Li Jian Yu and his disciple Andi Peng

Li Jianyu (known also as Li Jian Yu or Li Jiang Yu) was born in 1924 in Beiping (present Beijing), at the age of 6 he started to learn martial arts with Tang Fengting, a famous master of Xingyi in the South of the city, instead of his young age he was able to maintain constant efforts in his martial studies, walking everyday several kilometers from his home to his teacher¡¯s home and this during ten years, in all weathers.From this period of hard training he started to gain a solid background in martial arts. Until today, at the age of 80 years, when he is practicing, his steps are still light but steady always ready for any combat situation. When Master Li was 7 years old he started to attend the American College of Beiping during two years studied English, this was enough for him to teach later healing and qigong exercise in Europe and USA, to practitioners from 60 to 70 years old and communicate easily with them.During an interview by ¡°Kung Fu Magazine¡±, everyone was impressed by his overall performance: at his 80s his mind is still alert as a leopard in the fog and stable like a rhinoceros. His issuing voice is even more impressive... Everyone who met him for the first time has difficulty to believe his age, moving like tiger, rushing like a dragon, as he looks exceptionally young. At 19, he started to learn Yiquan from Mr. Wang Xiangzhai.

But it was also later on with Yao Zongxun that Great Master Li studied further Yiquan. After the cultural revolution Li studied also Chinese Medical Herbs in Baoding (Hebei Province) and exercising in Guang An Men Hospital for Medical Qigong section in the 1960s. Li Jianyu has brought Yiquan Healing system to a further achievement by adding his deep knowledge and experience of Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) in medical herbals, acupuncture, massage, and Dao Yin. He is also a master of Chinese Calligraphy and Chinese Painting participating regularly in various international symposiums held on Chinese fine arts. In 2000, during a TCM Conference held in Los Angeles, Li won an Qigong honorific award. Mr. Wang Xiangzhai wrote a famous poem: ¡°Real spirit can be perceived from form, deepen your mind from vanishing your thoughts¡±, these words can describe Li Jianyu¡¯efforts in his research on Yiquan: taking simultaneously theory and practice as a whole pedagogic system, from spiritual level down to the body level: where any nerve/muscle, each one should be worked out.

Wang wrote also that his whole life of research can be related to the two words: ¡°Relax¡±and¡°Contract¡± and their correlation which can be formulate as also ¡°open¡± and ¡°close¡±... The spirit relaxing and the mind focusing, then interchanging, this perpetual change is the real truth...¡±According to Wang: ¡°At your ultimate level your spirit should not reveal any form, which should be not assimilated with a confused spirit and/or a confused form, in this case you are in the wrong way, spirit must be present this is the necessary condition.¡± Such is Wang Xiangzhai¡¯s theory, ¡°perpetual changes full of complexity and contradiction, real difficulty is in the spiritual level.¡± ¡°Emptiness is the truth, truth is emptiness, by pursuing emptiness and truth you will find the real balance¡±.¡± ¡°Striking people is easy but controlling them is hard. Therefore the wonder is in the control.¡±Another sentence from Li which describes very well his approach: ¡°Healing and Martial aspects joined not be parted, healing includes combat, where you should protect your spirit in any time, cumulating ¡°Qi¡±from Heaven and Earth, stronger body, using Relax and Contract, from using them mutually you will build up stronger foundations...¡±

More from his video series "Tao of Yichuan"

Master. Peng Zhendi(Andi Peng) is among one of his most outstanding disciples: when Peng was 25 years old, he became Great Master Li¡¯s disciple and studied Yiquan, during these 30 years, their relationship are as those of Li Jianyu with Mr. Wang Xiangzhai.He has published his research on Yiquan in Andi Peng ¡°Wonder of Yiquan¡± presenting particularly ¡°mental light rotation mind movement, between Heaven, Earth and human beings relationship¡±, which if we quote Mr. Wang Xiangzhai: ¡°This practice is one of the most important and the hardest also to achieve in Chinese boxing. Because power is coming form experience and knowledge, once you gathered both you can use them efficiently.¡±

Peng explains what he learns under Master Li¡¯s guidance on¡°spiritual light rotation¡¯s testing force, first starting by practicing of ¡°spiritual light¡± in the body, with the feeling of endless waves coming-and-going endlessly,then blending the external and the internal ¡°Qi¡±, each bone and each hair all should followed spiritual light rotation contradiction and roundness, supportive and open, helping mutually each other...

Great Master Li Jianyu said: ¡°Mr. Wang Xiangzhai pointed out that the spiritual light rotation force has ¡°six directions spinning forces¡±. You should constantly check if mind and force are rounded or not. If mind and force are not responding to the universe, you will not be able to use the endless power of the universe¡±. Which bring us back to Mr. Wang Xiangzhai¡¯s poem concerning highest level of mind before issuing power: ¡°Mind permanently excited, assembling and dispersing, as a whole, one part moves and the whole entity moves, free and boundless...¡±

More from his book "The Wonder of Yiquan"

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