Reflections on Balancing and Beginning Again

Prof. Kung Yang Lin with Prof. Grandmaster Sam Chin
Prof. Kung Yang Lin with Prof. Grandmaster Sam Chin
Prof. Kun-Yang Lin, Dance Professor at Temple University with Prof. Grandmaster Sam Chin of Martial Arts of Awareness.

Reflections on Balancing and Beginning Again:
Participants New to the Art Offer Insights into the Philadelphia Workshop Experience

It has been a long year of lockdown and people from along the Eastern coast of the US – from upstate New York, New Jersey, across Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina and Florida–were excited about coming back to the first in-person, post-Covid workshop, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) on 24 July 2021. Out of concern for our community members’ health and well-being, the workshop required participants to be fully vaccinated.  

In addition to 25 regular members, the workshop welcomed 8 first-timers to the art! Of these, four have already signed up as new members in our Philadelphia-based Martial Art of Awareness ZXD/ILC group!  

Attendees also included students who have come through the Academic Approach. While Ezekiel Mathur is well known, for he is now Instructor Level 1, student level 4, he first was introduced to the art through his graduate studies at University of Pennsylvania through Nancy and Lan’s first ZXD/ILC-related seminar there. Two Cabrini University students were excited to meet GM Sam for the first time at this workshop: recent alum Jason Roman (pictured with Ezekiel) and current rising senior, Bushra Islam. Bushra has the distinction of having been in the first cohort of the BALANCE Learning Community (LC) at Cabrini, designed by Nancy and Lan, and now in starting its 4th year. She has served as a Student Fellow of the Balance LC for the past 2 years, helping 20 first-year students each year adjust to their transition into higher education. She helped guide them through Nancy and Lan’s course “Conflict and Cooperation,” which fulfills the university’s “Values” core curriculum requirement.

GM Sam Chin has spent the past year offering online Zoom instruction and emphasizing the right viewpoint needed to clarify and refine one’s understanding of the art and train one’s skills appropriately. Long-term members of the art know how distinctive this approach to learning is and they really appreciate Prof. GM Sam Chin’s method of Question and Answer sessions.  It is equally inspiring to hear new participants reflect on their first-time experiences of meeting Sam Chin, Hsin Chin, and other instructors assisting at the workshop.  Here is one example from a ‘newbie’, who recently heard of the Martial Art of Awareness within the past month and attended Saturday’s workshop. Viel Ty had this to share about the Philly workshop:

“It was a privilege to attend my first workshop studying the “Martial Art of Awareness”, Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan. As a new student of ZXD-ILC with experience studying other styles of martial arts, it was my intention to come to the workshop ready to learn and with an open mind.  I came out of the workshop with a greater appreciation for the curriculum and many takeaways that transcend beyond martial functionality.  My biggest insight is the idea of using the correct (and present!) references to bring attention to yourself, what you feel, and what you are doing. He also stressed that you have so much more in your control in all areas of your life only if you are truly aware of yourself.  What I found even more incredible was how clear and unwavering that message is – not only from Grandmaster Sam Chin but also from all of the mentors who shared their time with me at the workshop.

Thank you to Grandmaster Sam Chin and his family for sharing their time with us this weekend!  Thank you to my teachers, Lan Tran and Nancy Watterson, for a fantastic introduction and overview of the system in these last weeks leading up to the workshop! I greatly appreciate everyone’s warm welcome and conversations with me and in support of my new journey with the ZXD-ILC family.”

A second attendee, who like Viel has joined Philly’s ZXD/ILC group, also offered his perspective on the day. Dante Crowder had this to say:

“Grandmaster Sam is very down-to-earth and is not looking to hold back any information. Although he does have that Grandmaster aura, I actually felt very relaxed and comfortable. Secondly, all the Instructors from Level 1 and above were very helpful and very kind. Although I was a beginner, not one person acted like they were too good to work with me. In fact, everyone regardless of their experience had a solid skill set and was more than willing to share the knowledge they had with me. I feel ZXD can — and will —  change your life if one is patient enough to listen, not rush, and follow the system.”

 

Finally, at the workshop, Prof. GM Sam Chin also was able to share his art with another professor, Kun-Yang Lin, (Professor of Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia). The workshop was actually held in Kun-Yang Lin’s studio, called the Chi Movement Arts Center and home to his dance troupe, KYL/D for which he is choreographer and artistic director. (One of his dancers and the Director of their school-based “Chi Movement” curriculum, Sophie Malin, also attended and—as a direct result of her experience at the workshop—has become a member of the Philly group!)

