What is Li style Taijiquan?

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : What is Li style Taijiquan?
   By Ron on Thursday, May 30, 2002 - 07:34 pm: Edit Post

Anyone hard of it?

   By CoolHandLuke on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 01:19 pm: Edit Post

Apparently there is a portarit artist/painter who teaches a lot of the "Li" style.


   By Dmitriy on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 04:14 pm: Edit Post

Artists and rangers aside, there is a fully legitimate Li style of Taijiquan. Otherwise known as Taiji Wuxin Zhui, it's been created by Li Rundong and passed down to Guo Ruizhou. Current exponent of this style is Ma Jinlong who, I believe, is Guo Ruizhou's disciple. There's a set of VCD's on Li style, which you can probably purchase from Jarek. Li style has several "slow" taiji forms, and a fast form (I think it's called Wu Long Quan or five dragons fist) which is a mix of Xingyi, Bagua and Shaolin. FWIW.


   By Buddy on Friday, May 31, 2002 - 05:15 pm: Edit Post

There is, I believe, another Lee style that is really Yang style with a made up heritage. I think
it is Taoist Tai Chee or something out of Canada.


   By Edward Hines on Saturday, June 01, 2002 - 08:19 am: Edit Post

there is another Lee style in England, created/passed on by a man called Chee Soo, who claimed tohave learnt it from a friendly Mr Lee who he met in a park. Chee Soo was also a practitioner of aikido and judo. The organisation goes by the name of the international taoist society.

To my eyes this Lee style has no resemblance to any of the styles with links back to Chen style, and there is no resemblance in the names of the postures either.

Still there are people in England who are keen to try and find links to orthodox Taiji, I think Hao style as a way to gain some credibility.

   By Graham Barlow on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 04:23 pm: Edit Post

You can find out about the Lee style, and the different organisations that teach it at my website www.leefamily.co.uk


   By Bob timmas on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 04:00 pm: Edit Post

The Lee style in England as taught by the Chee Soo Lineage has No conection with Hao Taiji.

   By Terry Buss (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 07:17 pm: Edit Post

I trained with Chee Soo before he died in '94 I think. It was a course in Leeds in England where he appointed a Desmond Murray as his successor - there's a letter he wrote saying this that none of the other so called 'natural successors' mention. Anyone know if Murray is still teaching?


   By Adam Wilson on Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 03:12 pm: Edit Post

Hi all,

I suggest the Wu Kung Federation tai chi web page (Milton Keynes England) from Peter Warr. That explains all about it

   By Blakeism (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 06:09 pm: Edit Post

Didn't Li Rundong get his butt kicked by the founder of Yi QUan when he was still young and only learned Xingyi with Guo Yushen at the time? (Meaning later he could have beat him even worse).


   By YM (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 05:44 am: Edit Post

Here's copy of a message related to the facts you mention I posted on the emptyflower board, FYI.

Let¡¯s start with the first reference to a fight between the two masters which appeared on ¡°Tiyu Bao¡± (Sport Journal) in China only on 1984.01.14 on an article written by the late Wang Xuanjie of Dacheng Quan. The author states that

[¡­] on 1916 Yuan Shikai [the first President of China] [¡­] requested that a Martial Arts contest be set up and ordered Wang Xianzhai and Li Ruidong to fight [¡­] Li Ruidong being quite old was easily defeated by Wang Xianzhai. The two opponents decided to meet again in a month time [¡­] but Li Ruidong left the capital to get back to his home town in Wujin where he was suffocated to death the following month by a failure of his home heater while sleeping [¡­]

The date of death of President Yuan Shikai is available through various sources as 1916.06.06. To make a story short I¡¯ll add then that master Li Ruidong death, which also is referred to in various writings and detailed by his descendants, is 1917 first day of first month of the Chinese calendar i.e. 1917.01.23 in western terms.

According to Wang Xuanjie¡¯s own words the fight took place in Beijing a month before the death of Li Ruidong i.e. in the second half of the month of December 1916, on specific request and in presence of the President Yuan Shikai ¡­ who died in fact about 6 month before the *supposed* challenge actually happened.

Leaving aside for a moment all considerations regarding the actual impracticality to happen for such a fight given the difference of age of the masters and the fame of master Li Ruidong at that time in Hebei it is clear from WXJ¡¯s own words that the story reported was completely made up without even taking into consideration historical records.

