Founded by Kenneth Cohen (高漢) in 1981, you will learn how to practice and understand the major qigong styles. Gao Lao Shi (Professor Cohen) serves as mentor/coach and personally teaches the courses and supervises students’ progress. The Qigong Teacher Training is a comprehensive program-- the first in the world (yes, including China), modeled after distant learning programs found at many accredited universities. We welcome students who are self-motivated and interested in achieving a high degree of mastery through personal practice. The program is intended for education and personal growth only, not as therapy. Certification is offered to document achievement and is not related to licensed career training.
Because of Gao Lao Shi’s academic reputation, universities may credit portions of the training within degree programs. Continuing Education Units for physicians, nurses, and therapists may be available through your state licensing board.
The program is limited to about 35 people from all walks of life: engineers, teachers, athletes, physicians, sales people, students, etc. Friendships develop at the teacher training workshops, where students meet and share their knowledge, inspiration, and enthusiasm.
Ken Cohen with his teacher, Madame Gao Fu, enjoying Chen Style Taiji practice, 1989
When and How
To allow optimal progress toward certification, we recommend that certification students take:
a course of at least three or four days of private sessions (1-3 hours per day) two or three times each year. Depending on the time of year, these sessions are offered near San Diego, California or in a tranquil mountain setting, 1.5 hrs. from Denver International Airport.
at least two intensive workshops per year (These are offered throughout North America).
Weekly classes are sometimes offered near Gao Lao Shi's residence. Visiting certification students are welcome to join them on a drop-in and pro-rated basis.
Students may stay in the training for as long or short a period as they wish and quit at any time without penalty. It generally takes at least four years to earn the Qigong Certificate, though this can vary according to previous background, frequency of class or workshop participation, rate of learning, and regularity of practice. During their last year of training, students may be invited to be guest co-teachers at classes or workshops, to assess their ability to teach and communicate their art.
Three Track Curriculum
Healing Qigong. Satisfactory completion of approximately twenty classic qigong systems, including The Five Animal Frolics of Hua Tuo, Yi Quan, Taiji Ruler, Bone Marrow Cleansing, Beginning and Advanced Taoist Healing Sounds, Primordial (Hunyuan) Qigong, Coiling Silk Qigong, Muscle Tendon Transformation, Relaxation Qigong, Eight Brocades, and more .
Sports Qigong. Understand the form and applications of at least one qigong-based martial art (Taiji, Bagua Zhang, or Xing Yi Quan) and how the principles of this art may be applied to athletics and sports. It is usually most convenient for students to find a local instructor approved for the program, though it is also possible to train in any of these with Gao Lao Shi..
Spiritual Qigong. Learn about Taoist and Buddhist roots of qigong, including beginning to advanced meditation, qigong healing imagery, and breath training for harmony, peace, and energy balance.
Special Circumstances (including times of national emergency, such as the Coronavirus Pandemic: It is possible to get started with many of these methods through online (zoom) classes, though to fine tune and check-off completion of any particular style will require in-person instruction.
Qigong Teacher Certificate: The Qigong Teacher Certificate documents your high level of training and cultivation, your commitment to personal growth and a healing lifestyle, and demonstration of Qigong virtue (Yi De, Wu De), including such traits as integrity, honesty, humility, patience, caring, and compassion. A student who has achieved the Qigong Certificate has mastered the form, function, and spirit of Qigong. It is offered at the discretion of master instructor Kenneth Cohen.
Complete and demonstrate competence in the Qigong Curriculum.
Log a minimum of 250 hours of practice per year over a minimum of three years (750 hours total minimum).
Read approximately 45 required books from the Reading List (available on request) and write either short book summaries or suggested research papers.
Provide a critical 10-20 page review of three qigong books not on the Reading List.
Document that you have attended a college-level course in anatomy and physiology (continuing education, online, or dvd courses are generally acceptable).
Write one 25-75 page Qigong Thesis with a passing grade. Subject must be approved by instructor. Thesis guidelines will be provided.
To maintain their certified status students agree, on their honor, to abide by the Qigong Practitioners’ Code of Ethics and to continue refining their knowledge and practice.
Who may enroll?
We welcome students of all ages, ability or disability levels, ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds. Students who behave unethically or disruptively or who are suspected to have an ongoing problem with alcoholism or substance abuse or for whom qigong practice would be harmful will be refused instruction.
We do not have a residential facility; students are responsible for their own lodging. A list of local accommodations is available on request.
Application & Tuition
Applicants fill out general forms about their health, background, and interests, and if accepted may remit one year tuition. There is no specific enrollment period; rather, one may begin training at any time. If the program is currently full, applicants have the option of being placed on a waiting list. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for a pdf flyer that includes current fees, schedules, and detailed information and to request an application.