Instructor Certification For Seated Tai Ji Quan

Dr. Zibin Guo’s Instructor Certification Program for

Seated/Wheelchair Tai Ji Quan


Table of Content

1. Introduction

1) 13 Posture of Wheelchair Tai Ji Quan

2) Four postures of Seated Tai Ji Quan for Rehabilitation

3) Four Postures of Seated Tai Ji Quan for Back Pain, Neck and Shoulder Pain

2. The Certification Program is Designed for

3. Certification Evaluation Process and Methods

4. Fee schedule

5. Payment Method

6. The Requirement for Continuing Education

7. Instructor Directory

8. Certification Committee

9. Begin the Process


1. Introduction

As promoters of “Tai Ji Quan for Anybody”, we are committed to improving the condition of both the mind and the body for people with disabilities throughout the world. We have the expertise of Dr. Zibin Guo, a medical anthropologist and a well respected Tai Ji Quan master, to direct this unique incorporation of the principles and methods of Tai Ji Quan and Qi Gong into rehabilitation and clinical settings.

Already there has been exponential growth in the use of this program for the benefit of those with limited ambulatory abilities. Now the challenge is to provide training to more health care professionals to carry this forward, to expand the circle of hope and eventually to lead to the self care of the individuals being served. To meet this need, we are offering three instructor training certificates, specifically for health care professionals who are interested in incorporating this form of seated Tai Ji Quan into their therapeutic endeavors and in promoting physical activity participation for patients with limited ambulatory ability.

The three certification programs for instructors, as directed by Dr. Zibin Guo, are: 1) The 13 Postures of Wheelchair Tai Ji Quan, 2) The Four Postures for Rehabilitation, and 3) The Four Postures for Back Pain, and Neck and Shoulder pain.

1) 13 Postures of Wheelchair Tai Ji Quan

On September 5, 2008 fifty wheelchair Tai Ji Quan practitioners dressed in white silk Tai Ji uniforms and moving in slow graceful harmony, performed on the main stage of the Bejing Olympics Theme Park. One of the reporters on the scene described it by saying that “they moved so beautifully and inspirationally, as if they were dancing in the chair.” This demonstration was organized by the Beijing 2008 Olympics Committee as one of the kickoff events for the opening of the Beijing 2008 Paralypics Games on September 6th. The work began in 2005 when Dr. Guo developed the 13 Moves of Tai Ji Quan, which were later chosen to commemorate the thirteenth assembly of the Paralympics Games in 2008. This innovative mind & body healing art had taken a stage in China and was now presented to the world. With the promotion of the China Disabled Person’s Federation and The Center for China Paralympics Sports, the 13 Moves of Tai Ji Quan has been seen as one of the most effective, convenient, and economical self-care methods for people with physical disabilities. Now it is the only officially recognized program practiced by tens of thousands of people in China and has gained widespread international recognition.

The development of the 13 Postures of Wheelchair Tai Ji Quan was based on Dr. Guo’s clinical observation and his working experience with rehabilitation therapists, physicians, and people who use wheelchairs. Each of the 13 moves was selected and modified according to the characteristics and health needs of people with ambulatory disabilities. The routine is dynamically and symmetrically constructed, providing a series of gentle circular movements that improve and stimulate the rotating range of the torso, waist, lower back, shoulders, arms and wrists. In addition, by incorporating various types of wheelchair turns and patterns in the routine, the hidden power behind the gentle flowing movements is revealed. The practitioners speak of a sense of empowerment, of feeling uplifted.

2) Four postures of Seated Tai Ji Quan for Rehabilitation

This routine is especially suited to people with ambulatory disabilities due to a wide variety of medical conditions: stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. The benefits have been documented in preliminary findings from a 2008-2009 study conducted at the prestigious Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital in Chattanooga Tennessee. With instruction, the individuals with various physical and ambulatory disabilities practiced the seemingly simple four moves over a period of time. They showed significant results in pain reduction and a sense of psychological well-being, as well as having improvements in physical functions. For more information about this promising use of Tai Ji Quan for people with severe disabilities, please click here.