And that must have been the case since a number of ¡°revised versions¡± of that story came out in the following months/years from various Yi Quan/Dacheng Quan proponents in an effort to put some historical evidence to the case.

So on 1984.03.03 the first new version was published by that same Journal on an article written by Yang Shaogeng in which some of the relevant facts were modified such as the date of the ¡°encounter¡± which now had become 1913, places and a number of new details of how WXZ defeated Li Ruidong with his ¡°smooth fajing¡± and how LRD ¡°fell to the floor and subsequently left Beijing and never came back to the Capital¡±.

On 1991 a new article was published on the mainland magazine ¡°Wuhun¡± which inflated and revised again the story, new actors were introduced and the fight were pulled back again in history to 1903. Then again on 1992 the same magazine revised the story again, the fight was brought again to 1913 and a whole lot of new details emerged. This last version explained how

[¡­] on 1913 Jin Yunpeng the Land Army Chief of President Yuan Shikai founded the ¡°Martial Arts School¡± of the ¡°Land Army Group¡± and asked Wang Xianzhai to be the Director [¡­] in order to set up the challenge between LRD and WXZ, Jin Yunpeng sent a formal invitation to both parties [¡­] that day Jin Yunpeng and Wang Xianzhai were waiting for Li Ruidong at the door of the department [¡­]

After this new and detailed version was printed it was immediately used on various other publications until this day and included by some YQ proponents on their websites.

We should now concentrate on the new actor Jin Yunpeng, the ¡°Land Army Chief¡± and ¡°founder of the Martial Art School¡± on 1913.

Full biographies and sketches of the life of Jin Yunpeng are found in the ¡°Zhonghua Mingguo Shi Tang¡¯an Ziliao Huibian¡± (Collection of Historical Documents on the history of the Republic of China).
There we can see that when the ¡°Land Army Group¡± was founded in 1912 Jin Yunpeng (1877-1951) was elsewhere in charge of the 5th Group of the Beiyang Troup and that only on 1919 he was made Chief of the Land Army Group. The ¡°Collection¡± gives full list and details of all Chiefs of the Land Army Group and here again Jin Yunpeng¡¯s name is found only after 1918.


   By Martin Ash on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 07:08 pm: Edit Post


Thank you very much for posting this information. It is very rare for any of this to be heard outside of China,in my experience.

Who posted this first, by the way? I have my ideas..


   By YM (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 08:43 pm: Edit Post

Research is limited to copy-and-paste from the web these days, too bad, and of course one copies only those info that reaffirm one's own believes ...;-)

take care


   By kate westwood (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 05:44 am: Edit Post

regarding the 'english' version of Lee style. I showed this to a Wu style practitioner from northern China. He'd never seen this before but said he believed it to be derived from Chen,

   By YM (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 07:26 am: Edit Post

Those interested in Li style can get to the newstand for the last issue of JAMA (Journal of Asian Martial Arts) Volume 14 - Number 2 - 2005.



   By Keith Roost (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 05:28 pm: Edit Post

I studied for many years with Chee Soo progenitor of the "English" Lee style referred to previously. In England opinion is divided,largely into two camps, as to the lineage, and authenticity of the system. some claiming Chee Soo was nothing but a charlatan, others usually students of the later, that his claims were authentic.

Chee Soo was a very succesful author, with a series of books published by Aquarian Press England, that sold worldwide with many reprints. His Associations included the International Taoist Society, Chinese Cultural Arts Association, and International Wu Shu Association. his students were spread all over the world and his teaching was kept consistent through a central coaching School.
Various attempts have been made to establish the lineage of the sytstem, the official version published in his books changed somewhat over the years. The "link" to Hao style is tenuous , based upon the research of Peter Warr (Wu Kung UK) and a suggested link to Li Yi Yu. an alternative, perhaps less atractive background is that it was a :Beggars" art and survives largely in an unstructured form in Malasia. Chee Soo certainly restructured and modernised his system several times over his extensive teaching career, to comply with the governing organisations such as the British Kung Fu Council, of which he was a founder member.

