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Old 08-10-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
Bill Hely
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Australia
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Question IS: Where to start?

I practice Aikido and Kyusho and have recently been thinking about a deeper investigation of internal strength to take my arts further and to a higher level of accomplishment.

When I started looking for an avenue for studying and developing internal strength the whole issue became very confusing. So many different names, invariably Chinese. There even seems to be myriad different types of the more common ones such as Qigong and Tai Chi, aimed at different audiences and focused on developing different outcomes -- health, serenity, etc.

I'm certainly including ki development, but not only ki development as it relates to Aikido. I've done enough reading to carelessly throw around terms such as "silk reeling", dantian, "six harmonies", strengthening the fascia, and so on, but remain clueless as to where to make a start.

I've also read that there are many "experts" teaching internal strength development, who are in fact not actually doing so in the pure form. Reportedly their skills often involve a degree of muscle strength that shouldn't be there.

Q1: which of the many styles/artforms would be the best for a beginner looking for a path to develop internal strength for martial applications. I need really basic stuff, like terminology, realistically attainable goals, the path to those goals, and so on.

Q2. A bit of a stretch I know, but any recommendations for a teacher in the Brisbane, Australia area.

I'm inclined to avoid those organisations that have franchises run by people who get "regular instruction from head office". In other words, I'm looking for a teacher who is him/herself a genuine expert in some discipline of internal strength.

Any informed suggestions very welcome.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:49 AM   #2
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Greetings, Bill.
IME, the methods for building internal strength and learning aiki are a package unto themselves. Individuals and different systems may have their own creative exercises and training to develop the skills, as well as outward (including martial) ways to express them, but there is only one human body, subject to the laws of nature, so at the root there really is only one "Method" for developing IS and aiki.

That said, the art and system of I Liq Chuan, a contemporary MA that comes from several old, traditional Chinese internal arts, is the most comprehensive of I've ever seen for inculcating internal skills. The current head of this family system, Sam F.S. Chin, has broken down the principles and concepts into a very comprehensive, step-by-step building process. Students who embark on its study start showing stages of internal-skill development in a short time, which is a hallmark of a comprehensive system. ILC is taught very openly and honestly; that is, there are no withheld "secrets." It is the real deal.

Check out the website:
http://iliqchuan.com/content/introduction

Master Chin did a seminar in Brisbane last year, so I checked the I Liq Chuan website to see if there is any contact info there for a host. I found this:

events@spiritofmma.com
Contact phone: (07) 3118 5182

Not sure if it will lead you to a school (it may be a martial arts events planner), but it may lead you to an I Liq Chuan study group.

Here is a link to other ILC contacts in Australia, who also might be able to help:
http://iliqchuan.com/instructors/schools/au

Anyway, that is one route you could try. IMO, it is one of very few uncluttered and straight paths toward genuine internal skill. You can apply this directly to your aikido, and to any martial application.

Good luck in your journey!

Quote:
Bill Hely wrote: View Post
I practice Aikido and Kyusho and have recently been thinking about a deeper investigation of internal strength to take my arts further and to a higher level of accomplishment.

When I started looking for an avenue for studying and developing internal strength the whole issue became very confusing. So many different names, invariably Chinese. There even seems to be myriad different types of the more common ones such as Qigong and Tai Chi, aimed at different audiences and focused on developing different outcomes -- health, serenity, etc.

I'm certainly including ki development, but not only ki development as it relates to Aikido. I've done enough reading to carelessly throw around terms such as "silk reeling", dantian, "six harmonies", strengthening the fascia, and so on, but remain clueless as to where to make a start.

I've also read that there are many "experts" teaching internal strength development, who are in fact not actually doing so in the pure form. Reportedly their skills often involve a degree of muscle strength that shouldn't be there.

Q1: which of the many styles/artforms would be the best for a beginner looking for a path to develop internal strength for martial applications. I need really basic stuff, like terminology, realistically attainable goals, the path to those goals, and so on.

Q2. A bit of a stretch I know, but any recommendations for a teacher in the Brisbane, Australia area.

I'm inclined to avoid those organisations that have franchises run by people who get "regular instruction from head office". In other words, I'm looking for a teacher who is him/herself a genuine expert in some discipline of internal strength.

