Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jose Manuel Figueroa / Biography 2006
Edcucator Writer,Choreographer, Producer,Actor
Dark Raven Studios 987 Selby ave St Paul M.N. 55104
C(651)339-0160 / S(651) 645-1114

Jose Figueroa’s 15+ years in Chinese martial arts includes unrivaled success as America’s premier internal Chinese martial arts competitor. He has won numerous grand championships and first place titles at every major Chinese martial arts tournament in the United States. As a national champion, he traveled to China with Master Ren in 1998 to train in Chen village and compete in the International Taiji Competition held in Wenxian, Henan, China.

With a BS in Physical Education, Mr. Figueroa has designed innovative physical education curricula based solely on Chinese martial arts for the aged, at-risk youth, and physically challenged youth. He has taught a variety of classes for the Board of Education, Wavehill community, and the Equinox health club in New York. Currently, Mr. Figueroa writes on the action film and theater business as an entertainment correspondent for Kung Fu/Qigong magazine As a writer ,Mr. Figueroa has been a contributing writer for Wu Shu Kung Fu, World of Martial Arts, Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness, Inside Kung Fu, and many other magazines devoted the health sciences.

Jose founded the Tai Chi Holistic Network in 1992 utilizing various forms of Chinese Wushu (martial art) exercise and treatments for health. He has been a Tai Chi Consultant at the Veterans Affairs Hospital's Psychiatric Department where he has applied Chen style Taijiquan for Post Traumatic Stress disorder patients, drug & alcohol dependents, and patients with spinal cord injuries, Worked with the national hemophilia foundation. He’s a core faculty member of the Omega institute of holistic studies along with many other health institutions.

In recent years, under mentoring by Mr. Stephan Berwick ,Who’s claim to fame include being along side fame Hong Kong star Donnie Yen choreographer of “Highlander end game” and “Blade 2” Mr Berwick was one of the early pioneers of Hong Kong films, under director Yuen woo ping , Who choreographed the “Matrix” & “Crouching tiger hidden dragon”. Though his association with Mr. Berwick ,Mr. Figueroa has emerged as one of New York’s favored theater choreographers, for his pioneering work with jazz playwright, Fred Ho. Together they have co.written an instructional tai chi book series through tuttle publications to be released in 2005. Titles include, “Taijiquan 38 forms and application” “Tai chi for kids” and “Tai chi basics”.

As a Choreographer, Jose directed the martial arts choreography ,Produced by big red media and toured by Columbia artist in 2003. His latest collaborations with Mr. Ho Include, The Black panther suite, at (North Eastern University),2003 Journey beyond the west (at the Guggenhiem Museum NYC.)2003, and Shaolin Secret Stories “Voice of the dragon II” (At the world famous Apollo theater NYC.)2004. Currently in post production for his 1st feature film “shadow lords” 2006

Short Bio Of Instructor: Mr. Jose Figueroa was born in Santurce Puerto Rico 1965. He later moved to N.Y. at age 12. While living in N.Y. he attended The City College of N.Y. earning a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education, completed in 1996. He is the Founder of the Tai Chi Holistic Network and has devoted over 20 years to the martial arts. He is one of 20th generation Grand Master Ren Guang Yi's senior students, and is the only Latino student that is certified to teach Chen style Taijiquan under the direct tutelage of Grand Master Ren Guang Yi.

Special areas of concentration:
• As a Physical Education Teacher for the New York City Board of Education is one of the first to teach Chinese martial arts as a physical education required course within the Board of Education.

• As a consultant at the Veterans Affairs Hospital’s he teaches for the Psychiatric department with Post Traumatic Stress disorder patients as well as Drug & Alcohol dependency , and Spinal cord injury patients.
• As a writer he has written 3 books and has been published many articles in Martial Arts magazines.

• As a Martial arts stage choreographer he has directed and stared in stage productions in N.Y.C and across the country.

• As a competitor, Jose Figueroa has collectively he has been awarded with over 40 gold medals from 1992 to 1999 and has been inducted into 3 martial arts hall of fames.

Short History of Presentations Origin and Practices:
Chen Style Taijiquan is the oldest form of taiji dating to the end of the 16th century, the Ming Dynasty. It is the predecessor of Yang , Wu , Sun , and Kou styles of taiji. What distinguishes it from other styles is the explosive nature of its movements (Fa Jing) and its low based postures. Although originally intended for combat it also has the holistic properties of all other styles of taiji. If done correctly the Chen form should reflect a total concentrated effort of peace and tranquillity as well as reflecting changes in different levels of power and focus of energy and power!