• Outside Perspective

    “There was no martial arts taught at this temple, and my Chan master would wake me in the early hours of the morning and ask me to come and chant with him. I told him I couldn’t concentrate. He asked me what I could concentrate on, and I told him: my training. He then instructed…

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  • The Perfect Stance

    “The only constant is change.” -Heraclitus Early in my training life, I had this notion that I could perfect my stance and essentially become immovable.  I thought that I needed to train my body alignment so that I could redirect any incoming force through my structure into the ground.  While there was some merit to…

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  • Center of Gravity and Relaxation

    Relaxation and center of gravity are the first two concepts of the Six Physical Points in I-Liq Chuan.  The two concepts are distinct yet closely interrelated.  Without first achieving understanding of the center of gravity (i.e. stacking up the body structure over the center of the feet), the body cannot fully relax.  As it turns out, not…

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  • Yin/Yang in Functional Movement

    Yin/Yang in Functional Movement

    Few real-world functional movements consist solely of simple single joint actions.  Other than doing a bicep curl to grab bags of groceries, how many isolated movements occur in the real-world?  Most functional movements involve motion at several joints and the coordination between different groups of muscles, between flexors and extensors and between contraction and lengthening. …

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  • The Way

    The Way

    “Martial Arts should be a way of life, not a job, hobby, sport, but a part of you and the way you live your life.“— Frank Gutting It is sort of a cliched truism that serious study of the martial arts is a way of life.  Any activity to which you devote significant time and…

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  • Art Of Awareness

    Art Of Awareness

    “The art of the sword consists of never being concerned with victory or defeat, with strength or weakness, of not moving one step forward, nor one step backward, or the enemy not seeing me and my not seeing the enemy. Penetrating to that which is fundamental before the separation of heaven and earth where even…

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  • Training Progression

    Training Progression

    The I-Liq Chuan system has a carefully thought out curriculum to advance the student’s understanding and skill level. Having a systematized plan for transmitting the art is a boon for instructors and helpful for students to see a defined path for skill progression. Admittedly, I was initially a skeptic of a standardized curriculum for teaching…

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  • Kaizen


    kaizen – nounContinuous and incremental improvement. Originally a Japanese term roughly meaning “change for better”, kaizen has been adopted as a principle for improving manufacturing efficiency, business practices, and life in general.  The concept of kaizen is useful for approaching general improvement processe, including one’s training.  Progress rarely occurs in large steps.  Scientific knowledge advances step by step.  Strength…

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  • Stand and Deliver

    Stand and Deliver

    The first I-Liq Chuan basic exercise is stance training.  It is the first thing new students learn and a topic that more advanced students will revisit regularly.  Most of my classes even start off training stance with the rocking exercise.  Everyone from beginner to advanced student begins class with balance and stance training.  Why do…

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  • Phases of Learning

    A common method of explaining the process of learning a skill is the four phases of learning: Unconscious incompetence Conscious incompetence Conscious competence Unconscious competence The model is a good launching point for understanding the progress to learning physical and movement based skills.  When you first learn a movement skill, you may feel awkward or…

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