a technique then learn to add other dynamics such as footwork or additional techniques.
Towards the end of the class students break into smaller groups to practice specific techniques relevant to their level of ability. Training sessions conclude with a cool down session to slow the heart rate, and prevent stiffness in joints and muscles.
Chi gung or Qigong is a mixture of breathing exercises which will initially help students with their balance and posture. After more practice students will learn to use this for meditative purposes to help relax and focus. This will be supplemented by more aerobic warm-ups, which builds fitness, body condition, and flexibility. These prepare the body for the more technical elements that follow.
We practice our basic hand techniques and kicks, which will include striking focus mitts. We believe it is important to actually become accustomed to feeling what it is like to make contact.
We recognise that students must learn how to improve their awareness, avoid situations and as a last resort know how to defend themselves. Self defence plays an integral part of what students will learn and practice to not only improve their confidence though to better prepare them if confronted.
We teach specific attacks and counter defences, building them in complexity, before offering you and your training partner more freedom in the way you move. This will also include locking, grappling, nerve point techniques.
These are known as katas or sets in other martial arts, and are prearranged sequences of movements, and form the basis of most traditional martial arts. These forms constitute the “dictionary” of our style, and encode all the techniques we use, in flowing sequences performed alone (or even in pairs at more advanced levels). These sequences allow students to develop the “art” in martial art.
At beginner level this will simply involve reacting to fixed attacks in a specified way, and will be done under very safe and controlled circumstances. As you acquire more techniques and demonstrate you can use them safely, you will progress to light free sparring then onto a more advanced level sparring and combat.
These are an important part of the training for more senior students, though junior students will have the opportunity to practice basic weapon use too. We teach 18 traditional weapons which include: staff, broadsword, spear, steel fan and 3 section staff to name a few.
The Gao Can Mun Nam Pai Chuan tradition or style can trace its lineage far back to Great Grandmaster Hui Cheng of the Chek Chian Nan Hai Pooi Chee Temple in China. Master Hui was a direct descendant of the Southern Shaolin tradition taught by Buddhist monks in the tradition of Da-Mo.
One of Master Hui Cheng’s students was Grand Master Seh Koh San, A famous Shaolin Monk attributed to be the father of traditional Shaolin Arts in South East Asia. Shi Gao Can (1886 – 1960) or widely known as Sek Koh Sam, was a Chinese monk who brought traditional Shaolin teachings from Mainland China to South East Asia.
Quek Hen Choon
Master Quek Heng Choon is considered to be Shi Gao Can’s most important and student from the Singapore/Malaysia era. Born in 1926 in Huian county, Fujian province, China, Master Quek represents the original 50th generation of Shaolin and taught students from Malaysia, Singapore, and China between 1956 and 2010.
During a training visit to London in 2009 Master Quek named Christopher Lai Khee Choong who is head of Nam Pai Chuan worldwide as his successor and asked that the school be renamed as “Shaolin Gao Can Mun Nam Pai Chuan”. Master Lai lives in London and continues to teach the Shaolin System to this day.
Master Lai, 2nd chamber 50th generation of Shaolin has studied martial arts since 1959 and in particular Shaolin Kung Fu from 1967. His daily training was intense, and undertaken in the traditional manner.
In addition to Shaolin Kung Fu, Master Lai also trained, in the 1970s with Master Leow Cheng Koon, who was Chief Instructor of the MTA (Malaysian Taekwondo Association), member of the Taekwondo Federation (WTF).
Master Lai decided to emigrate to United Kingdom (UK), where he had undertaken his legal education and since martial arts was part of his life, he felt the need to bring his school with him.
Prior to his departure, Grandmaster Quek gave his permission for Master Lai to teach the Shaolin system Nam Pai Chuan when he came to the UK, bringing it to Europe for the first time.
Master Lai began teaching Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan in Swiss Cottage, London and established it as a member organisation of the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA), the national governing body for Chinese martial arts in the UK. Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan has grown ever since with new training centres being established across the globe and teaching in the same sincere and dedicated manner as Master Lai and his predecessors.
Our instructor and club founder, Grahame Tinsley, is a 5th degree black belt with over 30 years of martial arts experience. He is a qualified Chi Gung practitioner, competition referee, first aid qualified and CRB checked. During his training he has travelled to Kuala Lumpur to train with our system’s late Grandmaster, Quek Heng Choon, and has visited our founder’s (Shi Gao Can) Shaolin Temple in Singapore. He has also participated in numerous Kung Fu demonstrations, notably in Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square in London.
He is also skilled in various animal styles though specialises in the Leopard. He is also skilled in various traditional weapons, including the staff, sword, spear, knife, halberd, trident and three section staff.
Official system sites
Nam Pai Chuan England
Nam Pai Chuan Wales
Sites of further interest
How long do you need to train before you become competent?
We believe that a student who trains diligently twice a week for six months will begin to feel physical and spiritual benefit. Those who train for a year should be better equipped to defend himself or herself in most circumstances. Still learning just the “moves” is not the main objective, because apart from that, Martial Arts help you to develop your character and ability to focus, improving confidence and humility.
Development and progression within our kung fu system
Grading examinations are held every 3 months. At certain times of each term, we will pay special attention towards preparing students for the grading examinations. Those who progress to black belt rank may then be eligible for Assistant Instructors’ and Instructors’ qualification courses. Upon qualification, you will be entitled to teach Nam-Pai-Chuan under the licensing agreements that exist for the control of proper standards and the promotion of the Art.
Why do Shaolin Nam Pai-Chuan kung fu?
We aim to provide martial arts training in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where students and adults, learn practical self-defence techniques, make new friends, and get fit. We will provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice traditional Shaolin Martial Arts and Chi Gung.
NPC allows us to become better people. Students will develop an increase in awareness, self-confidence, become more tolerant and patient, have integrity in their abilities and become more disciplined. This is one of the true benefits of a traditional martial art.
Our qualified instructors are dedicated individuals who will ensure training is carried in a safe manner and help everyone to fulfil their physical and mental martial art potential.
Nam Pai Chuan is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. For any personal data you provide for the purposes of your membership, merchandise and grading, Nam Pai Chuan is the Data Controller and is responsible for storing and otherwise processing that data in a fair, lawful, secure and transparent way.
What personal data we hold on you – you may give us information about you by filling in forms in class, at an event or by corresponding with us by phone or email. This includes information you provide when you register with the club. The information you give us may include your name, date of birth, address, email, phone number and any relevant health information.
Why we need your Personal Data – the reason we need your data is to be able to administer your membership, merchandise and grading. On occasion we may collect personal data from non-members, such as any non-member participant who fills in a sessional form at a free taster session. This information will be stored for 1 month after this session and destroyed securely. Our lawful basis for processing data is consent. Therefore, we will also need consent from non-members to process this data, which we will ask for at the point of collecting.
Who we share your Personal Data with – when you become a member we share your name only with the BCCMA in order to obtain membership/insurance. We do not share your personal data with any other third parties.
How long we hold your personal data – we hold your Personal Data on our electronic database for as long as you are a member with us, after such time your information will be securely destroyed, the paper forms of which are shredded after 3 months.
Your rights regarding your personal data – you have the right at any time to request access to your personal data free of charge. You are not obliged to share your personal data with us, however if you choose not to then we would not be able to register you as a member of our system.