Elements of Kung Fu

I Liq Chuan®, known as “The Martial Art of Awareness”, is a style of Chinese Kung Fu that cultivates consciousness based on the Tai Chi and Chan (Zen) principles of non-assertion, non-resistance, harmony of yin and yang, oneness and the present moment.

Zhong Xin Dao® (literally translated as Center-Heart-Path) is our unique approach to training and mastery. This innovative process, developed and refined over the last 20 years by Grandmaster Sam Chin, allows all practitioners to receive the “Xin Fa” (literally “Heart Transmission”) to gain the skills that were once reserved for family members and “indoor” disciples of the master.


Register for the 2023 Annual Intensive Retreat!

Have you registered for the 2023 Intensive Retreat happening this weekend?  Come train together with other ZXD / ILC practitioners and instructors under the guidance of GM Sam Chin himself as well as his son Master Hsin Chin!  Register now!

Date(s) – 17/Feb/23 – 20/Feb/23
All Day

Hotel Indigo Flushing

We will be conducting the Intensive Retreat for members this year right in the heart of Flushing, Queens NY at Hotel Indigo!

Conveniently located close to public transportations, restaurants, shopping centers and airports! 45 mins to Manhattan via subway, approximately 10 mins drive from LGA and 20 mins from JFK. Don’t miss this opportunity to train intensively under the guidance of GM Sam Chin and Master Hsin Chin, as well as other senior instructors! Great chance to connect with your fellow martial art brothers and sisters. Space is limited at this new location, register now to reserve your space! We look forward to having you join us! 


We are hosting the event at the Hotel Indigo

36-03 Prince Street, Flushing, NY 11354 United States
1 877 8 INDIGO (1 877-846-3446)
>>> BOOK HOTEL <<<
(Select date and room type, our group rate will auto generate)

Negotiated Group Rates per night / room, plus tax: 
King or Two Doubles at $179.00 + tax per room per night (breakfast not included). Overnight parking available for $30 a day, in and out permitted. 

Other options for parking is to park by nearby residential area and taking a short bus ride or Uber out to the hotel. 

If you do not need a roommate, feel free to contact the hotel directly to book your room.

  • Group name: Martial Art of Awareness
  • Group code : MAA
  • You may book directly at the hotel website using this LINK. Select your dates and room type and our group rate will auto generate. 
  • If you’re not a IHG rewards member and wont be collecting the points, we would appreciate it if you could use 276334292
  • Hotel group rate cuts off by January 20th, 2023

If you wish to be matched with a roommate, do not book your own room yet. We will be submitting a list to the hotel with names. Please indicate it in the RSVP FORM and we will try our best to match you with a roommate.    ​

Private group lessons after the retreat is conducted at the following address. Feel free to book nearby hotel or airbnb.  

25-55 126th St
Flushing, NY 11354

Q65 and Q25 will bring you nearby. 

Workshop rates in USD: 

  • $355 Full Workshop
  • $255 Two Days
  • $155 Single Day 
  • Discounts: If you are registered to participate at the Intensive for the full duration, your spouse will receive 50% discount if he/she also registered to participate for the full intensive.  

If you’re paying with currencies other than USD, we prefer using Revolut.  Referral link below – free to  download and setup. 


**Please write in Memo “NY Intensive 2023

Please be in full uniform for the entire duration of the Intensive.  We will have them available for sale at the event if you need. Please wear white uniform for group photos and gradings.


  • Friday to Sunday 10:00 to 6:00PM
    Lunch break from 1-3PM
  • Monday 9:30 to 1:00PM

Gradings will be conducted on Sunday night. Additional private training open after the intensive at GM Sam Chin’s Queens residence (5-8 mins drive from hotel).


  • LGA LaGuardia is the closest airport to Flushing. The hotel provides complimentary transfer to and from LGA.
  • JFK international airport  


Zhong Xin Dao / I Liq Chuan current members. 
Join or renew your membership to join us.

