Curriculum and Class Schedule

The curriculum at the Tao Institute has been specially selected by Master Paolillo to give each student a complete foundation in the internal arts.

School Class Schedule 06022017

For further information or private lessons please call 828-316-1501 or email

Chen Tai Chi Chuan (Level 1)

Chen style Tai Chi Chuan is the foundation training for all that is offered at the Tao Institute.  Developed over 300 years ago, Chen Tai Chi Chuan is known for its use of spiraling movements, low stances, and the principles of Yin & Yang.  In this entry-level class we learn the fundamentals of alignment, posture, internal cultivation, mind directed energy, meditation and Tao philosophy.  Chen Tai Chi class includes Silk Reeling Qi Gong, Chen Style 1st Form, as well as standing & sitting meditation.

Short Chen Style Tai Chi Ch’uan (Level 1) *

This daytime Chen Style Tai Chi Ch’uan class is a lighter, more simple version of the evening Level 1 Tai Chi class.  Designed to be an introduction to Tai Chi and Tao philosophy, in this class we focus primarily on the fundamentals of Tai Chi movement for the purposes of health and cultivation.  The Short Chen Style Tai Chi Ch’uan class covers the short version of Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong, 3 basic standing meditation postures, stance training, and the first section of the Chen Style Tai Chi form.  This class is excellent for beginners - drop ins welcome.

Dragon Ba Gua Zhang (Level 1)

In this class students will receive foundation training in Ba Gua Zhang.  This class includes Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qi Gong, stance training, standing & sitting meditation as well as a focus on Ba Gua circle walking and 8 mother palms from a martial perspective.  Students will also have the opportunity to learn a number of short Qigong forms to enrich their Ba Gua basic training and prepare them for the form training in Level 2 & 3.

Hunyuan Chen Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qi Gong & Ba Gua Meditative Circle Walking (Level 1)*

Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qi Gong is a set of exercises derived from movements in the Chen Tai Chi Form.  The exercises utilize spiraling motions throughout the body, which loosens the joints and helps circulate Chi or energy.  This class also incorporates standing meditation and basic meditative circle walking.  Suitable for beginners – drop ins welcome.

Traditional Internal Martial Arts:  Chen Tai Chi / Pao Choi / Ba Gua Zhang (Level 2)

In Level 2 training students learn to take their basic cultivation a step further through the Chen Tai Chi first form, the Chen Pao Choi (Cannon Fist) form, as well as the Dragon Ba Gua Zhang form and circle walking.  The emphasis in this class is the cultivation of “hidden power” and the development of the warrior spirit.  Students practice the condensing and issuing of Qi through Chen Pao Choi and experience the circular footwork and continuous movement of Ba Gua.  This level offers a well-rounded foundation in Internal Martial Arts as well as a deeper understanding of the philosophy and practices therein.  This class also includes standing meditation, Qi gong exercises, Ba Gua palm techniques, and two person work.  Students must complete the Chen Tai Chi first form before enrolling in this class.

Tao Style Internal Kung Fu / Weapons Training (Level 3)

Level 3 Tao Style Internal Kung Fu training emphasizes the cultivation of Mysterious Power through more refined development of essence, energy, and spirit.  Tao Style is an advanced style of internal martial arts that cultivates creative energy in the practitioner.  The principles of Chen Tai Chi, Ba Gua, Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu, and Tao Philosophy act as a foundation for the advanced forms included in this training.  This class embodies the core of the Tao Institute and Master Paolillo’s teachings.  Students receive a firm foundation in the philosophical and practical discipline of Kung Fu and Internal Alchemy.  In this class, students also learn the four major weapons of Kung Fu (Staff, Spear, Broadsword and Straight Sword) as a way to expand awareness and internal strength.  Tao class includes form training, Qi gong exercises, standing and sitting meditation, Ba Gua post training, multi-person and free style work, and philosophical discussion.  The emphasis on this training is formlessness.

Internal Praying Mantis Kung Fu (Level 1)

Praying Mantis Kung Fu is an essential part of Tao Institute foundation training and lineage.  In this class we will cover basic Short Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong, standing meditation, stance training and a very rare internal Soft Praying Mantis form.  This form is performed slow and soft like Tai Chi but is more physically rigorous and contains traditional Kung Fu movements.  The Soft Praying Mantis form allows for the development of Tai Chi principles and internal strength, much like Tai Chi but with the style of Kung Fu

9 Walnut Street, 2nd Floor  Asheville, NC 28801   (828) 316-1501