Academic Training Traditions Martial Arts Mind/Body Life Sciences

Paul J. Cote, MS, PhD

Paul was born and raised in the small steel town of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He now resides in an even smaller town, New Market, Maryland, often dubbed the "Antiques Capital". He fosters a sense of deep faith and hard work, but then credits all to having good parents, good family and friends, and above all, good teachers.

He is a practitioner, scholar, and instructor of several oriental martial arts. He has 47 years of experience in the martial arts that extends into research and teaching of these traditions as physical culture, anthropology, and self-defense. In his Okinawan karate style (Isshinryu), he was certified as an Instructor (Shidoin) by both the IWKA and OIKKA many years back when he was promoted to Sandan (3rd Dan). He is currently Kyoshi, Hachidan (8th Dan), in the IWKA. He also has practiced and researched the Northern Chinese internal martial arts of xing-yi quan, bagua zhang, and taiji quan for the past 33 years.

In Martial Arts, Paul specializes in xing-yi quan and bagua zhang, which he teaches in and around the area of Frederick, Maryland. Starting in 1987, he developed as a student in these two arts under renowned martial arts teacher and historian, the late Master Robert W. Smith. During this time, he studied the Hebei style xing-yi quan and the Cheng style bagua zhang emanating from Taiwan. This included the Li Cunyi xing-yi and Gao Yisheng bagua that was passed on to Mr. Smith via Zhang Junfeng and Hong Yixiang. Paul trained in other xing-yi and bagua zhang sets from Taiwan that Mr. Smith favored and were also taught by a some of his senior students in those days.

Paul has since researched Gao style bagua extensively via several other contemporary instructors in this style. He was influenced very early on by Master Luo Dexiu (Zhang Junfeng/YiZong lineage, Taipei). He then researched this art in later years via Shifu Edward Yu (Liu Fengcai lineage, Tianjin) and Shifu Chang Yukai (YiZong Yue lineage, Taipei and Liu Fengcai lineage, Tianjin). He further researched the xing-yi of Zhang Junfeng and Li Cunyi via Shifu Tim Bonson (Tang Shou Dao, USA). He trained also in the Hebei xing-yi, Cheng bagua, and bagua staff passed on today by Master Chen Yunching, son of the late martial arts master and conservator, Chen Panling.

Since 1997, Paul studied Hebei xing-yi, and the Cheng, Yin, and Liu styles of bagua, along with Wu style taiji, under Master Zhang Yun of the the Yin Cheng Gong Fa tradition. This school is the legacy of the late Grandmaster Wang Peisheng of Beijing, who was one of the most famous and skilled internal martial artists of 20th century China. Paul became a formal disciple in this lineage, and he currently offers classes in the xing-yi, bagua, and taiji from this system. Under Master Zhang, he also studies Wu style taiji weapons, including straight sword (jian), saber (dao), staff (gan), and spear (qiang).

Paul continues to develop his personal synthesis of martial arts based on body methods and fighting applications found in Chinese internal martial arts and in Okinawan karate and kobudo. He has a deep interest in the comparative evolution of form and technique in various martial systems. He also maintains his practice of the corresponding fundamentals, which develop the inherent awareness and energy of the body to eventually apply technique through spontaneous movement and flow.

Since 1990, Paul has taught karate as a consultant using a unique blend of body methods and applications that he adopted and fused with his training in Chinese internal martial arts. Paul continues his association with an Isshinryu Okinawan Karate Club lineage founded around 1970 at Pensylvania State University. There, in 1974, he first began study of karate under his life-long karate instructor, Sensei Dane Sutton, Hanshigo, Kudan (9th Dan). Paul now serves on the board of examiners for the club, and is an advisor for local branch schools, the Montgomery Isshinryu Karate Club, Kent Gardens Isshinryu Karate Club, and the Northern Virginia Isshinryu Karate Club. He offers clinics in Okinawan karate and kobudo, and provides certified instruction in the Isshinryu system through his personal school, Academic Training Traditions.

Paul is Yudansha in the Isshinryu World Karate Association (Shimabuku Kichiro, Hanshi) and in the Okinawan Isshinryu Karate Association (Uezu Angi, Hanshi). He is member Kyoshi for the Shurite Bujutsu Kai (Troy Price, Kyoshi), and Head Instructor for the Shurite Bujutsu Kai Xing-Yi and Bagua Division. He is a member Shihan in the International Ryukyu Karate-Jutsu Research Society (Patrick McCarthy, Hanshi, Koryu Uchinadi System). He is a member of the Okinawan Shorinryu Karate-do Research Society and Shobayashikan (William Hayes, Hanshi), and a friend and occasional instructor for the Kensan Kai Shorinryu group (Doug Perry, Shorinkan Hanshi, et al). Paul also was an Associate Editor for the retired Journal of Asian Martial Arts (Michael DeMarco, Editor).

In Mind-Body Studies, Paul practices and researches the health and martial aspects of taiji quan. He was introduced to taiji in 1988 (Yang style) while studying xing-yi and bagua under Mr. Smith. He has studied and practiced this taiji over the years through several of Mr. Smith's senior taiji lineage students and on his own. Since 1997, he has furthered his study of taiji quan (Wu style) and qigong in the Yin Cheng Gong Fa system under Master Zhang Yun. He researches taiji and qigong in the traditional and biomedical literature, along with yoga physiology and psychology, which he studied from 1993-1998 under the late Dr. J.C. "Timmy" Geoghegan. Paul serves occasionally as a health education and mind-body consultant on the traditional and scientific aspects of taiji quan, qigong, and yoga for wellness organizations, senior centers, community groups, hospitals, and universities.

As part of these activities, he has developed simplified courses for promoting human health and wellness for novices at all ages and also for special needs populations. He also designs unique programs for human development and learning that involve "embodied education". These combine his martial arts training, research in transcultural holistic health systems, and advanced degree training in physiology, neuroendocrinology, and metabolism.

In the Life Sciences, Paul earned his masters degree in physiology in 1977, and his doctoral degree in biological sciences in 1986, with specialization in immunology and viral infectious diseases. He has extensive work experience as a research scientist and university professor, both of which carry through in his extramural public service contributions via Academic Training Traditions.