Presenters (in alphabetical order)
Shifu Sandra Balint
Sandra Balint is a Master and certified teacher in tai chi (taiji) and qigong; a performer, writer and judge in martial arts, and the owner of the Healthy Mind and Body Studio. Also a National and International gold medalist in tai chi, kung ku and Chinese fan, having competed in both the United States and Canada, she teaches in the Capital Region of NY and trains with her teacher of 27 years, Jiang Jianye. Sandra’s range of experience includes: empty hand and weapons training in tai chi and kung fu with straight sword, spear, fan, three section staff, broadsword, long and short staff. Her training in Chinese fan was under the direction of Masters Zou Zhao Lan, Lu Yuzhi, and Jiang Jianye. Sandra’s creative original fan work – Mu Lan Fusion Fan and Tai Chi 10 Fan – can be viewed on YouTube along with others on tai chi. Her teaching experience includes presentations and performances at the “International Women’s Writing Group” conferences at Yale and Brown Universities, at the “Women’s Voices and Women’s Visions” conferences at Skidmore College and for the “Fan Association of North America’s Assemblages” in Florida, Texas, and Minnesota. Her three Kung Fu Magazine e-zine articles: Tai Chi and Falls Prevention, Tai Chi Pivoting Techniques, and Tai Chi as a Healing Modality are available on their website. Her hardcopy articles: Tai Chi for Wellness and Fan: Weapon of Stealth and Beauty, are also available online.
Ph: (817) 860-0129
Shifu Robert Castaldo
Shifu Castaldo began training with Dr. Painter in the Li Family arts of Daoqiquan, in 1979. In 2004, after rigorous mental and physical testing he attained the rank of Shifu. Shifu Castaldo oversees the Jiulong Baguazhang program at The Gompa, and in that capacity was responsible for developing the step-by-step curriculum of core principles called Dragon Rolling the Pearl. He is also a Sargent in the American Rangers Law Enforcement Training Institute specializing in teaching instructor level course in hand-to-hand tactics for police and military. In his “civilian” life, Mr. Castaldo is a filmmaker, and teaches motion picture production at the prestigious KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts, in Dallas, Texas.
W. Boylston, MA
Ph: (978) 852-8776
Shifu George Chase
Sf. Chase is a Certified Tai Chi Instructor, under Tai Chi Healthways by Master Jesse Tsao. He has also studied ten years under various teachers. His awards are many, spanning the gamut from bronze to gold medals in several tournaments. He studied exercise science, physical fitness and structural kinesiology at Wachusett Community College, in addition to keeping current in first aid and CPR. Sf. Chase shares his belief: “…that Tai Chi is composed of two different parts and they don’t join for many years. The first, and the most important, are the health benefits. Everyone I have taught has taken up Tai Chi for this reason. They want to feel better, be stronger, have better balance, better posture, and be able to ‘relax’ under difficult circumstances. This is my main focus. Of course, depending on how a person learns, I teach the martial aspects, demonstrating the postures. The main thrust is the internal cultivation – how to get qi and use it for the benefits of health, how correct breathing causes relaxation, and that the waist/lumbar spine leads to rotation and flexibility. How special tai chi principles and concepts are hidden in the postures of the forms. Only then can one appreciate what qi does for the second part of tai chi – the martial aspects. Then one understands that tai chi is really moving qigong. This is how I structure my classes.” All are welcome.
Ph: (865) 379-9997
Sifu Richard Clear
Sifu Richard Clear is Sigong third generation lineage holder in tai chi from Lee Ying Arng who was a senior student under Yang Chen Fu. Sf. Clear has studied directly with such famous masters as Ma Yeuh Liang, Wen Mei Yu, Dr Fred Wu, Liu Ji Fa, Ju Bong Yi, Pei Xi Rong, Willem de Thouars and Don Ethan Miller among others. Master Clear began teaching in 1985 and has over 30 years of continuous study in tai chi (tai ji), qigong (chi kung) & internal martial arts, along with some other external styles. He has produced his own videos and books to help people learn in-person as well as online. His school in Tennessee hosts workshops and other events. He is also an adept practitioner of iron body skills and related martial arts and qigong practices.
New York, NY
Ph: (917) 885-8598
Sifu David Doljan
Sifu Doljan is a teacher, and senior student of Shigong Ken Lo, in the Wu Mei Pai systems. He teaches actively, and has used the systems himself for a myriad of self-development practices. His style is laid back and approachable, and he enjoys sharing and discussing the depth of the Chinese arts that he enjoys so enthusiastically .
