San Da Vol. 1 – Free Fight Training Workshop DVD (Introduction to San Shou)

Study with Master Sam FS Chin on your own time with our series of instructional DVDs! Filmed in high quality, crystal clear video and clear audio, these instructional videos are a great training aid for anyone interested in pursuing the qualities internal martial arts have become known for.
Presented In English With Russian Translation
San Shou 散手 or San Da 散打 means “free fighting”. In this video product Master Sam FS Chin reveals the training drills that bridge the gap between spinning/sticky hand training and free sparring with I Liq Chuan.
This workshop is presented by Master Sam FS Chin in English with Russian translations.
Rooting & Footwork – Maintaining Readiness
Body Coordination for issuing power (fa jin)
Meeting Force On Strike
Offering & Dictating the Move
Strategy For Bridging – Seeing The Line
Distance & Timing

San Da Vol. 4 – Throwing Hands MP4

The purpose of throwing hands to to learn how to generate power from the feet, through the body, to the hands. in the beginning, one trains large and loose movements, then delves deeper towards smaller, more refined movements.
Throwing hands contains strikes in all directions including elbows and shoulders as well as defensive variations.

San Da Vol. 5 – Timing And Spacing DVD

This disc is a continuation of the study of “Throwing Hands” in I Liq Chuan (cont. from San Da vol. 4).
Master Sam FS Chin demonstrates maintaining the sphere of defense while finding the space to strike the opponent.
Throwing hands contains strikes in all directions including elbows and shoulders as well as defensive variations.

San Da Vol. 4 – Throwing Hands DVD

The purpose of throwing hands to to learn how to generate power from the feet, through the body, to the hands. in the beginning, one trains large and loose movements, then delves deeper towards smaller, more refined movements.
Throwing hands contains strikes in all directions including elbows and shoulders as well as defensive variations.

San Da Vol. 2 – Free Fight Training Workshop DVD (English with Russian Translation)

Study with Master Sam FS Chin on your own time with our series of instructional DVDs! Filmed in high quality, crystal clear video and clear audio, these instructional videos are a great training aid for anyone interested in pursuing the qualities internal martial arts have become known for.
Presented In English With Russian Translation
San Shou 散手 or San Da 散打 means “free fighting”. In this video product Master Sam FS Chin reveals the training drills that bridge the gap between spinning/sticky hand training and free sparring with I Liq Chuan.
Master Sam F.S. Chin conducts the 2nd workshop focusing on Sanda (San Shou) free fight with I Liq Chuan principles.

September 2020 News & Announcements

I Liq Chuan Students in Italy 2020

New Programs

This Autumn we will be unveiling two new programs! 
– Student and Instructor Certification Program
– Instructor Licensing Program
With both new programs you will have the convenience and flexibility of studying in-person and online!

Student and Instructor Certification Program
Each course will include an-depth look at the relevant Student Level or Instructor Level, and the intensive nature of this program, along with the direct approach to instruction, will allow you to complete each course in an accelerated time! Every training will be led by an instructor authorized by Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan Headquarters, who will guide and support you throughout the learning process. In addition, small class sizes maximize both concentration and guarantees more one-on-one interaction time with your instructor.

Instructor Licensing Program
Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan Instructor Levels are part of our student curriculum, and once a student has successfully passed their Instructor grading they become a Certified Instructor. However, prior to becoming a Licensed Instructor, each Certified Instructor must successfully pass the relevant Instructor Licensing Course(s).
When teaching and performing gradings, instructors must be able to create specific conditions for students to recognize the principles, and also to see whether the student has the understanding and attention to see these conditions. In this series of courses, you will be guided in how to deliver explicit instruction for each curriculum level using clear and concise language, as well as how to evaluate and adjust your students using a selection of diagnostic tools.

Our in-person and online formats are a convenient and affordable way for our Licensed Instructors (and Licensed Instructor candidates) to maintain their existing License, and/or qualify for more advanced degrees.

Around the World


Grandmaster Sam Chin and the entire Chin Family is very happy to be cooperating with Alessandro Colonnese, Pietro Nicolaus Roselli Lorenzini, and the whole Unione Italiana Kung Fu Tradizionale (UIKT) Family, to bring Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan, the Martial Art of Awareness, to Italy!

The UIKT is a non-profit organization, based in Rome, Italy, whose mission is to promote traditional kung fu! Our cooperation will be announced at the 2020 International Martial Arts Day events on September 12-13 in Rome!

Together with the UIKT, we will be offering our Instructor Level 1 Certification Program in Italy! This 3-year program includes Student Levels 1-2-3 and Instructor Level 1, and is the essential foundation of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan.

