I-Liq Chuan training encompasses three stages, developed concurrently: 1) developing an understanding the system’s foundational philosophy, concepts, and principles, 2) unifying the mental and physical, and 3) unifying with a partner/opponent.

1. Philosophy, Concepts & Principles

Through understanding the philosophy, concepts, and principles, we learn to break away from the unconscious. We learn to activate the subconscious mind to be conscious at all times. If you can be conscious at all times, then you will not be attached and you will be able to recognize and breakaway from habits and emotions that effect you. Read more HERE.

2. Unifying the Mental & Physical

Initially, training focuses on the unification of the self via observation of the body composition (13 points). Physical solo training includes the 15 Basic Exercises, which teach you how to recognize the limits of your structure, proper alignment and when to propel force. The basic exercises are essential core conditioning and mind/body training that brings awareness in small segments, eventually leading to a unified body movement.

I Liq Chuan has two solo (tai chi) forms–the 21 Form and the Butterfly Palm Form. All of the elements of the 15 Basic Exercises are found in the forms. The 21 Form is trained slowly in order to learn how to keep a connected and unified mind and body with continuous flowing movement. The Butterfly Palm Form is a faster moving form performed using Fa jin or explosive power movements.

21 Form

Butterfly Form

3. Unifying with the Opponent

Partner training is required in order to truly gain understanding in any Martial Art. In I Liq Chuan we train in a specialized spinning hands method as well as sticky hands. Spin hands is very similar to tai chi push hands, but trained in a methodical manner to accelerate proficiency. At higher levels of training, Chin Na (Joint Locks and Seizing) and San Da/Sanshou (free style sparring) are introduced. As the ILC practitioner gains more proficiency in maintaining body unity, progressively more partner exercises are incorporated into training to develop an ability to harmonize with an opponent.

Spinning Hands


Mindfulness is prevalent in all phases of the training used as a tool to develop body awareness and to unify the body and mind such that relaxed, natural body mechanics can be readily applied.

Higher levels of skill and understanding depend on the practitioner being able to perceive the conditions of the moment in order to flow and harmonize. In addition to establishing unified body movement, ILC training also incorporates meditative practice to train mental focus.

I Liq Chuan’s central philosophy is to recognize “the Way” as it is – the natural laws that govern both our mental and physical self. Such recognition is predicated upon a mental state that is best described by the 3 mental factors:

  • Present
  • Formless
  • Neutral

In the field of meditation, such a mental state is a kind of deep mindfulness which the I Liq Chuan practitioner utilizes to recognize the 6 physical points:

  • Relaxation
  • Center of Gravity
  • Alignment
  • Center of Mass
  • Internal & External Circle
  • Spinning Force of Coordination

In summary, training relies on the basic exercises, two forms, and two main partner exercises (spinning hands and sticky hands). Beginners jump right into both solo and partner exercises, because the exercises are the context through which the mind observes the 6 physical points and the 3 mental factors. Ultimately, the recognition of “the Way” enables one to unify the mental and the physical, and to unify oneself with the opponent & environment.