Ph: (518) 209-2285
Shifu Jianye Jiang
Master Jianye Jiang began his wushu studies at age 5, under tutelage from masters such as Yu Mingwei, Yu Hai, Ruizhang Zhao and Yongxiang Zhou. He completed his BA and masters degrees from Qufu University and Shanghai Physical Education Institute. He’s been a tournament judge in the US and China, and is a board member of the USA National Tai Chi Chuan Federation. Master Jiang has acted in movies produced in China, Japan and Australia, and himself has produced over 300 instructional videos in Chinese martial arts and qigong. In addition to being a wushu expert and teacher of over 30 years, Master Jiang is also a master calligrapher, having won national and international awards. Sales proceeds of his prize-winning calligraphy have raised over $10,000 in donations to the Shandong Disabled Association in order to better the lives of those living with disabilities.
Shifu Violet Li
Shifu Violet Li is a 12th Generation Chen Style Tai Chi Inheritor and certified Tai Chi instructor. She has a passion for teaching and writing on Tai Chi and Qigong. Sf. Violet has written more than 400 articles on Tai Chi and Qigong with global readership of more than forty countries. Her articles have been translated and syndicated by a few media. She is also a columnist of “Chinese Wushu,” the most prominent Chinese martial arts magazine published in the Chinese language in China. She was interviewed by KBIA/National Public Radio at Columbia, MO and featured at “Show Me St. Louis,” Channel 5 KSDK (NBC), St. Louis, MO.
New York, NY
440 Lafayette Street at Astor Place.
New York City, NY 10003
Ph: (917) 885-8598
Sifu Angel Lo
Sifu Angel Lo is the wife and student of Sg. Ken Lo for over 17 years. Born in Hong Kong and speaking both the Mandarin and the Cantonese dialects of Chinese, Sf. Lo has great understanding of the traditional Chinese Arts. She is a stellar role model for women, as she gracefully combines the responsibilities of being a self-created woman business owner and teacher of the Wu Mei Pai kung fu system. Sifu/Simo practices Wu Mei Pai Kung Fu for health, fitness, and spiritual and physical balance. She is a living example of how the Wu Mei Pai kung fu system can be well utilized by women in a seemingly male-dominated arena. Although she is highly accomplished, people always remark how they enjoy her down-to-earth and approachable personality.
New York, NY
440 Lafayette Street at Astor Place.
New York City, NY 10003
Ph: (917) 885-8598
Shifu Ken Lo
Shifu Ken Lo’s mastery of the eastern arts runs very deep and reflects his great love of learning and teaching. From 1963 onward, Sifu Lo has studied or been an inner-door disciple of many arts, including: the Japanese martial arts, Praying Mantis kung fu, Ed Parker’s Kempo Kung Fu, yoga, hypnotherapy, Zen Buddhist meditation, Vadha, feng shui, poetics, Face Reading, Palmistry and Hand Writing Analysis, as well as Tibetan Buddhism. He is also known for his masterful work in Chinese calligraphy and the rare “Cha Dao” (the Chinese Art of Tea).
Sifu Lo is an active member of the Chinese martial arts community, having sat on many boards and directed at the executive level of numerous martial arts foundations. He is also a National Advisor to the USA Wu Shu Kung Fu Federation.
Sf. Ken Lo is the founding Director of the Wu Mei Kung Fu Association and is the highest authority of Wu Mei Kung Fu worldwide and is recognized by the Chinese government as an authentic traditional Chinese Martial arts master. He is the founding Director of the China Arts Council, whose mission is to preserve and promote traditional Chinese cultural arts in the West.
Ph: (518) 209-2285
Master YuZhi Lu
Master YuZhi Lu is the wife of Master Jian-Ye Jiang. She co-owns and operates their wushu and qigong school in Albany, NY. She is also involved in the production of their vast array of instructional videos and other projects, such as their annual group trips to China. Master Lu has studied wushu since age 12. She received her bachelors degree from the Physical Education Dept. of Qufu University in China and has instructed there for over 16 years. She then continued her wushu sutdies in Beijing, Shanghai and Shandong Province. She is certified and experienced to teach many forms of wushu and qigong healing therapies.
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Omchi Wellness Center
145 Palisade Street, Suite 369
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Ph: (201) 978-3461
Sifu Joseph Ng
Sifu Joseph Ng is the creator of the Invisible Buddha Fist System. This system parallels Buddha Hand Wing Chun except it is even softer in style. Sifu Ng has been teaching martial arts for 25+ years. The first ten years he taught Buddha Hand Wing Chun and the remaining years, Invisible Buddha Fist. He is practitioner and teacher of qigong (chi kung), both for health and in martial art applications. He also is a practicing herbalist with rare knowledge in herbs, natural healing formulas, and Eastern medicine.