Professor Kun-Yang shared several insights he took away from his experience of the workshop, especially the care GM Sam took with his opening “framing” talk and the one-on-one transmission of direct, experiential “feel” of the art: 

 “I appreciated how Master Chin’s opening talk referred to Eastern philosophy, concepts and practice and how the art’s practice itself relates to life! As a professor of dance, of course my “practice” is a different method, but the emphasis on change and balancing and continuity—and especially FLOW—all resonated with the approach I use with my dancers. I appreciated the message of how “awareness” is different from “knowledge” and also the discussions of yin and yang in terms of 3 components (1,2,3 for unifying and separating).  

When Master Chin spoke of the martial art of awareness as a ‘tool’ for training mindfulness, that resonated with me. “Dance” is my tool, my practice for examining my body, my mind.  I especially appreciate the various approaches Master Chin drew on to deliver that methodology. One key take away is thinking about how he has simplified his curriculum down to its very essence of knowing. And how he explained the importance of slowing down the training to bring your attention “there”: you have to be able to place your concentration and focus on the very process of paying attention.  This is an important message for all of us on our individual journeys: being constantly open to receiving what teachers guide us to recognize for ourselves.  Understanding one’s own body/mind…that’s your own process; another person can work with you, but you have to do your own work—it’s your own practice: owning your own body and owning your own mind.” 

Fitting words to carry with us as we continue our own practices—alone, together, solo, or in partner training.

 

 

Sifu Says – The Candle’s Light

Teaching Moments With GM Sam Chin

“Keep on adjusting” means keep adjusting to connect. If the variation is too much, you cannot connect.

Everything is about the center—the center that is strong enough to go out and come back. The center must be strong. Sometimes I talk about using the candle light—these last few talks I have been talking about the example of the candle light.

If the flame is shaky, if the wind is making it keep on flickering, then you cannot see things clearly. If there is no wind or anything to come to disturb the candle light, then the candle light is so steady—then you can see things clearly.

This is about the center—that means if the center is shaky, there is no precise direction. Also, if the candlelight is too dim, you also cannot see the bigger view. You only see a little thing. If the candle light is bright, then you can see a bigger view more clearly. 

To have a center is the same. If the center is stable, it must be holding very stable to give precise direction and precise separation. So, the center, to be strong, is balanced by directions, at the same time. But when you rock to give different directions, it is only through one point that you rotate can you give all directions. That is, only by spinning can you get all directions.

By using the Spinning Force, you get the directions – forward/backward, up/ down —  and if you go up and down by rotating up and down, then, at the same time have forward backward left and right. If you aren’t rotating but only use the rocking to shift, then you only have one at one time.

Simultaneously, at the same time, to have all directions is by rotation

That is why the spinning force with one point of rotation is the only way you can get the balance point, hold the balance point, and hold the point not to move.  That is why the primary movement is from one point of rotation. But when you rock on 3 points (forward backward and neutral) that is to understand the difference: to see from one point—yin, another yang and the neutral). That kind of recognizing is just by using three points, but after recognizing three points, then to get the three together all at one time comes only from rotation.

That is why we talk about the six directions as the main characteristic, then the three dimensions, and then it expands to the to five elements. The 6 directions have a center to give you the directional.

July 2021 News

group photo from Austrian summer I Liq Chuan retreat

Around The World

Austria

group photo from Austrian summer I Liq Chuan retreat

At the first Austrian “Martial Art of Awareness – Summer Retreat” at the beautiful Holzöster lake, there were 25 participants from Austria and Germany.

Because of the different levels and different types of people, instructor Lubo Tzolov decided on a topic interesting for beginners and advanced students: “Preparation for Spinning Hands Training”.

So first he put the emphasis on clarifying the difference between training and playing. Then the students explored their understanding of the alignment to separate the body in front/back and left/right.

They continued with pull and push through condensing and expanding and to realize how even a very light force affects their own alignment. It was amazing to see that everyone could stay focused on themselves. The training continued with open/close to propel circles from the horizontal force.

On the last two days the students did spinning hands but very light and everyone managed well to mainly observe the changes inside their own body. Everyone could train with everyone else because nobody involved their own ego. In the evening there was time for meditation and also for theory of the Zhong Xin Dao approach and philosophy. Afterwards some participants used the free time to train or just spend time together.

It was a great atmosphere with a great energy of happiness!

Martina Ruemer from Salzburg finally graded for level 3 after a long time of preparation during the lockdown. Congrats again, Martina!

All in all everyone had a great time and we are looking forward for another Summer Retreat at this wonderful place.

 

USA

North Carolina

Congratulations to the following students on their successful grading!
Gregory Farrington from level 1 to level 2
Shockley Su to level 2
John Griffin to level 2

Philadelphia

Prof. Kung Yang Lin with Prof. Grandmaster Sam Chin
Prof. Kun-Yang Lin, Dance Professor at Temple University with Prof. Grandmaster Sam Chin of Martial Arts of Awareness.

