Brian Strickler is a martial arts teacher and the owner of the Tsunami Dojo in Whitehall, a small town in southeastern Ohio. He contacted me when the grandparent of one of his students told him her doctor had recommended Tai Chi classes. She wanted to know if Brian could teach it, because she and some friends with MS wanted to attend the classes. Brian did some internet research and came up with my information. A delightful friendship has sprung up, and I recently sent him a prototype of my soon-to-be released DVD: New Creation Tai Chi-Qigong for All Abilities. New Creation Tai Chi-Qigong has classical Tai Chi-Qigong movements with a background narrative of the Genesis Creation story.
I asked recently asked Brian how it was going and roared with joy at his response, which is largely intact below:
First let me say I was honored to watch your video. We have tons in common and one thing not in common to teaching. First, our Tai Chi and Qigong are very similar. One major difference is the way you teach and the way I was taught. I really like the Christian Expression of your Qigong. Its interpretation is new and refreshing. I would never have added Christian beliefs or expressed my personal beliefs in martial arts. I was taught that you pay your respects to gods and buddhas but don't rely upon them. Archaic for sure. Never did sit well with me.
So, I took the good son method. I sat down and watched it again with my mom. She's had the hotline to the Lord forever. My mom loved it. She also pointed out that what I was missing in my martial arts was my own personal walk with God and martial arts. Well that settled it. I had to tell her the good news. See, two of my new Tai Chi students are Pastors. Go figure. I would usually say to insert God's sense of humor here. I've been asked to start teaching at their church. Just got the news today. As of the 12th of July we start teaching at their church, opening officially the first week of August. Amazing turn of events when you let the Lord guide you. As to them asking for fees, they said they would want me to tithe 10% of what we earn to the church. Unbelievable. But True. Sorry, rambling with excitement.
Anyways, back to the video.
"Loved it!. . .the realism to the lessons with the people being taught either standing and sitting was refreshing. Loved the comments of my mom sitting beside me trying to guess everyone's ailments. [Students in the DVD class have MS, Parkinson's, stroke, and arthritis.]
"It was fun. I wish you luck in your video, and my mom tells me she's going to buy your book and thinks your life story would make a great movie on Hallmark Channel.
"Can't wait for you to get a pic of my first Tai Chi - Qigong class. I'm the youngest at 49. The oldest was on oxygen at age 83. Almost cried with the honor of him in my class. I've been blessed beyond my comprehension. Lord willing I'll figure it out sooner or later. Having fun for sure.
"Living for a purpose led life. Hoping not to stub my toe.
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When I developed New Creation Tai Chi-Qigong, it was rejuvenating for me as a Christian to practice in a conceptual setting that was in tune with my own spirituality. I was hoping that it would also make the wonderful healing of these ancient Chinese arts more accessible to other Christians, who are often reticent to participate in Eastern practices. While the Genesis Creation story is not Christian per se, it is in Bible, and Christians are familiar with it. The imagery allows them to relax and enjoy the breathing, movement and visualization. I have discovered that the Creation story is uplifting and a way to heal and come together for Christians and for people of many backgrounds.
I can't wait to hear more from Brian as his group gets started. Maybe we are starting a Tai Chi-Qigong Christian movement here!