Shifu Yancy Orchard
Dr. Yancy Orchard began studying martial arts in 1983 eventually earning a 1st degree black belt in karate and a 4th degree black belt in aikido. In 1994, he became a student of Dr. John Painter’s Jiulong Baguazhang. After many arduous years of training, Dr. Orchard was certified as a Shifu of Jiulong Baguazhang, Ziran Xingyiquan, and Liu Taijiquan by Dr. Painter. His own school in Saskatoon, SK, Canada is called “Orchard Kung Fu,” and offers classes in various elements of the Daoqiquan system: Jiulong Baguazhang, Liu Taijiquan, Ziran Xingyiquan, Dao Yin, Tibetan Coiling Snake Boxing, and Flying Dragon Qigong. Dr. Orchard is recognized internationally as a highly skilled instructor, well-known for his uncompromising technical ability, and clear and penetrating teaching style. Dr. Orchard helps each student toward what they need individually both martially and with regards to health and vitality.
Dr. John Painter
Dr. John Painter began his training as a young boy in Chinese and internal martial and healing arts with Master Li, Long-dao of Sichuan province. He studied with the master from 1957 to 1969. From there he went on to study Chinese medicine, massage and acupressure with Dr. Pao, Sun-Lung of Hong Kong and Tibetan yoga and meditation with Lama Trangu Rinpoche. He attended Texas Tech University majoring in psychology and theater arts. Dr. Painter holds a Ph.D. in naturopathic medicine and is listed in Who’s Who in the Chinese Martial Arts. He was elected to the Texas Martial Arts Hall of Fame and was twice elected to the Inside Kung Fu Magazine Hall of Fame.
Dr. Painter has appeared in feature films and on many martial arts magazine covers. He is the author of hundreds of articles on Chinese medicine, healing principles and the internal martial arts. Dr. Painter has also been heavily involved in medical and scientific research involving the study of qi life force energy, through work with the Life Sciences Qi Research Institute. He has received awards from NASA and other science organizations for his work. A Captain in the American Rangers Law Enforcement Martial Training Institute, Dr. Painter is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in practical, hand-to-hand combat training. His private client list includes members of the Israeli military combat training corp., FBI, DEA, US Army Rangers, US Army Special Forces, and US Marine Military Police officers.
Ph: (617) 701-7983
Shizi Charlie Pasquariello
Shizi (Instructor) Charlie Pasquariello has undergone and completed rigorous certification testing for the programs listed below under Shifu Painter in the Li Family Baguazhang system. These include: Dragon Rolling the Pearl (Jiulong Basics Program), Heaven Palm Bagua, Lake Palm Bagua, Fire Palm Bagua, Thunder Palm Bagua, and Sergeant in the PKC (Physical Knowledge Control) program.
He is honored to be one of only a handful of individuals to have completed this training and been given permission to lead a branch school in Boston’s Chinatown. For several years, Mr. Pasquariello honed his skills under the tutelage of Shifus Painter and Castaldo before becoming the head instructor for the Boston group. Prior to dedicating himself to Jiulong Baguazhang, he studied several other internal and external martial arts. Mr. Pasquariello holds a B.S. in Engineering Management from WPI and currently works as a Product Manager.
Shifu Wm. C. Phillips
Shifu William C. Phillips is a direct student of Grandmaster Cheng Man-Ching, who was the most famous disciple of Grandmaster Yang Cheng-Fu. Though holding several high ranking black belts in the Japanese Arts, including jiu-jitsu, Sf. Phillips’ specialty is taijiquan, which he was first introduced to by Sf. Stan Israel. He then studied under Prof. Cheng from 1970-1975, and was the most junior student to teach in Prof. Cheng’s school. From 1988-1998 Sf. Phillips also studied under Master Zhang Lu-Ping. Sf. Phillips has been a judge at many tournaments and travelled the country teaching seminars, including at Master Jou’s Tai Chi Farm. Sf. Phillips also ran a holistic health weekend at the Fallsview in the Catskill Mountains for 12 years, and held Cheng Man-Ching Tai Chi Family gatherings for the 100th and 101th Anniversaries of Professor’s birth. Sf. Phillips has made a number of TV appearances on programs such as The O’Reilly Report and Brent Garber’s Health Update, and has been featured in many publications including USA Today, Inside Kung Fu and Men’s Health. He is completing a book on taiji, and is working on a breathing and advanced form correction video to complement his very successful DVDs teaching Professor Cheng’s 37-Posture Yang Short Form and Push Hands. Sf. Phillips is well-known for producing students who excel in push hands and who have won many national and international championships.
