The American Society of Internal Arts was founded for the purpose of promotioning the internal arts. To that end, A.S.I.A. hosts and sponsors the Internal Arts Hall of Fame, an award designed to specifically recognize the contributions and achievements of internal artists.



Inductees to the Internal Arts Hall of Fame  are those who have made signifigant contributions to the internal arts over the past fifty years. Inductees may be living, or they may be inducted posthumously. Contributions can include any signifigant work done in the field that has resulted in the spread of the internal arts as a practice. Work may include any of the following: founding of schools that have made a difference to the community, production and distribution of books, DVDs, magazines or informational websites, spread of teaching networks (as with those who service several schools across the nation or world, as well as those whose efforts have spread multiple branches from an original lineage), founding or continuation of events that have produced an impact on the internal arts community (conventions, tournaments, competitions, etc.), and those who have made scholarly contributions to the arts.


Selection Process

Each year the staff of A.S.I.A. nominates several members of the internal arts community. Voting takes place electronically, through our website. The winner receives their award at that year's annual Zhang San Feng Festival. If given posthumously, next of kin or friend of the family is invited to accept on behalf of the winner. Winners receive an award with their name on a plaque, mounted beneath a glass disk, engraved with the taiji diagram, the Daoist symbol that represents the philosophical core of the internal arts.





 Master Jou Tsung Hwa



Master Jou Tsung Hwa (1917 - 1998) was a well known university mathematics professor in Taiwan who grew seriously ill at the age of 47, diagnosed with an enlarged heart and a prolapsed stomach. At the suggestion of a friend he took up the practice of tai chi. Within a few short years, his illnesses were healed. Encouraged, Jou continued his practice and study of tai chi, a decision that would change the course of his life over the next three decades. He came to the United States in the early 1970’s. In 1975 he began the Zhang San Feng Festival, named for a legendary Daoist hermit many credit as the founder of tai chi. Over the next few years he would research and write three books related to the art - The Tao of Meditation, The Tao of I-Ching and The Dao of Taijiquan. The last became a best selling book, translated into six foreign languages and remains, for many, the “bible” of the art. In 1984, Grandmaster Jou purchase a 103-acre farm in Warwick, NY; renaming it Tai Chi Farm. Over the course of the next fifteen years, the master, his books, and his Tai Chi Farm would gain international notoriety right up until his untimely death, at age 81, in a fatal auto accident. While the master is gone, his legacy remains. The Zhang San Feng Festival continues as the oldest tai chi and internal arts convention in the US. At the same time, his books continue to serve as an introduction to thousands of people each year to his beloved art of taijiquan.






Cheng Man Ching 



Professor Cheng Man-Ch’ing (1901 – 1975) was known as “Master of the Five Excellences.”  The five are: painting, poetry, calligraphy, taiji and Chinese medicine.  He was also quite knowledgeable in a sixth discipline: traditional Chinese philosophy, especially the teachings of Lao Zi and Confucius.    His international reputation as a painter led the United Nations to select one of his paintings as a UNICEF Christmas card in 1964.  He taught taiji, calligraphy and traditional Chinese philosophy to students here in the United States. While he did not first introduce taiji into the United States, he was responsible for its rapid spread and popularization, through his teaching and the teaching of his students. Professor Cheng Man Ch’ing studied taiji with Master Yang Cheng-Fu from 1928 to 1935.  Later he modified the Traditional Yang Family Form with the permission of Master Yang to add more qigong and Chinese yoga, and to make the form shorter.  These changes, he felt, would make the form more valuable to one’s health, and also make it more accessible to both ordinary Chinese and Americans, who did not have to be serious martial artists to benefit  He then spoke widely of the health benefits of taiji and many who did not know of the martial art of taiji, took it up for its healthful aspects.






Master Jianye Jiang 



Born in 1950, Grandmaster Jianye Jiang began studying wushu at the age of 5, learning from such well-known masters as Yu Mingwei, Yu Hai, Ruizhang Zhao, and Yongxiang Zhou. He received his BA and masters degrees from Qufu University and Shanghai Physical Education Institute. A teacher of wushu for over thirty years, Grandmaster Jiang is also a national and international judge in China and the US, and a board member of the USA National Tai Chi Chuan Federation. In addition to his talents as a martial artist, he is also a master calligrapher and winner of national and international awards. Sales of his calligraphy have garnered more than $10,000, all donated to the Shandong Disabled Association. He has also acted in movies produced in China, Australia and Japan.   On coming to this country, Grandmaster Jiang began one of the most prolific careers in instructional videos of anyone in either the internal arts industry or martial arts industry overall. As of 2006, Master Jiang has produced over 167 videos ranging over a wide range of internal and external solo forms, san shou forms, weapon forms and many types of qigong. With Tai Chi magazine as one of his prime distributors, he has been responsible for introducing literally thousands of people to the internal arts.



Dr. John Painter 



 Dr. John Painter began training in the Chinese arts of taijiquan, baguazhang, xingyiquan, acupressure, Chinese massotherapy, herbs, traditional weapons, and neigong in 1957 with Li, Long-dao from the Emei mountain region of Sichuan Province. Dr. Painter holds a Ph.D. in naturopathic medicine from Sussex College in England. He has been teaching Chinese internal martial arts and qigong for over 30 years. He instructs baguazhang, xingyiquan, qigong and Daoist courses at the Gompa Center in Arlington, Texas. He has been a bodyguard for numerous film and television stars and has appeared in three full-length motion pictures as an actor. Dr. Painter has also been interviewed on national television and magazines like Vogue and National Star, promoting the internal arts. His specialty is baguazhang, a Chinese internal system. As a captain in the American Rangers Martial Law Enforcement Institute, Dr. Painter instructs law enforcement officers throughout the United States in defensive tactics called PKC (TM) based on baguazhang and xingyiquan. Dr. Painter was elected to the Inside Kung Fu Hall of Fame and was called "one of the most sought after Chinese martial arts seminar instructors in America" by Black Belt magazine. After the September 11 tragedy, Dr. Painter became heavily involved with developing special methods for the nation’s security law enforcement agencies and has been recommended to the FAA by the US Marshals service as a trainer for the US Air Marshals programs. Doctor Painter is also a member of the board of advisors for the American Society of Internal Arts.