Instructor Franky Chin’s (GM Sam’s brother) will be retiring his restaurant business after 13 years of operation. Zhong Xin Dao / I Liq Chuan club members took the opportunity to gather and celebrate the holidays at the restaurant for one last time.
Workshop was conducted by Instructor Joshua Criag on the 12th in Preetz and on 13th and 14th of November in Hamburg.
Participants experienced the way from resistance to non-resistance in a variety of examples and realized more than once that the physical experience is just one step of the way – the hard part was recognizing the mental resistance and the effort they have to maintain to keep their attention on themselves.
The month of October the Chin family got a little bigger, welcoming the head of our Ukrainian school, Instructor Sergeii Gneushev and his students — Instructor Evgeniya Bliznyuk (Jane) and Instructor Oleksii Surik — to our home in Queens, New York. In a continuing effort to advance the Ukrainian Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan group, they’ve traveled the great distance to be here for a month of private training with GM Sam Chin. Together we went to some of the Chin family’s favorite restaurants, or sometimes we would enjoy staying in and eating meals personally cooked by GM Sam Chin and his wife, Kooi. In exchange, we also got to enjoy some delicious Ukrainian home cooked meals as well!
WHY TRAIN DIRECTLY IN PERSON?
As GM Chin has continually explained the importance of direct transmission, the Ukrainians understood the need for this in order to grow and to validate their understanding. So they have seized the rare opportunity of GM Chin being home for an extended period of time to benefit from intense training and to get graded. Hearing of the event, Instructor Henry Lai also immediately took the opportunity and traveled from North Carolina to train with the group for a week.
A typical day consisted of waking up around 7:30am for their own training and warm up exercises. A Q&A session would take place at the table following breakfast; they would then train from 10am until around 2pm under the tutelage of GM Sam Chin. After a short break they would continue their training with Master Hsin Chin until dinner time.
LEVEL 9 GRADING – THE LEVEL OF MASTERY Student Level 9 is a very skillful level that involves an overall demonstration of applications. Achieving this level means the student is considered to be a master level of our art. The state of “mastery” in our family art is when one recognizes that this is truly only the beginning and that there is a continuous learning process ahead. The seeker-mind within is to always put oneself as a student-mentality. Experiencing this puts you in an understanding of “the more you know, the more you recognize that you don’t know.” At this point in the curriculum, this level gives a good enough representation of the family art. For this reason, Instructor Sergii Gneushev is acknowledged for his achievement and ability to demonstrate the art as a “Master”. In order to maintain the integrity and quality of student level 9, it must be graded by the Chin family to be officially recognized.
Sometimes partner training is difficult or rendered less effective if you do not have a higher level instructor present because in order to perform certain exercises there must be a specific condition. If the condition isn’t present or isn’t being fed, it becomes difficult to execute the action. The reason student level 9 is revered is because the general theme is understanding the relationship between cause and effect and how to create conditions in order for you to be able to execute the movement regardless of whether or not the opponent provides the condition.
We want to congratulate Instructor Sergeii Gneushev for obtaining “Master” level and for successfully grading both student level 9 and instructor level 4. Also congratulations to Instructor Evgeniya Bliznyuk, Instructor Olekseii Surik and Instructor Henry Lai for grading for student level 7.
We thank you for your continued support and dedication in spreading the art!
After a month long of private training with the Chin family, we want to congratulate Instructor Sergeii Gneushev for obtaining “Master” level and for successfully grading student level 9 and instructor level 4; and to Instructor Evgeniya Bliznyuk, Instructor Olekseii Surik and Instructor Henry Lai for grading for student level 7.
LEVEL 9 – THE LEVEL OF MASTERY Student Level 9 is a very skillful level that involves an overall demonstration of applications. Achieving this level means the student is considered to be a master level of our art. The state of “mastery” in our family art is when one recognizes that this is truly only the beginning and that there is a continuous learning process ahead. The seeker-mind within to always put oneself as a student-mentality. Experiencing this puts you in an understanding of “the more you know, the more you recognize that you don’t know”. At this point in the curriculum this level gives a good enough representation of the family art. For this reason, Instructor Sergii Gneushev is acknowledged for his achievement and ability to demonstrate the art as a “Master”. In order to maintain the integrity and quality of student level 9, it must be graded by the Chin family to be officially recognized.
