Well, I don’t know much about Master Joe Schaeffer, the head of a school called Shaolin-Do, but I heard he was on Ripley's. I do know a little about Shaolin Martial arts and history, as I have been a student of Martial arts for over 30 years and I have studies Chinese History and culture for nearly 20 years now.
My personal opinion is that I do not like a Chinese martial arts school that mixes Japanese terms with Chinese tradition. The information I do know of Master Joe Schaeffer and his Shaolin-Do shoes him wearing Japanese style uniforms and Japanese Black belts. He also states that he has a 6th degree black belt from a Shaolin Master. I am not saying he is not telling the truth, as I do not know him personally and I do not know his Master, but I do know and Have met actual Shaolin Monks. They do not use Black belts. Also, the term 'Do' is a Japanese word meaning "way" and is often added to the end of a skill or art to indicated it's practice. For instance, Karate-Do (Empty Hand Way); Kendo (The way of the Sword) or Budo. (The way of war) In Chinese, the word for way is Tao, but it is not used in the same manner. That said, if he has studied Shaolin arts, and he has learned any of the Shaolin healing techniques, then these would fall into the category of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can seam almost miraculous, and almost certainly strange to those unfamiliar with the techniques and philosophies of the arts. Without going into too much detail, TCM believes that balance is the key to health. The principals and theories revolve around Internal Energy (Qi); The five elements (wuxíng: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) and Yin, Yang (yīnyáng). The techniques commonly used for healing are Tuina (traction, massage and body manipulation); Acupuncture; Moxibustion; Herbology; Acupoint therapy (Acupressure) and Qi Gung. (Controlled breathing patterns with various postures and body movements. Some people call it Chinese yoga.) There's a lot more to it, but these are the basics that most western audiences can relate to. Anyway, TCM is not a hoax and despite some western criticism, the facts are that generally speaking, the Chinese lead healthier, longer lives then we do in the west. There must be something to their health care practices, right?
As for Master Joe Schaeffer, I don’t know what to tell you. I would recommend talking to him and a few of his students and then do a little research on line. You can check out the official Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters web page (http://www.shaolin-overseas.org/) if you like or you can read more about Shaolin from numerous other resources including Wikipedia, shaolinwolf.com, shaolin.com, or any number of other sites. After speaking with Master Schaeffer, you could also post more detailed questions here and see what you learn.
I hope this helps.
Master Joe Healer
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