Recognizing the Neutral Point of Direct: The Path of Wisdom Part 1

Recognizing the Neutral Point of Direct:
The Path of Wisdom

GM Sam F.S. Chin Viewpoint Talks
Transcript 2019 MABA RETREAT
Mid-America Buddhist Association (MABA)
Augusta, Missouri (July 27-Aug.3, 2019)
Friday morning, August 2nd

Introduction

For me, the most important message is that we talk about wisdom. What is wisdom? It comes down to having people get the right understanding. People will ask, what do you mean by right understanding? Where right understanding comes to is what kind of reference do you use? So we try to teach the reference of nature, from what is happening. Then, your understanding comes from where? It should come from the moment of recognizing through what is happening—through harmonizing, through balancing—that kind of understanding. You can have that to see things, then what you see and know will help you to make the right move. It all comes down to having the right move. How do you make a right move? Yes, it’s about coordination, timing, spacing—based on what?



“That’s why present is only FLOW—the balance point. Follow is not correct; follow is one step behind. ~GM Sam Chin”


What is nature? It all comes down to what is knowing and how you know—knowing is the most important point. From knowing you have everything. Depends on what you want. (If you want to get rich, if I want to be peace of mind—then you know what to do—because of knowing. Right? The problem is—what is right knowing? Where is the right information and what do you mean by right information? This is where the skill is.
This is what is nature—what is happening in this world: with ALL things happening. Why do things happen that way? You can ask this question to everyone. Everyone will say their own perspective: ‘oh this is how I approach’, this is my viewpoint.

What quality and conditions are needed to get access to the right viewpoint? THIS is what I’m trying to teach. What is the approach, what is the condition, what references do you use to answer this? The problem is—how many people even know how to ask this question? (Next time it will be part of what students need to write. At student level 9, students will need to write the answers to these questions.)

Everything is based on what is your reference or what philosophy do you use—and what is the reference of that. What other conditions do you need? How do you apply your philosophy into your practice? Other martial arts may not understand the conditions; what conditions you need. What kind of qualities do you need to approach? They may say ‘you need to do something directly’, but they don’t talk about how or teach about it.



CONNECTING AT THE POINT OF CONTACT – CONDITIONS, FUNCTIONS, APPROACH

That’s why I talk about contact-ing: the moment of Point of Contact. If they aren’t taught about it, they don’t even know how to connect at point of contact—and how I’m going to connect that. That’s why yesterday’s talk emphasized about Point of Contact, the moment of contact and how to recognize it. If you don’t even connect, then how can you be in the present moment? You cannot? You can’t even have some requirements to be in the moment. How can you be in the moment if you can’t even connect? The subject is not there for you to study. There are requirements and conditions to be in the moment. Now this morning Jiru talked about things in this way, too.

(Comment: what’s so obviously different about the way you teach is everything comes down to real feedback, no hypothetical. You talk about the structure…)

Sifu: Because I talk about conditions, functions, approach—the concrete observables. What kind of concept do you need? Some other martial arts do have similar philosophies, but when it comes to action, the philosophy and action doesn’t connect. Why don’t the philosophy and action not connect? When you come to training the words have to connect to the philosophy. The words of instruction. Nature itself is like this: you must merge…All these kinds of references typically are not being shown or taught. Even open and close. I’m closing but you don’t know when to start to close. You can see in the teacher: if they learn from books yes they learn something, but how to put it into USE often is not there.

Me and Ven. Jiru are slightly different. We are practitioners: we want to see how it works, how it functions—then it comes down to there’s no more words. How can we get that across? When action/re-action, you must have the right information first: the right information to understand what is the present condition. What are the tools to get the right information? If you don’t have the tools to get this, then you don’t know how to start, how to approach the situation. If you can’t understand the situation, how will you start to get the right information? What tools.


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BE IN THE PRESENT WITH THAT MOMENT

That’s why it comes down to being present in the moment. Be in the present with that moment. It’s so tough, they don’t even know what that means. What kind of moment is that? What we try to understand is this first. The moment of things; anything by itself is called its nature.