Read HERE to learn more about their journey with the Chin Family!
2022 Annual President Day February Intensive
We are surveying the interest of resuming the 4 days Annual Intensive Retreat held at New York with Grandmaster Sam F.S. Chin. Please complete this short SURVEY to let us know of your likelihood to attend.
4 Day Workshop Series : November 5 – 8th, 2021
For more information:
In October the Martial Art of Awareness School from Vienna organized a weekend retreat at the monastery Kirchberg am Wechsel (Austria). Head Instructor of the event, Lubo Tzolov prepared a great program for participants who joined from Austria and Germany. Training started in the morning and a lot of the students trained till midnight. On Saturday everyone watched and trained together along with the headquarter at the online Zoom Session for members. Hans-Joachim from Germany also graded for level 2.
In October two other students graded, one for Student Level 3 and the other for Student Level 4.
A former student of the Vienna School who moved back to Carinthia (Austria) started a new group and began with training for adults and children.
Head by Instructor Lubo Tzolov, the Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan school of Austria is maintaining constant communication with the Regional Office of Germany for a smooth cooperation in the future ahead!
While crossing a river, a man accidentally dropped a precious sword into the middle of the water. To the boat rower’s dismay, the man said, “No need to stop, the water is too deep and too rapid here.” Then the man proceeded to take out a knife, and carved a mark on the side of the boat where he was sitting. Showing off to the rower about how smart he is, the man explained, “This mark is to note where I dropped the sword. I will find the sword on the other side of the river where the water is shallower and slower, and I will jump down from this part of the boat to retrieve my sword.”
The story is part of an encyclopedia collection that originally appeared in a book called “呂氏春秋” (Lu Shi Chun Qiu, Master Lu’s Spring and Autumn Annals) compiled around 239 BC. The story itself was meant to be used as a warning to the country’s rulers that the government policies should change over time to adapt to the constantly changing needs of the nation.
There are many morals we can infer from this short story, but let us take a look at what we can apply using our Zhong Xin Dao’s philosophies and principles.
Obviously, the man will not be able to find the sword at the other side of the river, because he was using the wrong reference to try to locate his object, and the time has already passed. If the water was moving quickly, the sword could have been sent further downstream, so the placement of the mark on the boat was completely irrelevant anyway. While on the boat and thinking he can get his weapon back across the river, the man’s future reference is wrong. When he finally reached the opposite shore, the reference to the immediate need is again wrong, for both the time and space were in the past.
In “Martial Art of Awareness-System Guide, 3rd Edition,” GM Sam Chin includes a chapter titled “Why Zhong Xin Dao” (page 54) which describes the how, why, and what we are training, and that is to see the present moment, and how to “change with the changes”. One should not apply a preset method if the condition does not fit, and the reference is incorrect.
SEEING DOWN TO THE VERY BASE OF ORIGIN IN YOUR TRAINING
Selected points about excerpted from GM Sam Chin (and instructor Yen Chin’s) online session: Spinning Hands – Part 10 Sat. Sept. 25, 2021
If you cannot see down to the base of origin, your actions will not be flowing enough. Because everything for the Mechanism of movement is based on Absorb Project, Condense Expand, and Open close and under the three planes with Concave and Convex–this is the is 5 Mechanisms that we have been talking about in movement. But with that movement, with all this movement, they come from ONE point; they all come back down to one point of rotation or one point on the pivot point: the pivot point and the rotations. So, with one point we must be able to see 1, 2, 3. That means on one point you must able clearly see the reference: the center reference and the Yin and Yang–the interchange of Yin Yang. So, the change of Yin Yang you can say is Open Close from the rotation So, when we say “rotation”, it’s what? It’s clockwise or counterclockwise. From clockwise or counterclockwise then you can say that from Yang to Yin or Yin to Yang, with that rotation. With clockwise counterclockwise we also could be saying open close right? So, movement is all about Open Close. Within open close you can produce what?–pull push, absorb project, condense expand, concave convex. All these move through the space of 3 dimensions with the 6 directions. This is the format that the students must obey with. They follow this progressions from one point of rotation to see that separation and unification. So, if you can bring your attention down to that one point to see Open Close from the rotations, and understanding the change here from Yin to Yang or Yang to YIn or Open to Close, Close to Open, Condense to Expand, Expand to Condense, or Absorb to Project, Project to Absorb or Concave to Convex, Convex to Concave.
