Although I’ve long been a cinema fan of the martial arts, I didn’t become a student until a few years ago. I started learning tai chi from a wonderful teacher I met at the Audobon Center in Highland Park. Wayne is a sweet man, old but spectacularly mobile for his age! He had moved to the US when he was over 60 and here in America he created a whole new life! I deeply admired Wayne because he was a teacher who made a commitment every week to come and teach a small group of students for free. FREE.
As a novice, I know very little but I can share just a little of what I’ve gleaned from those who have shared with me and the books I have studied. Yet, when I talk about the beginnings of Black Kungfu Chick, I know that learning tai chi quan from Wayne is a big part of that. As well, I know my interactions with my many international students have also led me here. We also had a little in common because we both shared a love of poetry. Following Wayne as we did tai chi, was always a bit of poetry for me.
I also appreciated the freedom that Wayne gave us. He would give us a little pamphlet of information, caution us about tension and balance, but other than that we would just follow him. He infrequently gave comments or feedback but when he did, it was never critical and he was always concerned for our safety. Mostly Wayne loved to share insights from articles he read. And sometimes, poetry. It was an ethereal experience starting out.
As someone who is constantly in my head and is a professed workaholic, it was something special to hear the birds, catch the scent of the pond and glimpse the grapes hanging by the vine. It was something amazing to feel present.I felt very lucky having a good teacher who really helped me to connect to myself and the martial arts. It was like praying to the world.