Mike Shunney, born in 1950, studied martial arts in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1969 to 1975 and after returning to civilian life, invested his time in his family and career for many years. He started his studies in taijiquan in 1987 with Cindy Born, who was then a senior student of Pat Rice. He began study in earnest with Pat Rice in Winchester, Virginia the next year. Mike has studied with Grandmaster Yang Zhen-duo and Master Yang Jun numerous times at “A Taste of China, Taijiquan” workshops in Winchester, Virginia and in several workshops with Master Yang Jun at the New Hampshire Tai Chi Chuan Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. Mike had the privilege of receiving written, individual evaluation by Grandmaster Yang Zhen-duo at the First International Taijiquan Symposium in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in 2006. He has also had the opportunity to study with a wide range of taijiquan and qigong masters from the United States, Canada and China over the past 25 years, thanks to connections made at “A Taste of China, Taijiquan” workshops produced by Pat Rice and three months in China in 1993-94.
In the 1990s, he won numerous awards in Taiji competitions, including the Gold medal in Yang Style Taijiquan at A Taste of China’s U.S.A. All-Taijiquan Championships in 1996. In 1993, he was selected as a member of the North American Taijiquan Team and place very highly at the First International Invitational Taijiquan Competition in Fuzhou, China.
He began teaching near Winchester, Virginia in 1994 and then as a designated teaching assistant through the Shenandoah Taijiquan Center in Winchester under the guidance of Pat Rice. He has taught credit courses in taijiquan at Hagerstown College in Maryland, in the graduate Physical Therapy program at Shenandoah University in Virginia, as well as in adult education and senior center classes in Virginia, West Virginia and Maine.
In 2002 he moved to Rockland, Maine and established Inner Works Center for Taijiquan and Qigong Studies, his school now located in his 1845 barn, renovated with the encouragement and assistance of many of his students, . His wife, Connie Evans, founded and directs Inner Works Acupuncture and Physical Therapy at the same location. Mike has been offering many classes every week since arriving in Maine - at his school, through community education programs and at Penobscot Bay Medical Center and the University of Maine, with the primary focus on the Traditional Yang Family Taijiquan 103 form, Taiji Dao, Taiji Jian and push-hands. The long term goal is to offer an integrated approach to health and healing using Taijiquan, Qigong, Chinese medicine with acupuncture and herbs, western medicine and herbs and physical therapy, through the Inner Works Healing Arts Center in Rockland, Maine that he and his wife co-founded in 2002.
In 2012 Mike entered the Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association ranking system and earned the association’s rank of Gold Eagle. With the generous assistance of association center directors Pat Rice and Michael Coulon, Mike was accepted as a Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Affiliated School in July, 2013.
Inner Works Center for Taijiquan and Qigong Studies
236 Cedar Street
Rockland, Maine 04841
Website: Inner Works Center for Taijiquan and Qigong Studies