Donald Leathers was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He had an interest in physical health, well being, and sports since the age of twelve. At eighteen years old he started studying martial arts and at twenty three years old he entered into formal study. He started by studying Issynrhu karate (three years), then Hapkido where he obtained his first black belt (five years), then Taiqi, Baqua, Shing-I, and Qigong for four years.
In 1986 Don left his career as a mining engineer and went back to school to study naturopathic medicine at National College of naturopathic medicine in Portland, Oregon. During his time at College he continued his study of the internal arts. He spent five years studying Aikido with the Ki Society, started studying Qigong with Dr. Lilly Siou, and later met Master Ron Lew.
Don spent four years studying with Dr. Lilly Siou learning qigong from the Tai Shuan Monastery system of Qigong in China and hands on healing Qigong. He has spent 16 years studying with Master Ron Lew learning a Tibetan form of Qigong, later formulated into the TiAiki system by Master Lew, Steve Frison and Don Leathers.
After graduating from naturopathic college, Don settled into practicing naturopathic medicine and teaching Qigong, Taiqi, and martial arts. In continuing his studies, he obtained a second degree black belt in Hapkido and a fifth degree black sash in the TiAiki system of internal arts.
In 1998 Don met Teacher Li Jun Feng and started to study the Sheng Zhen Wuji Yuan Gong form of Qigong. After three years of practice he became involved with the International Sheng Zhen Society by becoming a certified teacher and assisting in setting up an international teacher’s training program.
Don has been practicing medicine for seventeen years and teaching for twenty two years. He presently resides in Moab, Utah and has co-founded the Phoenix Rising Center with his wife, Catherine Shank. The Phoenix Rising Center offers health and healing services as well as classes in Taiqi, Qigong, martial arts, and teacher training.
Location: Moab, Utah
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