Chi Master Tsao in San Diego, a former champion from China with nearly
40 years of Tai Chi experience, brings you Tai Chi/Qigong classes in La
Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas.
Jesse Tsao, PhD in Wushu from Shanghai Sport
University, internationally known Tai Chi master, Qigong therapist, and
medicine and wellness consultant, is the founder of Tai Chi
Healthways. He is specialized in the areas of self-healing,
preventive therapies, stress management and mind-body
wellness. Born and trained in China, he has been practicing
Tai Chi for over 40 years, including 10 years of intensive study with
world renowned grand master Li Deyin in Beijing, China. He
was the gold medallist in the Beijing Collegiate Wushu Competition in
1980. He is the 12th generation of direct-line lineage holder of Chen style Tai
Chi. He makes teaching tours internationally since 2005, Germany, France,
England, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Russia (Moscow), Greece.......
Click here for Master
Tsao's appearance on NBC News
here for Master Tsao's appearance on National TV
(31.1 MB, .wmv format)
here for Master Tsao's credential video demo.
here for Master Tsao's Tai Chi demo
over 30 years of
teaching experience, Master Tsao has dedicated his life to promote the
ancient Tai Chi and Qigong as alternative medicines to heal the modern
world. He provides services to several prominent healthcare
firms; conducts workshops,
and produces a series of instructional DVD
for all levels of practitioners. He also makes frequent
national and local television appearances. Master Tsao
coaches many athletes who have won U.S. national Tai Chi
competitions. He also certifies
the creator of Compact
Tai Chi™. An
article titled "Compact Tai Chi is a Perfect Fit" in the San Diego
Union-Tribune praised his special design as a perfect fit in corporate
Penglai, in the Shandong Province of China. He was exposed to
the rich Taoist culture in his hometown. Taoist healing and
self-defense skills made a great impression on him. He
started training at 7 years old with Tao masters among the folk people
of the country. He learned Taoist breathing methods,
stretching techniques, energy collecting and nourishing, as well as
kung fu. He later spent 10 years of intensive study with the
Li Deyin (click for lineage) in
Beijing, China. He is a formal disciple of
Style Tai Chi grandmaster Chen
for lineage). Master Tsao has also gained knowledge
workshops with Grandmasters Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei, Zhu Tiancai,
Abraham Liu, and Daniel Lee. He has also taken advice from
meetings with Wu Bin (Jet Li's coach), Li Ziming, Wu Tunan, Zang
Hongxian, Chen Sitan, Su Zifang, and many more.
Tsao practices Wudang Tai Chi Sword
world-famous Penglai Temple in Master Tsao's hometown, Penglai - the
"Fairyland on Earth," where the legendary Eight
Immortals are believed to have achieved immortality through
their practice of the Tao principle
with Sifu Grandmaster Chen
with Sibo Grandmaster
Chen Xiaowang 2003
with Sibo Grandmaster
Zhu Tiancai, 2006
Formal direct-line discipleship ceremony with
Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, 2010
Professor Li Deyin,
Wu Bin, Jet
National Tai Chi Competition 2001
Daniel Lee (left) and
Grandmaster Abraham Liu (middle)
China National Tai Chi Champion
Tsao in the late
1970s in China
practices the spear in 1979
| Professor Li Deyin is
the most influential grandmaster on Jesse Tsao's Tai Chi and Wushu
has spent 10 years of intensive study with Professor Li Deyin in
Beijing, China. Professor Li is the primary author
of the Standard Tai Chi Form 42, which became the first internationally
standardized Tai Chi competition routine. He is the Vice
President of the Chinese Wushu Association, and he served as Chief
Judge at the 11th
Asian Games. Below is the lineage for Professor Li Deyin:
generation of famous masters from the Li family. His
grandfather, Li Yulin, was the first generation to study martial
arts. He learned Shaolin and "xing
yi quan" from Li Cunyi and Hao
Enguang; he learned Sun style Tai Chi and Bagua from Sun Lutang (the
founder of Sun style Tai Chi); and he learned Yang style Tai Chi and
Wudang sword from Li Jinglin (a disciple of Yang Jianhou). He
became the president of the Shanghai Shangde Wushu Institute, the main
coach of the Shandong Wushu Institute, and the publisher of Harbin
Taijiquan Press. He gained the honorable title
“Pioneer of Tai Chi” in Northeastern China.
Deyin’s father Li Tianchi became a doctor. He integrated
wushu, medical science, and
tuina (massage) in order to
better treat his patients. His name and medical treatments became
famous all over Harbin and Heilongjiang. Professor
uncle Li Tianji studied wushu from his father, Li Yulin, as well as
from his father’s masters, Sun Lutang and Li Jinglin. He
graduated from the Shandong Wushu Institute, became a college
professor, the executive of the Harbin Wushu Federation, and the first
chief coach of the China Wushu Team. Li Tianji has been
memorialized as one of the “Ten Best Wushu Masters of China.
created the first standardized Simplified Tai Chi Form 24 and
Simplified Tai Chi Sword Form 32. Both routines opened the door of Tai
Chi to novices and non-athletes, and both are now extremely popular all
over the world. For this, he earned the title
“Father of Contemporary Tai Chi.”
