In September the ZXD ILC School in Vienna / Austria started a kids class for the first time. Unfortunately Covid made it impossible to train indoors but the kids were so passionate, they continued training outdoors every week no matter of the weather. Spring is here and finally the kids can wear their ZXD ILC tshirts and have fun representing.
April 24-25, 2021 – Workshop in Rome Italy
Join Instructors Joshua Craig and Alberto Benedusi in Rome! This weekend is hosted by the UIKT (Italian Union of Traditional Kungfu) forms part of our 3-Year Instructor Training Project and will include 12 hours of in-depth training covering Basic Exercises # 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9! Our next training in Rome will be on June 19-20, 2021!
Taking part in the “Red Dragon” Tournament
This year, for the first time, Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan School participates in the Traditional Kung Fu “Red Dragon” XI Interregional Open Tournament, which has been held for 11 years by the Shaolin Center for Combat and Health Practices “Damo”. Russian Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan School, organizing tuishou competitions within the tournament. The competition will be held under the supervision of Grandmaster Alexander Skalozub. We invite everybody to take part in the tournament and check yourself at the art of balance in the practice of “pushing hands”. Test your skills, explore other styles, take part in the festival and just have a good weekend in a beautiful and exotic place on the banks of the Osuga River in Zen Territory on May 29, 2021.
To know more about the tournament: http://www.damo.ru/main.php?id=2853
Questions on tournament “Red Dragon” 8 (916) 041-41-46 Natalia Stepanova
( Whats App), firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions on tuishou competition:
+79037779696( WhatsApp) Marina Gubnitskaya
Stories of Awareness
We have a new “stories of awareness” entry in our articles section by New York City member and our resident ambassador for Chinese culture, Jeffrey Wong.
“Now, after this we incorporate everything into one spherical energy; that means, that you want to maintain that energy for all the movements in such a way that understanding these three dimensions, this energy will build one feel they call the “inner feel”.”
According to Greek mythology, there was this man named Icarus, whose father Daedalus was a very talented craftsman. Daedalus built the “Labyrinth” (a maze that no one could exit) for King Minos of Crete to imprison a half-man, half-bull monster called the “Minotaur”.
After the labyrinth was finished, King Minos then imprisoned Daedalus and Icarus inside because Daedalus gave the king’s enemy, Theseus, a clew (clue, a ball of string) to find his way out of the maze after defeating the Minotaur.
In order to escape the labyrinth, Daedalus caught many crows waiting for them to die inside the maze, and used their feathers to create two pairs of large wings for himself and his son Icarus.
Before escaping the labyrinth island, Daedalus warned his son to not fly too close to the sun because the wax he used to glue the wings together would melt, and not fly too close to the sea because the feathers would get wet.
Then, they started their flight to escape the island. As soon as Icarus got used to using the wings, he was eager to show off his newfound flying skills. As he kept soaring higher and higher and too far to hear his father’s calls, the wax on Icarus’s wings started to melt as he flew too close to the sun, and he fell into the ocean and drowned.
Lessons For Zhong Xin Dao Students
There are two lessons we can take from this legend and see them in our Zhong Xin Dao philosophy and practice:
The most obvious lesson that is congruent to our philosophy, we should seek the center path. To not stray too high near the sun, nor too low near the water like Icarus, and we need to stay in the middle; not be blinded by our egos, or by our own preferences, and do not lose awareness of the neutral path.
During the learning process, students need to first follow the path set forth by their teachers/instructors. However, instructors themselves are also never perfect, and they are also students for life. There is no reason to think a student cannot surpass a teacher.
So when the students understand the principles further, the path set by the teachers may no longer seem the most efficient, then they can adjust it to be more precise to be in the center. But, was the teacher’s planned path not the best route because they are imperfect, or is the student’s view biased to think he/she has found a better way?
I personally absolutely understood Icarus’s excitement once he felt he has achieved some success, and started thinking I have understood all that there is to know and I can fly my own path, only to be humbled by many failures in applications, and needed to retrace the principle which ultimately should be the most correct path and not according to any person’s opinion of the proper way. We then can start the process again, while hoping the next journey would be more precise. Luckily, our failures in training usually do not have fatal consequences like Icarus’s fall.