So, WITHIN this change we have been covering that EVERY time there is changing from one side to another side, and because of the different energy, how at the change in the center there must be a Loop. In training the Basic Exercises, we say when you Project, you must Expand to Absorb. From Absorb to Project then we must Condense to Expand–so there is a loop. From the beginning, we have been training all these basic concepts, the Foundations: of going through vertical line, horizontal line, and also the sagittal line, right? Horizontal, vertical, sagittal–the 3 dimensions of changing. You can see is from forward to backward, up to down, down to up, or left to right, or right to left. That PROCESSS, from one side to another site is always our Loop: that means for Open to Close or Close to Open. That is the WINDING energy –some would say that is a “grinding” energy to release. That you grind to wind or grind to release–sometimes we use the words of a “loop” or a “spike.”All movement is based on this and fajin, which is releasing power, must come from here also! That means to be able to release in this way, you are releasing ALL the unifications, from section to section.You LINK all the sections and with that Open Close with Winding, and release the power. So, in action, the movement is the same, and the only thing that is different is now, when releasing power, there is more of we talk about in our System as Loose, Soft, Elastic–that kind of pressure–of how you are pressurizing and releasing. Apart from here, all movement must obey the macro-cosmic energy flow.
In our System, we talk about Structure, Relaxation and Energy—that all movement must obey the macro-cosmic energy flow. When we talk about macrocosmic energy flow that means all Yin to dantian and all Yang to Ming men to complete the cycle. If you obey that flow, you observe it always goes through from dantien (from the fingertip to dantien for the Yin) and for the Yang from the ming-men it goes to the fingernails and the toenails–that macro cosmic energy flow. So for all that movement, do you clearly see the flow WITHIN this action? If you cannot, you need to adjust this flow as only then is your action appropriate.
See all movements down to this level of awareness. I’ve been trying for all this long period of time to guide students to SEE (feel) the fundamental things. The fundamentals work in 3 Processes: first we say, understand the foundation. Then, with the foundation, there is a movement that you can use to try to understand the applications — how to use it. Then, with these two, the last step is that you need to condition it. Normally, we put it like this:first we train under the foundations, we have applications, and then when you work more on it turns into some kind of “jin”–a kind of being purified or you have been transforming the energy into more kind of Chinese call it ‘jin’ but it’s more like it’s been “cultivated”–the movement has been cultivated and made clear and conscious about it. So you’re able to be conscious about it. And you are able to coordinate and harmonize it, so that you can work with attention–that means YI, CHI, and LI. The Yi and Chi and Li as One.
REFLECTIONS ON WHAT IT MEANS TO TRAIN FA JIN (Fa 發 Jin 勁)
If you know how to fajin, I don’t care, if your fajin isn’t according to these principles.You must work with these principles until your understanding gets down to the base of origin and is very simple. Then, in just one move here, you can fajin already, because it’s just open and close. Right? It’s nothing much. It’s not that it has any special kind of movement. It is only the rotation and open close! You must be able to produce the power in this way. If you cannot do that, Ah, then what’s the point—if when it comes to at point of contact, you cannot do it in one instant? When you want to do it, it is too late already. You must be able to do it on initial touch!
