Senior KAP Instructor
KAP Classes taught by Tao: KAP1, KAP2, KAP3, KAP4
Other ways to get a sense of Tao’s teaching style:
Tao Semko graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from University of Miami with an undergraduate (B.S.) degree in Marine Science (major in Biology, major in Oceanography, minor in Chemistry) and numerous graduate credits. He is a National Merit Scholar and Isaac Bashevis Singer merit scholarship recipient. Tao was a nationally ranked swimmer as a teenager. He still spends much of his time in the ocean, and is also a whitewater kayaker, rock climber, bicyclist, and martial artist.
Tao completed more than 3000 hours of rigorous training before his certification by Santiago Dobles in tantric hatha and kriya yoga and ayurvedic yoga therapy (2001). He began teaching as an assistant in 1999. He was certified in 2003 to conduct teacher training.
Tao’s personal website is TaoSemko.com; he is also the founder of Smashan Press (1999) and the co-founder in 1999 of UMAA Tantra, an organization dedicated to the research and study of authentic Tantric Yogic practices and philosophies. He trained extensively in Hoshin Tao Qi Gong and Hoshinjutsu with Dr. Glenn Morris. He is a certified Hoshin Tao Qi Gong Instructor and Kundalini Awakening Process (KAP) instructor under Dr. Morris.
Tao practices qigong healing, reiki, and pranic healing, and tantric and shamanic healing methods, and mental-emotional-causal energetic healing. He was certified in Aromatherapy and Herbalism in Complementary Alternative Medicine by Miguel Cisneros-Abreu. His first Taoist Qigong initiation was given by Raven Cohan, one of 8 original instructors of Mantak Chia’s Universal Tao System, with more from Doctor Morris, and from Sifu Francis Fong; Hindu Tantra initiations from Santiago Dobles & Dinu Roman, including the Mahavidya Cycle, Tantric Hatha, Kriya, Laya, and Raja Yogas; and Highest Yoga Tantra, Anuyoga, and Dzogchen initiations from Gelug, Ningma, and Bon Rinpoches, including the late Ningma Lama Khempo Yurmed Tinley Rinpoche. Terry Waltman taught Tao Pranic Healing, Carol Rockman taught him Reiki. He is grateful for every one of his teachers, named, and unnamed, and for their lessons.
Testimonials for Tao’s teaching:
I’d like to describe my experience with KAP, but it’s difficult to quantify gratitude in mere words. Here’s my best attempt:
I found KAP when I was searching for the next step in my personal development. I had moved across the country and had not been active with my usual energetic and meditative practices. To make a long story short, a vivid dream led me to eventually find you. I had read Dr. Glenn Morris’ books and had always been interested in opening my kundalini. I found out that you and Santiago had taken on Dr. Morris’ teaching in the form of KAP. I thought about it for a while before signing up, since I had just stumbled upon your website and there’s a lot of well-meaning but uninformed teachers out there. But everything I read on your site seemed to indicate that you knew what you were talking about. I went ahead and took a chance, signing up for the class session that matched my schedule.
Well, my expectations have been greatly exceeded, to say the least. Not only did I open kundalini, but I’m now able to direct my energy much more efficiently, expand my consciousness, and still stay grounded . My compassion and love for all beings, including myself, has really increased. I can courageously explore my own psyche without getting stuck there, as it’s all part of the big picture. Whole new worlds have been opened to me. As I said, it’s hard to convey the gratitude I feel for all of this in words. I practice regularly now, and I’ve continued on with KAP 2 and Foundation Practices of Tantric Yoga – both excellent courses and highly recommended.
Tao, your teaching style is excellent. I appreciate the way you have fully researched everything you present, and your explanation of the background and meaning of all of the material is great, especially for a person like myself who likes to know the “why” behind any subject I’m learning so I can put it all together. Your encouragement, assessment, and follow-up helps keep me going, too. You are also compassionate to the world (for example, organizing the fund raising effort for the flooding in Pakistan) and I’ve never heard you say anything unkind about anyone.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that the reason why you are so great at this is because you live it and practice it. Thank you for dedicating yourself to the practices. I don’t think I would have had these great results if I had learned this from someone who hadn’t made the journey himself.
