What is the History of the Nam Yang Martial Arts
Nam Yang Martial Arts Association was founded in the Geylang
district of Singapore in 1954 by legendary Shaolin Master Ang Lian
Huat who left China as the Communist army approached. The
Communists suppressed traditional Chinese practices such as Shaolin
Kung Fu, Chi Kung, Feng Shui, Buddhism and Taoism and Master Ang
left in order that the teachings be preserved.
Master Ang was born on the island of Quemoy off the coast of
Fukien Province, China. He had learned several of the Fukienese
(Hokien) martial arts including:
the Fukienese White Crane Martial Art ('Eng Chun Pei Ho')
the Tiger Art ('Tai Chor')
the Monkey Art
the Shaolin weapons systems
the Sun and Frost White Crane Soft Art ('Shuang Yang Pei Ho Rou
He also learned Chi Kung (Qigong) and external medicine.
Master Ang continued to practice the arts which he had learned in
China until his passing in 1984. It was these arts which he passed
to his students after founding the association. He most favoured
the White Crane Art, teaching a form which was combined with the
strength of the Tiger Art, to which he referred to as the
Nam Yang Martial Arts is now led by Master Tan Soh Tin of
Singapore, disciple, student and heir of the Shaolin Martial Arts
lineage held by Master Ang. Nam Yang Martial Arts teaches only the
original, time-tested martial arts skills. Nam Yang Martial Arts
teaches all people equally, black, white, female, male irrespective
of religion. When you join Nam Yang Martial Arts you become part of
an international martial arts family who respect and look after
Master Tan has devoted his life to studying the Chinese Martial
Arts, but has also received a formal education and traveled widely.
It was he who first opened the association's doors to non-Chinese
students, recognizing that interest in Chinese martial arts was
growing throughout the world and also that there was a lack of
Master Tan now devotes all of his time to furthering the
association and regularly travels abroad to allow others to benefit
from his great experience and depth of knowledge in the Chinese
Since the late 1970's the association has been teaching in the UK.
On the 8th August 1994, a meeting of the association's full
committee recognized the U.K. branch as the association's first
official overseas branch. The draught constitution by Master Tan,
Master Iain Armstrong, senior student of Master Tan, leads the UK
branch which is dedicated to continuing the traditions, teachings,
philosophy and spirit of the association. For these purposes it
regularly hosts seminars, workshops and organises trips to
Singapore to enable its members to train at the association's
Master Iain Armstrong is one of Europe's foremost authorities on
Chinese martial arts. He has trained constantly for over 20 years
and is a personal student of the Shaolin lineage Master, Master Tan
Soh Tin of Singapore. He is a columnist for Combat magazine and
appears regularly in international demonstrations in Europe and
Asia. The 1993 and 2004 World Champion also possesses a host of
other qualifications from an international judges license to the
more practical distinction of having survived as a doorman on the
London nightclub scene without ever sustaining an injury!
Master Iain Armstrong is also Britain's foremost instructor in
the Shaolin art of Iron Shirt Chi Kung under the tutelage of Master
Tan Eng Hock. The ability to harness 'chi' energy in order to
reinforce and protect the body is what allows Master Iain Armstrong
to perform the feats which he is most famous for such as washing
his face in broken glass, rubbing red hot chains and bending spears
with his neck.
In April 1995 Master Tan and Ivan Lee visited the U.K. for five
weeks, delivered seminars and set up the U.K. Lion Dance troupe.
Two golden lions and a set of instruments were donated from
Singapore and the eyes of the lions were dotted at Banstead with
most of the U.K. members present.
1998 saw the opening of the club's UK headquarters in Alexandra
Park, Epsom. The buildings open onto the park which provides an
idyllic location to practice and promote the many benefits of
Traditional Martial Arts.
The Nam Yang Martial Arts Association expects students to train
hard and to a high standard, and also to prove their character
before they are authorised to teach. This policy ensures that the
martial arts are passed down in their full and traditional form
without dilution or the loss of their true spirit. It is a credit
to the diligence and attitude of our students that we have now
grown to have branches around the South of England with very many
active members - a major contributor to Chinese Martial Arts in the
The UK branch is proud to state that we are recognised by the
British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA). Instructors and
students regularly attend BCCMA events.
We are currently a major force in Traditional Shaolin Forms
competition in the UK, and field an increasingly impressive Chinese
Boxing team. In addition our Lion and Dragon dance teams provide
auspicious dances not only around the country, but also
internationally, so sought after is the calibre of our performance.
We compete nationally and internationally and dance annually in
London's Chinatown to usher in the Chinese New Year.
Nam Yang Pugilistic Association continues to go from strength to
strength. We hope you'll join us and be part of our bright