Training

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.

Testimonials

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

Class structure

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

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.

Pad-work

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.

Self defence 

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.

Paired combination work

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.

Forms

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.

Sparring

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.

Weapons

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.