Another benefit is the wonderful community of fellow KAP students. There’s ongoing support, videos, and feedback, and the students and instructors regularly encourage one another as they evolve in their practices. I’ve met some wonderful new friends here.
If anyone is reading this and is still unsure about taking KAP, please let me put your mind at ease. I would recommend this to my closest friends and family. I know taking distance learning sight unseen can be a risk, but it wasn’t with KAP. The integrity level here is extremely high. I was never put under any pressure, made to feel uncomfortable in any way, or told I should recruit anyone. There’s no dogma and this works with all belief systems. As long as you’re willing to do your part and practice, you will have a life-changing experience too.
Thank you for everything.
hypnotherapist, energy worker, NLP practitioner
I’ve been interested in energy work and meditation for 10 years, and have been teaching myself mostly from books, but also from home-study courses from instructors from other systems. Your KAP 1 course is easily the best course I’ve studied. A lot of other systems teach the individual practices but don’t put it into a broader context of how to use the techniques to awaken Kundalini, or else they don’t give clear guidance on when it’s time to move on from one practice to the next.
You teach everything in a clear, ordered way, always with the intention of working towards a Kundalini awakening. And a demonstration of a practice is so much easier to understand than trying to learn from a book. I’ve also benefitted greatly from all of the subtleties that you’ve taught – for example I’ve been aware of Trataka for a long time, but never realised exactly why it was important or what effect it was meant to have.
Since I’ve been practicing your course, I’ve felt each of my chakras much more deeply than ever before, and things get better from one day to the next. I’m so grateful that you’re teaching everything so openly, and with no restrictive guru-disciple relationship. I honestly don’t know how long it would have taken me to discover all of this material without your course.
— Al B., London, UK
“My name is Brady Hansen and I live in Salt Lake City, Ut. I would like to take a moment to share with you my experiences with KAP. First off the classes are very well organized, and professional. Its a good feeling when those attributes are present.
The information was easy to understand and put into my daily meditation practice.
The material works, I opened full Kundalini after 27 days of devoted practice. Everyone is different so don’t expect the same results I had but the system works!
Bottom line KAP works. However, like anything in life you will not get results unless you are willing to do the work. The instructors do their best to take care of you personally as soon as they can but they always eventually do. KAP has opened this new door for me and I am now starting my spiritual path with Shakti guiding me.
The system works if you are willing to put in the work to make it happen. It is safe, fast and effective.
Much love to my teachers Tao, Susan, and Santi. Thank you for helping me start my journey, and continuing to help me stay on the path!”
–Brady Hansen, UT, USA
The KAP class 148 has been the absolute best investment I have ever made in myself, and I am not a guy prone to superlatives. I’m a Virgo after all; there is something wrong with everything, or at least something that might need some improvement. Tao, a fellow Virgo, may, to some degree, agree with that statement.
With the KAP Program, I got a proven, practical, replicable, almost-paint-by-numbers introduction to meditation and Kundalini awakening. Instead of paint-by-numbers, I would compare it to origami: it’s going to take a little practice, but, sooner than you think, you’ll be making those little cranes like a champ 🙂
My practice has helped me to feel more centered and grounded, always a good thing for a guy in recovery. If I have had a stressful day, I come home, put on Tao’s self-massage video, burn off my stagnant chi, do some chi exercises, follow it up with Tao and/or Santi’s videos on skeletal shaking and I can come down out of my head and feel centered and grounded again. I would say without hesitation that the KAP Program has improved my life.
The course materials are top-notch. I like the pdf’s of relevant material, both the original Doc Morris material and the later revisions. These to me show how the program is evolving and deepening. The facebook group serves as a convenient portal for the class to keep in contact with each other and for Tao to post videos, upload our class handouts, keep us advised of what the coming week holds, and answer questions via our online training journals.
Tao responds rapidly to questions and comments posted on the group’s facebook wall as well as in students’ training journals; his comments are always supportive, encouraging and positive.
Before KAP I thought that all meditation was that “empty your mind, think of nothing” Zen type meditation. I wondered how we would explore that for 12 weeks, but I thought, it has the Doc Morris stamp of approval and Tao and Santi are respected names. I was not disappointed at all.