Each of the four movements was selected and modified according to the individual health needs of the participants. The structure of the routine is dynamically designed and symmetrically patterned, putting into play every part of the upper body from the smallest joint to the largest muscle group. It is very important that the body movements are done with flowing continuity, integrating also the mind and breathing.

In the various national and regional workshops already conducted for healthcare professionals, this series of four movements has been well received as a complementary therapeutic and rehabilitation intervention. The next step is to have those with ambulatory difficulties take this method home with them, practicing it on their own or sharing with a group. It is easy to learn, fun to practice, and effective. It is also extremely economical!

3) Four Postures of Seated Tai Ji Quan for Back Pain, Neck and Shoulder Pain

Seated Tai Ji offers some unique advantages over standing Tai Ji for people who are experiencing severe pain. Practicing Tai Ji in the seated form requires minimal body resistance in the form of stamina, so active therapy can begin sooner. There is no fear of falling or losing one’s balance, so the patient is usually much more at ease. All of this contributes to better patterns of respiration and heart rate, which in themselves encourage a relaxed and peaceful state of mind. While seated, the practitioner is better equipped to rotate the spine without overloading the sacroiliac joints. Of course, all stress on the hips, knees, and ankles is eliminated. In addition, seated Tai Ji practice requires no special practice space. It can be performed in the comfort of one’s own home, office, or anywhere that a chair is available.

It is understood that not all movements of Tai Ji are suitable or able to offer the same benefit to people who suffer from back, neck, or shoulder pain. The design of a suitable and effective seated Tai Ji program must therefore be based on the understanding of the pain mechanism, the muscle groups that each of the selected moves involve, and the limitation of the patient’s physical condition.

Based on years of Tai Ji teaching, practicing, and clinical experience in working with individuals suffering from back, neck, and shoulder pain Dr. Zibin Guo, (a medical anthropologist) and Dr. John Johnson (a chiropractor) developed “The Four Moves of Seated Tai Ji for Back Pain “ and “The Four Moves of Seated Tai Ji for Neck and Shoulder Pain.” These moves were carefully chosen according to the specific movement mechanisms related to the primary muscle groups involved in back, neck, and shoulder pain.

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2. The Certification Program is Designed for

This certification program is designed for anyone with or without Tai Ji experience and who are interested in using seated/wheelchair Tai Ji to promote the mind and body health of people with ambulatory limitation due to injuries or chronic health conditions, including:

1. Physical therapists
2. Occupational therapists
3. Chiropractors
4. Psychologists
5. Acupuncturists
6. Therapeutic Recreation therapists
7. Tai Ji teachers and advanced students
8. Rheumatology professionals
9. Allied health professionals
10. Exercise instructors, and
11. Other similar health professional

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3. Certification Evaluation Process and Methods

We use a combination of distance learning & evaluation along with on- site evaluation to certify qualified instructors.
This method we developed is also based in part on the feedback provided by many participants of the seated Tai Ji Quan workshops we have conducted across the county during the past years and the suggestions received from international health care professionals who have expressed their interest in our certification program. Here are the steps:

1) Step One - Registration

The registration form is provided in MS Office format. After we received your completed registration form and fee, we will send you the instructor’s training materials package, which includes:

(1) An instructional DVD
(2) Reading material and research bibliography
(3) Outlines for a written exam

2) Step Two - Learning and Practicing

You will have a minimum one month period to learn and practice the form following the instructions provided in the DVD. We encourage you to keep frequent communication with us through email during this period and we will be able to answer any questions you may have.

3) Step Three - Evaluation

When you are ready, send us a videotape, video file, or DVD of yourself performing the form. If you prefer to use YouTube and some other website providing free video sharing hosting, you can upload your video and send us the link.

We will review and evaluate your performance and provide you with our comments and suggestions.

If we feel that your postures and movements need to be improved, you will have another month to continue the practice according to the specific comments and suggestions we provide. When you are ready, you will then resubmit a new videotape, video file, or DVD using the same method as your first submission.

Once we find that the performance illustrated in your video(s) is satisfactory, then we will ask you to proceed to step four.

4) Step Four - Written Exam

After we complete your performance evaluation, we will send you a standardized written exam. The exam provides you with an opportunity to reinforce your understanding on some of the fundamentals of Tai Ji Quan principles and methods, the ways to apply them into various therapeutic settings and techniques to promote physical activity participation among the patient population you serve.

You will have one week to complete and return your answers to us through email.

5) Attending Certification Seminar

(Note: for international candidates and U.S candidates who are unable to attend the seminar due to the travel cost and/or health conditions, please read the “Special Circumstance” section below)

After you successfully pass the written exam, you are then required to sign up and attend one certification seminar to complete the certification process. .

We offer three seminars each year in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The current schedule for these seminars is listed below:

** At this time, we do not have any scheduled workshops. Questions can be sent to info@appliedtaiji.com. **

Seminars are scheduled after regestration is completed



Saturday (Day One)    
8:30 – 8:45 Sign in and submit a teaching program/intervention outline/syllabus for a population you are intending to teach
8:45 – 9:45 Presentation and Q & A - Dr. Zibin Guo
10:00 – 11:00 Presentation and Q & A - Dr. John Johnson
11:15 – 12:00 Group discussion
  1:30 – 4:30 Practicing session (lead by Dr. Zibin Guo) /w discussions and short breaks
  4:40 – 5:40 Individualized discussion with members of certification committee
Sunday (Day Two)  
  8:30 – 10:45 Form demonstration by each of certification program participants, including providing a brief explanation of the principles for each move in the routine,
  11:00 – 11: 30 Certificate Awarding Ceremony

During the two-day seminar, participants will not only have an opportunity to attend Dr. Guo and Dr. Johnson’s presentations on the principles and methods of applying Tai Ji to individuals with ambulatory disabilities, but they will also have the opportunity to discuss issues related to teaching seated/wheelchair Tai Ji Quan to people of various health conditions and limitations in a group setting.

In addition, each participant is also required to:

(1) Individually demonstrate the form routine.
(2) Provide explanation of the principles for each move in the routine.
(3) Present a teaching program/intervention outline/syllabus for a population you are intending to teach.
(4) Be prepared to answer any questions raised by the members of the committee concerning your teaching program/intervention outline/syllabus.

6) Certification

At the end of the seminar, each qualified candidates will be given an Instructor Certificate.

7) Special Circumstances

We will waive the requirement of attending the seminar for those candidates who are:

1) living outside of the United States;
2) with mobility limitation;
3) a full-time student.

Candidates who meet these two criteria should indicate on the registration form that you wish to waive the requirement of seminar attendance.

The committee will provide you with additional distance testing and evaluation opportunities, which include:

1) Additional written exam
2) Submit a teaching program/intervention outline/syllabus for a population you are intending to teach.

After you successfully complete the certification process, we will issue you a “Certification through a Distance Learning” Certificate.

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4. Fee schedule



Video evaluation

Written Exam




4 posture of seated Tai Ji Quan for rehabilitation







4 postures of seated Tai Ji Quan for back, neck. Shoulder pain







13 postures of wheelchair
Tai Ji Quan







a. The Registration Fee includes the cost of instructional material

b. Program participants who meet the criteria under “Special Circumstance” will be given additional distance testing and evaluation opportunities with a fee of $50.

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5. Payment Method

The cost of certification will be divided into three (3) installments.

1) Registration fees will be due upon your initial application for certification in one of the three forms offered (Wheelchair, Rehabilitation, or Back and Neck/Shoulder Pain)

2) Video Evaluation and Written Exam Fees will be due with the submittal of your recorded performance in the selected form prior to review and examination.

3) Seminar and Certification Fees will be due prior to check-in for the on-site Seminar.

Payments may be made via credit card by using our online PayPal system (see the “Begin the Process” section) or via check made payable and mailed to:

Applied Tai Ji, Inc.
2635 Kingsley Court
Chattanooga, TN 37421

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6. The Requirement for Continuing Education

Once you are certified, you will be supported with updated information and continued instruction. To promote active teaching and to ensure that all certificated instructors have the opportunity to continually learn and improve their knowledge and skills, all previously certificated instructors are required to be recertified every two years’ , by:

1) Participate in an update seminar, or
2) Submit a videotape, video file, or DVD of yourself performing the form and take a written exam

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7. Instructor Directory

You have the option of listing your name and contact information on our national and international seated/wheelchair Tai Ji Quan referring directory on the Applied Tai Ji website with a donation.