Reflections on Balancing and Beginning Again:
Participants New to the Art Offer Insights into the Philadelphia Workshop Experience

It has been a long year of lockdown and people from along the Eastern coast of the US – from upstate New York, New Jersey, across Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina and Florida–were excited about coming back to the first in-person, post-Covid workshop, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) on 24 July 2021. Out of concern for our community members’ health and well-being, the workshop required participants to be fully vaccinated.  

In addition to 25 regular members, the workshop welcomed 8 first-timers to the art! Of these, four have already signed up as new members in our Philadelphia-based Martial Art of Awareness ZXD/ILC group!  

Attendees also included students who have come through the Academic Approach. While Ezekiel Mathur is well known, for he is now Instructor Level 1, student level 4, he first was introduced to the art through his graduate studies at University of Pennsylvania through Nancy and Lan’s first ZXD/ILC-related seminar there. Two Cabrini University students were excited to meet GM Sam for the first time at this workshop: recent alum Jason Roman (pictured with Ezekiel) and current rising senior, Bushra Islam. Bushra has the distinction of having been in the first cohort of the BALANCE Learning Community (LC) at Cabrini, designed by Nancy and Lan, and now in starting its 4th year. She has served as a Student Fellow of the Balance LC for the past 2 years, helping 20 first-year students each year adjust to their transition into higher education. She helped guide them through Nancy and Lan’s course “Conflict and Cooperation,” which fulfills the university’s “Values” core curriculum requirement.

GM Sam Chin has spent the past year offering online Zoom instruction and emphasizing the right viewpoint needed to clarify and refine one’s understanding of the art and train one’s skills appropriately. Long-term members of the art know how distinctive this approach to learning is and they really appreciate Prof. GM Sam Chin’s method of Question and Answer sessions.  It is equally inspiring to hear new participants reflect on their first-time experiences of meeting Sam Chin, Hsin Chin, and other instructors assisting at the workshop.  Here is one example from a ‘newbie’, who recently heard of the Martial Art of Awareness within the past month and attended Saturday’s workshop. Viel Ty had this to share about the Philly workshop:

“It was a privilege to attend my first workshop studying the “Martial Art of Awareness”, Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan. As a new student of ZXD-ILC with experience studying other styles of martial arts, it was my intention to come to the workshop ready to learn and with an open mind.  I came out of the workshop with a greater appreciation for the curriculum and many takeaways that transcend beyond martial functionality.  My biggest insight is the idea of using the correct (and present!) references to bring attention to yourself, what you feel, and what you are doing. He also stressed that you have so much more in your control in all areas of your life only if you are truly aware of yourself.  What I found even more incredible was how clear and unwavering that message is – not only from Grandmaster Sam Chin but also from all of the mentors who shared their time with me at the workshop.

Thank you to Grandmaster Sam Chin and his family for sharing their time with us this weekend!  Thank you to my teachers, Lan Tran and Nancy Watterson, for a fantastic introduction and overview of the system in these last weeks leading up to the workshop! I greatly appreciate everyone’s warm welcome and conversations with me and in support of my new journey with the ZXD-ILC family.”

A second attendee, who like Viel has joined Philly’s ZXD/ILC group, also offered his perspective on the day. Dante Crowder had this to say:

“Grandmaster Sam is very down-to-earth and is not looking to hold back any information.  Although he does have that Grandmaster aura, I actually felt very relaxed and comfortable. Secondly, all the Instructors from Level 1 and above were very helpful and very kind. Although I was a beginner, not one person acted like they were too good to work with me. In fact, everyone regardless of their experience had a solid skill set and was more than willing to share the knowledge they had with me. I feel ZXD can — and will —  change your life if one is patient enough to listen, not rush, and follow the system.”

 

Finally, at the workshop, Prof. GM Sam Chin also was able to share his art with another professor, Kun-Yang Lin, (Professor of Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia). The workshop was actually held in Kun-Yang Lin’s studio, called the Chi Movement Arts Center and home to his dance troupe, KYL/D for which he is choreographer and artistic director. (One of his dancers and the Director of their school-based “Chi Movement” curriculum, Sophie Malin, also attended and—as a direct result of her experience at the workshop—has become a member of the Philly group!)

Professor Kun-Yang shared several insights he took away from his experience of the workshop, especially the care GM Sam took with his opening “framing” talk and the one-on-one transmission of direct, experiential “feel” of the art: 

 “I appreciated how Master Chin’s opening talk referred to Eastern philosophy, concepts and practice and how the art’s practice itself relates to life! As a professor of dance, of course my “practice” is a different method, but the emphasis on change and balancing and continuity—and especially FLOW—all resonated with the approach I use with my dancers. I appreciated the message of how “awareness” is different from “knowledge” and also the discussions of yin and yang in terms of 3 components (1,2,3 for unifying and separating).  

When Master Chin spoke of the martial art of awareness as a ‘tool’ for training mindfulness, that resonated with me. “Dance” is my tool, my practice for examining my body, my mind.  I especially appreciate the various approaches Master Chin drew on to deliver that methodology. One key take away is thinking about how he has simplified his curriculum down to its very essence of knowing. And how he explained the importance of slowing down the training to bring your attention “there”: you have to be able to place your concentration and focus on the very process of paying attention.  This is an important message for all of us on our individual journeys: being constantly open to receiving what teachers guide us to recognize for ourselves.  Understanding one’s own body/mind…that’s your own process; another person can work with you, but you have to do your own work—it’s your own practice: owning your own body and owning your own mind.” 

Fitting words to carry with us as we continue our own practices—alone, together, solo, or in partner training.

 

Chin Family / Headquarters

Disciple Ashe HiggsWe want to express our sincere gratitude to Senior Instructor and disciple Ashe Higgs for his long dedication to and support of our family! Over the past decade he has helped with everything that has allowed our organization to run smoothly, from managing memberships, to building websites, posting videos and crafting newsletters!

Starting at the beginning of August he will be stepping down from his administrative responsibilities, remaining part of our Community Team and focusing on the teaching of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan.

We appreciate his continued support and we look forward to our next chapter together! A big thank you to Ashe Higgs

Presenting UIKT Plaque

At the Philadelphia workshop this weekend, Instructor Joshua Craig presented Grandmaster Chin with a gift from the Unione Italiana Kung Fu Tradizionale. On September 12th, 2020 an agreement was signed between the CFILCA and the UIKT. This officially launches our 3-year Martial Art of Awareness Instructor Training Project in Rome. At the ceremony, the UIKT presented a commemorative plaque, which Joshua had accepted on behalf of Grandmaster Sam Chin. 

Due to Covid, our workshop in Philadelphia was the first opportunity to publicly present the award. As an organization the UIKT promotes the spirit of harmony and collaboration, and we are happy to be working with them. Over the past year, our Instructor Training Project participants have been hard at work under Instructors Joshua Craig and Alberto Benedusi, and in September they will undergo their first grading! Plans are also underway for Grandmaster Sam Chin to visit Rome in 2022!

Sifu Says

image of acandle with I Liq Chuan branding

“Behind the scenes” peek into a teaching moment between GM Sam Chin and Instructor Ashe Higgs before one of our weekly live streams.

“If the flame is shaky, if the wind is making it keep on flickering, then you cannot see things clearly. If there is no wind or anything to come to disturb the candle light, then the candle light is so steady—then you can see things clearly.

This is about the center—that means if the center is shaky, there is no precise direction. Also, if the candlelight is too dim, you also cannot see the bigger view. You only see a little thing. If the candle light is bright, then you can see a bigger view more clearly…”

Watch the video, or read the full transcript here.

Members Only

GM Sam Chin & Rich Kelly video thumbnail

New video in our members only area: Movement From Rotation

From one point, stretching a line and holding the “flatness”.

Trivia

july 2021 ILC crossword puzzle

Across

3. Internal and ______ Circle
5. Nine Solid and One ______
6. ______ of Body Movement
9. ______ Hand (from the Butterfly Form)
10. ______ Roll

Down

1. 180-degree ______ Step
2. Three ______ Factors
4. ______ of the Ribs
7. ______ Knee and Push (from the 21 Form)
8. ______ Dao, Qi Dao, Li Dao

Click here for PDF download.

Mind Bender

By Inst. Jeffrey Wong

Disclaimer: Please don’t bash the reasoning behind the game, it’s just that, a game. This is just for fun, no such secret books exist! 😉

Grandmaster Sam Chin entrusted his five favorite disciples a secret book each, and each book contains the secrets to one of the five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. If combined together, the five books contain the ultimate secrets to our Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan spinning hands.

No one else besides GM Chin knows exactly which student has which secret book of the elements. A mischievous, and very jealous student, Jeff, who did not get a secret book, was able to snoop around and found out the following clues, but still needs your help to figure out exactly who has which book, then steal, um, borrow, all 5 books for a quick read.

Do you think you have the smarts to help Jeff?

To encourage his favorite five disciples to work together, each book is locked in an impenetrable box, and each student received one key that can only open another student’s box. Luckily, the five disciples are attending the same ZXDILC retreat, and staying in 5 separate cabins lined up in a row in the retreat village, so Jeff will have the best opportunity to get all 5 keys and 5 books on the same night.

But he must get it done that very evening while the disciples leave the cabins for dinner, or the five disciples will part ways the next morning to separate locations around the world, making a union of the 5 elements very difficult.

While the disciples are away in the dining hall, their sashes with ranking stripes hanging in the rooms will help Jeff identify which cabin belongs to whom.

Here are what Jeff knows so far:
The yellow cabin was full of Dragon’s Well tea’s fragrance
The renter in the center cabin has a key with the 🌏 insignia
The level 9 student sleeps in the first cabin
The person who is brewing Tie Guan Yin tea lives next to the person safekeeping Wood element
The Fire element inheritor is staying next to person who drinks Dragon’s Well
The disciple who drinks Wu Long tea has the 🗡key
The level 8 student loves the taste of the dark Pu Er tea
The level 9 disciple lives next to the cabin with blue walls
The pupil who drinks Tie Guan Yin has a next-door neighbor who holds the 🌊 key
The level 7 disciple lives in the cabin with red walls
The Master level disciple was tasked with protecting the Earth element book
The level 11 pupil has the key marked with a 🌲 key
The green cabin is directly to the left of the white cabin
The occupant of the green cabin has a key with a 🔥 symbol
The person who loves Jasmine tea has the Metal element book

With these clues, are you able to help Jeff unlock the secrets of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan’s ultimate spinning hands techniques?

Hint, it may be helpful to draw out a table like the following to help keep track of all the information:

  CABIN 1 CABIN 2 CABIN 3 CABIN 4 CABIN 5
TEA          
SYMBOL          
WALL COLOR          
ELEMENT          
RANK          

Tell us your answers — especially who has the water element? If you are stuck and giving up (you quitter!), you’ll have to wait for the next newsletter which will have the big reveal!

On Demand

on demand video library thumbnail

Training From One Point of Reference, presented by GM Sam Chin & Inst. Rich Kelly has been added to our subscription library. Click here to sign up for your subscription and gain access to this and dozens of hours of instructional content. We add new videos each month.

Criteria of The Basic Exercises Disc 2, Part 7

Concave & Convex Concave and convex we do a half circle – half circles: this is concave; when you pass the neutral point it turns convex. You can work with the wrist first, right this is concave. When you pass the neutral point then turn convex; you can go with the wrist first. Try to […]

June 2021 News

Russian I Liq Chuan team

Around The World

Russia

Russian I Liq Chuan team

On Saturday, May 29, the Russian Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan  School held tuishou competition for the first time as part of the Red Dragon Traditional Kung Fu Tournament.

The competition under the guidance of Grandmaster Alexander Skalozub was prepared and judged by the Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan  instructors: Marina Gubnitskaya, Dmitry Trofimov, Andrey Araslanov, Natalia Kozlova. And assistants to the judge – students of the Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan  school: Dina Orlova, Grigory Borisov, Anna Borisova, Maria Novik and Ulyana Panina.

2021 Red Dragon Tournament Results 

Marina Obukhova (coach Mikhail Obukhov (instructor Marina Gubnitskaya)

  • Tuishou (children 6-8 years old) – 2nd place

Timofey Korznikov (instructor Vyacheslav Dizer)

  • Tuishou (children 11-12 years old) – 1st place
  • Shuajiao (children 11-12 years old) -1 place

Svyatoslav Malakhov (instructor Daria Sergeeva)

  • Tuishou (children 13-14 years old) -1 place

Ekaterina Balitskaya (instructor Marina Gubnitskaya)

  • Taiji without weapons (21 form), (women) -1 place
  • Kungfu without weapons (women) (Butterfly palms) – 2nd place

Tatiana Malakhova (instructor Alexander Skalozub)

  • Taiji without weapons (21 form) – 3rd place

Daniil Novik (instructor Alexander Skalozub)

  • Tuishou (men 60-76kg) – 1st place
  • Taiji without weapons (instructor, men) (21st form) -2 place

Sergey Kham (instructor Daria Sergeeva)

  • Tuishou (men 60-76kg) -2 place
  • Taiji without weapons (21 form) – 2nd place

Ilya Strashnenko (instructor Marina Gubnitskaya)

  • Tuishou (men 60-76kg) – 3rd place
  • Kungfu without weapons (men) (Butterfly palms) – 2nd place

Sergey Kulikov (instructor Alexander Skalozub)

  • Tuishou (men 77-84 kg) – 1 place

Ruslan Shabardin (instructor Marina Gubnitskaya)

  • Tuishou (men 77-84 kg) – 2nd place
  • Kungfu without weapons (men) (Butterfly palms) – 1st place

Igor Grin (instructorAlexander Skalozub)

  • Tuishou (men 97-110kg) – 2nd place

Mikhail Obukhov (instructor Marina Gubnitskaya)

  • Tuishou (men 97-110kg) – 3rd place

tournament photo

Upcoming Workshops

Instructor Joshua Craig will be holding a series of workshops throughout June and July.
Two Day Workshop – Rome Italy 12 & 13 June 2021
German Summer Camp – Hessisch-Lichtenau, DE 08-11 July 2021
Level One Training – Rome, IT 08-11 July 2021

Sifu Says

sifu says banner - train to know yourself

For the whole year, lately, I’ve been trying to keep on talking about the principles of the way to train — to get the very basic foundation first—how to use ourselves to know ourselves practically speaking…

[READ MORE…]

We  have a new “Sifu Says” installment this month.

Members Only

Basic exercises banner image

Because as I said, doing movement of circular energy or doing any movement if you can propel with the energy correctly, then you want you only can lead the opponent. A lot of the training [faults] is because students advised not to lose contact.

[READ MORE…]

This months we offer the last installment of Disc 2 of  Criteria of The Basic Exercises: Concave & Convex.

This content is available to our members only. If you are unable to access, please click here to purchase or renew your membership to gain access.

Trivia

june 2021 crossword

ACROSS

2. _______ Energy Flow
5. _______ Down, Grab & Kick
6. _______, elbow, wrist
7. a direction of the Frontal Plane
8. _______ with the Cross
9. _______ and Freeze

DOWN

1. _______ & Hook
3. Process of _______ Yin & Yang
4. _______ and Defense as One
6. Sternum – _______ and Condense

Click here for printable PDF

New Videos

Process of Spinning Hands With Inst. Ashe Higgs
Process of Spinning Hands III, presented by GM Sam Chin & Inst. Ashe Higgs has been added to our subscription library. Click here to sign up for your subscription and gain access to this and dozens of hours of instructional content.  We add new videos each month.

Sifu Says – Training Is To Know Yourself

sifu says banner - train to know yourself

sifu says banner - train to know yourself

For the whole year, lately, I’ve been trying to keep on talking about the principles of the way to train — to get the very basic foundation first—how to use ourselves to know ourselves practically speaking.

I have been emphasizing structure, relaxation, and energy.

These have to come from the skeleton (bones), ligaments, yin yang muscles, tissue and the skin. All these –structure, relaxation, energy—have to relate to these. If you are not working from each of these, you won’t be able to know the structure, relaxation, and energy: they’re all interrelated.

The skeleton is the ‘hardware’; how to use it to have movement is the ‘software.’ That means you have to stick to the principle, not of the ‘how’ to do the movement, but instead of understanding the principle of the hardware function.

GM Sam Chin & student

Start From One Point

The function requires us to understand that all things happen from one still point, from one steady point. That one steady point is the point that is a connecting point, a unifying point, a pivot point.

In tai chi it classics it says that a point that once it moves, it’s still and steady (wuji to taiji to yin/yang). But the split comes from the unifying point.

As you saw, Nancy posted up the Chuang Tzu quote about this Taoist concept on Facebook:



“When there is no more separation between ‘this’ and ‘that’, it is called the still-point of the Tao. At the still point in the center of the circle, one can see the infinite in all things.”
~Chuang-Tzu/Zhuangzi; from the Taoist classics, Inner Chapters


When separation and unification come together, a.k.a. unification–that is the still point. But from one still point, in order to have a function of a still point, you can only do it through rotations and pivot: a pivot point.

Rotation Is Pivoting

Rotation is also pivoting. [GM demonstrates: we pivot center axis, pivot whole arm, pivot at wrist point of contact]. The problem is, if we start with the name, some say ‘rotation isn’t pivot—it’s just ‘rotation’; but it is of course pivoting!

Practically, rotation is a pivot—it pivots in a horizontal way!

So, do not get stuck into labeling. That is why we call rotation is a pivot point. In terms of the characteristics of the pivot point, the most important characteristic is to hold it so it does not move to shift off. It is holding there to do things!

This means we need to connect with what we are holding.

That means there is connection and separation. So, in order to do things correctly you must keep on balancing with what you should be doing: so, we are balancing with the flow: we keep on changing with the flow.

GM Sam Chin in lLondon
GM Sam Chin demonstrates in UK workshop

 

Balancing With The Floor

So, we start training the one point with the skeleton (balancing with the floor). Then the ligaments and tendons are connected to the yin yang muscles. So, now there is a cycle—you can extend joint-to-joint and section-to-section.

On the body rotation (the skeleton and yin yang muscles…) This training is what we need to recognize. That is why we train just to go up and down with the skeleton, ligaments, and tendons, feeling the yin yang muscles.

But within the joint, when we are flipping it back and forth, then we are doing open-close. (yin/yang) The yin yang is condensing/expanding. We were saying yesterday on the Saturday zoom session, we condense and expand on the bone first.

Stretch the joint first—to the ligaments and tendons…then, muscles. If I’m condensing the bone, I am drawing from the fingertips here—the yin. Then, stretch the bone, the ligaments and tendons—then the yang tissue and the skin to the fingernails. [Demonstrates: stretching the yin, the yang]. Then, stretch and rotate. [Demonstrates “grabbing” with the yin, then grabbing with the yang—like throwing a punch]; then it’s ‘pulling/pushing’.

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Grading Criteria for Instructors - 15 Basic Exercises - MP4

Grading Criteria for Instructors – 15 Basic Exercises – MP4

I Liq Chuan® Workshop With Grand Master Sam FS Chin Lineage Holder and Gatekeeper, GMº Sam FS Chin presents the ...

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Reflections On Formlessness

GM Sam Chin & students demonstrate the 21 Form

Stories of Awareness From “The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber”

By Inst. Jeffrey Wong, Edited by Prof. Nancy Watterson

The Heaven Leaning Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber

In a famous Chinese martial arts novel titled The Heaven Leaning Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber,  (倚天屠龍記 published by Jin Yong in the early 1960s as the final part of the Condor Trilogy), there was a story about how Zhang San-Feng, the fictionalized creator of Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), transmitted his “grand ultimate fighting” style to his grand-student, Zhang Wuji.

sunrise at WudangThe story goes as follows: Wudang Temple was under siege by a gang in possession of the sharpest sword on earth called the Heaven-Leaning Sword. 

Zhang, Sanfeng was still recovering from a previous injury, but was challenged to a duel by a sword expert from the gang. 

Sanfeng’s grand-student Zhang, Wuji volunteered to take on the sword master in place of his injured grandmaster.  The only “weapon” Wuji had was a wooden ceremonial sword in the temple. 

Before the battle, the gang allowed Wuji one hour to learn the newly created Tai Chi sword methods from his grandmaster in front of everyone, because they did not believe anyone would be capable of learning all the techniques from a sword form in such a short time anyway.

Forget The Technique

Instr. Luther Burrell demonstrates a movement from the 21 formUsing the wooden sword, Zhang Sanfeng demonstrated a 54-movement sword form, while Wuji purposely only observed the principles of the form, but did not try to memorize the movements. 

After the demo, Sanfeng asked Wuji whether he had memorized them.  Wuji answered, “I forgot almost half of it.”  Sanfeng replied, “Good, think about it a bit more.” 

After a while, Sanfeng asked again, “What about now?”  Wuji replied again, “Already forgot more than three quarters of it!”

Sanfeng smiled and said, “Good, I’ll repeat once more.”  

He then demonstrated the form again, but this time, none of the movements were the same as the last time he had shown them.  After Sanfeng finished his second demonstration, he asked Wuji again, “Child, how do you feel now?”  Wuji answered, “I still remember three techniques.” 



We should not be just copying or applying the instructions and basic movements rigidly, but changing with timing and spacing appropriate to that moment.click to tweet


Sanfeng nodded and sat down, while Wuji paced around the great hall of the temple a little longer, then happily told the grandmaster that he had completely forgotten the entire form. 

Sanfeng was overjoyed, “Not bad, not bad! You are ready now!”

Armed with only the ceremonial wooden sword given by his grandmaster, Zhang Wuji proceeded to defeat the gang’s sword master who was wielding the sharpest sword in the world, doing so by sticking constantly to the ridge and avoiding the sharp edges of the real sword, and when the sword master was finally exhausted and frustrated, he admitted defeat and the gang retreated from the temple.

Remember The Principle

So what can we learn from this fictional, but fun story?

Formlessness

Not only literally about forgetting the sword form itself, but about understanding the nature and principle of things, and not being fixated on either a set of  techniques or any rigid preconceived formation of ideas.

Such an understanding of formlessness is one of our “Three Mental Factors” in the System of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan, along with “present”, and “neutral”. 

In the story, Wuji learned not by memorizing preset movements that he was shown, but by using his power of observation to realize the principles behind the sword form.  Our own study of the ZXDILC art requires the same learning process:  observing ourselves and the way things are. 

We do train forms and basic movements, but those are instructions — pointers to the principles. 

Do Not Imitate Or Accumulate

I liq Chuan students in AustriaWe should not be just copying or applying the instructions and basic movements rigidly, but changing with timing and spacing appropriate to that moment. 

