Your real strength comes from being your best you
If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than you are
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles


YMAA seeks to preserve, develop, and refine traditional Kung Fu (Gongfu), Tai Chi (Taijiquan), and Qigong to an exceptionally high standard through an international, mutually-supportive community and network. We openly welcome, teach, learn from, and support all who share their knowledge about any related external or internal art. 

At YMAA, our vision is to use Chinese culture and martial arts training to foster a global nation of like-minded people who help each other achieve their goals.
We aim to build students’ confidence, physical health, mental focus, and self-discipline. Our school promotes traditional methods of practice, challenging ourselves and each other physically, mentally, and spiritually. We encourage creativity, attention to detail, and correctness in the arts. Throughout our training, we strive to embody martial morality: humility, respect, righteousness, trust, loyalty, will, endurance, patience, perseverance, and courage.


Corlius Birkill

Corlius Birkill was introduced to the martial arts at age 8, practicing Karate for a few years. He then started his Chinese Martial Arts training in 1984 at the age of 13. The first systems he studied were the southern division style, Wing Chun and a northern division style, Lune Whan Kune. His dedication in these disciplines led to him being awarded provincial colours in 1990, and then being invited to represent his country overseas. Due to his passion for the art Corlius Birkill decided to expand his knowledge which led to his first visit to Boston, USA in 1995. Here he started his intensive study of the following systems; the southern division style, White Crane (Bai He) and the northern division style Long Fist (Chang Chuan) as well as internal systems Tai Chi Chuan, and Baguazhang under the personal tuition of Dr. Yang Jwing Ming. Besides the different martial arts aspects Corlius Birkill has also learnt several qigong systems as well as healing arts such as Tui Na and Dian Xue massage from Dr. Yang. Since 1995 Mr. Birkill has visited Dr. Yang on a regular basis, furthering his studies and training. In March 2008 he completed the YMAA Shaolin Syllabus when he was awarded the rank of Instructor. Corlius Birkill hosted annual seminars presented by Dr. Yang in South Africa from 1996 until 2007. In August 2009 Corlius was honoured to be accepted as disciple by Dr. Yang. Corlius holds MBL and B.Eng (Hons) degrees. https://youtu.be/vkrmoLeNhwM

George Mentis

Competitive Fitness Accomplishments: Chinese Martial Arts: Internationally certified assistant instructor of Yang’s Martial Arts Association (2006). Bronze Medalist: San Shou (70kg-75kg) SAWF National Trials July 2006. Gold Medalist: Tui Shao / Push Hands (70kg-85kg) Open Competition April 2014 National Champion: Tui Shao / Push Hands (70kg-85kg) SAWF National Trials July 2014 Coaching Experience: Senior Coach of Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu at YMAA South Africa HQ from 2001 – current Assistant San Shou coach at YMAA South Africa HQ from 2005 – current Course designer of Ashtanga Vinyasa & Power Yoga training at Dragon Spirit Fitness Fusion Centre from 2006 - 2014 Co-Course designer of Summer Body & Iron Body fitness, strength & conditioning programs 2011 - 2014 Fitness and Performance enhancement qualifications: HKC Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification (2011) Ashtanga Yoga Teachers Certification (2006) Hypnotherapy through SAIH (2005) Reiki Level 1 Instructorship (2009) Qualified YMAA Assistant Instructor (2006) Chin Na: Chin Na (Qin Na) is the study of how to control your opponent. It uses joint locks to limit mobility, and attacks acupuncture cavities and other sensitive parts of the body with strikes, grabs, and other techniques. Chin Na is part of the course of study in almost all Chinese martial styles, and it can be a valuable addition to any other martial system.

Aiden Lottering

Competitive Fitness Accomplishments: Chinese Martial Arts: Internationally certified assistant instructor of Yang's Martial Arts Association. Chinese Martial Arts: Protea colours 2010 National Champion: Sanshou(Full contact fighting) & Taolu(Traditional forms) Representing South Africa at: 4th Traditional World Wushu Championships 2010 Coaching Experience: Senior Coach of Kung Fu, San Shou and Tai Chi at YMAA South Africa HQ from 1996 - current Head coach and course designer of Kid's Kung Fu training at YMAA HQ from 2008 - current Head Conditioning Coach at Dragon Spirit Fitness Fusion Center 2009 - current Fitness and Performance enhancement qualifications: HKC Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification Ashtanga Yoga Teachers Certification Tacfit Instructor CST Instructor Hypnotherapy YMAA Assistant Instructor (2006) Other First Aid Level 1 (07-12-2013)

Hester Combrinck

Although Tai Chi is a martial art with philosophical and mental aspects, Hester focuses on the relaxation and health promoting aspects of Tai Chi.
Hester started her Tai CHi training at YMAA in 2009 and has personally benefited greatly from the many health benefits as a result of her practice.
She also loves nature, gardening, practising the art of Bonsai, and curiously pursues the deeper philosophies of life.









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