Again, comparing my KAP practice to origami, I haven’t been as regular lately as I was previous to early November; objectively, my meditation practice has sharply fallen off. I can feel the difference, and that in itself is instructional. The perfectionist Virgo in me thinks “well, 12 weeks times 7 practices equals I should have x number of training log entries…” The more grounded, newly calm, accepting part of me says, listen, the goal of the course was not to go through the Kundalini during the last class / week 12, just to expose you to the techniques. I am satisfied that I have been exposed to excellent, workable, safe techniques that, when diligently applied, will produce the desired result. The way is in the practice, and the results are up to me.
Constructive feedback…hmmm…I am really stretching to find something that needs some improvement. For someone who had zero experience with online classes (I’m 45…) and interactive learning, the KAP Program has set a very high bar. Would it be easier to send out all the course pdf’s at once, and only give the passwords out week by week to the different sections? Less mailing / posting for the instructors that way. Your email communication is excellent, not spam-y, doesn’t seem to be trying to sell me anything with the hurry! hurry! hurry! deadline approaching soon! mindset…I know when I get an email from you guys it’s not crap and I look forward to reading it. Really, that’s all I can think of…
KAP is great, I’ve had a great time so far, I am going to miss the class when it ends, and I’m already planning to take another class or two or three 🙂 and you can use all my comments, edit them as needed, and use my full name and city (Boston, MA).
Dan Daley, Boston, MA, USA
I’m a Presbyterian pastor/minister and naturally reticent about the things and people most important to me–so speaking this directly shows you guys how much your course means to me.
Taiji, qigong, and kundalini have been among those most important things; since sixteen I have been meditating in whatever patchwork loose practice I could gin up; my martial teachers didn’t teach this material; my religious home of the time didn’t teach effective skills for spiritual attainment (given that it has ‘method’ in its name precisely because it was founded on practice should say something); nothing prepared me for being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 18. Needless to say, I was frantic by the time I ran across Dr. Morris’ book at 20 and immediately put his helpful hints into play–including ‘keeping the tongue up’. I immediately thanked God for the Path Notes and spent the next years perfecting what little I knew in crazy, edgy situations perfect for Qigong of a certain kind. But what I lacked was a systematic, patient, but straightforward system that put the pieces together plainly, told you what would fry you and what needed advanced practice and attainment to achieve.
I have been able to survive a mystery pain that has bordered on the horrific and that diet, exercise, and regular non-emergency prevention couldn’t touch; Crohn’s disease over 18 years; the stress of nomadic life with few real friends in spiritual practice; math and physics and divinity classes and ten years of tough ministry in tough places. All this because of Dr. Morris.
So imagine the burden lifted off my shoulders when I ran across KAP a couple of years ago.
Imagine the sense of solitude and wrestling with pain and loss evaporating in three days down in Miami.
Not because the practice works this fast, but because 18 years of practice and prayer and solitude were answered with the knowledge that serious, young, and intense practitioners were alive, teaching, and better yet, taught us as opposed to fulfilling some pipe dream in saffron robes with me as ‘chela000100102’ in their ego play.
IN short, Dr. Morris gave me information that quite literally got me through severe chronic illness and the opportunity to continue delighting in the work of God and brought a consciousness (not a depth) to my sacramental life hard to describe. His faithful students brought that patchwork to full quilted status. I haven’t yet melted that quilt after dipping it in upper peninsula Michigan Lake water and wrapping it around my shoulders. But I hope to, if my path offers that.
Santiago and Tao bring a professionalism, a kindness (and gentleness) to a path that alone can be harrowing. Their clear sense of gratitude for life and what had been given them was even more witness to their practice.
They have done what the best pioneers always do: take the wilding, grinding darksome frontier and made it home.
Their ability to stack the exercises, their ability to clearly describe exactly what needed to be done and no more; their willingness to offer knowledge beyond the class if needed; made the kundalini arousing quite peaceful; Awakening? Not yet but someday–I build girder by girder and floor by floor due to the consequences I’ve seen of doing it fast and loose. In my life I don’t have room for catastrophe. I practice everyday throughout the day, unless health suggests otherwise.
The best gift Tao and Santiago have given me is the knowledge that when my path requires full awakening, the last thing I’ll have to be concerned with is catastrophe–if I follow what they’ve mastered (and they’ve been right every time I’ve implemented anything), I’ll have the gift of tranquility.
