Ellen Schoemaker was born in Canada. As a young child she moved to the Netherlands. She has studied many forms of alternative medicine and has graduated as a haptonomist. Haptonomy uses physical touching and awareness to reach a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in life. It has a major relation with Tai Chi. Her Tai Chi career started in 1986.
In 1989 she was asked to replace her former teacher Epi van der Pol. This became the first seed and careful start for a school of her own. In 1990 she created ‘Quintessence’.
“The name expresses what I am looking for in Tai Chi. The connection between the physical, mental and spiritual.
For me Tai Chi is a combat sport but the first fight is to gain more self-knowledge and knowledge about what motivates you inside. This also improves slowly your empathy: a classical Tai Chi approach. After 7 years of practising Tai Chi I realised that I actually did Tai Chi to stop fighting. I found out that a good fight means surrender to your opponent. That does not mean that you are sacrificing yourself or are victim but that you relax when a force is approaching you. And no matter if this force is physical, mental or emotional: you stay in balance.”
“My ultimate goal? The understanding of myself and the other(s) so deeply that there no longer conflicts can occur. The beauty is that there are no deep psychological analyses necessary. By seriously practising Tai Chi the results will come in the end.”