THE CENTER WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO
The center will tell you what to do because when you hold the center, you cannot leave the center. Once you leave the center, if your actions leave the center that means your action is wrong. So the connection is very important — that’s why you must able to hold the connections. The connections is where the balance point is — that tells you are you moving correctly or moving wrongly. If you’re moving correctly, that means you’re holding that center to wind or to move. If you’re moving away from that center that means it’s wrong or you are using too much force on the center, but if something is not happening so you could do something, that means it’s still wrong because you are not balancing the point .That means your conscious attention of the balance point must be must be clear – can you see: is your attention there or not? Later on, it all comes down to feeling connections to the balance point, no other thing. Who is going to tell what is right, what is wrong, what is too much or what’s too little? It’s all based on connection and balance point. Are you holding it or are you leaving the point? We keep on saying that you always hold on to your center todo the yin and do the yang, but at the same time you’re also holding opponent’s center to see which direction to dothe movement —-because the center is the reference point of seeing the difference. If you cannot connect it, then you will not be able to see the reference and you cannot use that as a reference to see the difference. Then you will be guessing how to do it based on your habit or based on your past experience, If I can hold on, then I just need to hold on to see the difference; this is where the power of the moment is.
This is the top secrets–it’s simple but it’s not easy. Because if your attention is not there you cannot do it and it comes down to why it that your attention is not there?Are you trustworthy enough or are you trustworthy and honest enough to yourself and to others? If you’re not honest enough, there’s too many problems within your mind, too many thoughts that come to disturb you, then concentration cannot be there.That’s why we always talk the precepts: we talk about to be to trustworthy first; to be honest enough to yourself first. If you try to play, fool around, try to cheat, you’ll i never ever reach that level. No one blocks you; it’s only a matter of you blocking yourself because tall different views will come up. Where does the view come from? It’s all your thoughts –that view comes out– to block you.That means you cannot have a direct connection and experiential feel, because you can’t even hold there for a split second. If you can’t hold there for a split second, how can you observe the moment? If you cannot observe the moment you cannot see the difference. This is what our Zhong Xin Dao is about. That’s what the skill is about. That’s why I say that I’m not afraid of teaching you — are you are right person or not? Are you a grateful person? ARE YOU honest within yourself or with everyone, you see? If you cannot, sorry.It’s not that someone blocking you; it’s you yourself that blocks yourself. That’s why we talk about training this art is not about just training how to defend yourself. It’s training on how to better yourself to understand yourself and your surroundings. It is also geared towards the cultivations.
Please note: The crossword numbers do not correspond to the official order of the movements.
3. _____ Left & Right
6. Drag & _____ Left & Right
8. Tap Row _____ Up & Down
10. “Movement #9”
11. Left & Right _____
12. _____ & Push
14. _____ Double Strike
15. _____ Hand
16. _____ & Push
17. Double _____
18. _____ & Hook
19. _____ & Strike
1. “Movement #6”
2. _____ Form
4. _____ Hand Right & Left
5. Turn _____ Strike Right & Left
7. _____ & Push
9. _____ Form
10. “Movement #20”
13. _____ Down Grab & Kick
17. Turn Shoulder & _____ Push Left & Right
“The Fastest most Direct Way to the Tao that I Know” in Grand-master Sam F. S. Chin’s observations. [Details here…]
Congratulations to our latest group of graduates in Italy! Launched in September 2020, our Instructor Training Project in Italy was born in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the course of the lockdown, this intrepid group has persevered through restrictions, closures, and cancellations. They have successfully completed their first examinations!
Our Instructor Training Project in Rome continues. You are invited to join them for the first of a series of Level 2 Intensives beginning on November 6-7, 2021 in Rome! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Saturday November 6
Basic Exercise #11: Concave-Convex Sunday November 7
Basic Exercise #12: Hip Roll
Below is the schedule for our 2022 trainings in Rome!
April 30-May 1
On September 11-12, 2021, the Martial Art of Awareness participated at the second IMAD (International Martial Arts Day) celebration in Rome. We were represented by Italian Instructor Alberto Benedusi, who introduced participants to the 21 Form and set the stage for a new Student Level Project in Rome.