Thank you and God bless,
My background before KAP was 10 years practice of Southern
Shaolin Tiger-Crane kung-fu (including a form of tai-chi and
soft/vein-tendon/iron shirt qi-gongs) and yoga and meditation before
that. I was mysteriously given a copy of Path Notes and found my way
from there. I have done KAP1/2 online with Tao and a seminar in London
with Santi/Susan. The standard of teaching of all 3 has been excellent
– and with very contrasting approaches!
The course material is very clearly presented and explained in
straightforward terms. Despite some initial doubts I found the online
sessions worked very well and the weekly format allows time to digest
the material. The aftercare is superb both from other group members
and Tao. The level of understanding is brilliant – although you won’t
always be spoon fed answers!
Despite practicing nowhere near as much as I would like I have found
all the practices to be very effective. My energy levels and awareness
are much higher but combined with an all important grounding which was
previously missing. And I am only beginning to explore the tools that
have been shown to me.
If I had to sum up in one word however it wouldn’t be more power or
new techniques – it would be FUN!
Criticism? err. support is very good, both from you and wider
community. videos and facebook material works very well – much better
than I thought. Only feedback would be to improve the website. Could
be simplified to reduce the text. I was nearly put off by the “hard
sell” although that is probably a cultural bias! And at the end of the
day I wouldn’t disagree with any of the claims.
I hope that was some help. I’m happy for you to use my full name – and
If you want you can even put me as Dr Tom Stiff, B.Sc, D.Phil if it
Dr Tom Stiff, B.Sc, D.Phil
I have been involved in energy cultivation for the past 10 years and can honestly say KAP is the most complete system with the best followup I have experienced. Instead of going to a weekend seminar and getting a slight energy buzz with no follow-up, or traveling far away for marginal improvement in central channel, you get all the meditations you need for opening the channels, meridians, and chakras with weekly free reviews. Santiago, Tao, and Susan are readily available for any questions that may come up, and give of their time/energy gifts completely.
Disclaimer-The only barrier to your ultimate divinity is you. Put in the time, do the practices daily, surrender your resistance and observe your internal growth, and in turn how that affects others in your life. Enjoy. : )
Love and Light,
I wish to give my honest feedback on the KAP classes I took with Tao Semko.
Please excuse my english, as it is not my pramary language.
I first heard about KAP through a friend who at the time had just started attending himself. At first I was a bit skeptic, but after a while he convinced me to start reading “Pathnotes of an American Ninja Master” by Glenn Morris. I found the subject more and more interesting the more I read and after a few weeks I decided to attend the course myself. I then signed up for the classes with Tao Semko and got caught up in the first lesson. We started with bellybreathing and self-massage, which sounded simple enough, but proved to be the most important basic elements of the KAP practice. From there we dug further into the esoteric arts and started breathing in orbits, going into the different chakras etc.
The practice seamed to have an almost immediate improving effect on my physical body and self-confidence. The part that effected me most was the secret smile. After some weeks of practice, I had several minutes of bliss and extacy every day. Of course, some practices proved more difficult to manage then others. If it had not been for Tao, I’m not sure I would have been able to keep up. Tao was a huge source of inspiration during the time I practicing KAP. There was something about his presence in class that just made me want to keep going no matter what. If at the end of a week I had lost my motivation, I would get it back as soon as the next class started.
After the course was finished, I kept on going for a while. I noticed huge differences: I felt more physically fit, I had more sympathy for my fellow humans, I had an increase in self-confidence and I was generally happier. Unfortunately I went to school at the same time as I took the KAP classes, which I now find was a mistake. When the time came for my examinations, I had very little time to practice and after a while, I stopped completely. The schoolwork also interfered in other ways. I never got the hang of Damos cave, which I sincerely regret now. I think it was mainly things outside my KAP practice such as schoolwork and music-projects that distracted me so I wasn’t able to concentrate as much as was needed to enter the cave. I would recommend to everyone who attends KAP classes that they be sure not to do anything that can interfere with the practice over a long period of time.