Most of the people passing on the Lee Li style tai chi or Kung fu a offering a very lack lustre version. for a more effective version contact the Wu Kung organisation Lavinia Warr, Chee Soo's Daughter gave an excellent display at the British Open Tai Chi Championships a few years back, whilst there were some differences from mainstream Tai Chi Chuan it was largely regarded as an excellent display of an internal art that is evidently derived from Tai Chi Chuan .

I am happy to correspond with anyone regarding this system or other forms of internal arts


   By Nik kerwin (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 12:37 pm: Edit Post

I studied under Chee Soo. I am confident that his skills were very good, therefore the lineage is of less importance for me. He taught 3 people to a high level in his latter years, on of whom, Tony Swanson, is undoubtably very skilled and recognised as such. He is currently the Chairman of the BCCMA. The WEB site of the Taoist Arts Organisation can be found at www.leefamilystyle.com.
I have personally met Ma Jinlong, president of the Li style, Beijing. He was fascinating to talk to. It is obvious that the Li style taught in the U.K. and Europe is not same and not connected.

   By Witness (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, February 13, 2006 - 11:11 pm: Edit Post

I've seen the Original Lee Style Demonstration form, it's one of the most coolest Taiji forms I've seen, not the square yard form, the full version form

   By Russell (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, February 26, 2006 - 11:24 am: Edit Post

Chee Soo first appeared in the UK on a local news program in the '70s (Look East, in the Norwich area.) A friend of mine went along to a demo in our town. He was a bit disappointed that Chee Soo smoked, even saying it helped his breathing! This was the time when Bruce Lee films first came to the UK and also the David Carradine series 'Kung Fu'. My friened was a great fan of this series.

I later learned the Chee Soo/Lee form from his book. It has some nice moves but I let it drop as I got into more orthodox styles such as the Cheng Man Ching short form. Having to study on my own (in a small town with no teachers to hand) I wanted a form that was documented so I could study various sources and explanations. The Chee Soo form lacked any such other sources.

Chee Soo also wrote abook at this time, on his style of Kung Fu (as we all called it back then.) It also had some nice moves including ankle grabbing techniques, which I belive Chee Soo said were unique to his style.

I have to say, personally, that I am a bit sceptical as to the authenticity of Chee Soo's taiji form. He says in the intro to his book that Lee style is the most popular in the world yet no one seems to have heard of it, nor is it mentioned in any of the now numerous works on taiji.

The problem at that time, in the UK, was that many people had never heard of Chinese martial arts and were taken for a ride by ex-wrestlers, judoka and karateka who started their own classes, for money and ego reasons (sadly the same has happened with taiji.) Chee Soo may not have been in that category; it's just unfortunate that he came to public attention at that time and that there still don't seem to be any other accounts io this form.

   By rjvjr (Unregistered Guest) on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 10:30 am: Edit Post

Li Style can also be a Reference to Wu/Li Style Taiji as the Li Family were the named linieage holders of the Wu Style as they were cousins to the Wu family the more popular Wu/Hao Version is not actually the result of the standerd bearers but, rather the offshoot. The current Lineage Holder of Wu Yu-Xiang Taiji is Qiao Song-Mao and his Lineage is through the Li family including Li Yi-Yu who I believe wrote the Five Character Formula included in Mr. Cartmell's Translation of Sun Lu-Tang's TaijiQuanXue.

   By chuangzu on Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - 07:09 pm: Edit Post

I too trained with Chee Soo for many years and have no doubts as to the authenticity of his style.

Chee Soo actually appeared in the UK much earlier as he was a fight arranger on the Avengers back in 1967. He was teaching Chinese Martial Arts in the UK long before the kung fu boom of the 1970's. In actual fact the Lee style was being taught as early as 1934 according to Chee Soo in a small club in Holborn, London.
For more information you can look here:
which includes links to his five books currently being re-printed and a recently published book with his thoughts on Taoist philosophy from as far back as the 1970's.

   By Tim Ash on Thursday, October 12, 2006 - 06:47 pm: Edit Post

rjvjr's post on April 18th, 2006 is correct.

Li related to the Hao Style (the "other Wu Style"). These evolved from Yang and diverged about 1880. To add to the confusion, Hao is commonly written as "Wu" in English (although with sometimes with an accent mark over the letter "u"). I study the Wu Style of Wu Chian Chuen and have run into this confusion often.

A book with a translation of the Wu/Li "classics" is available here:

Hope this helps,

Tim Ash

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