Each step of the training process and the examinations will be overseen by instructors assigned by the Chin Family.

Year 1
October 10-11, 2020
December 19-20, 2020
February 20-21, 2021
April 24-25, 2021
June 19-20, 2021
September 10-11, 2021

This first program will be led by Instructor Joshua Craig (representing ZXD Headquarters) and Instructor Alberto Benedusi (representing Italy).

If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact us ASAP!

In the UIKT the Chin Family has found a partner that also values both harmony and collaboration, and we look forward to working together to unify and promote martial culture and the unique inheritances of traditional kung fu!
UKIT & I Liq Chuan


On Sunday September 6, 2020 Instructor Joshua Craig led an all-day Grading Workshop in San Marino. Everything was organized by Instructor Alberto Benedusi, who was also the translator for this intense event!

After a thorough review of the Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan approach, every exercise was reviewed in-depth, and everyone did an amazing job!

A message from Joshua:

Thank you to everyone for their outstanding spirit and dedication! What a day! A special thank you also to Alberto for all of his efforts in preparing the group and making our union possible! Also in attendance was Study Group Leader Dino Fiaschi of Tuscany! Congratulations to everyone for passing Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan Level 1!

  • Daniel Giuliani
  • Giulietta Chiara Staffa
  • Pietro Nicolaus
  • Roselli Lorenzini
  • Nicola Albatici
  • Simone Amadei
  • Maurizio Corona
  • Constantino Fiori
  • Marco Agnoletti
  • Laura Dolce


1) Schools now reopen after pandemic quarantine since a month ago. Physical classes as well as online options are available in Russian.
2) This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Russian I Liq Chuan School, founded by GM Alex Skalozub!
3) Special online classes of GM Sam Chin for Russian-speaking students will be coming this autumn. More information will be available soon!

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The Path of Wisdom – Part 3

How The Point of Contact Is Established

How to pay attention to your senses and maintain?

Our senses are our receiver. That’s why I keep on saying “you feel yourself being touched”; you don’t feel someone touching you.” You receive and feel through touch. On the Point of Contact, you connect.

How do you connect?

Practically speaking, everything comes down to the point of contact. So that’s why first you have to unify your self. Unify yourself means there is separation—there’s more than 1 thing: a minimum 2 things. One cannot unify—you need 2. Same thing: one cannot separate—you need two.

So how can this unify? How can this have a separation and unification? This is the Balance Point. Separation and unification is also a balance point. Work on these two things together—to have this complementary—because this cannot violate that and that cannot violate this. You have to maintain that yin is yin and yang is yang. The front is front and the back is the back. How can my back go to the front and the front go to the back?

Pay attention to each characteristic of the function—this is yin muscle and this is a yang muscle. If I draw the yin—I don’t draw yin to the yang to violate. If you say there’s a separation clearly, then, if I draw the yin here then the yang has to follows.

[Sifu demonstrates the difference between a yin grab and a yang grab.]

If the yang follows, yang is only supporting. If I start with the yang first, if the yang initiates, I stretch with the yang first, then the yin follows. Then the same thing, if I draw first, then the yang follows. There’s no beginning or ending any more. It’s a matter of function: of what leads what, what supports what. It’s a complete cycle.

A complete cycle must have a separation. Without a separation, things will be confused. Without the center of bone supporting, how will the yin yang muscles work? It won’t work. Yes? Because everything also works with pressure. It comes down to different pressure: Day and night have different pressure, hot and cold have different pressure. That’s where the cycle is. Within our body the same. Within our body the yin muscle pressure is condensing; the yang muscle pressure is expanding. So you help the cycle of flow. Sometimes because of the training, body fitness, they train the yin muscle up to here (mid-chest) but it’s too tense. They look fit but practically they don’t have much power.

Q: How would someone know that?

Sifu: Many don’t know. That’s why the theoretical information we provide is important. A lot of people don’t have the chance to even get the right information. Sometimes listening to the right information.

Q: “Aren’t there people practicing ILC also doing it wrong?”

Sifu: Only a small part. More people like ‘body beautiful’/body building better (laughs)

Comment: When something you know is interfering, you have to let go of that view.

Sifu: Why is it that many bodybuilders have heart problems. Their muscles aren’t functioning the way nature should be. They build up this muscle then yang pressure and yin pressure become quite the same—there’s not much difference. The heart has to work harder to pump the flow. If he can do his relaxing and expanding, then the pressure is different, like day and night. Like high tide and low tide—that kind of function: because the pressure is different, it helps the cycle. That’s why we use the dan tien 丹田
and ming-men 命門 in the cycle. It helps the function.

