This was a very difficult week for me. Without any clear reason I had experienced at least one panic episode daily and they were severe and difficult to control. When I entered Equa Do, somewhere I usually feel very safe, I was set off and immediately began to panic, thinking that all of those who were there and were instructors had alterior motives. I was terrified that if I did not live up to their expectations I would lose their affection, which is something I am relying on more and more as I prepare to go away to school next fall. I even went so far as to ask Sensei to remove me from the list of students enrolled at Equa Do and take me home. The panic was so overwhelming I was also suicidal and as a result was very difficult to calm. I ended up panicking for all but the last few minutes of my class time, but Master Eric understood and allowed me to train for a full hour anyway.
Rather than work on Hapkido however, Master Eric asked me to try something new. He began showing me the first few movements in a form of Tai Chi. It is rare that students be allowed to train in multiple arts at a time, and in fact when I first began coming to Equa Do Master Eric said I would have to wait til I had a good solid mastery of Hapkido before I began a second style.
The form of Tai Chi I am working on is called Synergy Tai Chi Qigong. It combines techniques from several other types of Tai Chi into a simple yet effective form of movement and meditation. Though in the sequence I am learning there are 24 movements I have only so far learned the first 3. This particular style of Tai Chi is designed for maximum health benefit, particularly to those with illnesses or conditions that limit them. It also provides a way for the older generations to become involved in martial arts which has heretofore been considered a youthful pursuit.
The first movements were difficult to master but I eventually got the hang of it. I am grateful for Master Eric's seemingly endless patience. I ended up learning not only part of the art of Tai Chi itself but also some of its guiding principles. Tai Chi focuses on fostering beneficial use and balance of ki energy, or life force, within the body. We focused on deep breathing and learning to sense and transfer our ki.
Then Master Eric revealed he had a surprise for me. Grandmaster Moore, who created Synergy Tai Chi Qigong, will be giving a seminar in Joliet on March 31st and April 1st and has asked that I attend in order to receive my apprentice instructor certification. Not only is he waiving the requirement that instructor candidates hold a black belt in another style prior to attempting certification but he and others were coming together to provide the seminar experience to me at no cost. Sensei has been given the same gift. I am excited and awed and cannot wait to attend.