Disc 2, Part Five – Bobbing The Inner Feel Now, after this we incorporate everything into one spherical energy; that means, that you want to maintain that energy for all the movements in such a way that understanding these three dimensions, this energy will build one feel they call the “inner feel”. This is the […]
“Push the hips!”
My Gong Gong (grandpa) would comment to the 7 or 8 year old me as my brother, Chih and I carry out one of our favorite childhood games.
My Gong Gong, Grandmaster Chin, Lik Keong, was not formally educated but he was a genius. He’s a well-respected Grandmaster, the founder of a martial art that’s being practiced by students globally. As mentioned in part 1, he had the ability to memorize martial art forms even after seeing them once, and he’d be able to distill the essence of the moves. Just like those fictional characters that you see in kung fu films, except Gong Gong was real.
Of course, I had no idea then.
Growing up, I saw many people, mostly men, come and get beaten by my Gong Gong. Then they would show up every week after that and get all sweaty in our living room, pushing and pulling with other students who also were beaten up by my Gong Gong. All these people crammed in a hot and humid living room. As the night would go on, I sometimes wish they would just stop and go home. Why? Because they’ve made the living room smell so bad!
Students training in the living room at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
For many years, I thought this was common in every family.
One good thing about their weekly training, though, was that I did enjoy seeing my Gong Gong teach all the “tips and tricks” so I could try to apply them when it’s the turn for Chih and I to regain access to our playground – our playground. We would take turns pushing each other across the living room. Gong Gong would often join in giving instructions. I remember I’d get jealous sometimes because he’d give more tips to my brother, teaching him how to beat me in the game.
“Push the hips!” “Stronger” “Lift off the ground!” etc…
You could see the passion in Gong Gong, for he loved sharing what he knew. Even with kids like myself and my brother who’s probably still attending Kindergarten then.
For decades, before the crack of dawn, both my Gong Gong and Ma Ma, a.k.a. Grandma would drive to the nearby national stadium, the locals call it the “Mushroom Park” because there is a huge mushroom overhead. They go there to exercise, do qigong, and train martial arts. While Ma Ma dances with the bunch of other grandmas, Gong Gong would volunteer his time to teach whoever was interested.
Sometimes Chih and I would go along with them and play around the park. I’d follow along with other martial arts masters doing the fan dance, or participate with the group of grandmas along with my Ma Ma to a voice blasting through the stereo counting from 1 to 10, or simply go and pick flowers while Chih hung out with our gong gong. Several hours later, we’d drive to a crowded Passar (morning market) to “Yam Cha” which means “drink tea” – a.k.a. to get food. This routine went on until the day before my Gong Gong passed away at the age of 80.
Growth Through Sharing
Everywhere Gong Gong went, people addressed him as “Sifu.”
He was well respected, people that would come and pay visits to him from all over and he would share passionately. During holidays, especially Chinese New Year, our house would be filled with visitors and gifts. He just loved teaching, a characteristic apparently common with my father as well. It’s their passion. They want everyone to have the same treasure that they recognized. It makes them happy to see other people benefit from the art.
This very reason drove my father to continue teaching even when he was battling cancer and being treated in the hospital. When students visited him, you could see the drive in him ignite. It gave him energy and he would then share his most recent recognition from the time that he spent recovering at the hospital – his explorations and deeper understanding of the mind in connection to the body. It was then that he structured “The Path of I Liq Chuan”, from his hospital bed.
The culture of our organization, led by example from both my Gong Gong and father, is based on sharing.
Despite the hardships, this gave me the fire to continue coordinating our daily public martial art sessions during the peak of the pandemic. I’m grateful to our instructors who volunteered their time for these sessions. Our intention is to bring people together during the quarantine. Perhaps we could provide a bit of normalcy and change the day for the better for some people.
As children, Chih and I fought to win our childhood games. As adults, we coordinated together in reaching out to our frontline heroes. We volunteered with Words by Amrita, a non-profit organization initiative that specializes in positive words and artwork for the healthcare professionals. Together, we delivered cards and organized Zen Day for Westside Regional Medical Center in Florida that’s part of HCA, one of the largest hospital network in America.
