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.
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.
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