Any informed suggestions very welcome.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:23 PM   #3
Bill Hely
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 7
Australia
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Thanks for the leads Cady.

Unfortunately there are only two schools listed for I Liq Chuan in Australia, and both of them are on the other side of the country to me.

I have sent an email enquiry to the address you provided and am currently awaiting a reply, so here's hoping.

I see you've been engaged in MA for several decades, so I'd like your opinion on the efficacy of trying to learn this type of discipline through DVDs, if personalised instruction is not available. There are quite a number of titles available on that website (over $700 worth!). I'm guessing the two-DVD set "Introduction to 15 Basic Exercises" would be the best starting point.

Have you personally had instruction in I Liq Chuan?
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:01 AM   #4
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Hi Bill,
As others here will likely attest, the "purest" way to learn a body methodology like this really requires hands-on contact with someone who will help you to experience and feel both the sensations and the physical effects of the process, and correct any errors or deficiencies in the student as he/she trains.

However, Sam F.S. Chin has parsed out that process to such a fine degree that a person can start to develop fundamental skills by using a DVD, particularly the very elementary first steps -- building structure being the first step. In fact, he did that specifically so people in far-flung places could start to train the skills in the absence of any in-person instruction.
In addition, the ILC website (the link to which I included previously) has a forum where you can ask questions and get responses from other ILC people ... and there are really experienced people with great skills. There are also many clips on YouTube of different aspects of training.

In my opinion, even just adding proper structure and balancing of In/Yo (Yin/Yang) to one's kit, can hugely improve stability and effectiveness in one's aikido or other art. So, if you invest in any DVDs, start with the fundamentals. Eventually, you'll need a partner, but if you can connect with someone in he Brisbane area through that e-mail or phone number, I believe you may find there is a study group.

I started training in ILC early last year with a study group in my area, and have had the opportunity to train with Sam Chin and some of his senior students many times in classes at his home, since then. I can aver that it is a very rational, organized and effective way of training and refining internal skills and their martial (and also non-martial) applications.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
Bill Hely
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Australia
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Hi Cady.

I have had a reply from Joey Nishad, Instructor Level 5 in Wuji I LIQ Chuan, which seems to be a variation of the I Liq Chuan system of Master Sam Chin. According to Joey the main difference is in the teaching systems. He described it thus:

"...master Sam Chin's system has a wonderful syllabus and has a very systematic training progression while Sifu Jimmy's system is taught the old school way mostly, a lot of contact time between the teacher and the student."

Pretty much as you said, so I'm more attracted to the systematic approach of the Master Sam style.

Joey is a qualified instructor under the Wuji I Liq Chuan system, and is also a student under master Sam Chin in the I Liq Chuan system, but not yet a certified instructor under the latter. At my level (non-level!) I'm not too concerned about whether an experienced instructor is yet "certified", so long as he has the genuine knowledge to get me started the right way.

Unfortunately Joey Nishad is currently in Thailand and won't return to Brisbane until the end of January next year. However he is going to give me the contact details for some experienced people who hopefully will be prepared to share their experience.

In the meantime I will order the 2-DVD set "Introduction to 15 Basic Exercises".
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:46 PM   #6
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 871
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Hi Bill,
I'm glad you were able to connect with Mr. Nishad. I am familiar with his name though I have not met him. Hopefully, those contacts he gave you will work out and you'll have some help getting started with your internal training.

Sam Chin and Jimmy Heow are cousins. Both were trained in I Liq Chuan by Sam Chin's father, Lik Keong Chin, who lives in Malaysia.

Sifu Sam developed the system and curriculum to make it easier to teach I Liq Chuan to Westerners, who are accustomed to learning and being taught in a different way than the way students learn and are taught in traditional Asian culture. Sifu Heow still teaches in the traditional Asian way in which he came up.

Some basic ILC history: http://iliqchuan.com/content/history

If you Google I Liq Chuan, Sam Chin and Jimmy Heow, a lot of YouTube videos of both men will come up.

IMO, your instincts are correct about which way will be the most direct way for you to train and develop internal skills. Good luck, and have fun!