Tao talks about change is the characteristic of nature—that as a base: change. So no matter what you say, you know you must be changing along with it. “Change with the change’ to know the truth. If you cannot do this. This means you must flow not follow. Flow means TO BE WITH. To flow that means the balance point. That’s how it starts, you see? Here is the right information that I can get. But to get that information what kind of quality do you need to be there order to flow? Only knowing, you cannot. That’s why the mind must be sharp. That’s why we need to learn Samadhi concentration. Or else you see you touch, and in one split second, you touch—and you’re gone already. You don’t have the penetration power—that means you don’t have the ability to access the information from directly. You’d touch it and if you relate it to past memory to feel, this is the steps that 99% of people do and call it the ‘present.’ But in Tao and Zen this is not the present.

Q: So the reference of yin and yang is just to observe the change?

Sifu: Well, yin and yang is just one thing. When Buddhism talks about cause and effect and yin and yang it’s 2 different things. Yin and yang is not cause and effect. But this yin and yang is the complementary—it’s the function. HOW WE WORK WITH THAT to balance that function; to harmonize the moment with that yin yang—it’s a balance. How the 2 things function in order to be in harmony and in balance. So if you can work with harmony and function and yin and yang and CAUSE, then the cause will be good. You will know what’s happening because of cause and effect: if you can balance things on a cause, then it’s a good cause: so you are doing the right (appropriate) thing only.

So everyone has a different way—this is a lot of the missing part of others’ philosophy when they come to training. (Some say, ‘oh yes, I’ve learned Tao philosophy—but when it comes to training, it’s a different thing). If the instructions and their concepts aren’t connecting, they can’t understand the conditions and quality of the approach and what you need in order to give the right instruction. If the instruction is wrong, you’re pointing your student’s mind in a different direction. That’s why I’m very careful with the words to tell students how to work on things. I don’t tell them to ‘think’ or to ‘imagine’; I tell them very directly. So in order to have things work, you see, to be with the moment—you must be THERE first. Simple to see if you’re not there: imagining is not “there’, thinking is not ‘there. You can understand some of the effort of the action—but if you’re thinking you aren’t there—so how are you going to work with this moment if you’re not there?

What is the condition, quality, characteristic of “BEING WITH” first? That’s why tai chi talks about we can’t resist, we can’t back off. If you resist it means you aren’t there. You only feel this, but you have an idea that comes in to block it out already—or you run away. That’s why present is only FLOW—the balance point. Follow is not correct: follow is one step behind.


RIGHT UNDERSTANDING IS THE VIEWPOINT

Just now we were talking about the message of how we would approach an article to explain our approach, that kind of thing—you see—and what is the most important thing to get across, to share with people with ZXD—and what’s unique about how we do it. To me, what’s important to get across is the Right Understanding. Right Understanding is the viewpoint. What do I mean by that—when everyone has their own understanding.

Q: You can say it, but need to feel it. I understand what you’re saying, except when I try to do it.

Sifu; what kind of philosophy do you use for the right understanding. Everyone uses a different philosophy for something. When WE train we use the philosophy of Tao and Zen, and even Confucius. Right, to get the right understanding from there—based on the nature itself. To get this right understanding from there. Just understand the way things are. That’s one part. Then how can you access… that’s why we are teaching this. OK, I want to get this right understanding—HOW?

This information—receive this information. First, to receive the information you must be THERE. TO be there you must be able to connect [student: I feel pre-kindergarten—if someone doesn’t have a body tied up…they’ll never get it]. No, first of all, some of this information you MUST understand theoretically first. And consider: do you accept this one first? If you’re not accepting, then how are you going to approach this. We say ‘you must be convinced’ first. Then, if you’re convinced then you can go on to ask HOW …But first, does it make sense to you or note?

Based on the philosophy of Zen and Tao the characteristic is based on change—the nature is always changing. And Zen is the same: impermanent. Do you agree or not? If not, your mindset doesn’t change. Then you have to explain…what is change. Everything changes—sometimes it changes too slowly that we can’t see, because it’s so solid…do you understand how solid it is—it’s still not one. There’s not ONE solid entity. Do you agree or not, you see? Because under Buddhism and the 3 characteristics of Existence: of Impermanent, Suffering, and No self—the most important thing first.1 No one solid entity. No ONE thing: They all come and go—it’s all by conditions that form; it’s the condition that must be there. If the condition isn’t there, it won’t combine—it will separate. You need certain conditions (to separate or absorb) and Tao talks about the way borns one, one that borns two, two that borns three—and everything from there (the tai chi symbol that separates: it’s two). But this kind of philosophy, first you have to see: do we agree or not? If you don’t agree, then you can’t go further anymore. Only if you want to see if it works this way or not (consider the computer world: 1 or 0—like yin yang: the hardware separation is only 1 or 0). So, okay, science can prove that yin yang can do so many things…

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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.

