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.
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
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.
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 Center, featuring diverse movement traditions. GM Sam Chin, was 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.
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.
Congratulations to everyone who passed their grading!
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!
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.
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 Vernacular:入神饒半先，則不勉而中，不思而得，至虛善應。
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.
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?
Join us at the Intensive Retreat this coming President Day’s weekend at Fishkill New York! Train spinning and sticky hands with partners in a safe environment. We will take all necessary preventative measures against Covid-19 to protect our members. We look forward to seeing you! REGISTER now to help us prepare for your arrival.
Along with the assistance of instructor Jeffrey Wong, Grandmaster Sam Chin resumes his Zoom sessions in the New year for members. Certified instructors and GM Sam Chin personally guides members to progress along the I Liq Chuan system with Zhong Xin Dao principles.
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.
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