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 08-12-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
jamie yugawa
 
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Another route you can go with is Dan Hardens methodology. If you want to incorporate IP into Aikido, Dan is a great teacher. Steve Seymour Sensei in Sydney is training with Dan in over here in Hawaii for seminars. He is a great guy and and avid IP enthusiast. Sydney is still quite a drive but he may know some people near you or be having regular classes so you can train periodically. http://www.aikidosydney.com/instructor.html

One little candle can light 10,000 candles- Koichi Tohei Sensei
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:20 PM   #8
jamie yugawa
 
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Re: IS: Where to start?

I am in the same boat as you trying to learn ILC on my own. It is quite difficult since you need to have the touch of an instructor to transmit some of the knowledge. I have been lucky to get instructor Lipyeow Lim to come over here to teach for a seminar. I think making contact with some of the other instructors such as Ashe Higgs (Very cool guy!) on the ILC website can help. Also I think instructor Kelly Graham has a website where you can learn ILC via the internet through podcast and video.

One little candle can light 10,000 candles- Koichi Tohei Sensei
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:10 PM   #9
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Quote:
Jamie Yugawa wrote: View Post
I am in the same boat as you trying to learn ILC on my own. It is quite difficult since you need to have the touch of an instructor to transmit some of the knowledge. I have been lucky to get instructor Lipyeow Lim to come over here to teach for a seminar. I think making contact with some of the other instructors such as Ashe Higgs (Very cool guy!) on the ILC website can help. Also I think instructor Kelly Graham has a website where you can learn ILC via the internet through podcast and video.
"Sifu on Demand": http://sifuondemand.com/syllabus
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:37 PM   #10
Bill Hely
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Thanks for the tip Jamie -- I'll see if I can get some referrals.

Quote:
Jamie Yugawa wrote: View Post
Sydney is still quite a drive...
From my door to his would be about 12 hours actually
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:47 AM   #11
danielajames
 
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Hi Bill,
I went down to practice with Seymour Sensei recently and got me onto strating the workshop style Sundays at my humble abode to work through the content. The value of hands on transmission is critical (so i need to get back, also important i think is something more or less compatible with your own background. Whilst it seems there are many paths to IP, having some kind of validation and not having to learn new terminology and baggage of a system I think can help just focus on what is important.
My own take away points is that it illuminated the somewhat practices of our Ki Society roots as well as the practices of Aikido Yuishinkai in this area (specifically through Okajima Sensei who has a DR background) and thus was more accessable that some of the chinese systems (at least to me)
.
From this view point its a beginning and a viewpoint to dissassemble the various practices from over the years, a mark in the sand - and begs more contact - which i need to find space in my life for somehow
Interestingly from a get together workshop there is a coming out of the wood work are a number of IP practitioners in brisbane connected, sometimes loosely to the dojo, and at last having a framework its a way to make some progress and find common ground.

My thanks to Seymour Sensei for taking in a complete unknown who happened to spot him in a Hawaii seminar photo.....

best,
dan

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:29 PM   #12
Bill Hely
Location: Brisbane
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Australia
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Re: IS: Where to start?

Hi Dan. I was wondering when you'd pop up!

Of course I intend to continue with your Sunday morning get-togethers, but the research I've been doing into IP/IS has whet my appetite to get into it more deeply. Also, as a very recent arrival to your Sunday workshops, I am a fair bit behind in the basics.

Everything you say about the benefits of going with Seymour sensei makes perfect sense, and if he was anywhere within reasonable reach that would be the first course of action I would look at.

I must say the more I investigated I Liq Chuan the more I liked the look of it, especially from the perspective of his very structured syllabus and teaching style, which I think was one of Cady's main selling points for ILC.

I've since had information directly from Yen L. Chin at iliqchuan.com that Master Sam Chin will be visiting Australia "next summer" - by which I guess he means about this time next year.

I'm also going to try to get in contact with Ken Twaddell, who is a publicity-shy but apparently highly regarded exponent in the Chinese art forms. He is a mentor to my Kyusho instructor, so I should be able to get hold of him. I think his class schedules clash with my Aikido commitments, but he should be good for some advice and recommendations.

See you Sunday morning.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:56 AM   #13
DodgingRain
 
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Re: IS: Where to start?

http://www.chenpracticalmethod.com.au/
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