The Curriculum of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan (Levels 1-8)

Curriculum of I Liq Chuan – Levels 1-4

Three Dimensions & Six Directions


“To understand the three dimensions, you must understand each plane in order to understand the sphere: how these relate as one sphere.”
~GM Sam Chin
#zhongxindao #iliqchuan

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Level 1 & 2

Have you guys trained the movement to understand it enough yet?

You see, the basic exercises level one and basic two is all about

  • Absorb Project
  • Condense Expand
  • Three dimensions.

To understand the three dimensions, you must understand each plane of the three dimension in order to under the spherical: how these relate as one spherical.

That’s why the training of the 15 basic exercise has different dimensions, different planes: to understand the limit of each plane: to understand how each plane transforms into the another plane, so they can integrate into the three dimensions. three dimensions that we put it into the bobbing exercise and absorb-project, condense-expand, then into one big spherical energy: that itself is six energies and three dimensional planes.

With the six energies of three dimensions here we learn to make stepping, to move while still holding these six energy and three dimensions; we learn to step and learn to kick and learn to release of throwing the hands and you can punch. That’s why the first ten exercises are to get the core of the six  energies and three dimension. Then with that, you start to move: see if you can maintain the six energies and three dimensions. Actually that’s level one and level two.

Level 3

Because with the core, kicking and everything there, then we do it into the continuous movement with the 21 form, with six energies and three dimensions.

That’s why sometimes we call it a zhan zhuang movement, a “fullness” movement fullness form, a zhan zhuang form, like a standing posture form, because of the fullness, with-the action of continuity.To be able to understand to keep our attention with the action; to learn the continual movement of “yi dao, qi dao, li dao“; that means attention must be there, the energy must be there, then the movement.

That is level three. Then with that, what I mean is the level of three can go that high. Of course, there’s a minimal requirement, now what we grade you guys now is you understand the movement, you understand this and that, ok.

You have the minimum requirement to go ahead. Now you know: you have the syllabus this quality now, this criterion now to go higher. So every level now keeps on processing [advancing], keeps on going up.

Level 4

Then, in level four, with continuity and everything, and unifying, then you must have the coordination to produce power. That’s why we do the fajin exercise on level four: able to produce the power, alright.


GM Sam Chin shows a modified butterfly form in Moscow with explosive power May 2005

Curriculum of I Liq Chuan – Levels 5 & 6

Level 5 – Spinning Hands

I Liq Chuan Spinning Hands DVD
Spinning Hands DVD

In level five, you are training on point of contact, right. To see the point of contact that you are unifying with the opponent, but through unifying with the opponent there is a flow: flow, fend, roll and pivot. You must understand what is flow.

Flow is a process where you reach in to merge in to be with the opponent to maintain the present, to produce a fending force, a peng energy. A peng energy starts with meeting force: you start to meet on Point of Contact.

So attention must be there to really MEET the point of contact: meet the point of contact on contact until you see yourself as a cross.

A cross is a simplification of three dimensions: first start with cross.

With that cross, with that fullness, you bring that ball, like a three dimension ball you carry it along with you to go along the opponents point of contact, the changing point of contact: like you’re holding a ball to change the point of contact.

Holding the fullness, you’re holding the fullness to change the point of contact. So every point of contact has fullness itself. But of course you need to understand what is fullness, recognize what is fullness.

Then, with the fullness here, on the point of contact of fullness, you must be able to propel to produce the pull push energy from there. By understanding of fullness, then you start to pivot: changing the polarity to do the pull, to do the push. Hanging onto the center so that you can produce pull push by using the 3 dimensions: horizontal pull push, saggital pull push, frontal pull push. Right. That means flow, fend, roll, pivot on 5th level, but without stepping.

Curriculum of I Liq Chuan Level 6 & 7 

Level 6 – Range, Section, Footwork & Kicking

When it comes to level six, you hang onto that principle strong enough you must be so strong that your attention must be there so that when you start to step, start to kick, start to do all different exercises as you’re changing the center, so that these 4 (flow fend roll and pivot) can keep up: that you don’t lose these four qualities.

