Dr. Yang Announces New Training Program 2018

Thanks to the generous support of individual donors and the Ku Foundation, the YMAA Retreat Center will extend its operations. The center is recruiting new students for two new training programs:

  • 5-Year Shaolin/Taiji
  • 3-Year Taiji/Qigong (no age restriction)

Those who are interested can now download the applications for details and instructions on applying. ( https://www.ymaaretreatcenter.org/new-programs )

The First 10 Years

Preserving the arts has been the focus of Dr. Yang's work for more than 40 years. The Retreat Center aims to ensure this authentic lineage of traditional Chinese arts will continue for generations, by providing a place to immerse yourself in training, relaxation, and daily focus on improving yourself. The beautiful redwood forest environment reflects the mountaintop kung fu camp Dr. Yang trained in as a teen with his shaolin kung fu master Cheng, Gin Gsao.

The first 10-year program is ending and graduation is in June 2018. The first generation of kung fu, tai chi and qigong students began in 2008. Applicants from around the world were selected for life on the mountain, training daily in the redwood forest of Northern California with Dr. Yang and visiting teachers, such as Dr. Yang's own 80-year old Taijiquan master Gao, Tao. These students have become excellent teachers and are now graduating to share the arts around the world.

Seven of the current Shaolin/tai chi students will graduate in June 2018:
Jonathan Chang (10 Years)
Frank Verhülsdonk (9 Years)
Javier Rodriguez (9 Years)
Quentin Lopes (6 Years)
Michelle Lin (5 Years)
Enrico Tomei (5 Years)
Piper Chan (5 Years)


New students, visitors, and seminar guests will now have another 5 years to train and study at the Retreat Center. After the programs end in June 2023, the Center will remain open for visiting students and guests while the property is prepared for sale in 2024.

The Center is located in the scenic mountains of Northern Humboldt County, California. Living in relative isolation with Dr. Yang and senior students immerses individuals in the training. Fewer distractions from outside society can lead to higher quality focus on practicing and understanding the material.

The Center is searching for individuals who not only enjoy training martial arts, but can also demonstrate their strong dedication to understanding and preserving the arts.

5-Year Shaolin/Taiji Program (2018-2023)

The 5-Year Program focuses on Shaolin Long Fist, Shaolin White Crane, Taijiquan, and Qigong. The day begins with meditation and speed training, followed by Qigong exercises or tumbling. After breakfast, the group trains Long Fist or Taijiquan techniques with body conditioning drills and Gongfu fundamentals taking place in the afternoon. There is a 17-30 year old age limit due to the physical demands of the schedule and curriculum.


3-Year Taiji/Qigong Group (2018-2021)

The 3-Year Program emphasizes Taijiquan, Qigong, and the theories behind them. The group starts their day with meditation and Qigong exercises, followed by Taijiquan sequences and light body conditioning. After lunch, the students practice Taijiquan basics until the group Qigong discussions and self-practice/study blocks. There are no age requirements for this program.

Repulse Monkey

More information: Dr. Yang will not be present during the following weeks in 2018:

  • February 12th – March 4th
  • March 15th – 26th
  • April 5th – 23rd

Submit Written Application (Deadline: May 31, 2018)
Final Students Selected (June 15, 2018)
Mandatory Orientation (August 30, 2018)
Semester Begins (September 1, 2018)

"I cannot express how grateful I am to everyone who has supported me through over four decades of teaching martial arts and Qigong. There is much we have learned and accomplished and I look forward to the following years. Thank you very much." - Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming