Ithaca Nei Gong Lotus Nei Gong certified training


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Hi! I’m Mark Reichert, chief instructor at Ithaca Nei Gong. I’ve been studying under Lotus Nei Gong technical director Damo Mitchell since 2012, recently completing a 2.5 year Qi Gong Instructor training program. I’m now certified to teach the Lotus Nei Gong Level 1 Qi Gong syllabus.

How I got into this…

I’ve been studying aikido since 1989, and have both a 4th degree black belt and a Shidoin teaching certification from the United States Aikido Federation. I regularly teach at the Cornell Aikido Club and Finger Lakes Aikido.

It was a search for further depth in my aikido training that eventually led me to Lotus Nei Gong. For many years, I attended Tada Hiroshi Sensei’s two week summer aikido training seminar in La Spezia, Italy. Tada Sensei spoke of several key concepts:

  • He talked of connecting to vibration force in the body. Vibration is the physical manifestation of Qi.
  • He talked of “tanden” (丹田 - “dan tian” in Chinese) - energy centers in the body.
  • He frequently would say we must build a body capable of doing the techniques (correctly). This idea of transformative cultivation of the body as a prerequisite to advanced study is key in Lotus Nei Gong.

At these seminars, it was nice to bring a book or two to read in my spare time, with it feeling somehow “compatible” to read Daoist books. In 2012, while ordering a few books for the trip, Amazon gave me a “You might also be interested in…” recommendation to read Damo’s Daoist Nei Gong book. Reading this book was an absolute eye-opener. It covered many of the topics that Tada Sensei had been discussing, but so clearly, and in so much more depth. When I returned home, a google search revealed that Damo was about to give his first set of seminars in the US. Attending the first event, I found Damo to be incredibly skillful and knowledgable, a great communicator, very ethical, and also fun to train with. I now train with him whenever I can, in the US and Europe. I’ll always be grateful to Amazon’s recommendation engine for this!