Tai Chi and Wushu training with his grandfather Li Yulin and uncle Li
Tianji when he was only eight years old. Tai Chi and Wushu
took him to all different regions and masters in China. He traveled to
Shaolin Temple and Mount Wudang to study from advanced abbots; he
sought out Master Li Jingwu to learn Chen style taijiquan, Master Xu
Zhiyi to learn Wu style, Master Sun Jianyun to learn Sun style, and
Master Hao Jiajun to learn Yang style and Push Hands.
Sun Lutang, founder of Sun style Tai Chi
Li Jinglin, disciple of
Li Yulin, Professor Li's grandfather
Li Tianji coaching his disciples
Li Tianji and his brother practicing
Li Tianji with Ma Yueliang, Wu Yinghua, and Wu Tunan
Li Tianji visits Shaolin and Wudang Mountain
Li Tianji designing Tai Chi Form 24,1956
Li Tianji and Professor Li practicing Wudang Sword
Professor Li practices his form
Jesse Tsao received private training from Professor Li in Beijing
Private training by Professor Li at Tsao's San Diego home in
Professor Li's wish to Jesse Tsao to carry the Tai Chi tradition
Master Jesse Tsao in North Carolina: Impressions of a Tai Chi/Qigong Workshop with a Tai Chi Master
April 28 - 29, 2013
I am writing this personal acccount of a workshop with Master Jesse Tsao, and posting pictures (link for Chrome or Firefox; link for Internet Explorer) taken by me and others who attended, to round out in a way the “circle” of the workshop held in North Carolina in April 2013. I invite all who participated to write a few words about their experiences, which I’ll add to this page to further complete our album of this exceptional experience.
When I invited Master Tsao to do a two day workshop in North Carolina – as it turned out, his first on the East Coast – I knew, of course, that he was internationally known, but I did not know how deeply the workshop would affect me and other students, in ways both unexpected and wonderful.
Perhaps I should have known, since how I came to study with Master Tsao was itself one of those wonderful, synchronous happenings. Joko Beck, Zen master with whom I had spent years in San Diego (as her student, then friend, then transmitted to Zen teacher) had recently died. In my own Tai Chi learning, I had come to a standstill. I knew Tai Chi was important to me and I wanted to keep working and growing, and for that I needed the right teacher. I found Jesse the way we tend to find anything or anyone these days, I typed “Tai Chi Chen Teacher” into the Google search bar. Jesse’s name was the first to appear, and when I saw that he lived in San Diego, not far from where I had spent a good part of my adult life with Joko, I felt that somehow the universe was giving me a pointer to follow.
After our first communication, there wasn’t a question that I wanted to study with him. What came across most was that this person was “clear,” at home in his life, filled with a very unassuming generosity and kindness. Like Joko, Jesse was very clearly “naturally” in his life, at ease and confident with himself and then of course with everyone else, doing what he is meant to do. I sensed an inexhaustible and welcoming energy without any “push” or resistance -- just an ability to “flow.“ There isn’t a Tai Chi form that Jesse doesn’t know and teach; but there is no “showiness” about this and his many accomplishments (books, at least fifty teaching DVDs, a full schedule of workshops all over the world). This is the elusive quality that people associate with Zen and other spiritual practices, including Taoist practices and Qigong and Tai, but so rarely realized. In Jesse, I sensed it was simply who he was – like Joko, like any real master, nothing special. This was why I wanted him to come and teach in North Carolina, which he did, in April 2013.
The workshop was wonderful: The teachings themselves were amazing, the forms he created in Qigong and Tai Chi (described on the flyer) are unparalleled. His style if one can call it that is seamless to the content, so everyone from beginners to experienced Tai Chi teachers learned something and felt good about learning it. In trying to understand what is unique that makes this possible, I believe it is that his teaching is him; simply, he is the teaching There is no strain to teach or to be the teacher. He simply teaches something that is as much part of him as his skin. But what in my opinion lifts this to a true spiritual master teaching, is his ability to “be out of his own way” and so to listen and pay attention to everyone. This kind of paying attention is a core spiritual practice that allows the actualization of what it means to really be here, now.
No one or anything really excaped him. I think he does believe with all his being that Tai Chi is for everyone and do-able by everyone, and important to the health and well being of everyone. He said often – “This is easy. See? Sure, you can do this!” and then he would go one on one if necessary -- and everyone did see that Yes, they could do it, and Yes, it was fun.
The atmosphere, the texture, the feel created in the room, were the epitome of Tai Chi when it is called “play”. A number of people commented to me afterward that they felt ”great,” that they learned surprisingly easily things they never felt they could learn in Tai Chi! One person said she felt like she was floating; another said after years of studying Tai Chi, finally there was something so utterly stripped it felt as if it was in her hands. Another said Tai Chi would never be the same.
