Interview with Authentic Master of Chi, Sifu Michael Stults
Qi Revolution Founder Jeff Primack asked these questions after training many days with Sifu Michael Stults at his kwan, in Sarasota, Florida.
Stults will be a guest teacher at Qi Revolution National Event, taking place July 28 to 30, at the Bradenton Convention Center. He will present his Legacy Art of Chi-Tao, a modern body wisdom tradition and combination of Qigong and Kung Fu which he has practiced diligently for 30-plus years.
JP: Your Dad was a military fighter and began training you at age 5 in martial arts. How does Kung Fu deepen one’s experience of chi energy for greater wellbeing?
Sifu: As a child, my father wanted me to develop myself which is at the root of all training systems. My training was realistic so that I would be able to face unpredictable situations with a calm, cool and collected state of being. This is the promise of what martial arts offer as a healing art—the ability to know oneself and strategically cultivate tactics that enhance personal survival and wellbeing.
Chi is one’s life force, the very sense of self that we are as individuals. Effective chi development and training allow us to know and develop this force as an active and vital resource for our overall ability to thrive. Chi becomes the primary unified faculty through which we know the world.
JP: I’ve enjoyed hearing your Chi-Philosophy and notice you are an eloquent speaker. You seem to possess verbal kung fu, saying exactly what you intend. When you speak at the Qi Revolution National Event, what will you share with this energetically expanded audience?
Sifu: Thank you for noticing my voice. I believe right speech is one of the Four Noble Truths and I have studied the use of one’s voice for strategic and tactical communications. The Qi Revolution event has positively influenced many of my closest friends and I have loved the energy every time I attended. Chi-Tao is the art form I will be sharing. It uses breathing along with specialized movements to cultivate greater mental capacities, healing energy and a greater sense of wellbeing. For the first time in history, these once considered secret arts are available to sincere seekers. Every human has access to chi. Every human has the ability to observe one’s inherent breathing rhythms. Each one of us can greater explore the most amazing functional structure of the living body we inhabit and, in so doing, create a greater connection to the world.
JP: When practicing Chi-Tao at your kwan in Sarasota, I especially enjoyed the Fist/Palm exercises. As a Qigong practitioner, I could sense the movement of energy through each finger and it was empowering. How do these Fist/Palm exercises activate our mind, body and spirit?
Sifu: Our hand is a creator and maker. The more we understand the structure of the hand and energy matrices it contains, the more we will be able to access this body wisdom that each human being has inherently. In Chinese medicine the hand embodies a fundamental center of creation. Karate Do, Tai Kwon Do, Chuan Fa – all these beautiful arts incorporate the hand as the essential orientation point for their practices. In Chi-Tao we incorporate the training of hand and foot techniques to cultivate overall body strength, agility and stamina. Tesla, the scientist, believed toe and finger exercises increased intelligence, and the neurological advantages of practices like Qigong and Chi-Tao are just now being fully studied. Hand Mudras have long been a prized secret of successful martial arts cultures and therefore it could be said finger and toe conditioning is highly underrated.
JP: Sarasota has been your home for many years and you have taught some of the most skilled athletes, healing arts practitioners, martial artists and professionals here. Now that Qi Revolution is coming to Sarasota area for the first time, it’s an honor for us that you will be a guest master presenting. How will you present the essentials of Chi-Tao, a routine you’ve practiced for decades, into sequences everyone can do right away?
Sifu: Chi-Tao is a moving meditation that brings the practitioner into the living temple of their body, mind and soul. It is this very immediacy that makes Chi-Tao such a beautiful art to bring to your event. The chi-focused audience will quickly be able to understand the essential components and experience something wonderful right away. We will learn to use the essential Chi-Tao sequences to build a beautiful form that is based on the individual’s breath and measure of movement.
JP: If there was one takeaway at the end of the Qi Revolution, what would you wish for each person to embody?
Sifu: For me, the Qi Revolution represents a tremendous gathering of beautiful and talented individuals dedicated to the healing arts and the cultivating of a more peaceful and abundant world. I have been in attendance many times and have enjoyed the great sense of community that is shared among the participants and seeing people learn so much while having a good time. People who attend will embody chi because the Qi Revolution truly embodies this and has the qualities of a great training in-service to a timeless truth that health is within one’s grasp.
We envision a world where Earth’s citizens are breathing powerfully and require less antidepressants to be happy. My longtime friend and gifted clinical counselor Roger Aguiar will be joining us, sharing how Qigong Breathing exercises have transformed his counseling practice. I cannot speak highly enough about the musical genius of Maestro Jami Deva, one of the most talented practitioners of healing sound who will be hosting live musicians to perfect our auditory experience. Altogether, this Qi National Event promises to be one of the most remarkable gatherings of wisdom keepers the Gulf Coast has ever seen. I am honored and humbled to present my small contribution of Chi-Tao.
Qi Revolution National Event comes to Bradenton Convention Center, July 28 to 30. $149 for 3-days of profound Qigong Wellness Training. No experience necessary. Open to the public. CE hours approved for massage therapists and counselors. Veterans attend free. For details, call 800-298-8970 and/or visit QiRevolution.com and i-Chi.org. See ad page 4.
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