“When things become clearer, you can see more.”
~GM Sam Chin

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Build Up Discipline To Direct Our Attention

If we can’t flow, it’s because our attention is not there. It’s not strong enough to hold, to be there. You can’t even last 1 second—the mind is already somewhere else. Some thought already pulls you off.

Here’s where our training of meditation comes in. We try to look into our mind to clear the thought, to build up this discipline so we can direct our attention. We can put our attention where we choose. When you can hold over there, you start to became calm, and then you become still. Still means things start to become clear because you can see things clearer.

When things become clearer, you can see more. Your attention can hold more. If it’s not clear yet, attention is very hard to hold. That’s why the meditation, people will use different methods: breathing, counting, if they can’t just watch the breath (if they can’t, they add in counting—1, 2, 3, 4, 5—up to 10 or however many they want to count).

It’s just another method of trying to draw the mind to there first. We say that the mind—the monkey mind—it runs around, so it needs a job to do. As the monks say, ‘give a job for him to do: call him to come and give him something to work on: give him an order. If you don’t give him something to do, he plays around.

A job—like counting or doing something to hold the mind there. So sometimes some people, in Pure Land, will use mantra—will use sound even to listen, to pay attention, to give more things to hold. Some use beads. Some use their hand just to rub. Some circle their thumbs. All these kinds of things—slowly, slowly then you try to drop that off so you can feel the breath more…drop, drop, drop, until it becomes very refined.

Q: “If we just focus on the breath should we also try to make our senses less, like Jiru described?”

Sifu: No, because you are training concentration now. You try to separate things now.

If you can separate that means you can unify. This separation with the attention on separation is so you can unify. They need to focus so still until they separate the feeling of the body—they don’t feel the body anymore, the senses gone: only that one point. They can see: that is where the concentration is—they can see the concentration there—so they know ‘okay, we have been attaining something.’

Sometimes you start to observe, yes, this is what sometimes they say is concentration and Vipassana.

We do Vipassana more. Observing is Vipassana; you do need attention for Vipassana. Right? The problem is—how deep you don’t know. You feel that you can maintain. Especially when we do martial arts; we are very good at observing also. I’ve been training for so many years, we know that we can observe. So, why is it that we cannot go in-depth?

I Liq Chuan Historical Interview Recorded in the “Compilation of Interviews from Famous Martial Arts Masters”

This chapter,王春清校長與曾歷強師傅談意力拳 / Principal Wong Chun Ching and Sifu Chin Lik Keong Discuss I Liq Chuan” is from the book  武林名師專訪集 / Wu Lin Ming Shi Zhuan Fang Ji (Compilation of Interviews from Famous Martial Arts Masters), by 黄煜玲 / Wong, Yoke-Leng. Published:  Petaling Selangor, 1979. pp-pp. 17-20.
(View a PDF of the original Chinese here.)

English Translators: Jeffrey Wong, Chen-dao Lin

In a recent year, our area (Malaysia) newly formed a martial arts association, named “I Liq Chuan Association”; this newly organized martial arts group is currently speeding up its activities.  Under the promotions by a group of enthusiasts, it is plausible that given some time, branches will be set up in different places; then, it may become one of the most popular Chinese martial art systems.

What is I Liq Chuan? According to this association’s Vice President Wong Chun Ching and Head Instructor Chin Lik Keong, and as its name suggests, this martial art is an expression of a combined utilization of one’s mental awareness and physical strength, and is a type of internal martial arts style. This style of martial art shared close origins with Xing Yi Quan and Tai Ji Quan. Head Instructor Chin has learned from Master Lee Kim Chow and other Chinese martial arts.  He then integrated the essence of various styles.  He also formed the I Liq Chuan Association with a group of martial artists who shared the same goals and visions.

The VP of the association Wong Chun Ching is also a principal of an English school in Kampung Pandan Village in Malaysia, but he is very enthusiastic toward Chinese martial arts, and loves to study them as well. One of the association’s training halls is located in his school’s  gymnasium. According to Mr. Wong, Lee Kim Chow studied under second generation disciple of Zhang San Feng [Translator’s note by Jeff Wong: this has to be a mistake, or it’s not possible because ZSF is probably from about 700 years ago if he even really existed.] So the art also shared some lineage with Wu Dang style. In related legends, during the Ching dynasty (1636-1911), residents from the Feng Yang area (mideastern China), some of them martial art experts, had to leave their hometown to make a living due to hardship and poverty there. Many of their methods of making a living included performing their arts in the streets, so at that time they were called the “nomad tribe”, and have no specific style names,  but some people also referred to them as “Feng Yang clan”.

