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Thread: Yang Jwing-Ming's kung fu retreat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    Yang Jwing-Ming's kung fu retreat?

    I got this in an email today. There were some pics, but I'm not going to link to them. I'm not gonna format it, either, cuz it was really long.

    But there's a link at the bottom of the email for more info.

    You think someone really wants to live there for 10 years?


    Welcome to the first-ever YMAA Retreat Center newsletter.

    The Retreat Center is a new nonprofit facility currently under construction on 240 acres in Humbolt County, Northern CA. When completed, world renown Chinese martial arts master Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming will bring 15 exceptional students to live and train with him there for 10 years.

    (By using the "Forward to a Friend' link at the bottom of this email, please forward this message to your family, friends, and anyone you feel might be interested in this project. Thank you.)


    The deeper aspects of the Chinese arts are rarely taught in modern times. Even in China, due to the suppression of the arts during the Cultural Revolution, this higher knowledge is all but lost. Dr. Yang is one of the few remaining Masters who wishes to share his knowledge fully and instruct the techniques, morality, healing, and spirituality of the older generation. He is willing, now at age 60, to spend the next ten years of his life to ensure that the light of this ancient wisdom grow brighter in the world for future generations. Now that the benefits of Tai Chi and meditation are being studied by medical science, it is vital that we create a solid bridge between the East and West, to help bring society as a whole to a higher level of wellbeing, awareness and peace.

    The size of this nonprofit project prevents Dr. Yang from being able to do it alone, though great progress has been made. A Silver, Gold, and Platinum Donor program has been created to make it simple for you to get involved in this unprecedented project. Some benefits for Donors include an invitation to the Center for the annual Supporter's Festival, faculty 'chair' positions, and the naming of training facilities after major Donors.

    Dr. Yang began this project in 2004. The 10-year training program is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2008. Here is a summary of the progress made thus far:

    * After searching the entire United States, Dr. Yang selected this property in Northern CA.
    * In 2004, Dr. Yang formed the nonprofit Retreat Center in CA.
    * The Center is recognized by CA as an Educational Facility.
    * A road was built into the property, and covered with gravel. (4-wheel drive is required.)
    * A solar array has been built to provide all energy. The property is 'off the grid' and completely self-sustaining.
    * A well has been dug and the water pumping system is installed.
    * A cabin and larger house have been built on the top of this 'small mountain'.
    * Dr. Yang & volunteer students travel to the property twice a year to continue preparations.
    * The program was announced and applications from interested students are now being reviewed. Applications will be accepted until mid-2007.
    * Inside Kung Fu magazine will have a cover story on Dr. Yang and the Center in the May issue. Please watch for it in mid-March '07.

    More info

    * Dr. Yang will teach the next generation of Masters. He will transmit his entire knowledge to the students selected.

    * The expanded curriculum includes Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Qigong, weapons, horseback riding, massage, meditation, Chinese language, cooking, culture, and philosophy.

    * Dr. Yang intends to raise the standard of Chinese martial arts training in the world.

    * Students will demonstrate the highest levels of skill, morality, humility, and spirituality.

    * The Center will communicate the true depth of Chinese Healing and Martial Arts.

    * The program is estimated to cost $500,000 per year. Our fundraising goal to 'break even' is $5 M.

    More info

    Image"There are four main purposes of establishing this nonprofit Retreat Center.

    1. To preserve Chinese arts to the same level as 50 years ago. From my experience of more than 35 years of teaching, I deeply realize that in order to preserve the Chinese martial to the profound level as in ancient times, a student must live in an environment similar to that in ancient times. Traditionally, a student would live together with a master for 10 years of training in a single martial art style. Back then, there was no TV, no computer, no external distraction, no social pressure, and no luxurious lifestyles like today. Daily life was simple, and the heart of training was sincere. A student was thus able to concentrate his/her whole mind in the training. Therefore, my plan is to take 15 students to this remote mountain environment for 10 years of training, nine months per year. With good discipline and instruction, I sincerely believe that I can raise the quality and depth of the arts to a standard as high as in ancient times.

    2. To prove that today's youth is able to develop good self-discipline through traditional Chinese martial arts training as they were in ancient times. In this school, a student must learn and perform a high standard of self-discipline in order to persevere and succeed throughout the difficult training.

