Martial Arts for refugees, asylum seekers and forced migrants

Our team of instructors offer martial arts and combat sport classes for refugees and asylum seekers. People are welcomed into the club and into a safe environment where they can engage and be supported by our Nam Yang community network and partnerships. Nam Yang Brighton has been awarded a Club of Sanctuary. We are the second club in Brighton and Hove to receive this award and the first Martial Arts club in the UK to be awarded a Club of Sanctuary.

In line with the Clubs of Sanctuary movement and the local Sanctuary on Sea, we aim to:

  • Celebrate common humanity and contributions made by those who have come here for safety.
  • Tackle isolation, fear, and exclusion by creating a culture of welcome.
  • Give refugees and asylum seekers a place where they feel safe, welcomed, part of a community and where they can truly express themselves.
  • Use sport as a tool for social inclusion and to break down barriers

There are currently a number of refugees and asylum seekers training and working with us and we are working to expand the number of refugees and asylum seekers within our membership through participating in the Clubs of Sanctuary movement.

We have recently taken on work with victims of modern day slavery. Integrating them into our Nam Yang family and the wider community. All people deserve a warm welcome and an open heart when they arrive in a new country and we are helping trying to provide that as well as physical exercise, good mental health and somewhere they can call home.

Get in touch via the contact details below if you would like us to work with you or a project you are involved with.

Contact: Sam (Co-Director and Chief Instructor) or 07772 699146


“I have been involved with Nam Yang Brighton for over 12 years. Firstly, my sons became members at 5 yrs and 3 yrs old, then later I joined.

The ethos of the club is holistic and inclusive. I work as a Senior Nurse Practitioner in Mental Health Services and it has never been more important to look at both physical and mental health as one. Nam Yang promotes physical well-being but more than that it promotes, belonging, identity and a sense of being an important part in something bigger.

Sam Byford-Winter and the other instructors have created an environment that ensures anyone who attends is welcomed and allowed to be themselves without judgement or prejudice. Members of the club are supported by experienced and quality instructors who seem to know how to get the best out of people by supporting them to push their own boundaries.

I am a great fan of Nam Yang’s style of encouraging people to meet their goals in terms of martial arts training as well as nurturing and helping people to develop their emotional and psychological skills as part of the Nam Yang family.”

Derek Malloch   RMN, BA Hons, Dip Nursing (Adult)

Senior Nurse Practitioner

Mental Health Liaison Team

“I arrived in the UK as an Asylum seeker and a victim of torture. When I arrived, I was suffering with serious physical injuries, depression and PTSD.

I was lucky enough to have met one of the Nam Yang coaches before my arrival in the UK so once I arrived I made contact with them. After becoming involved with Nam Yang I immediately felt I had place where I was welcomed and loved and started to feel much better about my circumstances. Having a wonderful group of people supporting you really helps when you’re in a new country and so far away from family.

Nam Yang work with various refugees and Asylum seekers across Brighton and Hove. Even one of the instructors was an asylum seeker and has been part of Nam Yang for 20 years!

I volunteer by doing research work and administration for the club. I feel sports and martial arts are a great way of integrating refugees and asylum seekers into the community and Nam Yang do it amazingly well. I feel like I have a family”

ف ط: طالب اللجوء وضحية التعذيب:

“لقد وصلت إلى المملكة المتحدة كطالب لجوء وضحية للتعذيب. عندما وصلت، كنت أعاني من إصابات جسدية خطيرة واكتئاب واضطرابات ما بعد الصدمة. كنت محظوظًا بما يكفي لأني كنت قد قابلت أحد مدربي نادي نام يانغ قبل وصولي إلى المملكة المتحدة، لذا بمجرد وصولي تواصلت معهم. بعد الانخراط مع نادي نام يانغ شعرت على الفور أن لدي مكانًا يتم فيه الترحيب بي وكنت محبب من قبلهم وبدأت أشعر بتحسن كبير بشأن ظروفي. إن وجود مجموعة رائعة من الأشخاص يدعمونك سوف يساعدك حقًا عندما تكون في بلد جديد وبعيدًا عن العائلة. يعمل نادي نام يانغ مع العديد من اللاجئين وطالبي اللجوء في برايتون وهوف. حتى أنه أحد المدربين كان طالب لجوء وكان جزءًا من نادي نام يانغ لمدة 20 عامًا! أنا أتطوع بعمل بحثي وإداري للنادي. أشعر أن الرياضة وفنون الدفاع عن النفس هي طريقة رائعة لدمج اللاجئين وطالبي اللجوء في المجتمع، ونادي نام يانغ يفعل ذلك بشكل رائع. أشعر وكأن لدي عائلة هنا في المملكة المتحدة”

F T: UK Asylum seeker and torture victim