KAMBO TRAINING COURSE FAQs
The IAKP – International Association of Kambo Practitioners is a ‘not-for-profit’ Foundation based in the Netherlands. We were founded in 2014 to support the safe and responsible training of Kambo practitioners and to provide an incredibly knowledgeable community to connect them. We have continued to ‘open the gates’ for the development and research into the safest, most responsible, and sustainable Kambo practice since then. We are widely recognised as the world’s leading authority on Kambo and our practitioner training is the most popular in the world. Over the past 10 years, the IAKP have developed the largest body of unique techniques, training resources, guidelines and deeply researched contraindications, ever amassed.
WHO WAS THE FIRST PROVIDER OF STRUCTURED KAMBO TRAINING IN THE WORLD?
The IAKP was the first organisation to create and offer a Kambo Practitioner Training program anywhere in the world. Prior to our inception, there was no such thing as a properly trained Kambo practitioner. Our unique training program was based on years of practice and teachings from the Amazon. It is intense, challenging and life-changing but also adapted for Western sensibilities. We combine traditional treatments with our own newer, innovative creations like the popular and powerful Chakra Kambo and the 3×3 initiation ritual <internal link to 3×3 Truth> . When our training was created well over a decade ago, there were very few people in the world working with Kambo. We realised that in order for Kambo to spread we needed practitioners, and we needed those practitioners to be well trained. These realisations guided us to create a way for people to learn to work with Kambo outside the rainforest.
Created in 2013-2014 by our founder, our course has been updated and expanded over the years to incorporate our collective learnings, experiences, knowledge, and pursuit or the safest and most comprehensive Kambo training program possible. It incorporates years of learning, creativity and research, taught by an incredible team of fully trained teachers and their assistants. All our course are residential because we never want you to waste time or energy moving between locations. Venues are comfortable and accessible, running in the most amazing locations from Europe, Mexico, Bali, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA and many more. Food is always good and plentiful. Always vegan and vegetarian combined.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW TO DECIDE WHERE TO TRAIN?
We know that when you’re thinking about training, you’ll be looking around at all the options.
There are some very important questions to ask up front to ensure that your training is safe, ethical and being delivered by someone who has been properly trained to teach the practice rather than just taken a course and then rehashed someone else’s work, usually based on a partial or outdated understanding.
Always ask who created the program and the techniques within the program?
Where did they themselves train and to what level? Unless they can demonstrate being formally trained to Master level and beyond, you need to ask yourself what gives them the authority to teach you?
Check in with their safety procedures. What are they and what are they based on?
Did they research their own contraindications or borrow them from elsewhere and only have a bare understanding of them?
Have they researched substance interactions? Including the tools that you will use on your training?
Do they have a formal Code of Practice that all their practitioners work within?
Do they update their materials on a regular basis to reflect learning from the wider world of Kambo practice.
What ongoing support do they offer and what body of knowledge is this based on?
Do they have thousands of accumulated hours of innovative practice, in depth knowledge and worldwide experience?
Bear in mind that if you see our unique creations like Chakra Kambo, 3×3 warrior initiations, Test Points etc being taught by other organisations that you will not be receiving authorised, up to date or safe instruction as only our teachers are able to offer this. You may be learning with an unethical teacher or an underhand organisation using IAKP copyrighted work and knowingly passing it on to you. This means that your training has little value or integrity and you start your journey as a practitioner ethically out of alignment with the spirit of Kambo work.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TRAIN WITH THE PEOPLE WHO CREATED THESE TECHNIQUES?
Over time, our training program has been much copied by other organisations who are neither qualified nor authorised to use or teach our work.
Not only does this impact on the support that our foundation can contribute to our causes; it also impacts on the quality, safety, and integrity of the Kambo training itself.
We do not share much information in our workbooks. Most of our teaching is done by spoken word. Our teachers are trained through several levels giving them an in-depth and unique understanding of the thinking, philosophy, meanings, and details behind all our techniques. Most significant is safety information.
WHY HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE TAKEN IAKP WORK AND PASSED IT OFF AS THEIR OWN?
We wish we knew the answer to this question. We can only imagine that sadly, they are more focused on financial gain than creating their own work and developing any authentic authority in the world of Kambo.
IS THE IAKP WARRIOR 3X3 TREATMENT A ‘TRIBAL INITIATION’?
Our Warrior 3×3 initiation has been widely sold as a ‘tribal initiation’ in a simple attempt to make money. It is no such thing. It was developed by our founder as a way to emulate a traditional rite of passage for her student practitioners.
