Portrait of Ellen Schoemaker

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 affinity wit Tai Chi.

Her Tai Chi career starts in 1986. From 1989 she replaces fortuitous her former teacher Epi van der Pol. This became the first seed and careful beginning for a school of her own. In 1990 she created ‘Quinttesence’. “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. This 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 a sacrifice or victim but that you relax when there comes a force towards you, whether 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 can arise a conflict. The beauty is that there are no depth psychological analyses necessary. By seriously practising Tai Chi the results will come in the end.’

In 1992 Ellen Schoemaker meets Patrick Kelly. He is since then her teacher. “My choice for Patrick as a teacher is based upon his deep knowledge of Tai Chi and the fact that he teaches all aspects of Tai Chi; the physical, mental and spiritual aspects. Ever since 1 January 2006 I am a “senior instructor” in the system of Patrick Kelly. To become “senior instructor” you must have a minimum of 20 years experience in Tai Chi and trained intensively for more than a decade with Patrick as a teacher.


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