Sifu David Ritchie
Sifu David Ritchie began training in the martial arts in 1969. His first taijiquan (tai chi chuan) instructor, Master Ben Wong, invited him as a special guest to join the Sabah Tai Chi Association of Sabah, East Malaysia. In Sabah, Sf. Ritchie’s instructor was Master Wong Li Sung, under Grandmaster Huang Xing Xian, who was a senior disciple of Grandmaster Cheng Man Ching. Sf. Ritchie then studied under Master Wong Yi in Hong Kong, the Thai Elders (former Cheng Man Ching students) in Bangkok, Thailand and throughout the years with well-known masters in the US. Sf. Ritchie has formally been teaching taijiquan since 1983, and founded Central Connecticut Tai Chi Chuan (CCTCC) in Meriden, CT in 1989. This was the first taijiquan school in New England to offer complete year-round taijiquan programs with 10 instructors and over a dozen classes each week. Sf. Ritchie has also taught taijiquan in several corporate settings such as ESPN, the Ntl. Arthritis Foundation and the Ntl. MS Society of CT. Sf. Ritchie was an assistant professor at Quinnipiac University where he taught taijiquan in the PE dept., and medical qigong lab for students in the Dept. of Health Sciences. He is a regular guest lecturer for physical & occupational therapy classes on the topics of taijiquan and qigong.
Ph: (646) 279-1428
Master Wang Ren-Gang
Master Wang Ren-Gang is the 5th generation lineage holder for northern Hao Style Plum Blossom Mantis under Hao Wei Zhi, as well as 3rd generation lineage holder for Dachengquan (yiquan) under Wang Xuan Jie, and 6th generation disciple for Sanxi Style Xingyiquan and Cheng Style Baguazhang under Li Tai Liang. He is considered as the world’s leading expert of the Mantis 2-hand Sword. He is the president of International Dachengdao, Inc., a director of training on the Board of Directors for the Civil Aid Society, and is a certifying master of the International Kung Fu Federation. Master Wang has been featured in several international martial arts magazines, travels for exhibitions and tournament judging and teaches seminars worldwide. He trains stunt fighters for movies and is the NY State Director of the World Stunt Association. Master Wang taught both kung fu and art at the 2006 Mensa World Gathering in Walt Disney World. His short film, “The Lesson” won several indie festival awards. Master Wang currently owns a school in Elmhurst, Queens (NYC).
Shifu Stephen Watson
Shifu Stephen Watson has immersed himself in Eastern philosophy for over 30 years. Taoism, the philosophical root of taiji (tai chi) is made clearer in a moment with Stephen than in poring over dozens of translations from the Classics. His martial training (the how) began in concert with his interest in philosophy (the why). His motto is: When you have enough Why’s you have Wise. Sf. Stephen has been regularly featured in “Inside Kung-Fu” magazine for his engaging personality, kind-hearted approach to teaching and world-class skill. Stephen travels the world offering workshops on various Chinese martial arts. He is an International, 14-time US, and now World, champion in Taiji Push Hands. He operates a small martial arts school in Connecticut where he hosts masters from far and yon. His teachers include every person he has ever met. Come be his next teacher.
Shifu Loretta M. Wollering
Shifu Loretta M. Wollering is lineage holder of Master Jou Tsung Hwa’s teachings in taijiquan and Daoist (Taoist) practices. She used these methods to cure herself of a knee injury and Crohn’s Disease while finishing graduate school. She managed Master Jou’s famous school, “The Tai Chi Farm” and directed his Zhang San Feng Festival and events. She accompanied him in the US and internationally as an assistant instructor and served as an editor on the last edition of his best-selling book, The Dao of Taijiquan. Sf. Wollering has appeared in publications and TV news and has authored several articles, a chapter in a book, ebooks and a DVD.
She is a formally published author of the book: Anatomy of Fitness – Tai Chi (Hinkler Books, 2014). She has won numerous awards, including the Community Leadership Award from the President’s Council on Fitness and Sports (Washington, DC). She is also a member of the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. She owns and teaches in a formal school of tai chi in NJ and tai chi online. She has simplified the name of Master Jou’s Zhang San Feng Festival as the “Tai Chi Gala” and runs it in his honor and tradition for all enthusiasts of the Chinese internal and martial arts to share and enjoy.
Shifu Ramsey Yunan
Laoshi Ramsey Yunan has been training martial arts for over 40 years and teaching for the last 25. His styles include Yang Style Taijiquan (tai chi chuan), Baguazhang and Hsing-I Chuan, as well as Kuntao, Silat, Cimande, Black Dragon, Mantis and Monkey Kung Fu. His teachers include: Willem de Thouars, Don Ethan Miller, Bruce Walker, Waysun Liao, William C.C. Chen, Jou Tsung Hwa and Sydney Austin. He is a multi-time national push hands champion in several weight classes and now coaches for taiji competition. His current teaching focus is on Old-Hand taiji (tai chi) and kung fu training methods.