We have seen it being shared and even taught by unscrupulous people who themselves have never been trained to the necessary level. See our full explanation by clicking here.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAIN WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE TEACHING IAKP TECHNIQUES?
The short answer is no, because they have not been trained to teach them to you. Even someone who trained as a teacher within the IAKP several years ago will be offering you unauthorised and out of date work. We update our workbooks regularly based on new learnings, research and understanding. This is only shared with current IAKP teachers.
WHAT OTHER QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK A PROSPECTIVE TEACHER?
How long is their course? (If its under 14 days – ask them what precedent that is based on?
What does their current Kambo practice look like?
What is their connection to the work?
What other skills and experience do they bring to their practice?
Check that they understand the ethics and safety necessary to run the training?
Is the venue suitable. No changing during the training?
Are there sufficient ceremonies for you to become confident in the practice?
HOW EXPERIENCED ARE IAKP TEACHERS?
Our most senior teachers have been teaching for almost seven years, most have 5 years plus experience and the rest 2-4 years. Some teachers only teach the basic level and others teach advanced too. This is no reflection on the teacher’s ability at all. Mostly it reflects their love of teaching new practitioners.
HOW BIG ARE YOUR GROUPS SIZES?
Some teachers train large groups of 12-16 students, usually with another teacher and an assistant. Some teachers only offer private 1:1s and others prefer smaller groups of 4-8. Some teachers do all sizes. Others organise bespoke training programmes where required
DOES THE IAKP OFFER TRAINING IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES?
Yes, we do. The IAKP is constantly expanding its offerings. We already teach in English, Spanish, German, Polish, French and we have Italian and Swedish coming very soon. All our workbooks and guides are fully translated for student use. We are planning Greek and Portuguese as soon as possible.
DOES THE IAKP OFFER DIFFERENT LEVELS OF TRAINING?
We believe that our Basic program is just the first step in the journey of a practitioner. Our training is intensive and packs in modules on the origins and history of Kambo, the science around Kambo, self-treatment, contraindications in depth, substance interactions, safety procedures, ceremony tools, practical skills and a range of our own creations such as Layered treatments, Test Points, Chakra Kambo, Auricular Kambo and Special combination treatments. We teach you how to consult, how to hold space and how to undertake physical and emotional first aid if needed. You will participate in several ceremonies both serving and receiving where you will be able to put everything into practice. We also have an extensive Kambo song collection, and we love to sing!
After a period of supported practice, we build on that initial training by offering a further 7 day Advanced training to allow you to take your practice to the next level. This enables you to work with more complex clients and gives you a greater understanding of the work. We also teach you more advanced techniques for working with Kambo.
When you’re comfortable working with advanced working techniques, you can join our Master Practitioner program in which we provide a high level of support and feedback by our most senior master practitioners, 1:1 support to work in a structured and focused way with longer term clients with more serious issues to address, and the opportunity to experience mentoring junior practitioners. This is not a training course but a mentored experience with our most knowledgeable people, usually undertaken over 1-2 years.
The final step is our Teacher Training Program. Again 1-2 years of assisting teachers, a formal teacher training course that gives you the opportunity to learn teaching skills, understand our teaching materials and techniques in great depth and to teach them yourself around the world. Our huge team of experienced multilingual teachers offer group or private training around the world.
For us, becoming a Kambo Practitioner is a journey of discovery and learning. So, whether you want to offer an occasional treatment, run group ceremonies, mentor others, work in depth in intense situations or teach others, we have an option for you.
HOW LONG IS YOUR BASIC PRACTITIONER COURSE?
Two weeks. We believe that two weeks is the absolute minimum amount of time that a group practitioner training requires. Its the minimum time needed to get you familiar with basic practice and allow you to participate in sufficient ceremony work. In the two week period, you will participate in at least 8 different sessions either as a server or receiver. Our course is carefully crafted to build, day by day, increasing your skills, enhancing your abilities, opening your mind and voice, and growing your knowledge. We don’t say it’s easy, but we do hope that it will be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done.
WHY DON’T YOU TRAIN IN THE DEPTHS OF THE JUNGLE?
