Our Instructors


There are several Lotus Dragon senior students who have, through a combination of experience and skill, earned the privilege of teaching classes at Lotus Dragon when Sifu Corpolongo is not available. These instructors all have many years of martial arts experience and many would be qualified to open their own schools if they chose to do so.  It is considered an honor to be allowed to teach Tai Chi, and teaching is an integral part of learning. Each of the Instructors continue to expand their learning and understanding of Tai Chi through an ongoing series of Instructor classes.

Instructors are traditionally referred to by the Chinese term "Laoshi" (lao-`shur) which means "teacher."


We are honored and pleased to introduce our Lotus Dragon teaching staff :


simuSimu Diane Palley began studying Martial Arts over 25 years ago when her then young son Gabriel began taking Karate classes. She has studied several martial arts including Karate, Indonesian Martial Arts and Internal Chinese Martial Arts. She began studying with Master Dug Corpolongo in 1999 and they were married in November of 2007. In addition to being the Love of Sifu’s Life, she is a knowledgeable, skilled and  yet humble instructor.



Ty_copyLaoshi Ty Behbegan studying Tai Chi and Qigong with Master Dug Corpolongo in 1990 and is one his most senior students. She began teaching Tai Chi and Qigong in 1993 and has shared her expertise with students of many different backgrounds, from young people to senior citizens. In addition to being a highly qualified Tai Chi and Qigong instructor, she is also a certified western exercise instructor, has spent more than 25 years studying nutrition and is an award winning artist, photographer, writer and producer.


JonathanLaoshi Jonathan Donovan began studying Tai Chi Chuan in 1991 as a means of recovering from a back injury. He then found and began studying Tai Chi with Master Dug Corpolongo in 1993. Laoshi Jonathan has studied several forms of Tai Chi Chuan with Sifu Dug, as well as Tai Chi Push Hands, Hsing Yi Chuan, Qigong, Northern & Southern Kung Fu, numerous weapon forms and the health and martial applications of the aforementioned arts. Laoshi Jonathan began competing in Martial Arts Competitions in 1995. He has won numerous medals in several prestigious regional, national, and international Chinese Martial Arts championships in Forms and Push Hands. In recent years Loashi Jonathan has been officiating at various national and international Chinese Martial Arts competitions and is a well respect Internal Martial Arts judge.  Loashi began teaching Tai Chi under the direction of Sifu Dug in 1995. He has since had the privilege of assisting in the instruction of numerous students, as well as coaching them at international competitions.

curtLaoshi Curt Hardisonhas studied Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong with Sifu Dug Corpolongo for 14 years and has taught classes for him for over 10 years.  He has won gold and silver medals in Yang Style Tai Chi, Guang Ping, and the 32 Sword Form at multiple international competitions.  Curt has taught Tai Chi and Qi Gong at the Montoya branch of CNM for 7 years.  Here also served on the Executive Board of Directors for Chinese Martial Arts division of the AAU.


Sean150Laoshi Sean Rossbegan training Praying Mantis Kungfu in 1991 and Tai Chi in 1994 at the Wahlum Kungfu Temple, in Orlando Florida where he trained with the senior students of Grandmaster Chan Pui attaining the rank of ‘advanced student’. Sean moved to Albuquerque and met Master Corpolongo in 1998.  Sean was recognized as achieving instructor rank by Master Corpolongo in 2004.  In 2002, Sean began training with the Scientific Fighting Congress and started his own self defense school –the Personal Defense Club.  Sean holds the rank of Master instructor in modern unarmed, stick and knife combatives and Expert instructor in gun combatives.  Sean currently teaches weekly at his club and continues learning and training with Master Corpolongo in Tai Chi Chuan.

jimsnyderLaoshi Jim Snyder has been practicing Yang Taiji since 1997 and has experience teaching since 2002. He is interested in all aspects of the Chinese internal Martial arts but he is especially interested in their practice as forms of moving meditation, which brought him to study with Sifu Dug ten years ago. Since then he has won numerous medals competing in taiji open hand and weapons forms plus reaction skills. Presently he is working on blending the practice of Dzogchen and taiji plus researching methods to extract and use the qi from Habenero chilies.

laoshi_kenLaoshi Ken Cronin has nearly 15 years experience in martial arts, including 10 years of Wing Chun Gongfu and Tai Chi with Sifu Augustine Fong in Tucson, AZ.  He started with Lotus Dragon in 2006 and studies Yang Tai Chi, Guang Ping Tai Chi, Push Hands and Hsing-I.





kim-retreatLaoshi Kim Layne is a student of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Southwest Acupuncture College, where she began learning Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan from Sifu Dug two years ago. A former Pilates and Gyrotonic(r) instructor, Kim has always been passionate about movement for health. She immediately took to the form, attended as many classes as she could, and added Shaolin Kung Fu and Push Hands to her studies. Since that time, she has had the privilege of learning from Grand Master Henry Look, Master Charles Graham and Sifu James McIntire. Regular practice of martial arts has led to increased focus, determination, energetic sensitivity, balance and the ability to RELAX - benefits she plans to enjoy and share with others for the rest of her life.





Laoshi Jim Metzger practiced Tae Kwon Do for four years as his entry into the martial arts community.  In 1999, he started practice of Tai Chi, both Yang and Chen styles while living in California.  He enjoys the subtle beauty of silk reeling and Qi Gong exercises.  His China travels have taken him to Shaolin, Chenjiagou and Wudangshan to experience and train first hand.  After moving to Albuquerque in summer of 2009, Jim was drawn to Lotus Dragon because of the family atmosphere created by Sifu Dug in the Kuan.