Grandmaster Jeffrey J. Guiffre
August 20, 1952 – December 28, 2013
Jeffrey J. Guiffre was a man with many names.
Studying under Grandmaster Daniel K. Pai in the Pai Lum Family he was
Grandmaster Jeffrey J. Guiffre.
His Pai Lum disciple name was Bai Quan Li.
Studying under Great Master Wang Pei Sheng in the Yin Cheng family he was
Master Jeffrey J. Guiffre.
His Yin Cheng disciple name was Dan Guang.
To me, he was always “Master Jeff”
I was blessed to be placed into Master Jeff’s life almost 15 years ago. I knew immediately he was a man of great honor and integrity. Little did I know how much he would influence my life.
He started as my Tai Chi teacher but grew to be my mentor and spiritual advisor. Most importantly he became my best friend. At the time of his passing, I was still meeting with him for private lessons twice each week. We explored deep principles of meditation, Tai Ji Quan, The Tao Te Ching, The Buddha and many other profound topics. The lessons were scheduled for 90 minutes but sometimes went as long as 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Master Jeff always made sure he never left me with any big unanswered questions remaining from the day’s session. These sessions were precious to me and were invaluable to my growth as a person emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Master Jeff placed great importance in the teachings, traditions and legacy from his lineage. His teacher Great Master Wang Pei Sheng (Yin Cheng) commissioned a set of Chinese characters specifically for Master Jeff’s school Motion Health Institute.
The characters in the banner convey the following meaning:
“When people assemble with a commitment to truth,
the motion that ensues will generate good health to themselves and to the universe”.
Another literary piece he considered precious was the Chinese character for Heaven (Qian). Chinese characters are actually pictures and are meant to convey a group of ideas and principles, not just one word. In an especially deep lesson, Master Jeff relayed to me Great Master Wang’s teachings on the ideas and concepts that lie within the Qian image. It was quite a profound lesson and one we will pass along to others.
Looking back over the last few months and reviewing the lessons and messages he gave me it is obvious that somehow, someway he knew his time on earth was drawing to a close. I will share a few of these anecdotes so that we might understand and find comfort and peace with the timing of his passing.
Motion Health Institute’s Curriculum – Going Forward
Master Jeff has a huge curriculum of material that he teaches, more than any normal person can learn in a lifetime. Recently he revealed to me the three essential pieces of our curriculum. He considered this the ‘Holy Trinity’ of courses within Motion Health Institute. He said that anyone learning and practicing these three forms at a high level will experience the utmost balance in life and reach an extremely high level in Tai Ji Quan. These three forms will enable a person to ascend to the highest possible levels emotionally, physically and most important – spiritually. He said “This is all anyone needs”. He was instructing me on what he wanted me to carry on.
A rather deep & profound concept within our arts is “Self Correction”. Self Correction is the process by which one can continue to improve when his teacher is away. It is easy to make corrections when your teacher is right there to reveal and explain your mistakes. It is quite difficult to find and correct your mistakes without a teacher. Master Jeff had alluded to the concept of self correction many times over the years but never provided me with the details. In one of our last lessons together, Master Jeff gave me precise instructions on the complete process of self-correction. This one lesson ensures I can continue to identify and correct the weak areas of my life without his physical presence.
The last year Master Jeff had become such a Godly person. When I was with him I felt nothing but pure Love. He carried the presence of God with him wherever he went. It was apparent to me he had ascended to a new level and I felt deep in my heart he was but a small step away Heaven.
Two events occurred in my life that some would label as “divine coincidences”. I like to think of them as divine guidance or divine reassurance. These events confirm to me it truly was his time to go and that everything is in perfect order and as it should be…
I recently purchased a book of Buddha stories to share with my daughter. These are all the classic Buddha stories specifically written for children. I try to read her a story every night before bed but sometimes am not at home around that time. The book has about 25 stories and I was simply reading them in order from front to back. The day I found out about Master Jeff’s passing my daughter asked me to read her a story. Of course I was more than happy to. The story we read that night was about a student who’s teacher had died. The student was very angry with the teacher as he had left him with many unanswered questions. The student went to his teacher’s grave full of grief and anger. He shouted at the gravestone “Why did you leave me?! I have so much left to learn, so many more questions to ask you?!”. The teacher answered back from the grave. “I have taught you all that you need to know. It is my time to go.”
Master Jeff’s work was done here and it was time for him to go.
