About Dr. Yang
Because of poor health as a boy Dr. Yang was urged to learn Tai Chi and Qigong near his home in China. His health soon improved and he was able to continue training with several legendary Chinese martial arts masters into his adulthood. As both an expert in the traditional arts and now as an accomplished scientific researcher, Dr. Yang has been able to demystify, distill and translate ancient practices into an effective, accessible, evidence-based program for improved health and vitality and martial art.
He has trained medical professionals at leading medical centers like the Mayo Clinic and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. And he works with cancer survivors at the Sloan-Kettering, helping them deal with problems of pain, sleep, balance, anxiety and stress, as well as helping them achieve an overall sense of wellbeing. Dr. Yang has taught these arts for more than 30 years. In 2018 he named his method WaQi, literally "youthful energy."
A healing experience helped Dr. Yang Yang find his life's work. He was born with a congenital heart defect, and doctors warned his family that without surgery he might die. Such measures were beyond the resources of his family and, as a last hope, an uncle suggested that Yang, then 12 years old, try Tai Chi and Qigong to improve his health. It worked. His health and strength improved quickly and dramatically. He developed a deep appreciation for these arts and a desire to teach others.
Master Yang studied for six years with three local teachers, (Wu Xiubao, Yuan Shiming, and Zhang Xitang before going away to Shanghai to attend the university. During the next few years, he met and studied with Gu Liuxin, Chen Zhaokui and Feng Zhiqiang, all top grandmasters of 1970-80s era Chen taiji in China. He won first place in the Shanghai University Gongfu Tournament for three straight years (1981–1983) and was voted Best Overall Martial Artist in 1983. In 1987 he became a formal disciple of Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang.
To understand the power and mechanics of Taiji and Qigong beyond traditional explanatory frameworks, Master Yang then completed a doctorate degree in kinesiology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2005. His research focuses directly on the mechanisms and benefits of traditional Taiji/Qigong with publications of several scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. Yang's detailed study of taiji/qigong enables him to clarify and/or demystify what are often obscure points of theory and practice, and to serve as a bridge between the Eastern/traditional and Western/academic fields. His traditional training also allowed him to distill the essence of various aspects of traditional Taiji training into an evidence-based program that he has refined over the course of several longitudinal studies. Dr. Yang is the founder and Director of the Center for Taiji and Qigong Studies in New York City and is also a clinical specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NY, where he teaches patients and staff.
Yang’s book Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, the Science of Power has been acclaimed as an instant classic by experts in Chinese martial and healing arts, and he is in high demand as a lecturer at academic and medical research institutions. Recent presentations include lectures at the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical School, Weill Cornell Medical Center, the Hospital for Special Surgery, American Public Health Association, American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).