  • If you have not participated in this intensive before, please contact Yen yen@iliqchuan.com prior to registering.  We will need to evaluate with your instructor to see if this is suitable for your training

Instructions for Registration:

  1. Everyone must complete the RSVP FORM
  2. Submit your deposit (or pay in full) by booking the event at the bottom of this page 
  3. If pay by check:
    a. Indicate in check notes that it’s for the “2023 Feb. Intensive”  
    b. Check payable to “Sam Chin” or “I Liq Chuan
    c. Mail to: 25-55 126th St, Flushing NY 11354
  4. If you would like to stay with the group, book your hotel room with Hotel Indigo Flushing follow this LINK to directly book under our group rate once you select the dates and room type. If you would like for us to arrange a roommate, please indicate it in the RSVP FORM. We will try our best to help you. 
  5. For any questions or concerns, please contact yen@iliqchuan.com

This event is open to MEMBERS ONLY (Please either join or renew your membership at least 2 weeks prior to event to ensure that it is up to date). ALL levels are welcomed.

Feel free to direct any questions you may have to yen@iliqchuan.com.  We hope to see you at the retreat! 

Martial Art of Awareness at Confucius Institute of China in San Marino – Italy!

Thanks to the Confucius Institute of San Marino and University of San Marino, an after school evening course of ZXD / ILC curriculum is now being offered to the first year students at the University!  Presented by instructor Alberto Benedusi, this program started in November and will continue into February of 2023. 

All the lessons are divided in 4 parts
1) Qi gong
2) Biomechanics (13 points.. yin and yang muscles/tissues.. )
3) Philosophy principles applied to life and martial art
4) Martial movements and then the 21 form by meditating the alignment, the 9 solid and 1 empty, the flowing and the movements in the 3 planes.
ZXD / ILC Martial Art of Awareness is an philosophy based art where students are encouraged to reflect within and to observe the self instead of building habits and memorizing certain techniques. 

Meeting with GM Fredia Gibbs – the “Cheetah”

Cabrini University Students Using GM Sam Chin’s ZXD “Beginner Mind, Zen Mind, Observer Mind” Curriculum Meet GM Fredia Gibbs, Hearing Her Story First-hand

Grandmaster Fredia “Cheetah” Gibbs (a Cabrini alumna) met with students in Dr. Nancy Watterson and Lan Tran’s “BALANCE Learning Community” on Wed. Sept. 28, 2022, before the celebrations honoring her life contributions with a bronze statute unveiling at Cabrini University. The Balance LC students are part of the full 3-credit academic class “Conflict & Cooperation” that integrates GM Sam Chin’s Zhong Xin Dao curriculum, specifically the inaugural version of the Beginner Mind, Zen Mind, Observer Mind lesson plan that incorporates the ZXD entry level track) The course also fulfills the University’s Ethics & the Common Good general education core curriculum requirement, so learning first-hand from Ms. Gibbs about her life-story, struggles, successes, and mindset offered a wonderful example of direct experiential learning in action—the cornerstone of Zhong Xin Dao / I Liq Chuan.


Photo credit: Emily Rowan
Balance Learning Community 

Darmstadt Germany Spring Workshop

A successful workshop was hosted at the beginning of May by the ZXD / ILC Regional Office of Germany in Darmstadt Germany with six different events in four days and over 50 participants. Many new people, also from other martial arts, were interested to meet GM Sam Chin and Hsin in person to feel the “neutral touch”. Sifu took the opportunity to give a rough overview over the whole system, showing all different training methods throughout the curriculum, so that the participants could understand the philosophy and the principles behind the training process better.

Exciting opportunities are on the way with new schools signed up to offer the art all over in Germany. If you are interested to find out, if there is already a school nearby, check it out on the German website: http://www.iliqchuan.de&nbsp;

 Darmstadt Germany Workshop

Prior to the workshop, a special visit was organized for GM Sam Chin and Hsin Chin to meet TED Talk guest – Master Shi Heng Yi at the Shaolin Temple Europe. He gifted GM Sam Chin Chinese tea and shared their wish of building a Martial Art Academy. GM Sam Chin have much respect for the Master and everyone at the Shaolin Temple for their great effort in spreading Chinese Kung Fu. Thank you Klaus Bieber for organizing the visit. 