All in all I am very satisfied with the course, and most of all Tao Semko. He is a great teacher and guru. He answered all our questions and he guided us in the right direction when we needed to find the way. My only regret is that I did not chose a better time to attend the classes, however, I am planning to re-attend KAP 1 as soon as I can. Thank you for giving me a chance to review the KAP course. I could not have been more satisfied with the classes or the results I got before I stopped practicing. The effects was in a good way more than I had ever expected.
PS. You may use this feedback as a testimonial to promote future classes.
Ivan Soløst, Oslo, Norway
“Monday was totally different. On my way to work, in the bus, i came in a different state of mind, i felt seperated from my body, but yet i understood the body was mine, so we became like best buddys.
I felt for the first time som sort of strong feeling of love and compassion or empathy for all the people around me. I really felt they were my brothers, or my clones or something like that. Then later i reaaaaaally felt a super connection with the trees, with the sky–>/universe, earth, with the stranger walking behind me ect.
My heart started to tingle and then the rest of my body was on fire. I felt i was everything and at the sametime nothing at all. haha wonderfull! Soo nice! This didn’t last that long, but had an aftershock for several hours, and actually uptill now.
The children attacked me almost when i arrived, climbing me, hugging me, playing with me, coming to me for safety, comfort and love!!
I think this was my first real spiritual experience. I guess that was a feeling of bliss! But im still pretty altered. I dont have the same emotions of insecurity as before. I dont have the same perception of myself, others and the world i see…
I lack the lower emotion, i have much less guilt and shame in me! This ruuules! I can much easier stand up for myself, stand up for the kids at work and run my own path:) Bless me and bless all of you…
I’m forever grateful Tao♥”
–Ben W., Norway, k118 session of KAP Level 1
(Ben’s post has been edited for brevity)
I had been practicing another system for some time when I began to experience a number of negative symptoms. They were beginning to get quite bad when I saw a thread on a forum talking about KAP. The person on the forum was saying how much he was enjoying the course and how grounding it was. The term “grounding” caught my attention. I checked out the KAP web site and signed up to the email list. I toyed with the idea of joining the level one course, but decided against it. I have to admit that I found the marketing a bit off putting. I thought it was a bit “American”, too good to be true! However, I was beginning to feel a bit desperate, and the next day I got an email from the list saying that there was only one place on the level 1 course left. I thought, “What the hell”, and signed up, pretty much on impulse, really. I paid using the monthly payment option. I thought that if it were really bad I would just pay for a month.
Well, I am so glad that I did sign up for KAP level 1. My instructor, Tao Semko, was able to explain to me why I was suffering from chi sickness and sorted me out in no time. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt in a matter of days. That alone would have been worth the price of the course. The next thing I would like to say is how much FUN the course is. KAP1 is not the type of system where you spend 30 years staring at a wall. On the contrary, I found KAP interesting and enjoyable, as well as being effective. Also, I found Tao very willing and able to answer all our questions clearly and in depth. I can not thank Tao enough for all the extra time and effort he put into the course. I finished level 1 two weeks ago and he is still posting supplementary material to the facebook group.
I am really looking forward to Sunday, Why? Because I am starting KAP level 2!
Way McCutchen, Wales, UK,
KAP Level One K106 distance learning class graduate
I owe a great deal of giri to Tao Semko, therefore I’m going to give KAP a brief plug here. 🙂
If you have come to a place in your life where you feel lost or there is something deep within you trying to urge you to undergo the Kundalini Awakening Process then listen to your inner voice (just this once…). 🙂 I can’t give stronger testimonial to the process.
It is not a magic pill. You do not pay x amount & simply lie back & receive enlightenment.
There is some effort on your part, but the effort is slight compared to the results that are gained. Kundalini is a real force that is available for all of us to tap into. The only thing holding us back is ourselves. The only price that it asks is what you bring to the table.
Make no mistake, if you undergo KAP & you do the actual work – you will be changed. But isn’t that what brought you here in the first place? 🙂
The body of knowledge covered in the KAP LD course is impressive and the intelligence and clarity of its delivery is even more impressive. Santiago Dobles and Tao Semko of Umaa tantra definitely deliver the goods in this course. Prior to the class I was of the mind that I had read most everything out there and that this would just be a rehashing of techniques, most of which are available on the web and in books. I was wrong.
The KAP Course is something new, and definitely worth enrolling in if you have the chance. Since going through the course I find my practice to be something I look forward to daily. Positive results continue to appear in surprising ways throughout different parts of my life.
