About Shih - Fu Jose Figueroa
Shih - Fu Jose Figueroa has a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education from the City College of N.Y. He is the Founder of the Tai Chi Holistic Network and has devoted over 20 years to the martial arts. He is one of 20th generation Chen style Taijiquan Grandmaster Ren Guang Yi's senior students, and is one a few non-Asian students that is certified to teach Chen style Taijiquan here in the U.S. under the direct tutelage of Grandmaster Ren Guang Yi. As an author Mr. Figueroa has co written 3 books on the subject of tai chi , along with long time mentor and friend Stephan Berwick. Jose founded the Tai Chi Holistic Network in 1992 utilizing various forms of Chinese Wushu exercise and treatments for detoxification, and has been a Tai Chi Consultant at the Veterans Affairs Hospital's Psychiatric Department where he has applied Chen style Taijiquan for Post Traumatic Stress disorder patients, drug & alcohol dependents, and patients with spinal cord injuries. For the past 5 years, Mr. Figueroa has been a contributing writer for Wu Shu Kung Fu, World of Martial Arts, Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness, Inside Kung Fu magazines.
As a competitor, Jose Figueroa has won many martial arts tournaments on the Local, Regional, National, International and World level of competition. Collectively he has been awarded with over 40 gold medals from 1992 to 1999 where he retired as Grand C hampion and was inducted to the 1999 USWKF Hall of Fame Internal artist of the year. Other hall of fames include 1998 Elite martial artist of the year and 1997 Chinese martial arts competitor of the year. Jose's devotion and passion for tai chi spans 20 years of his life implementing and developing alternative and creative methods to teaching this complex and specialized discipline. "My dream to is to pass on all the benefits that tai chi has to offer. From the martial arts to health I want to create an environment where all can choose the path that best suits their needs. There are 3 primary areas of focus that encompass all that is tai chi and its mind body spirit implications.
3 Excellency's of Chen Style Taijiquan are Health or "Lian" From its origins in Chinese martial arts, taiji has evolved into an exercise program that promotes healing and general well-being, Taiji's combinations of physical and mental activity, physical and mental relaxation, mind-body interaction, breath control, and access to natural body energy provides the broad foundations for good health and the basis for treatment and cure of many illnesses. Documented health benefits from taiji practice are varied and pervasive, from improvements in postural alignment and balance, deeper breathing and stronger cardiovascular function, to increased strength, better flexibility, stress reduction and emotional stability. It affects diseases and dysfunction's such as arthritis, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, allergies, memory loss, and other ailments. Many people come to taiji for health reasons, and stories of individual success experiences abound in every taiji class. Elegance "Kan"The beauty and grace of taiji movements impress many that don't know anything else about it. The coordination of limbs and torso, the integration of movement art forms that is widely admired. Such elegance results from implementation of taiji's basic principles and makes it pleasing and at the same time powerful. Self Defense"Yong"The martial arts aspect of taiji hasn't been eliminated even though it is used for competitive sport rather than for war. "Yong " or "usefulness" is still important in forming correct postures, and in comprehending the classic writings and teachings, and being able to apply those to practice of form and implementing combat methods.