The “I” in I Liq Chuan is one’s awareness in the brain, sent from hands’ sense of touch to the brain, and uses such “Yi” to provide power, and then spread to each joint in the body.

Focus on Sticky Hands, Change Accordingly

Mr. Wong said I Liq Chuan emphasizes sticky-hands practices.  The so-called “sticky hands” can also be called “push hands”. The “I” in I Liq Chuan is one’s awareness in the brain, sent from hands’ sense of touch to the brain, and uses such “Yi” to provide power, and then spread to each joint in the body. So the awareness controls the usage of the force, and enables it to achieve accuracy. I Liq Chuan is based on one’s natural abilities, and allows the practitioner to freely obtain development and can change according to the conditions.  I Liq Chuan can defeat an opponent’s defense, and can conquer the foe’s strength. If you cannot grasp this art’s principles, it is not easy to know the inner secrets.

I Liq Chuan does not have many forms. Most crucial is learning sticky hands.  After having a good foundation, then one can learn the forms. The important forms include Butterfly Palms and Nine-Point Hand et cetera.  A high level expert from the association, Liu Zhao Nan (Lau Siu Nam), performed in their training hall these two forms which aimed to develop one’s internal power.  The performer fully displayed the two forms’ best qualities. These were must-learn forms for I Liq Chuan’s power training.

The head instructor, Sifu Chin Lik Keong, said I Liq Chuan does not have fixed techniques, it is a style of freely developed martial art, but heavily focused on hip rotations, hand methods, and footwork, especially when both partners stuck their hands together.  It is important to win with unorthodox attacks, using joint locks and throws to defeat the opponents. To control an opponent, one must cause the opponent to lose balance, then the hip and waist must be strong and have sufficient power, so that even with minimal movements can disturb opponent’s balance.  When the opponent loses support for balance, his punching or kicking will not be easy. So we say our martial art has no fixed techniques; most importantly, we must concentrate and be mindful, then it will be possible to change according to the situations to control the opponent.

Because the learning methods of I Liq Chuan have no fixed techniques, sticky hands training is most common, which starts from simple to complex, and that is where it differs from other martial arts’ training methods.  Other arts can practice the same particular technique in groups; I Liq Chuan can only be taught and learned individually. The student’s talent and ability for comprehension are very important, because this art is formless, and depend on the person’s awareness to utilize power. They do not focus on stagnant stances, but rely on frequent practices, gradually becoming familiar to the sensitivity on touch, then at the instant of contact with an opponent, one can naturally defeat motion with stillness.

Mind, Energy, and Power Unified as One

During a demonstration with Coach Chin and one of his students Heow Man Cheun (Hou Wan Quan/Jimmy Heow), they proved I Liq Chuan, although a formless art, but in application there is a certain method.  His student Heow Man Cheun won the B group championship in the 1975 National Karate Open competition. According to him, he said he has only learned I Liq Chuan, and never learned Karate, yet during the competition he must obey Karate rules to win points.  He believes I Liq Chuan is best for use in joint locks. If gloves were not required, it would have been more convenient to apply various hand techniques.

I Liq Chuan sticky hands and Tai Chi’s push-hands both focus on the path of the power on the hands.  Sticky-hands is also called “Jip Sao” or Receiving (or Connecting) Hands. In this martial art, as soon as the opponent moves, there is an opportunity to connect, then find an opening or weakness by which to control the opponent.  If the opponent tries to strike first, I Liq Chuan’s hand will not give the opponent any way to punch, then this affords the opportunity to connect with opponent’s hands. I Liq Chuan often maintains physical balance points, because the body must maintain balance to allow punching and kicking with power.  But in order to not lose center of mass during movements, it will rely on mental and physical control and balance, while the stance requires “a bow in the front, and an arrow on the back.” This must rely on expanding the chest and folding the stomach, unifying the mind, energy, awareness, and strength as one, to attack and defend freely, all while the extremities change without stoppage.  So the power is in the wrists, and then energy is at the finger tips. The movements are natural, but the mind is still, and breathing is comfortable; all the extremities can move agilely to defeat the opponent by taking advantage of the foe’s unreadiness. I Liq Chuan moves with the entire body in a balanced manner, expressing an inward attention and creating an outward power. The power is born from attention.  The agility of the extremities depend on whether the mindfulness is swift. When the mind, energy, and power are unified, the movements are free.

