..there was a man with great passion for the eastern philosophies and artistic practices – Georges Stobbaerts. There was also a woman that created beauty and hearth, Maria Augusta Vasconcellos. Together they created Ten Chi.
He taught through various forms of art and is considered the founder of Aikido in Portugal. Notably, Georges Stobbaerts created TenChi Tessen, an art of movement, in which martial arts’ traditional weapons are replaced by a hand fan.
Georges Stobbaerts extensively travelled in Asia with a passion for the traditional forms of arts and spirituality in Japan and India. In 1971 he left Morocco – his birthplace – and moved to Portugal. He along with his wife purchased an empty piece of land in Sintra that would become the present Quinta Ten-Chi. Together with his students he planted trees and other numerous species of plants. Paths and stones were carefully placed. Stonewalls, ponds and waterfalls were created, all guided by the balance lines of Japanese garden tradition. This also led to the construction of the big dojo and subsequently the small dojo. With great passion and dedication an arid and rocky land was transformed into an harmonious space.
The following sign states Georges Stobbaerts intention (English translation below) and still stands at the entrance of Quinta Ten-Chi.
Dream or Utopia? “There should be a place where every human could live free as a citizen of the world. A place where the awakening of man and his interior progress could be done in harmony with body and spirit. A place where the arts could join in order to awaken consciousnesses. A place consecrated to create relationships of fraternity between humans and make peace prevail on earth.” Georges Stobbaerts, Ten-Chi – 1978
Georges Stobbaerts passed away in 2014. Maria Augusta Vasconcellos on the 14th Feb 2013.
The current owners have embraced the challenge of restoring the space in the direction of its original intention, a place for a vibrant environment of arts, embodiment practices, connectng with Nature and Spirit to create an epicenter for the transformation of humanity.