I was especially touched to see not only busy doctors and nurses benefit from the meditation sessions, but COVID patients as well!
Coordinating with Kilin Tang, instructor Wai Tang’s son, we are also reaching out to senior homes through COVID-19 Greater Charlotte Area Mutual Aid. This is a student run organization focusing on connecting support to the community of North Carolina. Local high schoolers jumped aboard and volunteered to personalize hundreds of cards before delivering them to the senior centers.
We hope to continue reaching out to more healthcare facilities, clinics and senior centers. If you know of any facilities that would benefit from this initiative, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Appreciating The Roots
Even with my father’s most recent knee replacement surgery, he’s been reflecting on the best ways to spread the art. He is continually seeking, searching for best ways to guide others to continue their own self-cultivation.
When I see my dad’s constant dedication to spreading the Martial Art of Awareness, even when he himself is in the middle of healing, I appreciate the roots of my own passion for sharing positivity.
Disc 2, Part 4 – Saggital Sagittal is moving from front to back, from sternum to dantien to mingmen; that means you can rotate the wrist, shoulder, elbow, wrist, elbow and shoulders. Make sure that the 13 points on the hip -is not it’s not this; you still need to maintain the folding of the […]
Criterion of The Basic Exercises – Part 4 (Saggital)
Part four in our ongoing series for the basic exercises has been added to our members only area. Get access now by purchasing or renewing your student membership here.
The Chin Family as told by the Granddaughter: Part 2
Yen Lee Chin discussing the culture of sharing in I Liq Chuan and it’s roots with her grandfather, GM Chin, Lik Keong.
“Push the hips!” said my Gong Gong to the 7 or 8 year old me as my brother, Chih and I carry out one of our favorite childhood games…
Test your Zhong Xin Dao knowledge with this fun and easy crossword puzzle! Click to enlarge.
After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, outdoor classes have resumed in Paris!
“We are working hard in progressing our ILC skills. My students: Shockley (Keli) S. became a lifetime member. He retired in December last year. I am helping him in preparing his level one test. I hold 1 – 1 zoom meeting with him once a week. Greg F. is working on his level two certification. Wendy P. became a member recently. Beside them, I have John G. and Victor R in my regular Tuesday evening class. The class is going well!
We discuss Sifu’s Saturday teaching and work on refining 15 basic exercises. I also teach them Butterfly form per Victor’s request. I train myself much more seriously. Hope to see Sifu and other brothers and sisters soon.”
“Strategizing within a military tent, but deciding victories thousands of miles away.”
The origin of the phrase came from a book recording the history of Han Dynasty, described a time at around 180 B.C., a military advisor Zhang Liang, who was fighting for the force which later became the Han Dynasty, was able to create such an efficient command and report system, that he could sit in the middle of a tent, and control battles happening thousands of miles away, and manage all aspects of the war successfully.
Of course, it is now quite common for modern militaries to have advanced communication systems for remotely commanding battles, but for such ancient time two thousand years ago, it was an incredible feat.
The story is similar to what GM Sam Chin describes about a spider sitting in the center of a web, while sensing the vibration on the threads to tell it when/where to attack.
The wider your attention can span, the more things fall within your control.
Beginners in Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan often lose focus and can not do the coordination needed from exercise to exercise in the 15 Basics because their attention cannot hold enough concentration points, but just be patient and keep training. We don’t learn to accumulate or build, we train to see more and sense wider, until we can unify ourselves and the opponent in one joint network… then the opponent becomes a delicious meal.
Help for earthquake shaken Banija – Raising Donations
Adriana Josipović (1980. Zagreb) is a Croatian performer, author, mentor and acting coach in numerous theatre performances in Croatia and abroad. She is also a licensed body-oriented psychotherapist with special interest in somatic practices, trauma therapy, energetic work and body work.
Meeting the Art of ZXD / ILC has in many ways enriched her life as an integrating force, blending these approaches even more in her life, helping her to find a profound way to support people in their creative and healing processes.
