A site honoring the teachings of Kuo Lien Ying and the magical time that we were able to learn from Si Fu

Portsmouth Square 1965-1985

Richard Vogels's Biography
I am a psychologist who specializes in couple therapy and have published articles on the subject. I also co-lead men's groups where we discuss marriage, parenting, and life style practices, conducive to healthful living.

It was by chance that I wandered into the studio on that fateful day in the year 1973. There was no contrivance on my part nor had I anticipated upon entering the studio that I was about to enter a domain simultaneously grounded yet other worldly that would endure (as long as I continued to practice) and be conducive to the enhancement of my somatic, psychological, emotional and spiritual development. The fact that as an older dad I am in possession of the energy and resources that it takes to raise my three young children is in part due to the “chi” that I cultivate daily as I continuously refine the entirety of my Tai Chi practice. My practice is informed by my recollection and images of the transmission of the art of Tai Chi by Master Kuo, Randy Fung and Bing Gong. In the present I continue to be inspired towards a diligent practice by my current Sifu Donald Rubbo.  Donald generously provides me with everything, and I mean everything inclusive of technique, form, application inclusive of the counseling I require to respond adroitly to the complex demands of my career as a psychologist and the multiple roles ascribed to me as husband and parent. My observation has been that Sifu Rubbo’s competent and convincing counseling style is a synthesis of his martial arts background, Taoist and Buddhist studies and his heart felt concern that his students achieve their aims, martial, material and/or relational.

My initial interest in I Ching paralleled my dedication to my Tai Chi practice in the early 70’s. At the time I was a psychologist working in community mental health in the mission district of San Francisco. I was single, yearning to be married. As karma would have it that was not to occur for another decade when I would meet the love of my life, my wife Tracy. Unrequited love in the early phase of a man’s life has an “initiatory” potential. Jung’s “night sea journey” refers to anguishing moments that accompany archetypical “disappointment”. In my case remediating factors included the intensification of my Tai Chi practice, personal therapy, and the initiation by an Indian mystic in the practice of Surat Shabd Yoga (light and sound meditation). I also sought counsel by continuously inquiring of the I Ching with regard to all that was occurring in my life at the time. The I Ching has been a wonderful companion, guide and reference point. It advises me regarding clinical decisions that I am continuously making on behalf of my clients and facilitates skillful means and mindfulness in my role as husband and father. More importantly, it alerts me to errors of judgment that if acted upon would be detrimental and potentially injurious to either myself or significant others.

I started studying with Sifu Kuo and Simu in 1973. To refine my tai chi form I studied with Randy Fung in the late 70s. Along with improving my form I got some role modeling with regard to what a healthy marriage looked like, Randy and Lindas at a time when I was single yearning to be in relationship.

Along with my formal training as a psychotherapist my tai chi practice informs all my interactions with my patients. I am currently indulging my passion for tai chi as a student of Sifu Donald Rubbo. My tia chi practice which I require to sustain me in all of my endeavors has taken a quantum leap inspired by Sifu's impeccable transmission of the art.

Simmone Kuo used an essay that I wrote in the early seventies as the forward for Sifu Kuos book Tai -Chi Chuan in Theory and Practice.

My article The "Ki" to a Lasting Marriage: The Application of Internal Martial Arts Principles in the Martial Dojo is published in the journal of Asian Martial Arts.

My wife Tracy and I have been blessed with three wonderful children: Cassandra age eleven, Adam, who is eight, and my youngest, Hannah who is five.

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