Exchanges between Flamenco and ZXD

ZXD Philadelphia instructors talk with Master Flamenco teacher Ms. Elba Cena

Zhong Xin Dao Philly instructors Lan Tran and Nancy Watterson talk with Master Flamenco teacher Ms. Elba Cena on May 19, 2022 at a Faculty Development Workshop that was sponsored, in part, by a grant from UISFL. The workshop was hosted by Cabrini University’s Center for Global Learning (CGL)’s Director (Nancy Watterson) with the assistance of Dr. Natacha Bolufer-Laurentie (Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies & Coordinator of Foreign Languages, who studies Flamenco with Ms. Cena. The event is part of the Center’s new “Llamada Series,” a Call to Centerfeaturing diverse movement traditions. GM Sam Chinwas the first master practitioner to come to campus this past December 2021 to lead an all-day workshop on the Martial Art of Awarness. The CGLfeature interactive cultural seminars that foreground mental-physical connections similar to the full-credit academic course that Lan Tran and Nancy Watterson teach, “Conflict & Cooperation,” as part of the Balance Learning Community for first year students.

2022 UK Retreat Photos

GM Sam Chin starts his 2022 Europe tour in U.K. with a week long retreat. Along side with his son Master Hsin Chin, they were joined by special guests Ven. Jiru. Master of meditation, Ven. Jiru is the abbot of the Mid-America Buddhist Association in St. Louis, and also a childhood friend of GM Sam Chin. They used to train I Liq Chuan together under the founder Chin Lik Keong in the late 1970s. 

Integrating exercises for the mind and body, participants practiced meditation and daily Qigong as part of the program at this retreat, followed by intense Martial Art training of Zhong Xin Dao / I Liq Chuan.  


Special Guest at UK Retreat – Meditation Expert : Master Jiru

Special guest at the U.K. I Liq Chuan / Zhong Xin Dao week long retreat : Master Jiru and his assistant Ven. Kongyan!

He’s a childhood friend of GM Sam Chin, and they used to train I Liq Chuan together in the living room of the late founder Chin Lik Keong. Years later, GM Sam Chin became a great master in Martial Arts while Ven. Jiru became a great expert of meditation! He’s been a Thai monk and lived alone in the deep forest in his early monk hood exploring and observing his mind and body. He was later appointed the abbott for Chuang Yen Monastery as well as the Temple of Great Enlightenment in the Bronx before building his temple (literately!) in St.Louis.

Together, they are leading the week long UK retreat happening right now! Guiding participants the way to the “mind” over “matter” — Yi Dao 意到, Li Dao 力到, Qi Dao 氣到 meaning: with mindfulness, your strength is present, and followed by your energy!

Wishing you all an insightful adventure, enjoy the retreat!

How do you ‘Go’ about learning?

Linking the past to present and future: Ancient wisdom still applies in modern learning.
Have you experienced these ancient learning progressions in your martial art journey?

Written by: CD Lin and Jeffrey Wong

WeiQi (圍棋), also known as Go, is a traditional strategy board game that was invented over 2500 years ago in China, and believed to be the oldest board game that is still being played at the present day by tens of millions of people.

Before the modern numeric nine “Professional Dan” rankings was used, terminologies from Buddhism and Chinese traditional philosophy were incorporated into ranking title names, and this write-up is meant to explain what they mean, and how we can relate them to our personal development in any field.

