Qi Gong

Accessible for Everyone


There are innumerable styles of qi gong. Ours at Dharma River consists of a variety of practices organized into forms that are accessible and available to people of all abilities and ages. Classes are taught by Paul Kisho Stern, who has studied for more than 20 years.  His teaching style focuses on empowering individuals to integrate qi gong into their daily lives.  He offers classes throughout the calendar year at Dharma River.

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The word qi gong (is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced “chee” and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, ‘gong’ pronounced “gung”, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. This is the same word that is used in the common term for the myriad of practices that come to constitute Chinese martial arts or ”gong” (kung)  fu. Together, qi gong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.

As a practice, qi gong has existed in Chinese culture for thousands of years. It is a meditation practice, a practice of spiritual development, a holistic wellness system of exercise and method of movement based practice that helps to balance the mind, body, and spirit of the practitioner. Historically, this practices developed through Taoist and Buddhist practices as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine, where qi gong is one of the five branches of treatment and regulation.

Choy li fut Kung fu

Choy Li Fut is a system that can provide a lifetime of learning. There are over 150 forms (sets) in the Kung Fu System of Choy LI Fut. This includes hand, weapon, partner, and internal sets. You may ask why such a large system? It’s not a system of Kung Fu that is meant for any one person to learn and master it all. Rather it provides the opportunity for persons with different body types and abilities to improve their health, become proficient at many techniques, and continue to learn and challenge themselves.

Choy li fut is a system that was founded by Chan Heung to suit the average person. Many martial arts styles have forms and techniques that are suited for specific body types and abilities. Students practicing with Manitou Center are trained in a tradition of martial arts systems that promote health and longevity as well developing proficiency in a highly effective system of self defense.

Golden Leopard Martial Arts

Miao Kong Martial Arts Association

Historically, around 1928, the Koumingtang in China established Zhong Yang Guo Shu Guan. Within this organization, the dream was to establish a national martial arts school that would bring famous teachers from across China together in one place.  This would offer students an opportunity to study that had never been achieved before that time.

As the Kuomingtang was forced to move to Taiwan, part of the student population from this school moved across the strait as well.  In approximately 1983, a cultural university was opened in Taiwan with the idea of again offering interested students a venue to step into this cultural tradition.   Within this university, students studied over 100 forms with that idea that in doing so, they could distinguish and hold fundamental knowledge regarding the myriad of kung fu styles they may encounter as they went on to become martial arts coaches in their own right.  Mr. Lee Chang Ren was a student within that Zhong Guo Wen Hua Da Xue.

In 1998, the Miao Kong Martial arts association was formed by Lee Chang Ren and Lee Chang Chih. The main focus of kung fu within this system was Bei Quan, or Northern Fist Kung fu.  Other styles were also included, such as suen bing, nan chuan, ba ji, and zhan quan.  The decision of what styles are included within a particular course of study is taken from these traditions.

Paul Stern came into contact with Miao Kong and Lee Chang Ren and Lee Chang Chih in 1998 when he moved to Taiwan. During his time in Taiwan, he became a student and disciple (徒弟) of Lee Chang Ren and his brother Lee Chang Chih.  He is a licensed instructor and coach within the Miao Kong Martial Arts Association.

Miao Kong Martial Arts Association