“Qi Magazine: What are the principles of I-Liq Ch’uan?
Sifu Sam Chin: I-Liq Ch’uan is based on T’ai Chi and Zen principles. So you can say it has its roots in Taoism and Buddhism.
It is based on non-assertion, non-resistance, and an understanding of yin and yang. The training is being mindful, which means neutral, formless and in the present, to become fully aware. Action and reaction are based on mindfulness. If not, then they are based on mental habitual reflex, which is the mental expressions accumulated from past experience. In this case you are not in the moment and not with the condition as it is. When you are in the moment you can flow. Flowing is to be with the conditions, not backing off, or resisting, just sensing and merging.
From flowing you can observe the condition as it is, and then merge, to be as one, harmonizing with the environment and the opponent. When you harmonize then you can take control. Mindfulness is the cause, and awareness is the effect of being mindful. We need to understand the learning process, which is merely to recognize and realize; it is not to accumulate or imitate as that is just building another habit.
From Zen we need to empty ourselves so that the nature of all things can reveal itself to us.”
Qi Magazine Issue 41, 1999
“There are many styles of Chinese martial arts. After the Sui (589-618 AD) and the Tang (618-907) dynasties, they were divided into two schools: shaolin and wutang. Within these schools, there are further divisions. We speak of shaolin as external style and wutang as internal style. Others say shaolin is hard style (wai kung), and wutang is soft style (nei kung). In any case, because they are arts of combat, Chinese martial arts must contain both soft and hard techniques so that they can encompass both defense and offence. The only difference between shaolin and wutang os the method of training students…(in) my own experience, younger or stronger people are better suited to practice shaolin … wutang takes longer. … practice … using large circular movements; but combat conditions require small, curved movement. The more you practice … the smaller your curve of movement should become”
Chen Pang Ling’s Original Tai Chi Chuan Textbook
“I have already stated that attack is the trump suite in boxing, and have also pointed out that attack does not necessarily mean rushing or charging at or after your opponent. Attack, indeed, commences earlier than hitting. For the ideal punch, or perhaps it would be better to say the best punch, the most effective one, is a good, stiff counter, to a ducked, brushed aside, or otherwise evaded lead.
It is usually best, whenever possible, to “draw” your opponent into a lead before hitting out on your own account. The advantages gained thereby are four in number. In the first place, you have forced your opponent to commit himself to a decided step and can therefore be moderately certain of what he is about to do. Secondly, you have to a very large extent deprived him of the ability to change his position and guard swiftly enough to deal successfully with any offensive you may yourself adopt. Thirdly, by his mere action of hitting out, you will or should secure an opening of sorts, can or should make him present you with a fair target at which to aim. Fourthly, and most important of all, you will have borrowed some very considerable force from him to add to the power of your own “counter” delivery. For the more speedy and the heavier his advance or lunge towards you in the action of punching, the heavier and more painful will be the “dig” with which you meet him on his way.”
The Straight Left and How to Cultivate It, 1910, by Jim Driscoll