The second day of the workshop Jesse taught the “Tai Chi Bang 8 Immortal Flute,” a form he created. The use of the short stick (the bang) moves qi in all of the ways qi moves, mind, meditation, movement, massage, and teaches, without saying a word, all of the essential principles of Tai Chi as well – whole body movement, no independent movement of hands/arms…lightness, agility, energy rooting in feet, etc. It can’t be compared to any other form. As a Zen teacher, I am aware that one of the most important aspects to “get,” to really be free of ideas and illusions, is to find a way to somehow be in the only moment we have, and that is the one that is right here now. Often I have had students “come to their senses” and get out of their heads by simply touching their clothing - a simple physical act. The bang/stick, because one holds it, touches it, sees it, can even smell the wood, engages all of the senses and brings Tai Chi to one’s senses automatically. Since the workshop, I have used this form with a severely challenged population, war veterans in a locked facility, with surprising and inspiring results. (I’ll write more about that in a later post.)
When anything or anyone transforms, they are not simply changed. I was not simply changed by the presence of this incredible teacher, a part of my brain did slip and fall open and the silence who we are the living meditation found in Tai Chi, seems to be more and more a part of me.
Thank you, Jesse, for your life and teaching.
Workshop with Master Jesse Tsao
Although some time has passed since the workshop on April 27th and 28th, I wanted to thank those of you who attended and helped to make it a wonderful success. A special thanks to Barb for inviting Master Tsao and organizing the event! I hope you all enjoyed experiencing his teaching of Qigong and Taijiquan as much as I did. His ability to demonstrate the mobilization of energy up through his torso and out his hands, while being solidly grounded, informed my body in ways that words could never convey. The lesson that the legs are solid, the waist (which he taught is much wider than we usually think of) is lively, and above the waist is empty and light was simple and powerful. His demonstration of staying rooted while being pushed by 4 or 5 people at the same time was impressive, as well as, his ability to stand on one leg while the other was extended straight forward and paralell to the floor and then lowering himself all the way to the ground and rising back up. I was deeply appreciative of his open receptivity to all our questions and his heartfelt responses to them. His generous certification to teach the 8 Immortal Flute was a wonderful surprise to me. If you have any observations of the workshop that informed your practice in a positive way, please email them to me and I will post them. View the photos page for images.
We have another opportunity to study with Master Tsao in August. Maurice Olfus, who was at the workshop, is hosting Master Tsao on August 10th and 11th in Charleston, South Carolina. If you are interested, contact him at email@example.com.
Gillespie, Attorney at Law I
have been fortunate to study Tai Chi with Jesse. The results have been
nothing short of phenomenal. Prior to studying Tai Chi, I suffered from
chronic back pain so severe that I missed work several days a month.
Since working with Jesse, my back problems have diminished
significantly. My range of mobility and muscle strength has also
increased dramatically. Furthermore, my ability to concentrate has
increased and my stress levels have diminished remarkably. I get more
work done in less time.
T. Huntwork, Chief Staff Attorney of the Arizona Supreme
a brief period of 6 weeks, Mr. Tsao effectively communicated the basic
elements of Tai Chi to a group of the Court justice's and staff who
previously had no exposure to a Tai Chi program. His program
was enthusiastically accepted by all participants, who came to value
his sessions as a means of reducing stress, increasing wellness and
mental focus and enhancing our overall professional and personal
capabilities. Mr. Tsao's unfailing courtesy, ability to
accommodate the working environment of a busy office, and eminent
qualifications as a recognized master of the Tai Chi art form, all
contributed to an overwhelmingly positive experience for our
office. We look forward to maintaining our contacts with Mr.
Tsao through occasional master classes as his travel schedule
Williamson, Chief Economist I
have been taking Tai Chi classes from Jesse Tsao over the last four
years. I have found his classes and the techniques that he teaches
helpful in encouraging relaxation and reducing stress as well as
providing exercise. Although taught in groups, Jesse's Tai Chi classes
offer sufficient one-on-one help and review to allow each student to
master the intricate steps and movements. I recommend the class to
anyone who wishes to improve his physical, mental or spiritual
W. Heronime, Shodan, Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu Karate The
most amazing aspect of training in Jesse's Tai Chi [program] is how
quickly he can teach even novices the basic form. Normally,
Tai Chi students study for months before they know a form well enough
to practice on their own. After Jesse's first three-week
class, several of my fellow students and myself were able to remember
the form well enough to continue practicing on our own. I
attribute this directly to Jesse's ability to break the form into
logical pieces so that it's easy to learn and remember. Jesse
is an outstanding teacher, and I wholeheartedly recommend Jesse's Tai
Chi to you.
Wheatley, Attorney The
classes offered by Jesse Tsao are of remarkably high quality.
His training in China has prepared him well for handling a wide variety
of students, from beginners to the more advanced. He shows
particular aptitude for dealing with older students who are just
beginning Tai Chi. He demonstrated enormous patience and
communicates his enthusiasm to students without compromising the
quality of instruction. His teaching reflects the best
standards in the field of Chinese martial arts. He is to be
commended for stressing the importance of basic principles and then
demonstrating those principles in clear examples of movement.