Erik Oliva has over 30 years of meditation and clinical massage therapy training. He began meditation at 8 years old, focusing on breath-work, movement, and self-introspection. Through his teenage years into his thirties, he learned and developed practices in clinical massage therapy, Chinese Medicine’s Tui Na (clinical bodywork) and Qigong Therapy. He has studied Chinese Martial Arts of Wing Chun, Chen and Zheng Man Qing Tai Ji Quan, 5 Elements Xing Yi Quan, Ba Ji Quan, Long Fist and Bagua Zhang 8 Mother Palms Qigong from his late teens till present time.
Erik traveled and lived in China for almost 10 years both teaching language, meditation, martial arts, and offering his therapy to those in need. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and teaches the language along with Chinese Calligraphy. He spent his last 4.5-year stint in China lecturing, studying and researching the origins of Chinese culture, leading him to speak in universities, and becoming a department co-leader of Chinese Ancient Culture and Research. Erik also became the U.S. Representative to the cultural researcher, and Geologist, Liu Ming Wu, for his works on 10 Keys to Understanding Chinese Culture. Liu Ming Wu is the author of several books on Chinese Medicine, Law, and Ancient Cultural Origins.
After 30 years of practice, Erik developed the Awaken 24 practice of meditation, movement, and personal development. Awaken 24 means to be in the driver’s seat of your mind 24 hours a day. It is a series of movements, stretching, and breath-work focusing on building physical and mental strength. Awaken Meditation is the culmination of his 30 plus years of practice in East Asian philosophies and esoteric arts. Erik took the core methods of these teachings and forged them into one practice.
This led him to also combine his martial arts of Tai Ji Quan, Wing Chun, Bagua Zhang, and Xing Yi Quan into a new style of movement and meditation, as well as self-defense. He calls it “The Art of Interdependence” or “Zong Huan” in Mandarin. The art encompasses philosophy, meditation, personal development, and self-defense. The self-defense practices are taught with an MMA approach being technique development and application first, rather than form practice as the basis of training.
Erik has taught in two Chinese Medicine schools in New York City for both Tai Ji Quan and Qigong, highlighting the use of Tai Ji philosophy in personal development. He has lectured at Pace University’s Confucius Institute on martial arts, Tai Ji Quan, and Ancient Chinese culture.
Throughout 2006-2018 he had opened cultural centers, which included martial arts, Chinese calligraphy, cultural research and Chinese Medicine in China, Brooklyn, Staten Island N.Y., and Milford PA. As he traveled throughout China from 2004-2008, he would open “pop-up” centers till he settled in Brooklyn in 2008. Later in 2011, he closed his center and returned to China to lecture and further develop his personal studies.
Erik feels that in order to reach more people, he travels for lecturing and teaching. He believes that if more people learn how to take the reigns of their body and mind, they would lead themselves to great happiness and success. The Awaken 24 Practices of Meditation, Movement, and Self-care offer that. Classes are hosted privately at the client’s home, or group classes in various available spaces closest to the client. Corporate workshops and talks on meditation and personal development are also available for booking.