Longfei-Taijiquan Association of Great Britain
An interview with Professor Li Deyin - Part 1
by Dick Watson
For many years now Dick Watson has been involved in bringing Professor Li to Great Britain from China. Professor Li is the head of the Physical Education Department at the Peoples' University in Beijing.
Both he and his family are steeped in a background of Chinese Wushu and Taijiquan. Whilst be has a preference for the 'Yang Style' Taiji, Professor Li has a direct lineage with Sun Lu Tang, who created the 'Sun Style' Taijiquan. His preferred system for fighting is 'Hsing-I Ch'uan'.
Professor Li is a published author on Taijiquan both in China and Japan. He also has a number of Training videos to his credit. When Wushu and Taijiquan was introduced to the Asian Games in 1990, Professor Li was selected to be Chief Judge. Beginning his training when he was a boy, his involvement with Martial Arts has continued for nearly 50 years.He is now considered to be one of China's foremost teachers and developers of modern Tajiquan.
What was the Martial Arts background of your father and grandfather?
I came from a Martial Arts family, starting with my grandfather through to my father. We have all practised and taught Martial Arts.
My grandfather 'Li Yu Lin' (1888-1965) was born in 1888. He had three teachers. The first was 'Hao En Guang'. He was employed as security escort. On an assignment he was engaged in conflict with bandits and was fatally shot. Hao En Guang's teacher was 'Li Vun Yi', he was also engaged as a security escort. They were both famous in the role. My grandfather, Li Yulin, learned from both of these teachers Martial Arts. the main thrust of this training was 'Shao Lin Quan' and 'Hsing-I Quan'.
When Hao En Guang was killed by bandits, my grandfather made arrangements for the funeral and transported his body to his home for burial.
This came to the attention of 'Sun Lu Tang' (1861-1933). He was touched and impressed by his actions. The met later and my grandfather was accepted by Sun Lu Tang as a student. This was in 1924 when he was 36. With Sun he studied Taijiquan, Hsing-I Ch'uan and Pa Kua.
He also studied with Li Jing Lin at this time who was the Deputy Director of The Central Wushu Association. In 1929 Li Jing Lin was appointed Director of the Shan Dong Wushu Assocition and my grandfather was appointed Chief Instructor. Li Jing Lin had learned his Yang Style from Yang Ban Hou (1837-1922) and he was an expert in the Wu Dang sword. My grandfather learned these disciplines from Li Jing Lin.
Later my grandfather traveled to Shanghai and practised Taijiquan with Yang Cheng Fu (1883-1936). This was not as teacher and student, they met as equals and exchanged ideas about Taiji techniques.
My grandfather passed away in 1965.
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