But before that, of course you have the “13 Points”, the “Five Mechanisms” there, so that you don’t lose these. Once you lose these that means, what makes you lose?

Because you drop back to habit. Normally, because you lose something, you’ve dropped back to a different habit or your mind has been disturbed by a different thought. So until you can hang onto these flow fend roll and pivot, these principles that action follow your action, how you move and do action here, you need to adjust the movement: to align to these principles.

When the principle tries to go off, you need to adjust yourself to keep that principle there; if you adjust yourself, that means you are moving to adjust. When you’re adjusting and moving yourself to keep that principle there, to hold there that means that action is right.

It’s not through thinking I should move this or I should move that, no more. It’s because I’m seeing this principle and I’m trying to maintain this principle that my actions have to adjust to this to maintain that. My actions have to support the principle.

When the action supports the principle, the action is correct. Understand?

So, if you can do this, that’s what I call “you cannot think any more”; the thinking process is less now, the habit is less now because you have to back up this principle.

So you can hang onto this principle now. You can hang onto this principle and reverse that: hanging onto that principle tells you what to do.

This means that the principle is a guideline no, it guards you and protects you now. So, in this sense. When you reach this point I say it’s “a point of no return”. It means you are starting to melt off your old habits already. That means the melting pot starts to melt all other things already: so now it’s only principle now.

All these transitions you need attention; the higher you go you need more attention. So slowly all things melt off. The training itself is that you must have the right understanding to approach. If it’s not, you can never, never understand. You can never be there.

Because you cannot think. Once you think and fall back into thinking you’re not with that principle enough. Understand. You guys follow me now?

Alright. That’s why we say when it comes to level six, its so hard. Because its “yes” or “no”, you cannot be “maybe”. You cannot maybe anymore.

Level five is like this: you cant maybe any more. Are you there or not there? If you’re not there, you’re not there. That kind of thing, you see. That’s why level one to level four, you’re still okay.

When it comes to level five, “Yes” or “No”. If you can’t produce the fullness, you can’t pivot, I can’t say you can, because you cannot: because you’re not there. Yes? You see.

When it comes to stepping in level six, with flow, fend, roll, and pivot. When you first start to step: OK every principle breaks off, so how can you say it’s “yes, it’s there”? Its not. No way it can be “yes.” Unless you keep on stepping and keep on moving and you still have that thing (attention/ connection) over there, then yes. Or no. Alright?

This is what I want to tell you guys you must understand: the curriculum, the criteria, because as students go further and higher, as an instructor what to see, what to grade, what to look into, what to train, how mental should be. Alright?

I talked up to here, up to level six.

Level 7 & 8 Sticky Hands

“You cannot control on defense; you can only control on offense.”
~GM Sam Chin
#zhongxindao #iliqchuan

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Level 7 – Upper  Hand

There’s level seven, level eight. Each has its quality.

Level seven, because it’s flow. When it comes to flow same flow: flow means maintaining the point of contact, maintaining that you can keep the point.

Because sticky hands is to keep the point, that you can keep 90 degrees direct to the center for maximum to control and maximum to control is also maximum you can read. Anything that is direct, it’s the maximum information; if it slightly slides off, less information.

So you must be maximum there to get the flow, to change with change, to maintain over there.

There’s a flow. “Flow” with “fend”: because fending from here is not only building one ball of defense here; you must also have a shield, have a shield that the opponent cannot penetrate. Moving with a ball that they cannot penetrate because on here you must understand center-to-center: that means that you can meet his center, that means stop him. Stop him from hitting.

That means the movement turns into more precise now. Because you stop, you cut, you stop your opponent with fullness. If you want to control, you still need to control the point, but it’s more free action now.

Now, control: what is control?

Because fend is defense, so when it comes to control you must understand what is offense.

You cannot control on defense; you can only control on offense.

So, in order to control on offense, you must know where is the half line. On level five and Level six, you are still maintaining the defense of meeting: keep on meeting, meeting, meeting to see the relationship of the line from point to the feet and to all the centers: center to center and to all the centers, that’s still on level five and level six: keep on meeting, meeting. (But under Instructor Level 3 there’s something different; I’m not going to talk about that). But on level seven, under control, you must pass the half line to pass the offensive, so for your opponent to hit you, he must neutralize your offensive in order to get into you, so you must always be one step ahead to control. Alright.