Instructor Licencing Certification Program
On September 11th and 12th, our first group of instructor candidates in Germany gathered for a two-day course in Darmstadt! Led by Instructor Joshua Craig, this weekend program was an in-depth look at both the grading criteria and how to lead students through Basic Exercises 1-5 and Basic Exercises 6-10, along with common questions. The weekend was both intense and rewarding. Congratulations to all of the participants for taking the first steps to becoming Licensed Instructor.
Stay tuned as we will soon be announcing new Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan Study Groups and Schools in Germany.
On November 13-14 Instructor Joshua Craig will be leading a workshop at Instructor’s Frederik Wahl’s school in Hamburg, and everyone is welcome!
At the Russian summer camp on August 16-29 at the North Kunsangar retreat center, the first Russian experimental all-around I Liq Chuan competition took place, which included competitions in pushing hands, 21 form and an interesting competition that allows you to show concentration skills. The winners of the competition were given unique, specially created prizes from the school. The event was organized by Grandmaster Alexander Skalozub, and instructors: Dmitry Trofimov, Marina Gubnitskaya, Andrey Araslanov and Natalia Kozlova.
The winners of the all-around were Maxim Novikov (instructors Alexander Skalozub, Daria Sergeeva), Sergey Kham (instructor Daria Sergeeva), Mikhail Lushnikov (instructor Ekaterina Shestakova)
Gradings were also conducted, congratulations to those who passed!
Join us every Saturday for an hour virtual interactive training. We progress along in the ZXD / ILC curriculum following the System Guide. This is a complimentary benefit to all current members. Sessions are conducted in English. If you are a current member and not receiving the log in details, please contact us with your name and member ID at: email@example.com
ONE INSTRUCTOR’S REFLECTIONS ON RECOGNIZING AND REALIZING
THE ZXD APPROACH TO TEACHING & LEARNING
By Lan Tran (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA: student level 4, instructor level 1)
In the 7 years that I have been training in the Martial Art of Awareness, I am only now coming around to understanding the process of change, and what GM Sam Chin means when he describes the Approach to the philosophy, concepts, and principles as seeing what the means “To change with the changes in order not to change.”In 2014, I met GM Sam Chin right when I was about to quit training in the martial arts altogether. I reluctantly went to a workshop he was holding in Boston, mostly at the suggestion of others, and I didn’t have high hopes. In my view at the time, I figured the event was just going to be another internal arts master who was going to waste my time and have me wave my arms around for a day. I showed up at the workshop and sat down on the ground to GM Sam Chin’s opening talk. This talk was almost two hours long but by about 3 sentences in, I was hooked.
As GM Sam Chin talked about his approach, I was thinking to myself, this is fascinating. He was explaining how the system was based in Zen and Taoism, and how one should approach training. Once the talk was done and we took a short break, Sifu came up to me and asked me to show him what I know. On the touch, my world crumbled like a house of cards. It was probably the biggest lesson in humility that was ever dished out to me in my life. In that moment, I realized there was no skill in my skills. I was frozen in space with nowhere to go. As excited as I was to learn this art, I was also discouraged because if it took me 40+ years to have “no skill”, I couldn’t even imagine how long it would take to acquire a modicum of real skill. The cost-sunk bias I confronted was real: could I “give up” the four decades of training and start over again?
Being a long time martial arts instructor, the way I learn best is when I am teaching. I enjoyed taking a concept and conveying it to students in my own words. Teaching, in a way, was my way of validating to myself if I got the information across. Having signed up at that Boston 2014 workshop to be a ZXD life-time member, I thought I could take the “fast track” to Instructor level 1, imagining “once I get to that level, I’ll know what I’m doing. “ Well, I had no idea how deep this rabbit hole went—and clearly hadn’t yet grasped Sifu’s process of learning how to learn, much less learning how to teach this ‘learning how to learn!’