The nine ranks (品 Pin) are divided into three tiers (Lower, Middle, Upper), and each tier has another three levels (Lower, Middle, Upper).  Following is the list of ranks in order of the lowest to highest, where 9th Pin is the lowest rank, to 1st Pin as highest, and including the vernacular interpretation by a Ming Dynasty 16th-Century WeiQi strategy book called 石室仙機 (Shi2 Shi4 Xian1 Ji1) “The Divine Prophecies of the Stone Room”, and also another book named 弈薮 (Yi4 Sou3)

9th Pin: 守拙 Shou3 Zhuo2 (Lower-Lower Tier)
Literal translation: Defending Shortcomings
Vernacular interpretation of the rank criteria from classic books: 不知攻守,隨手而應,以圖自全,乃守拙之徒也

One may not yet know when to attack or defend, and simply react as situations arise.  One who is simply hoping to stay alive can only seek to defend his unrefined acts.

8th: 若愚 Ruo4 Yu2 (Lower-Middle)
Literal: Seemingly Foolish
Vernacular: 暗與弈理者,愚也。今則局勢已敗而不覺,豈不若無知之愚人耶!

One who is not yet well-versed in the principles is foolish.  Being unaware when the game is trending towards a loss, is an ignorant fool.

7th: 鬥力 Dou4 Li4 (Lower-Upper)
Literal: Tussle with Force
Vernacular: 受饒五子,動則必戰,與敵相抗,不用其智而專鬥力。

Usually given a five-stone (game pieces) handicap by the top ranked player.  The player seeks to battle with every move, and compete with the opponent with only brute force instead of using wits.

6th: 小巧 Xiao3 Qiao3 (Middle-Lower)
Literal: Little Cleverness
Vernacular: 受饒四子,不務遠圖,好施小巧。

Given four-stone handicap by top player. The player does not plan far ahead, and relies on some clever tactics.

5th: 用智 Yong4 Zhi4  (Middle-Middle)
Literal: Apply Wits
Vernacular: 受饒三子,未能通幽,戰則用智以致其功。

Given three stones.  Not yet understand all the intricacies, but uses wits in battles to achieve his goals.

4th: 通幽 Tong1 You1  (Middle-Upper)
Literal: Thorough Understanding of Intricacies
Vernacular: 受高者兩先,臨局之際,見形阻能善應變,或戰或否,意在通幽。

Receives two stones from top ranked.  One is adaptable with intricacies of the game; knows whether to fight or flight. Able to see the complexity of the situation and have control of initiative.

3rd: 具體 Ju4 Ti3 (Upper-Lower)
Literal: Well-Rounded Structure
Vernacular: 入神饒一先,臨局之際,造形則悟,具入神之體而微者也。

One handicap from the top ranked.  Able to comprehend and apply upon seeing the shapes and formation in situations.  Posses the overall necessary composition of a top rank player but just slightly below.

2nd: 坐照 Zuo4 Zhao4 (Upper-Middle)
Literal: Sit and Reflect

Half stone handicap from the top ranked. Able to achieve the right result without much effort; able to see the right path without much pondering. Adept at changes from embraced emptiness.

1st: 入神 Ru4 Shen2  (Upper-Upper)
Literal: Within One’s Spirit
Vernacular: 變化不測,而能先知,精義入神,不戰而屈人之棋,無與之敵者。

Can change unpredictably, and has great foresight.  Knows the essence of the game within one’s spirit, and can conquer without fighting.  Thus skill is unrivaled.

So summarizing and relating this progression to our practices: when we are beginners, we tend to rely on what we already know, but maybe very uncoordinated.  So we act by hiding what we are not good at.  Slowly we entered the “dumb-dumb” stage as Grandmaster Sam Chin calls it, we still do not know many things.  The practices will give us some physical improvements which we may come to rely upon, but mainly still brute force.  We go on and learn some techniques, and start to know when to use those tricks to get an advantage.  As those knowledge are obtained, we begin to apply them in witty ways.  With enough knowledge and experience, we start to see more intricacies and consequences of each action.  Soon, we developed into a much well-rounded practitioner and mastered most of the necessary qualities. We can then not depend on past experience, and instead focus on the current moment to change with the changes, just as a mirror can simply reflect on the actions.  From there, we will truly have reached the top level in our system with immeasurable and unrivaled skills.

Would you agree, or do you see some stages differently?