Of that control, of course, you are sticking to the hand and also must understand all the centers themselves: center-to-center.

Flowing On Neutral – Part 4

Quarters and Cycles: Understanding the Straight and the Curve

With the centers reference then you understand the open close; the empty full; and the movement—the direction from the four quarters: how to move from which of the four quarters. There’s four quarters see: upper lower, left right—how this cycle turns and goes through which quarter to which quarter, so you can cut—understanding the straight line and the curve: like how you drive a car to make a corner: how you cut the line in order to be starting. No doubt it’s a curve but you want to make it straight. If it’s too straight, you want to curve.

So now today’s training, I’ll try to talk about FULLNESS point.

Fullness point is also one point; it has the highest point of meeting. Of the meeting point. Fullness you can say is how you meet; more like sometimes people will say it’s a fulcrum point; fulcrum point is a fullness point.

Why is it FULL?

Because this point is directly from the center. Directly from THIS center to meet on this center: to be one line 90 degree is a fullness point, it’s a highest point. Any ball, any circumference you touch, you say this is the highest—to where? To the center.  Because I touch it, it’s the highest…if I’m not touching these 2 sides are lower already: any point I touch is full…but if it’s without the reference to the center it’s wrong.

Because it’s the diameter line also. This fullness is also the fullness point that I touch. That means if my hand is this way and I touch this way—this is not the furthest—how to consider furthers? It means my circle comes from here: my fulcrum part is here… on point of contact. Because you have to adjust at this point of contact, this is not the furthest because my center is her; I need to adjust my c-7 back to here to adjust. 

If the point is here, then this is not the furthest. Understand? Unless I move the point or if I move myself behind it—if I move my mass behind it, then this point is also pointing at the opponent’s mass: that is the fullness in one line. You can say this is all physics. You can use science, math physics to explain this.

How are you going to train that?

It’s to maintain the fullness: to MAINTAIN the fullness so that everything adjusts to maintain this.  To maintain this—to be fullness, then fullness itself must have a quality: must have conditions to be full.

A center must have a condition to be a center. A center must have its own quality and properties to be a center that’s why a center must have left right up down forward back center is a junction point. FULLNESS? -the same.

It needs conditions to be the fullness and you need to maintain the conditions to keep the full. You must OBEY that. you can’t think that—no, you cannot. In a way, it means you have no thinking—if you think that means you relate back to your past and try to adjust that. NO—it’s based on meeting, reflecting direct. That you need to support this fullness. That’s why in Tao talks about if you can hold onto the circle with center—hold over there—everything will align over there. If you can hold over there. No other way. If you can’t, the conditions separate, the conditions are not formed, then the things aren’t formed. 

Everything is the same in life—with things happening. Everything’s the same. You need the condition.

Condition isn’t here, you can’t uphold something there—things will break down. In Zen, we say, if condition are there, things come by; if conditions is not there, they’ll fall apart. So, things come and go.

If you don’t recognize the condition things will not be maintained. You want to be clear, you must have the conditions. You want to be peaceful, you must have the conditions. Every has conditions—can your recon the conditions. That’s why we talk about cause and conditions. To see the conditions is not that easy. Normally we JUDGE on the condition, we don’t see the condition.  Even just to listen to this talk you need the condition to be able to listen or you think ‘ah, this is just rubbish.’

I Liq Chuan Knowing The Moment DVD

Official Statement by Grandmaster Sam F. S. Chin

To All Our Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan Family and Our Martial Arts Brothers and Sisters Worldwide, 

The Martial Way is a Living Way that cannot be contained, regulated, or defined by words. By living each day, one day at a time, moment by moment, all the elements of the Dao run into each other to produce a whole.

As a mountain lake is fed by thousands of springs, so too is life and its obstacles. Life, like the way, is perfect in its completeness. When collaborating with people I have found the best and worst will emerge in the time of personal/professional stress and pressure.

This is an appropriate moment to reflect on our  Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan principles and Chin Family culture and cultivation. We are inclusive rather than exclusive in our teaching. We ‘open heartedly’ teach and share our Art to all those who sincerely and earnestly wish to learn. In the ‘Chinese Martial Arts Community,’ there is a saying, 武术一族 “Martial Arts One Family.” Our tradition is united by a common love of training, self development and the transmission of skill through direct touch from teacher to student. We do not perceive other systems, instructors, or practitioners as competitors. We strive to be transparent in all our dealings.

