I have no idea why, but as I was sitting at my desk grading assignments, I suddenly found myself thinking of Joanna Zorya.
I mentioned Joanna in a couple of posts on the earlier version of this blog, while I was still living in Singapore. I followed the blog of one of her students, Kenny, until he stopped maintaining it, and Joanna and I exchanged comments a couple of times.
She’d come to my attention when her philosophy of rejecting the concept of qi, and teaching neijia purely as functional martial arts caused a stir for a while; looking back now, I’m not sure I remember why exactly people got so worked up about it.
Anyway, I quickly googled her to find her school’s website, and was startled to see this message at the top of the page:
Joanna Zorya passed away peacefully on Sunday 6th March 2011. Her memory lives on through this website, through her articles and videos, and in the hearts, minds, and movements of her students and her friends.
I never met Joanna in person, and I don’t know what happened to her. It seems from her website that she’d had a tough couple of years. I suppose all I can say is that we briefly made contact, and she impressed me with her passion and commitment to her arts, and her determination in fighting her corner. I’m sorry to learn that she isn’t with us any more.