Steve Contes,Instructor and founder of the
Taiji Center began training in the martial arts over 45 years ago.
We opened our Florida doors in 1996 with the goal in mind to offer a practical form of self defense, health and a philosophy that promotes harmony in a sometimes difficult-world.
For the first 20 years he studied a variety of martial arts, qigong, health, nutrition, fitness, philosophy and various methods of meditation. He then decided to focus on a practical form of self-defense combining principles from all the above mentioned. He had also come to realize that in order to train in a complete system, all enemies must be understood. The most often overlooked and greatest enemy we must face is found within. If we are to learn how to protect ourselves, then this must be the starting point. Martial art technique makes us strong on the outside, meditation protects us on the inside.
The latter proved to be a more important aspect of self defense. It includes but is not limited to relieving stress, teaching us how to overcome obstacles in life and even strengthening our mind and our immune system; all of which promotes overall health. The end results are a better quality of life and a more harmonious way of living.
The above ideas were organized in to a system of teaching now known as JA-JONG-PAI (Eclectic Way). He continued to explore other arts ( Kung Fu and Karate systems as well as the grappling styles ) and still does. "All martial arts have something to offer and must not be looked upon with a closed mind" As the system evolved the key ingredients began to heavily rely more on proper Taiji training. Taiji already addressed the proper balance between both inner and outer strengths.
The true Taiji philosophy exemplifies most of the above ideas. For the dedicated student it can be one of the most direct methods to achieving your true potential as a complete martial artist.
This is not to say that this is the only path to take, but it is a path that should be explored. Taiji training is offered to all that wish.
Your present level of health whatever that may be can be improved with proper training. No matter what you perceive your personal limitations Taiji offers something for all.
Taiji is often misrepresented around the world to be just a slow moving exercise for the elderly. This could not be further from the truth. Our mission is to provide accurate instruction, information and also the true history of this art and it's evolution into the modern world.
For the past 25 years Steve's focus has become a concentrated effort to understand Taiji as the complete art it really is. This includes regular trips to Chen Village, China and training as a disciple under Master Zhu Tiancai (19th generation) of Chen Village and student under Master Kam Lee (20th generation) of Florida.
As a certified instructor he continues to follow the Chenjiagou (Chen) Style Taiji Method as taught to him by Master Zhu Tiancai and Master Kam Lee.
He has also spent time training with many Masters, such as Chen Bing, Chen Zheng Lei, Chen Xiao Wang, Zhu Xiang Hua and limited but beneficial time attending workshops with Dr.Yang Yang, Yang Zhenduo (4th Generation Yang Taiji) and William CC Chen.
"An open mind is needed to fully understand any art and that includes studying other arts to better understand your own"
His training methods also address proper nutrition and fitness through a natural diet and exercise without the use of weights. He has also worked as a certified personal trainer customizing hundreds of training programs to suit the different needs of each individual both here and abroad. He continued his work while in China teaching personal trainers how to improve their skills and better understand the needs of their clients. His methods were both successful and well received.
After living, training and working in China for three years he is now back in FL.
Steve also produces Martial Art Training DVDs including instruction in Chen Taiji with both Master Zhu Tiancai and Master Kam Lee.
Steve had previously been involved in helping to translate much needed Chinese Kungfu and philosophical material to the English speaking world.
As an author of many Taiji articles, he continues to write pieces geared for westerners to better understand this eastern-based philosophical art.
He is in the process of organizing all the efforts of his research into a book covering all aspects of Taijiquan.
He serves as a judge at International Tournaments for both MMA, Grappling and Traditional Martial Arts. His school has produced many Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists. He has competed in Tournaments in both China and the USA. Steve sponsors workshops in both the USA and China. He promotes trips to China for training with the worlds most accomplished Masters for individuals or groups.
His newest projects is the Open Style Grappling League. Net event Orlando, July 10, 2016
More info on Events Page
Mike Sonia Vicky
INSTRUCTORS at the Taiji Center
Please feel free to contact us for more info
INSTRUCTOR STEVE CONTES
WITH MASTER ZHU TIANCAI