Only the principles themselves should be constant, then countless movements and applications will emerge — much as Zhang Sanfeng demonstrated 108 different impromptu movements to showcase the sword form to his grand-student, intentionally for them to be forgotten within the hour.

Of course, Grandmaster Sam Chin would not want you to forget his teachings of the 15 Basics, 21-Form, Butterfly Form, and Nine-Point Fists, but it is guaranteed that he would be happier to see that a student can retain the unchanging principles of Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan, even when his movement sets are done differently than what was demonstrated.

The principles should remain the constant center within the infinite changes.

Another interesting part of the story is that the strategy for stickiness—adhering to the ridge of the sword to avoid the sharp ends—is quite similar to our control of the Point of Contact in our level 7-8 top and bottom hand training! 

Structure And Energy - DVD

Structure And Energy – DVD

RECOGNIZING 13 POINTS - ADVANCED LEVEL Force travels through the structure. "Structure" is born from coordination of joints and bone ...

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Instructor Level Test Fee

Instructor Level Test Fee

pay for your instructor level grading. Please note you must also add your sash to your shopping cart separately ...

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Criteria of The Basic Exercises Disc 2, Part 6

Disc Two, Part Six: North, South, East, West A Circle Must Have A Center It looks so easy–the propelling of the circles–the propelling of the circles and the directions to see. THE NSEW – I just break it down to NSEW but supposedly it will be the circles–the rotations, the rotations of the hand. It […]

May 2021 News

GM Sam Chin & students demonstrate the 21 Form

In Memory of Richard McGovern

Rich McGovern

We are saddened to announce the passing of Grandmaster Sam FS Chin‘s disciple, Richard McGovern, and to honor his memory.

Rich began his Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan training after meeting GMC in the old class held in the Big Buddha Hall at Chuan Yen Monastery.

He was a mathematics professor and a lifelong athlete. As an impressive display of both brains and brawn, he made an impression on many around the world and served as an inspiration to many younger members of our martial arts family.

There was an online memorial service for Rich held Thursday, May 6th, 4-6:30pPST/7-9:30pEST via Zoom. ZXDILC members who knew Rich were encouraged to attend and share their memories of him. 

You can find Rich’s obituary here:
https://wilhelmportlandmemorial.com/tribute/details/4984/Richard-McGovern/obituary.html#tribute-start

In Person Class Resumes in NY

The time has finally come! GM Sam Chin will resume his Sunday Class on 5/30 at his upstate NY residence. This class is only open to those who are fully vaccinated. We kindly ask for you to submit your vaccination record if you’re interested in joining us! Details will be sent out to those who are accepted to participate after show of vaccination record. Please contact Yen L. Chin if you have trouble submitting your record at yen@iliqchuan.com.

We will continue to take precaution during class and would appreciate it if participants could keep their mask on.

Register and submit your record here:
https://forms.gle/XX6omJ8WSAN4BhNG7

Around the World

The Chin Family I Liq Chuan is now officially registered in China! After 5 rigorous years of evidence gathering to prove first use of the logo, the Chinese government finally granted us the rightful ownership of “I Liq Chuan 意力拳 “. 

Stories of Awareness

GM Sam Chin & students demonstrate the 21 Form

We have a new “Stories of Awareness” by Inst. Jeffery Wong.

In a famous Chinese martial arts novel titled The Heaven Leaning Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber, (倚天屠龍記 published by Jin Yong in the early 1960s as the final part of the Condor Trilogy); what can this wuxia novel teach us as students of Zhong XIn Dao I Liq Chuan?
[READ MORE…]

Members Only Content

GM Chin & Instr Dima Siomov

It looks so easy–the propelling of the circles–the propelling of the circles and the directions. It is to see North South East West (NSEW).  I just break it down to NSEW but supposedly it will be the circles–the rotations, the rotations of the hand. It means the placement of the rotation. In other words, I’ve been saying that because when you draw a circle, a circle must have a center.

[READ MORE…]

This content is available to our members only.  If you are unable to access, please click here to purchase or renew your membership to gain access.

Trivia

May 2021 Crossword

Across

2. One of the three planes of movement
4. Change with the change to _______
5. Present, _______ and Neutral
9. Four Qualities of _______ Unification
10. The base of attention is _______

Down

1. _______ Blossom Step
3. _______ pointing to the big toes
6. Country in which Grandmaster Chin was born
7. _______, Relaxation and Energy
8. The third of the Six Physical Points

New Video

Ashe Higgs & GM Chin Frontal

Mechanism of Movement – Frontal, presented by GM Sam Chin & Inst. Ashe Higgs has been added to our subscription library.