    3. To raise awareness of martial morality. Due to widely-spread commercialized martial arts, such as Hollywood Kung Fu movies and culture, martial morality has been ignored in modern times. In this Retreat Center, a student must aim to achieve a high level of martial morality, including:

    Morality of Deed: humility, respect, righteousness, trust, and loyalty.
    Morality of Mind: will, endurance, perseverance, patience, and courage.

    4. To plant the seed for future Chinese martial arts development. It is the intention with this camp to establish a model which demonstrates the structure and methods for preserving the Chinese Arts, and for planting the seed for future generations to continue this long-term development of the arts on the correct path. It is my hope that this type of training method will continue to spread and become popular in youth training centers around the world.

    Thank you,
    Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming"
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  2. #2


    It is a question of now and then (before) or 21st century vs 13 to 15th century etc.

    the ideas are good.

    but some practical issues:

    1. physical attributes. we may get better results when start younger. But that would mean minors or need parents' consent and also needing schooling up to high school. We are peaking around 20 year of age. That is why all the olympic gamers starting very young and winning golds around 20 year old or younger.

    2. DNA issues meaning some people are physically built for certain styles or more sudden or bursting powers such as jumping etc. Some people may do certain styles or moves well and some are physically not possible to do them. You may not ask a bunny to swim like a frog or a frog to hop like a bunny. You may spend all your life time to do it. You just could not.

    3. motivations come from self-drives. financial penalties may not work or incentives strong enough. it is an issue of great interests and dedications to MA practices. I know people would pay to get out of things and not getting into.

    4. balance of things in life. MA practices every day and nothing else. This is not a good balance. Some times a break here and there is absolutely necessary. We may want to be working like a machine and yet we are not. And even machine or computers need downtime for services or maintenace etc.

    5. the final thing is talent. some people just pick up stuff quickly and some people just could not make it no matter what.

    10 years enough time? for some is too long and for some is not enough.

    there are many good Wushu programs in China for youngsters but not for "older" folks. something to think about?
    Last edited by SPJ; 11-15-2006 at 07:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Austin, TX
    were do I sign up? I ain't got nothing planed for the next 10 years!

    If you donnate you should get to go an train with them for awhile.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    very interesting. I wonder if there's really that many volenteers for this..
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Orlando, Florida

    I hosted last year's Central Florida Workshop with Dr. Yang, and will do so again this coming January.. we have talked at length about his hopes for the school, and i admire his focus and intent.. He is looking for young dedicated students willing to give up 10 years of youth for the most intense training and an outstanding business opportunity.. for those students that complete the ten years of training there will be financial assistance for the purpose of opening a full-time Martial Arts school.. He will audition perspective students from all over the world and select the most likely to succede, there will be try-outs and tests.. Dr.Yang is focused and sincere.. i think this represents an outstanding challenge to the MA community, to reconsider the direction and training we currently see as the "norm"..

    Be well..
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Interesting idea and it seems real cool but....... Yang didn't train like this did he?
    Hung Sing Martial Arts Association
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Shell Beach, CA, USA
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaolindynasty View Post
    Interesting idea and it seems real cool but....... Yang didn't train like this did he?
    During the summer time (7/1 - 10/1), Yang would train 6 hours a day (from 12 noon to 6 pm) and 6 days a week (Mon - Sat). The training is out door and won't stop even under heavy raining. That's pretty serious training in today's standard. When he taught a CMA club in one university in Taiwan, he also formed a "fighting club" and forced all his students to spar. He is a serious combat guy all his life and I do hope he can succeed in his current project.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 11-16-2006 at 10:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Orlando, Florida

    I asked Dr. Yang if this was how he trained.. he said he wouldn't ask anyone to do something he hadn't done or couldn't do himself.. as was said, he is not only serious but capable.. the issue will be whether his students can handle the training..

    Be well..
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  9. #9
    It is absolutely admirable and very generous on the part of the teacher.

    the idea or romanticism of reclusion may not be necessary.

    10 years of dedicated teaching and training with only 15. seemed not fair to the rest of the crowd/students.

    it may be better to have a school or programs for more people than just 15.