The fastest way to lose the integrity of any Art is to have an Instructor or Student teach when he/she is not prepared, authorized, or qualified. I don’t want anyone to teach my family’s Art of Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan unless I can directly guide what they teach and how they teach it. I can then take responsibility for what is being taught, for the results produced, and the curriculum quality. I ask for each Disciple, Instructor, and Student to observe his/her personal integrity, and to support and add to the integrity of Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan. 

Our culture of Wu De i.e. Martial Virtue emphasizes the essential importance of recognizing and realizing the state Neutral and Balance in all situations. Following the path of Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan can and will create limitless power, by the utilization of harmony and wisdom. Please continue to stress the rigorous moral training and ethical code of Wu De. I am sure that on your Path through life you will find peace, harmony, and wisdom by following this code. 

“When debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” – Socrates

We Mirror, Meet, and Match in Order to Know – If you Recognize any vindictive or slanderous behavior stay neutral and aware – do not respond or retaliate.

Preserving the culture that has permeated Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan since it’s inception at Chuang Yen monastery nearly 30 years ago, we welcome everyone with open arms regardless of affiliation. Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan is not to be, and was never designed to be, reserved for one special group of people.

The Chin Family Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan system is open and available to everyone. 

We will continue to provide high quality training and support, offering access to any individual to receive instruction directly from myself, the Chin family, or our licensed instructors. 

Always continue with your current dedication and perseverance by following the Philosophy, Concepts, and Principles as taught by the Chin Family. This Spirit must continue to live with you through future generations of Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan. 

Sincerely, 
Grandmaster Sam F.S. Chin

 

Announcement Regarding Our Cooperation With EWTO

Keith Kernspecht and Sam Chin

Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan students, instructors and friends:

For the last several years, the EWTO has been working under the guidance of GM Sam Chin and the Chin family, learning the fundamentals of the Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan curriculum and methods, initially to internalize their WingTsun, and also working under the tentative approval of the Chin family to manage and spread the art of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan as a unique and complete martial arts program in specific countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Bulgaria and Italy through its participating EWTO locations and instructors on behalf of GM Sam Chin and the international CFILCA.

Recently, the EWTO announced that they will no longer be working with GM Sam Chin to help manage the Chin family art of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan in their respective countries as appointed by the Chin family.

We understand that there may be some questions, and that many public posts and comments have already been made on social media regarding the situation.

GM Sam Chin will be making a detailed announcement soon. In the meantime we ask for all of our students and instructors to stand by for more information.

We appreciate all of your cooperation on this matter, and we wish our friends in the EWTO all the best moving forward.

Flowing On Neutral – Part 3

GM Sam Chin & M Alex Skalozub in Poland 2019

GM Sam Chin & M Alex Skalozub in Poland 2019

Q: can you explain the ex. In terms of the ones we did yesterday in relation to expansion/compression in relation to balance of yin yang…. the progression of the exercise?

Point of Contact Itself Manifests the Center and The Cross.

Here’s where the Basic Exercises come in: you must know the 2 groups of muscles first, and the bone first. That means you must understand the dan tien and ming-men: then that the whole body has only 2 lines: yin and yang. Here’s where the macrocosmic energy comes. If you’re not clear of your own body flow, then how can you manifest on point of contact?

When I touch it, because my body has this flow, I have a center—I have 2 lines—when I touch it on the point of contact, I already have a center, I already matched my line like negative and positive I connect already! Yes? I connect my positive and negative line to your line—so I move: I draw there; I expand there—but I need to hold onto the centers. If I can’t hold onto the centers, I can’t do that. So on the point of contact itself manifest this: it manifests the center and the cross.

With the hardware and the software. The hardware is because have 2 lines here; the software, under rotation I have under different planes.

Q: Can you explain more about hardware and software?

Hardware means it’s your body that yin is yin, yang is yang –can’t be changed.

Software, your action: my yin can do yang action, my yang can do yin action—and it changes on point of contact: how it manifests to engage. Movement is based on point of contact to engage—what do you mean by engaging?

Meeting like meeting or to hold, alright? To have close-close, open-open, or to get across the half line—this is all engaging: how you engage to balance, engage to penetrate, or engage to hold, to expand it as one.