Adriana: “I came in contact with ZXD / ILC and GM Sam Chin during a weekend workshop in 2018, in Zagreb, Croatia. I had just arrived home from an intense theatre residence program in France, when I got a call from a dear friend, tai chi teacher and workshop organizer Jasminko Miklec, who told me: ‘We have an extraordinary Master teaching and visiting this weekend! You have to meet him, his work and his Art!’
The workshop started with the Grandmaster’s lecture on present moment, change, the qualities and objectivity of the mind, awareness and what it means to really ‘SEE’ and understand Reality. What is a Center, Balance, Harmony? I was listening with such intensity, recognizing the same principles and same laws like we have in the Arts! Hearing GM Sam Chin’s lecture was almost like hearing a continuation of the words of my two dearest theatre teachers! Only now, the teacher in front of me is a martial artist and we were about to establish, connect, link and bring the awareness of this universal LAW through the LAW OF BOD through separation and unification.
Grandmaster was speaking so simply and patiently and with each of his words, all of my previous knowledge, experience, started to pulse, condensing into one point and echoing back and forth in widening circles. Immediately, I recognized, knew, realized: “How rare! How beautiful!…..”
Adriana fell in love with the Art of ZXD / ILC and ever since and she has attended retreats in Poland, tUK and US, where she has been meeting and practicing with some of the finest and dearest people in the world.
On December 28th 2020, Croatia was hit by a devastating earthquake of magnitude 5.3 on the Richter scale with the epicenter near the city of Petrinja. A day later, on December 29th, Petrinja was hit by an even stronger earthquake of magnitude 6.3 on the Richter scale. The town of Petrinja was destroyed, and a large number of houses in Petrinja, Glina, Sisak and the surrounding area were completely destroyed; overall, 35,000 damaged buildings were reported, of which over 7,000 were assessed as unusable and life-threatening. The biggest tragedy is the 6 people who died in the earthquake on December 29th 2020.
Adriana witnessed with her own eyes the devastation and decided to volunteer at the frontline doing all that she can to help. Amongst the many in need, the Ivanić family of 3 stood out. An 80 year old couple with their severely injured son are struggling to get through the freezing winter after their home was marked unsafe to live in. They were given a small temporary container without heat or running water. Adriana knew that her ability to help them is limited and so has started a fundraising campaign to raise money for a 9,000 Euro mobile home. She is reaching out for help.
If you would like to contribute by making a donation, click the image to the right to download the full PDF with more details about the Ivanić family and details on how to make a donation via direct bank transfer.
Donations could also be accepted by PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone number for PayPal account if it is necessary is +385989196954. Note to “Help for earthquake shaken Banija – for Ivanić family”
We kindly request for you to select the “send money to a friend and family” option, so every penny donated goes directly to helping the family instead of paying PayPal fees.
Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Adriana Josipović at email@example.com
SPREAD THE POSITIVITY. Do you have inspiring news to share? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
News From Germany
New Instructor Network in Germany
The German community has built a new instructor network, which consists of more than 20 instructors, group leaders and other people who plan to open a school in Germany. They work together closely to promote the development of our art in Germany. During the first two meetings they worked on a common vision and common goals for the German Zhong Xin Dao community. The general goal is to support each other in building new schools and study groups as well as spreading our art to more cities around the country.
If you are a group leader in Germany, or plan to be one, please contact Frederik Wahl or Dominique Brizin to join the network and become part of the instructor community.
The Martial Art of Awareness and UIKT Unione Italiana Kung Fu Tradizionale have teamed up to present the Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan Project in Rome, Italy!
This 3-year program will present Student Levels 1-2-3 and Instructor Level 1 over 18 weekends!
Join Instructors Joshua Craig, Alberto Benedusi, and the UIKT Team in Rome on February 20-21, 2021! Masters and Instructors from across Italy will be training with you, as we delve deeper into the art of Grandmaster Sam F.S. Chin!
The weekend will include 12 hours of training.
Philosophy, Concepts and Principles
Review and Q&A
Ten Horizontal Plane Exercises
Spin to open and close shoulders & kwa (while holding ball)
Horizontal Cycles 1-8
Philosophy, Concepts and Principles
Review and Q&A
Ten Frontal Plane Exercises
Spinning while holding ball
Frontal Cycles 1-8
Upper Frontal Wipe
The training will continue on the following weekends – be sure to book your dates now!
