WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BE GOOD IN JIMMY HEOW’S I LIQ CHUAN? IT IS ACHIEVABLE?
Being new to a training system made one uncomfortable. If one is new in a training system with high unstructured flexibility and unpredictability, it sometimes hits the panic button.
Throughout the years, I have a question I posted to Sifu again and again.
“Is your kung fu level achievable?” He said give it some time. “Training kung fu is easy. Training your body – internal and external required you to fully understand your body step by step and you need to keep refining it. I can’t teach you because you are different than me but I can guide you.”
There have been loads of debate on kung fu training, methods and applications. In Wuji I Liq Chuan, I found the training to be least that I expected from day one. There are also lots of queries and debates from aspirants regarding the training system. Many a times, when the cross-application smoke is so thick, it is always worth a peep, at least from my perspective.
On the Art
From the lens of a martial artist, I could say that the art came with a set of techniques and drills for students to be proficient. The only two forms Master Lee Kim Chow taught to his students are the “Butterfly Form” and “Nine Points Hand”. Later Sifu Jimmy added and merged most the techniques into three forms:
- 21 Form
- Butterfly Form
- 9 Points Hand
These movements are structured together as the pillars or syllabus of Jimmy Heow Wuji I Liq Chuan. Everyone starts here as without some familiarity of these movements, one can’t progress to the next level. When I graduated Level 5 instructor, I finished the trip but I didn’t complete the journey. In my opinion, real training starts on my graduation where I am exposed to different movements and applications of a singular technique as Sifu always emphasized making the art alive as part of your natural movement.
If you noticed Sifu’s techniques, it is the same techniques applied in various ways. Study on this. Train hard to master your basics 😊.
In the early days of my I Liq Chuan journey, my training don’t make sense to me. I didn’t realized the importance of what Sifu was trying to guide me along my development. Observing my own training as a student for many years now, I came to realized the below equation:
- If all students trained and move the same manner with little degree of variance, learning is predictable and it is easier for the students.
- If there are a set of fix syllabus to dictate the training movements and methods, the easier for the instructor to teach.
- After some time, students are bound to these movements, the faster and the stronger one will rise among the rest.
In real life, my opponents are not bound by any traditions and movements. Sifu Jimmy’s training method is simple yet complex. It is meant to help aspirants like me confront these scenarios. In my opinion, he employed practicality that could be broken into a few phases: Train – Test – Feedback – Train Again. The essential element in the whole method is the feedback from Sifu on adjustments. It is highly personal as everyone is different. If you think you’ve got it, try applying a technique with a stronger opponent (non-martial artist) that came with non-structured or untrained movements. Research on this.
Frankly, the goal is achievable. However, it varies from student to student. The level of achievement will be different as well. Some of my kung fu mates applied more power and strength on a technique, some less with more skills. Others do the same technique effectively and to my surprise, in a very different manner. If you hang around for a few years and keep training, you would definitely see some development in yourself. It is a journey to refine the body and its expressive elements. It is a liberating process that help one understand himself physically, mentally and emotionally. Fun is guaranteed.
Finally, a famous and important quote by Sifu Jimmy:
“If your opponent is stronger than you in this lifetime, and you relied heavily on strength, that means you won’t be able to overcome him forever. What shall you do?”
Path Notes of a Wuji I Liq Chuan Practitioner – Wai Yip