Greetings, my name is Sankofa (sometimes known as Dawn). I have been learning Tai Chi and Qi Gong since a friend told me about a class that was running in Lloyd Park for over 50s – this was in 2013, and I haven’t looked back since!
Training in the open air is a very spiritual experience, breathing in and out mindfully and having time to take in the beauty of nature and to learn to be aware of and control my body in motion, and when still. Tai Chi has been great for my coordination, memory, strengthening my immune system and boosting my overall sense of wellbeing!
My Sunday teacher Aaron, offered classes every single Sunday of the year (bar one), come rain or shine and what a privilege that was to be able to develop my understanding and practice of Chen style Tai Chi. I passed my initial grading and have a yellow belt for proficiently performing 1st Form and have since learnt 2nd Form, broad sword, straight sword (Plum Blossom), Fan form and am currently learning 3rd Form.
Learning the movements is the first step and perfecting the forms and increasing the health benefits is a lifetime’s journey, which I look forward to.
I now attend four classes per week (helping sometimes for the beginner classes), perform at events like the Walthamstow Garden Party and other sports, health or cultural events within Waltham Forest. I have also had the opportunity to share Tai Chi with other practitioners around England and to travel to China (April 2018). Through Dao Lu’s partnership with Tai Chi Link, I was one of a large group who had the most wonderful experience in China, deepening my understanding further of Tai Chi and Qi Gong, training with Masters on Wudang Mountain, in a Shaolin temple and with the Chen Family at Chen Village (what an honour).
It’s hard to keep up with our Chair and lead instructor Aileen, who shows utmost passion, energy and commitment to ensuring all members of our communities can have access to this internal martial art, for health and long life. But, now, having more time available to me, I could not think of a more productive and worthwhile way to spend my time, than to contribute to the promotion of Tai Chi for the health of the community, by becoming a director. I look forward to this second phase of my Dao Lu journey.