    1. such as 2 years for instructors (junior college)

    2. 4 years for teachers. (undergraduate)

    3. 2 years for master. (graduate schools)

    4. 2 years more for PhD or doctor of MA.

    not just training and practicing but also research, thesis paper, new classics or new moves or new routines etc.


    these are also Wushu programs in China from high school up to college. Everything is still evolving.


    coaching with multiple styles with multiple teachers may be offered at master and PhD levels.


    dun mind me, just some thoughts.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Orlando, Florida

    SPJ: Dr. Yang is interested in quality and he will be the hands-on instructor.. the relatively small number of students assures that each will receive very detailed instruction and be held to a tightly controlled standard.. he expects that from the 15 selected that it is likely only 10 will complete the training, but.. those 10 will, hopefully, follow a similar path and perhaps each of them will produce 10 more.. so that in the next 20-30 years there could be a hunderd highly trained well disciplined teachers, with many qualified instructors under their supervision.. Dr. Yang has a very structured program, consistent and demanding.. He allows a student to test for any certification only twice, it forces the student to be confident and train diligently.. and, the tester doesn't waste time with endless repeats of half-hearted students, or pick their pockets for test after test.. Dr. Yang has a deep and sincere interest in TCMA, particularly from a comprehensive combat perspective.. and, he expects integrity!

    One of the benefits i see from this focused approach, is that it can set a standard for preserving TCMA as a viable fighting art as well as preserving a rich cultural heritage.. It takes courage to put yourself out there like this, Dr. Yang will surely be scrutinized by the MA community.. and, my money says he will rise to the challenge.. since i have developed a relationship with Dr. Yang, i have also developed a deep respect for his knowledge and capabilities.. his goal is to improve TCMA, if he were interested in fame or fortune from this venture he would have invited many more students..

    Be well..
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  11. #11

    Thanks for the clarifications and info.

    I only have great admirations for him. I was posting as a general theme/discussion.

  12. #12
    I know Yang rather well, and he is a good guy and good instructor. I can't help but see this as a money making venture. Roughly the way this works is that the prospective student pays tuition for the first X amount of years. I believe it is 5 years. This tuition payment decreases to nothing as time goes by, but initially I think it is as much at $35,000 for the first year. The total is in the vacinity of $100,000. If you complete all 10 years, the money is returned to you in full as a down payment to start you own school. I think that's great.

    The thing is if you are forced to leave the program, you forfeit all your tuition. He is only taking young students. I believe the cut off is 21 years old if not younger. Now how many young guys do you know that are training hard at that age and truly believe it is their life quest only to have it fall out of favor for various reasons in the following years? I know quite a few. Nine months is a hefty commitment for the 10 years. They'll be unable to make much money at all, start relationships, start families, etc. I can see many being pulled away by such things, so the "foundation" will keep the tuition. IIRC, the foundation is paying Yang a very nice salary for this and Yang personally owns this land, so the foundation is paying Yang rent in order to use it... Perhaps I'm just a pessimist. Just seems a bit like a racket to me.

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    Yes. the 15 students may not stick around long enough.

    But the main thing is that the "thoughts" or the ideas of 10 years of dedicated training and practicing without any other "worldly" distractions.

    This alone deserves a lot of admirations and respect.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Weymouth Ma
    I don't know much about tuition or anything else for this project. What I do know is that when he first came out with the idea he said he wanted to do it because people in his school were to distracted. The didn't train with all their heart and many would train for a short time and then disappear. He wanted to take a group of dedicated students away from all distractions and teach them deep level kung fu.

    The problem with this is that if he had spent more time in his own school teaching class himself instead of running around the world teaching seminars to be famous and make money and leaving his school run by students who all taught the same forms,drills, and techniques different from each other and him, he could have had plenty of long term dedicated students. I spent a few years in his school and I respect his knowledge and abilities but he definitely views kung fu as a money making venture.

    If the tuition thing is right I can partially understand it. He did something similar with his sparring class. You paid x amount up front for each session. you earned back $10 for each class you attended but forfeited $20 for each class you missed. If you missed x amount you lost the money and got kicked out of the sparring class. it was done mostly to entice dedication and most people completed each session without losing much of their money. On a large project like this I can see him doing something similar with a more substantial input. If somebody drops out after two or three years then he's wasted a spot in his group and wasted his time teaching that individual. So there is nothing wrong with ensuring a lot of dedication. The problem is if the amounts listed above are correct then the only people who can afford it are the rich and if they need to be under 21 then that leaves a bunch of spoiled rich kids. The people who have the ability to do this may not care about losing that money when they get tired of this. Also Dr. Yang has always emphasized the fighting aspects of his martial arts and who really believes that spoiled rich kids are going to make the best fighters or instructors of fighting arts? He would do much better dedicating himself to his own school and his students there.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Columbus, OH
    Yes, but to me it seems that his whole goal is based on a romantic idea of kungfu that never really existed. Nice idea, but I'm skeptical. It'll be interesting to see how these people turn out though.

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