About the Martial Art of Awareness

The Martial Art of Awareness - Hood River seeks to be transparent and authentic in what we can provide fellow training members. Below is the reality of where we are as of Dec 21, 2021:


Hi, I’m DeWayne. I moved to Hood River late 2016 and launched the Martial Art of Awareness to bring the art to the Columbia Gorge area.

Let’s be honest, I am not Grand Master Sam Chin, the current gate-keeper of the system who brought the art to the US, created the curriculum and wrote the system book. I am, however, a certified level-1 Instructor and level-4 student under the Zhong Xin Dao – I Liq Chuan (ZXD-ILC) system. I have studied various martial arts since 1995 and I feel confident in my ability to help you achieve your martial arts goals.

I believe I can offer you a unique training experience in a safe (i.e. ego-free) environment while at the same time sharing and spreading this incredible martial art in the Columbia River Gorge.

When you train with me, you will benefit from the larger ZXD-ILC family. There is a robust training seminar circuit available for you to tap into and with enough of us, we can host advanced instructors locally to help us all improve.



DeWayne Nikkila

Lead Instructor

DeWayne is a level-1 instructor and level-4 student in the ILC system and has been dedicated student since 2012. He has been studying martial arts since 1995. He began his martial arts journey in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate, earning a black belt in 1999. Since those early days, he has dabbled in many styles of martial tai chi, including yang and chen forms, flowing combat through Sifu Gary Romel, chi gong and health forms including the Chinese national form from Master Lan Liu Chun (two time Chinese National Tai Chi Champion), and Hanshi Yichuan. He is thrilled to have found I Liq Chuan.

DeWayne says “This art is for those who really want to develop a deep knowing of internal power in a very practical, real way. I have met several masters with amazing ability, but rarely do any of their students show such promise. In I Liq Chuan, I have met many students with scary good martial arts ability. The push hands training is far more methodical and advanced than anything I've previously come across. The tai chi forms are built upon a foundation of structure, internal awareness, and an understanding of practical application. In short, I found in I Liq Chuan what I was seeking for years. There are lots of great martial arts, but if you are looking for a complete art and to gain skills quickly, you owe it to yourself to check it out. This art is for both beginners (you should be so lucky to find this on your first try) or seasoned martial artists who sense there is more to know.”