Since I Liq Chuan (意力拳) and TaiJiQuan appear probably to share similar origins, practicing I Liq Chuan requires the internalization of thoughts and concentration of the mind.  Practicing “I/Yi” (意) will provide good training for the brain as well as promote agility and nimbleness of the central nervous system.  Improving these abilities will sharpen adaptability to different environments. The goal is to respond to changes at will upon contact and be able to manifest power or “Li” (力) through energy or “Jin”( 勁).  Therefore, “Yi” and “Li” complement each other. When training reaches a certain level, it is possible to cultivate superior qualities of perseverance, durability, sensitivity, calmness, and concentration in the practitioner.

During the I Liq Chuan demonstrations, one can observe that this style emphasizes stillness within movements as well as movement within stillness, at times using “Yi” and not “Li”, which is like transforming from “WuJi” to “TaiJi”.  Since there are no fixed moves in sticky hands and the practice’s main aim is to control the opponent’s center of gravity, it is most important to use “Yi” to manifest “Li”. The key to achieve an excellent level of internal energy is through each individual’s own dedicated practice; it takes hard work to be able to unify one’s own body parts and movement.  Beginners may feel that there are not that many variations in these movements; that is because the practitioner has not fully grasped the intricacies. Over time with in-depth studies, one may understand the subtleties and be able to use “Yi” to manifest “Li”.

The characteristics of Chinese internal martial arts are all quite similar in nature; TaiJiQuan, XingYiQuan, BaGuaQuan, DaChengQuan (Yi Quan) and I Liq Chuan are fundamentally alike in the deployment of “Jin” and utilization of “Yi”.  Therefore, many Chinese martial arts enthusiasts cross-train other styles. These martial arts pay great attention to the coordination of hands, eyes, body and movements.  I Liq Chuan pays particular attention to the deployment of “Qi” (氣) and posture of the body during sticky hand practices.  This is the same concept as TaiJiQuan’s classic phrase “suspend the crown” and “tuck in the chest and raise the back”.  The “I/Yi” in I Liq Chuan incorporates thoughts, awareness, and mind.  I Liq Chuan emphasizes the ability to fully “utilize Yi”; therefore, when deploying “Yi” correctly, “Li” is moved at will without obstruction.

At a higher level, I Liq Chuan is all about “Yi”, not physical movements, the true return to simplicity.

Softness can Overcome Hardness; Hardness and Softness Check and Balance Each Other

Mr. Wong Chun Ching says that I Liq Chuan’s practice focuses on “Yi”; it uses “Yi” to harness “Li”, transforms “Li” to “Jin”, overcomes hardness with softness, with complements of softness and hardness.  This art practices sticky hands primarily. The sticky hands practice stabilizes stances and therefore practitioners cannot be easily moved. This includes the circular and spherical movement of hands and body, looseness in motions, and utilizing the skin’s sensation to practice “Yi”.  The result will be the unification of mind “Yi” and body to be adaptable in any situation.

He also says training various parts of the body to use circular motions to deflect on-coming force and affect the opponent’s center of gravity is key to the practice.  Combine this with concentrating in order to achieve the “know thyself and know thy enemy” level. As for the cultivation of “Jin”, it comes from the continuous spiral rotation of all the joints: fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, hip, knees and ankles to produce the internal “Jin”.  From loose evolve to the mindful suppleness, eliminate the original rigidity and hardness; then a new force, “Jin”, is cultivated. Though, be aware that there are localized “Jin” and the systemic “Jin”.

He continues to explain that I Liq Chuan’s movements pay particular attention to the precision of spacing, timing, and angles.  Small discrepancies may lead to large errors. Being able to combine concentration of the mind and the skillful usage of “Jin” is the key to attain all the practical functions of stick, jam, lead, extract, release, seize, lock, kick, strike, throw… etc.  At a higher level, I Liq Chuan is all about “Yi”, not physical movements, the true return to simplicity.

I Liq Chuan is an internal style. All internal styles emphasize some form of sticky hands practice.  Sticky hands exemplifies much of the internal style’s strengths and merits. Sticky hands is similar to TaiJi’s push hands, and is a type of training in Chinese martial arts that integrates many practical applications including kicking, striking, throwing, and grappling.  When applied in practice, it is highly effective in nullifying opponents.

Essence Talks Transcripts – GM Sam Chin Annual Intensive (Fishkill, NY)

Essence Talks Transcript GM Sam F.S. Chin Annual Intensive 2017 (Fishkill, NY / Feb. 17-20, 2017) ONE POINT APPROACH Friday morning Essence Talk, Feb. 17, 2017 – Alright now, as you know, the path of I Liq Chuan, the path, the approach I’ve already named it under the Zhong Xin Dao (中 心 道). So […]
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