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8. Certification Committee

Chair: Zibin Guo, Ph.D.
Dr. Guo is a long time martial arts practitioner, a highly regarded Tai Ji master and an internationally known expert in wheelchair Tai Ji, an adaptive form of Chinese healing arts. A program he developed was premiered at the 2008 Beijing Olympics/Paralympics cultural festivities and it was also included in the Chinese National Health and Promotion Program for people with disabilities.

After he finished his doctoral program in medical anthropology at theUniversity of Connecticut in 1994, Dr. Guo served as fellow lecturer at Harvard Medical School from 1995-1998 specializing cross-cultural mental health. Currently, Dr. Guo is an applied medical anthropologist and a UC Foundation Professor at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Member: William R. (John) Johnson, D.C.
William R. (John) Johnson graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN in 1973 with a B.A. in psychology. He is a 1979 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC. Dr. Johnson is a fellow of the American College of Chiropractic Orthopedists and has earned Diplomate status in the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture, the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists, and the American Academy of Pain Management. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and has held a number of offices in the Georgia Chiropractic Association. He maintains an active chiropractic practice in Fort Oglethorpe, GA.

John began studying Tai Ji Quan with Dr. Guo in 2001 after having had previous exposure to various forms of karate and kung fu. Tai Ji Quan proved to be the perfect blend of mental and physical exercise so he has been training with Dr. Guo ever since. He has studied Yang Style 24, Yang Style Sword 32, Competition Style 42, and Chen Style 36. He was the instructor in the first U.S. study on the benefits of Seated Tai Ji Quan for people with stroke and spinal cord injuries which was held at Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital in Chattanooga, TN. He has taught continuing education courses for occupational therapists and physical therapists on the application of Seated Tai Ji Quan in rehabilitating patients with back pain, neck/shoulder pain, stroke, and spinal cord injuries. He has taught continuing education courses for chiropractors on the benefits of Seated Tai Ji Quan in the rehabilitation of back, neck/shoulder pain and aging gracefully.

Member: Steve Long
Steve Long has taught Tai Ji Quan at a number of locations including the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Sports Barn, World Gym, and the Lifestyle Center for Erlanger Hospital. He has studied Yang Style 24 Form, Yang Style 32 Sword Form, Chen Style 36 Form, Competition 42 Form, Xing Yi Quan, Qigong, and Push Hands continuously under the direction of Dr. Zibin Guo since 1998.

Mr. Long is vice-president of a commercial real estate company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has specialized in the development and management of large retail projects for more than 25 years. In addition, he has owned and/or operated a number of business enterprises and majored in business related curriculum at both the University of California at Los Angeles and Arizona State University.

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9. Begin the Process

1) Registration

Please fill out the Registration form (email to the address provided) and make payments below for the certification(s) of your choice.

To avoid extra delays when registering from outside the USA, please be sure to include your telephone number.

Wheelchair Tai Ji ($150)

Seated Tai Ji for Rehab ($100)

Seated Tai Ji for back, neck and shoulder pain ($125)

2) Video Evaluation

Wheelchair Tai Ji ($50)

Seated Tai Ji for Rehab ($50)

Seated Tai Ji for back, neck and shoulder pain ($70)

3) Written Exam

On Wheelchair Tai Ji ($50)

On Seated Tai Ji for Rehab ($50)


On Seated Tai Ji for back, neck and shoulder pain ($65)

4) Attending Seminar

Seminar & Certificate fee ($120)

5) Individuals who are qualified under the “Special Circumstances”

Additional exam and evaluation fee and Certificate ($70)

6) Qualified Workshop Participants' Package

Participants who have completed a previous qualifying workshop ($195)



For more information about our certification programs, please contact us at info@appliedtaiji.com

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