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

Class Schedule


* All entry level classes are taught by Mela, an assistant instructor
All other classes are taught by Master Paolillo (Sifu)


About Our Classes

Offering a diverse, and in-depth curriculum, we are focused on cultivating quality practitioners and long-term students.  The training offered at Tao Institute is “Way of Life” training and geared towards instilling a deep understanding and lifelong practice of Tao and the Internal Arts.

As all of our classes are ongoing and many have prerequisites, we are currently accepting new students through our ENTRY LEVEL Monday Tai Chi/Bagua Qigong Foundation (5:15PM), Wednesday Qigong (12:00PM) or Wednesday Chen Tai Chi (5:15PM) classes only.  These classes offer an introduction to the material offered in other classes and provide a foundation for all training.  Once a student is established in this foundation, we can direct further training based on the students’ interests and inclinations as openings become available.

Please feel free to call 828-316-1501 or email for rates and further information.


Entry Level

These classes are open to beginners.

Tai Chi/Bagua Qigong Foundation Class

MONDAYS 5:15-6:30PM

Tai Chi/Bagua Qigong Foundation Class is an intensive Qigong training class that serves as a foundation for both Ba Gua Zhang and Chen Tai Chi Chuan form training in other classes.  In this class we will practice Tai Chi Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong, stance training, Warrior Qigong, 3 Treasures Qigong, Ba Gua 8 Mother Palms, Dragon Ba Gua Qigong, and Ba Gua Zhang Circle Walking.  This class is suitable for beginners as well as any current students who wish to strengthen their foundation. 

Chen Tai Chi Chuan


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 class we learn the fundamentals of alignment, posture, internal cultivation, mind directed energy, meditation and Tao philosophy.  Chen Tai Chi class includes Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong, Chen Style 1st Form, as well as standing & sitting meditation.




An excellent light Qigong class for those primarily interested in the self-healing benefits of Qigong. In this class we practice the Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong exercises, Pre-Heaven standing meditation postures, and basic meditative Ba Gua circle walking. This class is designed to promote energetic flow and health through the use of spiraling motions that loosen the joints and open the energetic pathways throughout the body. Suitable for beginners and excellent for anyone who is interested in a simple, but powerful Qigong practice. This is the most gentle class in the Tao Institute curriculum.


Continued Education

These classes are available once students accomplish prerequisite training.

Dragon Ba Gua Zhang

In this class students will receive a complete foundation in Ba Gua Zhang.  Ba Gua Zhang is a challenging and transformational practice that deeply connects students to the essence of change.  Using circular footwork patterns and spiraling body movements, Ba Gua Zhang is a unique martial art system that develops the student mind, body and spirit.  This class includes Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qi Gong, stance training, standing & sitting meditation, Ba Gua circle walking, 8 mother palms practice, Dragon Ba Gua Qigong and Dragon Ba Gua traditional form training.


Traditional Internal Martial Arts:  Chen Tai Chi / Pao Choi / Ba Gua Zhang / Praying Mantis

In the Traditional Internal Martial Arts training students learn to take their basic foundation a step further through the Chen Tai Chi first form, the Chen Pao Choi (Cannon Fist), Dragon Ba Gua Zhang & Praying Mantis forms.  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, experience the circular footwork and continuous movement of Ba Gua Zhang, and hone speed and adaptability through Praying Mantis.  This class 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.

Chen Tai Chi Chuan (Thursday)

Thursday evening Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan class is the next step after the Entry Level Chen Tai Chi Chuan class on Wednesdays. In this class we continue to practice Chen Tai Chi foundation & principles through Silk Reeling Qigong, stance training & the Chen Style 1st form learned in the entry level class. Students will also deepen their understanding of Tai Chi in form and application through two person work, additional Qigong exercises, and direct instruction from Sifu on the energetic and spiritual components of Tai Chi practice.


Tao Style Internal Kung Fu / Weapons Training

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.