Paul Stern is an instructor and life-long learner of martial arts. He was born in the United States, in the rural area of Bemidji, Minnesota, but has had the opportunity to live and train martial arts around the world. He has over twenty years of training in martial arts and over 10 years of experience in teaching.
Travel has been a passion for Paul throughout his life. It was in 1997 when he travelled to Taiwan to learn and study more about Chinese Medicine and traditional martial arts that he was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Lee Chang Chih and Master Lee Chan-Ren…with whom he began his journey into understanding Chen Taiji, Ba Ji, and other related styles of martial arts. It was during this time in Taiwan that Paul became a disciple Master Lee Chang Ren.
Mr. Lee Chang-Ren and his brother Lee Chang Chih founded the Miao Kong Martial Arts and Dao Yin Association in Taiwan. The association offers classes to six different universities around the island. Instructors in the association have also been invited to teach students visiting from abroad including Europe, Israel, South Africa , USA , and Canada. Additionally, Lee Chang Chih returned to Minneapolis, MN with Paul and opened the Miao Kong Martial Arts and Wellness Center in that location.
Paul teaches the Chen style of Tai Ji as practiced by Lee Chang Ren and Lee Chang Chih, as well as some of the associated of the associated martial art forms. He is also a Qi gong Instructor, who has had the opportunity to learn different forms of Qi Gong. His Qi Gong styles include Hua Tou Men( 華佗門 ) from Lee Chin Han( 李清漢 ), Beijing Dao Yin Yang Shen Gong( 北京導引養生功 ) from Zang Gaun De( 張廣德 ), as well as Taoist Nei Dan Qi Gong( 內丹氣功 ).
Along with his commitment to martial arts practice and education, Paul is committed to a life of Zen practice and study. He is a novice priest in the Soto Zen tradition where he continues to grow and study with Paul Genki Kahn of Zen Garland of New York.
Paul currently lives in Winona, Minnesota where he works at Winona State University. He is a founder and co-director at Manitou Center, where he works with a community of learners and educators who collaborate to grow better people through the practice of Zen, martial arts, meditation, wellness, and community building. He continues to deepen his commitment to both martial arts and Zen practice. He additionally is a part of the Plum Blossom Martial Arts Federation under the instruction of Sifu Eric Muchowski and Tai Sifu Neil McRitchie.