I began studying kungfu November 1979.  In 1981, after 18 months of intense studies, I was made a member of the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association.  I started teaching Tai Ji Quan in 1982 in a number of different venues.  I have taught groups, private lessons, and wellness programs .

I had the privilege to be a part of the first Martial Arts delegation from the USA to the People's Republic of China in 1998, with the People to People's Citizen Ambassador Program.  During the delegation's trip to China, we had the opportunity to study at the founding school of Chen style Tai Ji Quan , the Beijing University of Martial Arts, and at the ShaoLin Temple.  Later in 1998, I became a member of the United States of America Wushu-Kungfu Federation; one of the sponsors of the China trip.

I returned to China in 1999, with some of the same people that were on the delegation trip, and visited and studied at the  founding sites of Ba Ji Quan, Praying Mantis, Yang style Tai Ji Quan, and returned to the Chen home and the Shaolin Temple.

In June 2006, I was awarded Lifetime Membership in the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association and was made a member of the Dao Li Jiao (the Way of Reason School).  In 2008, I was selected as one of the two Dao Li Shi (Way of Reason Scholars) for the year.

In February 2012, I was promoted to Si Duan (4th Degree Black Belt) when the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association implemented the Duan (advanced ranking) System.  On January 10, 2016 I was promoted to Wu Duan (5th Degree Black Belt).

I continue my studies of Kungfu, and with the help of my Chinese family and friends, the culture and language of China.

In addition to the martial arts, I have been involved in the medical field since 1972.  I have been trained as a combat medic, a respiratory therapist, and an Army nurse.  I have worked with patients of all ages.  As such, I have come to  blend both western medical thought and Chinese philosophy into my martial instruction to better work toward total wellness.

I have also received Law enforcement training, receiving the Academy's Physical Fitness award, even though I was the oldest cadet ever to go through the program.  Through my training at the academy and the Army training, I have qualified expert marksman in 9 mm semiauto pistol, .357/38 special revolver,  M1 carbine, 12 gage shotgun, and sharpshooter marksman with the M16 rifle.
~ ~ ~ BIO of W Kraig Stephens ~ ~ ~
TREKKING ON THE GREAT WALL
THE OLD WARRIOR HORSE
Why "Old Warrior Horse"?  The story goes like this.   The war horses  where specially trained.  Many horses were killed in battle while their rider survived.  But the craftiest horses survived many battles and often out lived their riders. Though scarred and ridden hard, the old warrior horse was wise to the ways of war.  The  "Old Warrior Horse"  signifies strength, savy, and endurance. Tested by fire, he has lived to fight another day.