Engagement is to connect. You must have the connect that kind of conditions in order to function. That means you must know what is the condition over there [at the point], and your move is only acting accordingly to what the point is engaging.

The engaging point: you could be using your yang to engage on me—and I feel your Yang. Or you could use your yin to engage on me—you are drawing. You need to recognize the conditions—and how to act according to those conditions. It’s all through these 2 lines: the yin line and the yang line—there’s only 2 lines.

Without the connecting of the centers you have no reference. That’s why we say “your knowing is based on what reference?” So the training is not much, but it will take years.

I Liq Chuan Knowing The Moment DVD

Q: on holding to rotation?

Sifu: first you must have the contact. If the contact here is too loose information and energy can’t transfer.

A lot things are between our joints—in order to generate power through our joints—the hip joint any joint, later on, you need to close up the gap—so you turn to close up the gap and then how to rotate to close so the energy transfers, or else you cannot

Q: because there’s play and you can’t get the reference?

Sifu: If it’s not closed, then even to turn into that direction, you cannot. If can’t be too loose – also can’t be too tight. Too tight that means the rotation of movement is not fluid, not smooth. Any questions?

So, we first move from rotation. Then we feel the point of contact on the center. Because with the rotation with the center that means it’s a circle which has a circle—when you move and circle with rotation, so these will combine together: rotation with a center, so you move on the center.

You will produce the circles also. Then on this rotation, on this circle, then the connecting on the point—how far you connect—if you first go to the shoulders—then you must have direct feedback from the centers first. If you don’t, it means you cannot.


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Quarters and Cycles: Understanding the Straight and the Curve

With the centers reference then you understand the open and close; the empty/full; and the movement—the direction from the four quarters: how to move from which of the four quarters.

There’s four quarters see: upper lower, left right—how this cycle turns and goes through which quarter to which quarter, so you can cut—understanding the straight line and the curve: like how you drive a car to make a corner: how you cut the line in order to be starting. No doubt it’s a curve but you want to make it straight. If it’s too straight, you want to curve.

Poland 2019 Retreat

Students display their new certificates of rank at the I Liq Chuan retreat in Poland

In November 2019, GM Sam Chin and Hsin Chin traveled together to Dwor Dobarz, Poland for a seven day training retreat.

Nearly forty students, representing many European countries all joined GM Chin and son for the full week, and weekend training. In total, eight countries were represented, including Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Netherlands, Croatia and the UK.

What did we learn?

“Every day was very important talk where Sifu also answers all questions. So philosophy, concept and principles was clarifying. At training with our body and with partner we covered: structure, basic exercises (we go deeper and deeper), 21 form, fajin, spinning and sticky hands ~Dima Siomau

Grading

11 students graded for their next levels in the Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan system from levels 1-4.  Congratulations to all on making it to the next step in your journey with I Liq Chuan!

Students display their new certificates of rank at the I Liq Chuan retreat in Poland

Outline

Each days training progressed as follows

Time/Date Monday

11 nov

Tuesday

12 nov

Wednesday

13 nov

Thursday

14 nov

Friday

15 nov

Saturday

16 nov

Sunday

17 nov

Monday

18 nov

8:00-9:00 Qigong & Meditation Qigong & Meditation Qigong & Meditation Qigong & Meditation Qigong & Meditation Qigong & Meditation Breakfast
9:00-10:00 Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Check out
10:00-13:00 Training Training Training Training Training Training
13:00-15:00 Lunch & Rest Lunch & Rest Lunch & Rest Lunch & Rest Lunch & Rest Lunch & Rest
15:00-18:00 Check in Training Training Training Training Training Training
18:00-19:30 Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner
19:30-21:30 Sifu talk Self training Self training Self training Self training Examination Ending talk and feedback from participants

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who participated and made this event such a great success.  Your support is what makes it all possible.

Photos

Join Us!

If you would like the opportunity to immerse yourself in seven days of I Liq Chuan training, or take a weekend workshop, keep an eye on our events calendar here, or find a local “Martial Art of Awareness” class near you here with one of our licensed instructors or study group leaders.

Self Study

If you would like materials to study on your own, check out these great choices for getting started in our online store.

 

Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan System Guide I Liq Chuan 15 Basic Exercises DVD I Liq Chuan 3 Day Retreat DVD