Tai Chi Instructor, Santa Fe NM
The Winged Lion School is under the direction of Master Michael DeMarco.
In choosing to study tai chi, it’s very important to understand the real significance of a teacher’s background. Are the credentials presented truly compelling, or are they decoys empty of substance?
The following bio note for Master DeMarco is for your reference. He welcomes any questions concerning his background.
In 1965 DeMarco began studying kuntao-silat, a hybrid of Chinese and Indonesian arts in the Willem Reeders lineage. His teachers were Arthur Sykes, Thomas Pepperman, and Richard Lopez. In 1973 he was introduced to Dong Style tai chi through a student of Dong Yingjie, and eventually Mike went to study in Taiwan in 1976, 1984-85, and 1989. He studied Yang Style under Yang Qingyu; Xiong Yonghe lineage; Chen Style under Du Yuze and Tu Zongren; Chen Yenxi lineage.
Mike balanced his study of martial arts with academic pursuits and employment that nurtured his familiarity with Asian cultures and their martial traditions.
1975 — B.A. degree in philosophy, Edinboro State University
1974 — Grant recipient for studies at Vivekananda College (India)
1981 — M.A. degree in Asian Studies from Seton Hall University
1984-85 — Certificate from the Mandarin Training Center, National Taiwan Normal University
1989-1990 — Tour Director, Inter-Pacific Tours, New York/Hong Kong
1989-1990 — Grant recipient for Daoist studies in Taiwan.
1991 — Founder of Via Media Publishing
1993 — Inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame
Publisher of the Journal of Asian Marital Arts (1992-2013), a peer-reviewed quarterly with high academic and aesthetic standards. The journal had editions in Greek and Spanish (University of Leon).
Mike utilized his martial art training, academic studies, and travel experience when writing for various periodicals and books. He wrote more than 75 articles for martial art periodicals including:
- Black Belt - Arte d'Oriente (Italy)
- Inside Karate - Tai Chi and Alternative Health (England)
- Inside Kung Fu - Taijiquan and Qigong Journal (Germany)
- Internal Arts - Journal of Asian Martial Arts
- Samurai (Italy) - Revista de Artes Marciales (Spain)
- Taijiquan Journal - Karate Budo Journal (Germany)
A great way to meet with other scholar/practitioners was by participating in academic conferences. For a decade, Mike participated annually in conferences held by the Central States Anthropological Society and the Association for Asian Studies, either serving as a panel discussant or presenting papers. These panels always had a focus on Asian martial traditions.
Outside the U.S.A., Mike presented a paper at the European Congress sponsored by the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance, in 1998 London, England. A few years later he gave the keynote address at the First World Congress on Combat Sports and Martial Arts held in Amiens, France. More recently Mike was invited by Masaryk University in the Czech Republic to lecture for a week in November 2015. He spoke on topics of martial arts research and academic publishing and taught a practical tai chi class.
In addition to publishing and writing, Mike consulted and appeared in a few national television documentaries about martial arts that were aired on the Discovery Channel, Arts & Entertainment, The History Channel, and The Learning Channel.
Not many have such a broad, rich background in Asian history, culture, and martial traditions. This makes for a highly qualified tai chi master who can offer instruction that is far beyond the norm—beneficial for nurturing health, effective as a therapeutic modality, practical as a form of self-defense, and fun as an activity!
Cover of the Journal of Asian Martial Arts featuring Mike's Yang Style teacher, Master Yang Qingyu. This issue
contains the most detailed article in English on this particular style.
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Yang Style Lineage
Yang Luchan (1799-1872)
founder of Yang Style
Yang Jianhou (1839-1917)
3rd son of Luchan
Yang Shaohou (1862-1930)
1st son of Jianhou
Hu Puan (1878-1947)
Xiong Yanghe (1886-1984)
Yang Qingyu (1915-2002)
1965: began studying the Chinese-Indonesian hybrid style of kuntao-silat under Art Sykes (1934-2008) and Thomas Pepperman (1951-2013) in the William Reeder's tradition. Click for article on Reeder's.
1971: continued kuntao-silat under Richard Lopez (1933-2014) until his passing.
Dong Style tai chi from Harold Chou, a student of Dong Yingjie (1898-1961).
1973: studied 1976; studied Yang Style tai chi in Taiwan under Yang Qingyu (b. April 12, 1915; d. Feb. 6, 2002) in the tradition of Xiong Yanghe (1886-1984). Click for article on Xiong (English) (Spanish).
1984-85 & 1989: studied the original Chen Style tai chi in Taiwan under Du Yuze (1896-1990) and Tu Zongren (b. 1944) in the Chen Yenxi lineage. Click for article about Master Du.
Within a lifetime, an individual can accomplish many great things. It helps to inherit a few hundred years of accumulated experience
that can be imparted by a qualified teacher.
This is why a "master-disciple" relationship
has been held in high regard across cultures.
In the Asian martial traditions, this relationship is beyond the common concept we associate with the student-teacher method of instruction. It is much more personal, taking into account students' character and emotional maturity. Lineage is the vital link in the transmission
of any martial art.