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 starred 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.

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


Entry Level

These classes are open to beginners and allow drop ins.

Tai Chi/Bagua/Tao Qigong Foundation Class


Tai Chi/Bagua/Tao Qigong Foundation Class is an intensive Qigong class that serves as a foundation for form training in our Entry/Intermediate level 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, and Ba Gua Zhang Circle Walking.  This class is suitable for beginners as well as any current students who wish to strengthen their foundation. 



An excellent light Qigong class for those primarily interested in the self-healing benefits of Qigong. In this class we practice the Tai Chi 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.

Entry / Intermediate Level

These classes are open to beginners intermittently based off of our form training schedule. To join these classes we require a minimum of one month commitment. Please inquire for availability.

Note: It is highly recommended that new students attend Monday Tai Chi/Bagua/Tao Qigong Foundation Class for at least one session prior joining these classes. In this class students will get a thorough introduction to the fundamentals needed in the Entry/Intermediate Level classes.

Chen Tai Chi Chuan


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. Students will also have the opportunity to 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.

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.


Entry Level Tao Class


Tao Style is a unique transmission of internal kung fu developed by Master Paolillo.  The methods within Tao style are created to help students develop and refine internal skills at a deeper level.  In this class students will be introduced to Snake Qigong, a short form that cultivates coiling energy, and Entering the Forest, a form that teaches how to apply energy through application on 8 posts.  Entering the Forest contains the footwork of Baguazhang and snake-like influence of Tai Chi Chuan.  We will start by learning the first part of this four-part form.  This class will also contain Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong, stance training, as well as standing & sitting meditation.


This video shows a preview of the Qigong exercises practiced in our entry level classes and the forms practiced in our Tai Chi & Bagua classes.

A short preview of the Snake Qigong & Entering the Forest forms which are now being offered in our entry level Tao Class.

Continued Education

These classes are available once students accomplish prerequisite 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.

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.