“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
—Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism
Although I didn’t know it at the time, my first step towards becoming a Qigong practitioner dates back to the year 1980, when I began an apprenticeship in the martial arts. Little did I know however that my exposure to Eastern cultures was only just beginning to unfold. I say this because I soon began a series of steps along a path that eventually led me towards a passionate study of the life protection systems of Okinawa, Japan. As if by design, in 1994 I found myself on the island of Okinawa as a second generation student-in-training with martial arts’ Grandmaster, Ezio Shimabukuro. I was truly on a journey.
During this 30-year period of martial arts study, I recognized that the serious practice of martial arts requires spiritual, as well as physical, growth. Indeed, as my experience in Okinawa taught me, to achieve higher levels of personal growth, by necessity a student must nurture and develop certain spiritual routines.
Over the years I have found that there is a meditative quality involved in practicing the martial arts, most likely because it requires an enormous level of focused concentration. For example, there would be times during martial arts’ sessions when I would experience sudden energy surges. It’s hard to describe the feeling in words, but suffice to say these energy surges raised many questions in my mind: Where did the energy come from? Could the process be repeated, and if so, how? Where could I turn to learn more?
These questions led me to a new path on my journey. I decided to devote myself to a vocation of study and practice in the ancient Taoist Chinese medical discipline known as Medical Qigong. In 2009 I enrolled at the International Institute of Medical Qigong in Palm Desert, California, with the intention of becoming a Medical Qigong practitioner, and eventually opening my own practice.
Thanks in part I believe to the energy imparted through my Qigong training, soon my journey's speed accelerated: in 2010, I became a degreed Medical Qigong practitioner. In 2011, I received my degree as a therapist. Currently, I am working towards a doctorate in Medical Qigong. During this busy period in training, in 2010 I also opened White Cloud Inner Arts Inc., a Medical Qigong practice in New Lenox, IL, a suburb of Chicago. Architecturally, White Cloud Inner Arts may best be described as a Taoist temple (see Temple page).
Recently I completed the most profound event in my journey to date: In October 2011 I traveled to Mt. Qingcheng (‘green mountain’), considered a sacred mountain in China for Taoists, to become ordained as a 22nd generation Taoist priest. Although I have reached a new plateau in my journey, I know the road ahead is only just beginning to unfold.
As a Medical Qigong practitioner of the International Institute of Medical Qigong and a recently ordained Taoist priest, my path ahead is dedicated to channeling my energy to assist and inspire others to compassion, kindness, health and happiness.
Tony D’Angelo short biography:
• Began 30 years of karate study in 1980
• Studied Goju Ryu (Okinawan style of karate), 1980-1989
• Studied Goju Ryu under Dr. Gustavo Albear, Sensei, 1989-1991
• Studied Shobayashi Shorin Ryu under Mark Knox, Sensei, 1990-1994
• Studied Shobayashi Shorin Ryu under William R. Hayes, Sensei, 1995-current
• Traveled to Okinawa, Japan to train with Shobayashi Shorin Ryu Grandmaster Ezio Shimabukuro in 1994, 1996, 2001
• Graduated from Ray College of Design, with a liberal arts degree, 1992
• Received a Qigong Practitioner’s degree from the International Institute of Medical Qigong, 2010
• Received a Qigong Therapist’s degree from the International Institute of Medical Qigong, 2011
• Currently working on doctoral in Medical Qigong
• Ordained a 22nd Generation Taoist priest, under the Long Men Pai (Dragon Gate Sect of Taoism, China), October, 2011
• Chief instructor of Shobayashi Endokan Dojo, 1996-present
• Senior member of the Shobayashi-kan International Association
"The sage does not accumulate (for himself). The more that he
expends for others, the more does he possess of his own; the more that
he gives to others, the more does he have himself."
—Chapter 81, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu