José Manuel Figueroa
José Figueroa's 20+ years in Chinese martial arts includes unrivaled success as America's premier internal Chinese martial arts competitor. He has won numerous grand championships and first place titles at every major Chinese martial arts tournament in the United States. As a national champion, he traveled to China with Master Ren in 1998 to train in Chen village and compete in the International Taiji Competition held in Wenxian, Henan, China.
With a BS in Physical Education, Mr. Figueroa has designed innovative physical education curricula based solely on Chinese martial arts for the aged, at-risk youth, and physically challenged youth. He has taught a variety of classes for the Board of Education, Wavehill community, and the Equinox health club in New York. Currently, Mr. Figueroa writes on the action film and theater business as an entertainment correspondent for Kung Fu/Qigong magazine As a writer, Mr. Figueroa has been a contributing writer for Wu Shu Kung Fu, World of Martial Arts, Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness, Inside Kung Fu, and many other magazines devoted to the health sciences.
José founded the Tai Chi Holistic Network in 1992 utilizing various forms of Chinese Wushu (martial art) exercise and treatments for health. He has been a Tai Chi Consultant at the Veterans Affairs Hospital's Psychiatric Department where he has applied Chen style Taijiquan for Post Traumatic Stress disorder patients, drug & alcohol dependents, and patients with spinal cord injuries. He is a core faculty member of the Omega institute of holistic studies along with many other health institutions.
José Figueroa has won numerous martial arts tournaments on the Local, Regional, National and International levels of competition, and has, collectively, been awarded over 40 world gold medals from 1992 to the present. In 1998 he received a Proclamation by Senator Carlos Davila of Humacoa, Puerto Rico for his many contributions as a Latino to the Martial Arts. José Figueroa was also inducted into the International Kung Fu Federation Hall of Fame in 1998 as "Elite Martial Artist of the Year" and the 1997 USWKF Chen Style Taijiquan World Champion. Other awards from 1999 include the 1999 USAWKF—Wushu Kung Fu Hall of Fame "Internal Athlete of the Year" and the 1999 International Wushu Kung Fu Championships "Men's All Around Internal Forms Grand Champion." In early 2000, Mr. Figueroa's work earned him the NY Foundation for the Arts , NYFA Gregory Millard fellowship for choreography, based on his use of Chinese martial arts for theatrical combat choreography.
José has performed numerous demonstrations, lectures and seminars on the Chinese Martial Arts in New York, Philadelphia, Florida, California, Africa, Holland, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico, and China. He has been featured by Channel 7's Good Morning America, Eyewitness News, Fox 5 Good Day New York, ESPN and WSDT 96 .9 FM. As an actor, José marked his debut as martial artist/film actor in the 1998 feature-length film entitled "Manhattan Chase" with Cynthia Rothrock & Loren Avedon, directed by Godfrey Ho.
With noted Chen practitioner Stephan Berwick, José has coauthored an instructional tai chi book series including "Taijiquan 38 Forms and Application" "Tai Chi for Kids" and "Practical Tai Chi ".
As a Choreographer, José directed the martial arts choreography for the off-Broadway premiere of composer Fred Ho's Journey Beyond The West: The New Adventures Of Monkey at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's 1997 "Next Wave Festival", to critical acclaim in the New York Times. He also worked as Fight Choreographer and actor on Fred Ho's Warrior Sisters Opera at Aaron Davis Hall in 1998. His largest accomplishment in this arena came when he choreographed the sensational "Voice of the Dragon" (aka) Once upon a time in Chinese America. Produced by Big Red Media and toured by Columbia Artists in 2003.
His final collaborations with Mr. Ho include The Black Panther suite, at (North Eastern University), 2003 Journey beyond the west (at the Guggenhiem Museum NYC.)2003, and Shaolin Secret Stories "Voice of the Dragon II" (At the Apollo theater NYC ) 2004.
Soon after his retirement from theatrical choreography José set his eyes on filmmaking. After attending the New York Film Academy in NYC, José soon began his production company Dark Raven Productions. His latest project is entitled "Shadow Lords".
Competition Awards Include:
USAWKF International Martial Arts Championship / 1999 (AA) Grand Champion
The United World Kung Fu / Wushu Championships 1997 - 1st Chen Forms & Weapons
U.S. Koushu Chinese Martial Arts Championships 1997 (AA) Grand Champion
1st International Martial Arts and Wushu Championship / Puerto Rico (AA) champ 1997
A Taste Of China / 2nd place (AA) Grand Champion 1997
USAWKF International Martial Arts Championship / 1996 (AA) Grand Champion
3 Time USWKF Regional State (AA) Grand Champion 1994 ,1995 ,1996
Hall of Fame:
USAWKF Kung Fu Federation / Hall of Fame - 1999 Internal Martial Artist of the Year
International Kung Fu Federation / Hall of Fame - 1998 Elite Martial Artist of the Year
World Karate Union / Hall of Fame - 1997 Chinese Martial Arts competitor of the Year
Contact information for José Manuel Figueroa
Dark Raven Studios
987 Selby Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
Cell: (651) 334-0160 Studio: (651) 645-1114