Welcome to the YMAA Retreat Center

YMAA Retreat Center land

Preserving the arts has been the focus of Dr. Yang’s work throughout the past 40 years, and the Retreat Center will ensure this authentic lineage of traditional Chinese arts will continue for generations.

YMAA Retreat Center in Humboldt County, CA is a nonprofit organization established in 2005 by the founder of YMAA (Yang’s Martial Arts Association), world renowned author and teacher, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, Ph.D. The purpose of this organization is to restore and preserve traditional Chinese martial arts and culture to their original level of high quality and standards.

Expertise and mastery in the field of the Chinese arts requires the guidance of an experienced teacher. The YMAA Retreat Center will offer a unique facility to reestablish and continue the time-honored tradition in which a student lives and trains together with the teacher. This level of dedication ensures deep and accurate transmission of the teacher's complete knowledge, making the arts a way of life and academic career option for each student. Isolated from the distractions of modern society in a remote mountain area in Northern California, a small group of students will live and train with Dr. Yang in an unprecedented 10-year training program. The extensive curriculum includes Chinese martial arts and weapons, English and Chinese literature, writing and publishing, Chinese cooking and culture, horseback riding, archery, meditation, and the healing arts. Graduating students will be conferred the title of Master of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

Goals of the YMAA Retreat Center

  • To raise the standards of Chinese martial arts training in the West by demonstrating exceptionally high levels of skill, morality, humility, and spirituality
  • To communicate the true depth of traditional Chinese arts and culture to mainstream America and the world

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming the four main purposes of establishing the YMAA Retreat Center:

  1. To preserve Chinese arts and to reestablish its quality as it was 50 years ago.

    From my experience of teaching for more than 35 years, I realized that in order to preserve the Chinese arts to a profound level as in ancient times, a student must live in an environment similar to that of ancient times. Traditionally, student lived together with their masters for 10 years of training in a single martial arts style. Back then, there was no TV, no computers, fewer external distractions, less social pressure, and no luxurious lifestyles like today. Daily life was simple, and the heart of students was oftentimes more genuinely sincere. Students were thus, able to concentrate their entire minds into the training. Therefore, my plan is to take a small group of selected students to a remote mountain environment for 10 years of training, 9 months per year. With good discipline and instruction, I sincerely believe that I will 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 capable of developing strong self-discipline through traditional Chinese martial arts training.

    At the YMAA Retreat Center, a student must learn and demonstrate a high level of self-discipline in order to persevere and succeed in the training.
  3. To raise awareness of martial morality.

    Due to widespread commercialized martial arts, such as Hollywood Kung Fu movies and culture, martial morality has too often been ignored or downplayed in modern times. At the YMAA 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 my intention that through this center, we will be able to establish a model which demonstrates an effective structure and methods for preserving Chinese arts and for planting the seed for future generations to continue the correct and proper long-term development of the arts. It is my hope that this training method will become popular in youth training centers around the world.