Three quarters of the way through the course I thought to start exercising again. It had been about 6 months since I had performed any rigorous activity, but felt I had the energy and wanted to get back in shape. I pulled out my kettlebell and got work, and continued to work, and to work, and to work,…. throwing the kettlebell around as if it was toy. I was completely blown away by how much my strength and endurance had developed in such a short time from working with the material taught in the KAP course. Another pleasant side effect of the course is my blood pressure dropped from about 120/80, to to that of a high level athelete 110/60, I am looking forward to see what else results from continuing my daily practice of the material presented in the KAP Long Distance Course.
Anonymously submitted by a KAP level 1 K107 distance learning class member, Sedona, Arizona, USA…
So, to let you guys all know a little bit about me and my background in these practices…(and hopefully to get all of you guys to share your histories as well… 🙂
Where to begin…
Well, I guess it all started a few years ago while perusing an internet fitness forum and stumbling upon a review of a book called “Path Notes of An American Ninja Master” by Dr. Glenn Morris.
Something told me I should buy the book, so I did. I read it and it just felt so different than anything else. I loved it! I quickly became enamored with the pursuit of enlightenment and the attainment of preternatural abilities. And I have kind of an obsessive personality in that whenever I become interested in something, I always take it to the furthest possible extreme…somewhat of a blessing and a curse. 🙂
And this was no exception. I wanted to delve deeper into the things Dr. Morris discussed in his book. I read his second book (Shadow Strategies) …which is even better than the first book by the way, and I started reading some Qigong books that Dr. Morris had recommended. I practiced those for a while, along with the Secret Smile and the Microcosmic orbit practices from his books. And I started searching online for how I could learn more of Dr. Morris’ methods.
Then I found UmaaTantra…and saw that Tao and Santiago had a personal relationship with Dr. Morris — them being the students of Dr. Morris with regard to his Martial Arts and his Qigong and meditation techniques, while Dr. Morris being the student of Tao and Santiago in Tantric techniques.
After a series of emails back and forth with Tao, I knew he was the real deal…so I bought a bunch of UmaaTantra’s products — Secrets the Gurus will Never Show You…Secrets of Laya Yoga…the Practice Session DVDs…Abdominal Isolation DVDs…ALL of their products in fact. 🙂
And I started practicing…EVERYDAY. I worked mostly with the techniques from the Secrets the Gurus Will Never Show You ebook (which is packed with techniques). So I was doing a lot of charanas (techniques to clean and build the energetic centers of the body) and a lot of Yoga asanas and kriyas (with the internal techniques described in the ebook) along with the Secret Smile and some Qigong practices.
I developed A LOT!!!
I began to develop quite a bit of chi, and I developed some mastery over it — the ability to move it to different parts of my body and to different energy centers and feel the consciousness associated with it. And I began to PLAY!
Then Tao and I started talking on skype. He became very familiar with my individual practice and the nature of my personality and my aspirations. And we started talking regularly so he could guide me along with my personal practice…a sort of personal training in a way, tailored to me as an individual. He always knows what practice to give me next to open up something new for me and take me to the next level.
My life has completely changed since all this happened…and I’ve been so amazed by it all that a couple months ago, I went to Miami to see Tao personally — both to learn from him and to thank him for all he’s done for me.
I got a lot of great practices while I was there (as part of the KAP class that I did) and the private teaching sessions that Tao did with me…and I’m know progressing faster than ever.
Much of those practices that he shared with me are the same ones he’s teaching in this distance learning course…so ENJOY them! They’re awesome!
So that’s pretty much my story…I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂
And one last thing, I guess if I could offer any of you who are just starting out with this or didn’t have a relationship with Tao or UmaaTantra prior to this, it would simply be:
Take advantage of this opportunity! Tao is an amazingly generous and knowledgeable teacher. The more curious you are…the more you ask questions and let him get to know you and where you’re at in your practice…the more help you’ll get…the more knowledge you’ll have…and the faster you’ll progress.
Oh, and one more thing: In the words of Dr. Morris, “Keep playing!”
Best wishes to all of you…and I hope you’ll share your stories with me.
Best Selling Author, TheEnergyBlueprint.com