My last text message from Master Jeff:
Over the last year Master Jeff was sharing with me scripture from The Bible. Our spiritual studies over the years primarily focused on the Eastern traditions, however, recently we were beginning to explore the roots of Christianity. I did not own a Bible so I asked him which version I should purchase for my personal study. He directed me to two different versions. I ordered the Bibles from Amazon immediately after a Wednesday lesson. 2 days later, on Friday, we met for our regular session. After the session ended, I walked him to his car. We noticed there was an Amazon box on my doorstep and both got a chuckle. It seems Amazon visits both of our homes quite often. 🙂 I gave him a hug goodbye. This would turn out to be the last time I would see Master Jeff.
As he drove away, I went inside the house and opened the Amazon box. It was the two Bibles I had ordered on Wednesday. I had a big smile on my face as I was quite happy to receive them and was looking forward to studying them with Master Jeff. I immediately texted him a picture of the two bibles. The below image is a screenshot of that text:
If you look at the bottom left of the image you will see the text I received from him in a gray colored box. If you are not familiar with texting this is called an emoticon. This particular emoticon is the symbol for an Angel. That was the last text message I was to receive from Master Jeff.
These events, these “divine coincidences” and everything in my heart tell me it truly was time for Master Jeff to go. Any sorrow or loss that I feel is purely selfish. And this Angel is a constant reminder that he really hasn’t gone anywhere. He will always be here with me, with all of us, offering his guidance and support. We should all rejoice as Master Jeff is in the hands of God.
I Love you Master Jeff and will dearly miss your physical presence.
William L. Betts
President, CEO – Motion Health Institute
Instructor – Yin Cheng Xing Jian Zong Hui
Dan Guang Disciple Long Tuo
The below video was assembled as a memorial to Master Jeff. It was beautifully edited by my daughter Valerie.
The video was played on a continual loop during the reception after Master Jeff’s funeral mass.
Grandmaster Jeffrey J. Guiffre was certified in China as a teacher and disciple “Dan Guang” by Great Master Wang Pei Sheng (Yin Cheng) of Beijing. He is the first American disciple of Great Master Wang, continuing a direct teaching lineage of Great Masters from Yang Yu Ting, Wang Mao Zhai, and Quan You, the founder of the old and original Wu style Tai Ji Quan. Guiffre enjoys continued relationships with his Kung Fu family in China with Master Wang Nai Zhao, Master Wang Nai Xiang and special liaison Hu Ju Justin.
Master Guiffre has been practicing and teaching Chinese meditative, healing, and martial arts since 1971. Grand Master Daniel K. Pai named him disciple “Bai Quan Li”; and tested and ranked him at the Fifth Higher Level (Master) in the White Dragon System of Inwards Kung-fu. In 2006 he was promoted to Grandmaster by Pai Lum Family Arts Society Chairman, Grandmaster Thomas D. St. Charles. He is experienced as a contestant, judge, and organizer, and served as Secretary-General during the promotion of World Tournaments in Las Vegas in 1989 and Honolulu in 1980.
He was awarded for “Distinguished Martial Arts,” “Outstanding Judging,” and “Outstanding Master’s Performance” at National and International Chinese Kuoshu Federation Championships, and is an International Chinese Kuoshu Federation Lifetime Member.
Each of his two Grandmasters, now deceased, charged him to organize and promulgate their teachings. His programs have been the subject of news features on News Channel 5, Channel 12, in the Sun Sentinel, and the Palm Beach Post.
In a parallel vocation, Jeffrey Guiffre has also been practicing and teaching the art and science of illumination since 1971. Consultant and designer Jeffrey J. Guiffre began working with light as an art form in 1971, receiving his B.F.A., cum laude, from the Hartford Art School in 1974. He was awarded a subsidized studio at the Farmington Valley Art Center after a review and showing of the original Lucite sculptures constructed during this time. Over ten years his interest in lighting as art evolved into a practice of designing with light. Through 1980, more than one-hundred stage, studio, dance club, restaurant, and architectural projects were completed in California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York.
From 1980 to 1990, Jeff designed and managed three of the pioneer industry facilities demonstrating lighting effects. His responsibilities ultimately included the overall direction and management of residential, commercial and industrial lighting interests, elaborate showrooms, and lighting operations at multiple locations. During his career, he served as the executive in charge of more than $250,000,000 of sales of lighting fixtures, lamps, and related electrical supplies, throughout New England and the Mideastern states, with oversight for many thousands of lighting projects, and direction over hundreds of lighting designs.
Jeff was recognized as an American Home Lighting Institute Certified Lighting Consultant in 1989. He received the International Illumination Design Award in New England in 1988. In 1986 and 1985 he served as President of the Illuminating Engineering Society in Connecticut. He received a citation from the Dean of Paier College, for his 2 year development and teaching of the six-credit lighting program for interior design students beginning in 1984. In 1981, Jeff was certified as a Member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and in 1980 he was elected a Design Affiliate of the American Society of Interior Designers.