Certain aspects of the training, even in the first three levels, do impart real usable skill, a reality which even stumped me more. How was it that even with the newfound skills, my senior brothers and sisters shut me down with a level of effortlessness I couldn’t fathom, much less figure out? What was I doing or not doing?! My confusion—or lack of mental clarity—got to the point about 2 years ago that I didn’t even know what I was doing anymore. I couldn’t figure out why my “skills” were so intermittent. It couldn’t be my coordination, I reasoned, so I was again lost. That low point, in retrospect, was the beginning of a turning point.
Of course, all this time, GM Sam Chin had been consistent with his message, constant in delivering his viewpoint in that direct, neutral manner that IS the embodiment of his entire Approach,. And he remained unwavering in his willingness to share his art by guiding students to see things for themselves.In all honesty, though, it has only been in the past 2 or 3 weeks, that I can say I have begun to understand Sifu’s approach TO the approach. Over the course of 7 years, it has been a revolving cycle of me letting go of my current mental constructs, letting go of my identity, realizing my ego, and facing myself on a deep psychological level. I came to realize that I couldn’t just “understand” the viewpoint intellectually and still run the viewpoint through my own filter (which I HAD been doing). After all, the resulting effect of me having done that was that I was still seeing Sifu’s viewpoint through my own filters—in essence, I was changing the viewpoint to MY viewpoint. Although I heard Sifu repeatedly tell me “it’s all about attention, it’s all about constantly balancing,” and him patiently asking me, “Where are you placing your attention?”I realized I had to embody the principles. I had to change my approach.I had to change my understanding of the viewpoint—and how I go about in the world, how I see things, how I process information, how I related to other people, how I understand change. All these transformations have had to come through the Zhong Xin Dao viewpoint. Only now could I embrace dropping my viewpoint to really step fully into my role as an instructor of the system — to spread Sifu’s message in the way he needs it conveyed. Otherwise I would be stuck in still just ‘teaching my thing.’
It’s not surprising that I have had to change my approach to teaching in my regular weekly ZXD classes with my students so that I could model the viewpoint by giving instructions through the viewpoint. In this more aligned way, what my students see is TRULY about the viewpoint—guiding them to observe for themselves where (and how) they are placing their attention.
My 30 years of teaching had been getting in my own way—so much so that I couldn’t even see I was going off on a tangent. And my own ego, and my own pride, of my past way of teaching didn’t allow me to ‘let go’ to embrace Sifu’s approach to how to give neutral instructions, or be a ‘finger pointing to the moon’ in a way that effectively guides students to their own learning.I realized once I embody the viewpoint, Sifu’s approach manifests a quality of simplicity. That elegance has brought a smile to my face and renewed enthusiasm for teaching.I’ve taught 3 classes so far maintaining this approach, and can witness the students immediately recognizing for themselves the meaning of “The Neutral Touch”.I am so grateful for Grandmaster’s constant instruction, and for the instructors, too, working so diligently, to uphold the family’s system of cultivation. In this art, the direct experience truly does produce direct results.
Today the Chin family welcomed Sifu Sharif Anael-Bey of Yee’s Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association and Sifu Aaron McKillip of Lee’s Summit Academy of Martial Arts to Queens NY! Both Sifus traveled great distance specifically to meet with GM Chin. After a hearty Cantonese dim-sum breakfast together, GM Chin and his wife Kooi welcomed them back to their home to continue an exchange of philosophies and stories. While sipping tea around the kitchen table and talking about the art of Zhong Xin Dao / I Liq Chuan, Sifu Sharif referenced our system as “The Ghost in the Machine” by Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle to describe the Cartesian dualist account of the mind–body relationship, while Sifu Aaron added that this was the “thing” that he was searching for and wasn’t present in other arts he encountered. Both Sifu’s were enthusiastic about learning more about the system, and how they could use this system as a tool in order to help further optimize their own practices. Sifu Sharif is looking to establish a stronger relationship moving forward with our organization.
Our DVDs are OUT OF STOCK. Please consider buying the same title as an MP4 download. Due to recent changes, international customers should be prepared to pay a duty fee to receive their orders from their customs departments. Dismiss