We have trained in several rainforest/jungle environments in the past and we recognise that they come with a number of challenges. Some parts of Central and South America have accessible venues and we are training in those areas. Costa Rica is an example where you can experience our training in a friendly rainforest environment. Others present a more difficult environment in terms of weather, wildlife, food, healthcare, water, accommodation, waste disposal, resources, and travel. Our concern for the forest and its people is paramount and we don’t want to take hundreds of people to places where indigenous people already struggle to find food and water and to dispose of their waste. We have a responsibility to keep our students safe and well and we take that very seriously. We’ve also found that the challenges the jungle presents are not for everyone and can seriously distract people from the training.
Several of our practitioners take small groups to the jungle. After training, there are always opportunities to go and meet the frog in its natural habitats.
DO YOU KEEP YOU STUDENT TEACHING MATERIALS UP TO DATE?
Here at the IAKP we are continually learning. All our teaching materials, practitioner guides and knowledge base are updated on a regular basis. Students and practitioners benefit from the broadest and most up to date knowledge in the world.
WHAT ONGOING SUPPORT DO YOU OFFER QUALIFIED PRACTITIONERS?
We believe that we offer the biggest and best support package any practitioner could wish for. In addition to our unique guides and research updates, we have support groups, mentoring, newsletters, song sharing and a membership discount scheme to say thank you to our long standing practitioners.
You can ask as many questions as you wish, enjoy the debate, contribute to the knowledge base and even participate in the running of both the IAKP membership and the Not For Profit Foundation that oversees our work.
We always have new initiatives for our practitioners in the pipeline. At this current time, we are launching Research Grants for Practitioners and our very own IAKP Practitioners All Platform App so that our people have every single bit of updated information they need at their fingertips.
DO YOU OFFER BURSARIES?
Yes, we do. Our founder believes that its important to offer a helping hand to those from communities, backgrounds or circumstances that might prevent them from being able to fund their own training.
Every year, her Greenlight Bursary Award, offers 3 people the opportunity to train with us, completely free of charge. You can read some feedback from Bursary recipients and apply yourself here NOTE TO ADD FEEDBACK
WHAT OTHER GOOD STUFF DO YOU DO?
Lots! We are a proud not-for-profit, so we offer continual support to the communities that supply us and support our work. Our focus is not on creating wealth for ourselves but on creating sustainable communities and fair trade agreements as well as promoting the care of the habitat of the Kambo frog. We have long standing relationships with the indigenous people that we work with and we’re always happy to make an introduction if you want to visit.
We also have a number of charities and foundations that we promote and work with. Each year, our practitioners nominate a Charity of the Year. Please click here for our current Causes and Donations page.
WHO RUNS THE IAKP?
The day to day work of the IAKP is overseen by a management team made up of teachers and practitioners working on a paid or volunteer basis. They are responsible for our website, managing memberships, practitioner resources and wellbeing, training schedules and resources management. They also undertake a myriad of tasks like newsletters, complaints handling, one off events, masterclasses and social media work.
Whatever your skills, we can find a place for you if you are motivated to work with us. One of our team is even dedicated to maintaining our deep relationship with the Matses tribe which gives him the opportunity to visit their communities and attend tribal councils with them.
“It is a pleasure and honor to represent the IAKP with the Matsés. The journey has been gratifying and, at the same time, challenging. We are currently working on several projects with the Matsés.
For example, we are collaborating with them to start a scientific study of the Phyllomedusa bicolor frog, incorporating different aspects: educational, scientific, anthropological, ecological, etc. Another project is to support them in creating a website and open a bank account, in Peru on their name, so they can receive donations directly, however, in order for them to be able to do that, first a survey of the Matsés territory and its boundaries needs to take place (Currently they are some engineers doing that). After that, the community can register the bylaws before the government of Loreto in Iquitos. As the IAKP’s liaison to the Matsés I have had the opportunity to meet many of the families and some of the board members. I also got the great opportunity to meet Roldan, a young Matsés who graduated as an Anthropologist from a university in Iquitos. Roldan’s thesis was about Kambo.
There are also several other projects in which we are helping the Matsés, and I am excited to share this journey with them and with you. Many of these projects take time due to the nuances of navigating the government requirements and sometimes the challenge to get the financial funds to implement them. Be the light, share the spirit of Kambo.”
IAKP Liaison to the Matsés
In addition, we have a team of trustees who are responsible for all aspects of the IAKP Foundation, including accounting, purchasing, grants, legal, asset creation and management, risk management, and resource planning and allocation. The trustees ensure that our foundation is run in accordance with best practice and Dutch law.
You can listen to our Management Co-ordinator and Trustee, Andrew, here.