April 24-25, 2021
Topics: Sagittal Plane, Incorporating the Three Dimensions, Condense-Expand, Macrocosmic Orbit, Condensed Breathing
June 5-6, 2021
** Join us for the International Martial Arts Day event in Rome. Hosted by the UIKT, this weekend is a festival that celebrates the benefits and diversity martial culture. We will be presenting along with dozens of master from various styles of martial arts!
June 19-20, 2021
Topics: North-East-South-West + Review of Basic Exercises 1-9
September 10-11, 2021
Topics: Review of Basic Exercises 1-10, Preparation + Examination
To register, or for questions in English, please email: Joshua Craig (email@example.com)
News From The USA
Jan 23-24, 2021. Marked the launch of our continuing education for Licensed Instructors and Group Leaders. Thank you to each one of you. Your sincerity, passion and love for the art is one of our most valuable assets. We aim to provide the resources and training needed to help our instructors advance in their learning and teaching journey. Together we will change with the change and grow along the path!
Happy Chinese New Year!
This is year is the year of the “iron ox” which symbolizes diligence, honesty, reliability, stability, perseverance, power, stubbornness and excellence.! The Chin Family and the Community Team wishes everyone a prosperous New Year!
“The ox, in Chinese culture, is a hardworking zodiac sign. It usually signifies movements so, hopefully, the world will be less static than last year and get moving again in the second half of the year.” – Hong Kong Feng Sui Master, Thierry Chow. [source]
Disc 2 Part Three Frontal From here that you want to propel one frontal: frontal from the sternum and dantien first; from here. One circle: one but hold the ball -let’s do this one up and down first. This up and down, up and down; absorb and project this, and side to side, plus this. […]
During today’s members-only session with GM Sam Chin, we reviewed the Tu-Na Breathing exercise from our 15 Basics.
Tu Na, or 吐納, literally translated means “spit and collect”, is just a more literary term for “inhale-exhale” in Chinese.
GM Chin also brought in the reference of a related old Chinese word of “Heng Ha 哼哈”. There were some confusions by students regarding what those words mean, and how they apply in our Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan’s practice. So hopefully the following explanations can be helpful to all. There are actually three ways to interpret “Heng Ha”:
The most famous cultural reference for “Heng” (pronounced similar to English word “hung”) and “Ha”, are the two generals guarding the heaven’s gate in Chinese mythology. (See photo 1.) General Heng can spit out a white beam or steam (depending on artistic interpretation) from his nose, and suck in the opponent’s spirit, while General Ha can project a yellow beam from his mouth to shatter an enemy’s soul. Most often you can find depictions of those two generals on paintings posted on many traditional house doors in China, or as statues guarding some monastery entrances. The myths aside, they are described using the two most visible human organs for breathing.
The second, and more practical reference to “Heng Ha” are used in “Dao Yin” Qi Gong physical and breathing exercises originated from Daoist practices. (See picture 2 and also in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daoyin). In that reference, the “Heng” is actually used for signaling inhale, while “Ha” is used for exhale. If you pronounce the word “Heng” (or “hung”) literally, it requires an exhale through the nose to make the sound, but in this case, it’s due to lack of any nasal characters in Chinese that is done with an inhale, so “Heng” is actually similar to the sound when one is gasping for air and sucking in deep in the nostrils, without the exaggerated noise.
The third reference, as in our Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan, and in many internal martial art styles that also incorporate Dao Yin methods, represent a short and a long exhale. Noting here that either Heng and Ha can be the short or long exhales depending on your movement coordination and the martial art stylistic philosophies. More commonly in ZXD, we can match “Heng Ha” as the 1-2/short-long releases similar to our Tu Na exercise when we say “puh!” to do the first quick punctured exhale followed by the longer exhale. Sometimes, Heng can be used with a longer/slower Fa-Jin, with Ha as the final jolting action to finish the force issuing.
As for the mechanics of diaphragmatic and abdominal breathing, there are numerous videos and text out there (like this one from Instructor Ashe Higgs), I won’t pretend to be a biology expert here. They are not in the scope of my explanation of the etymology of the word “Heng Ha”.
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