Li Yaxuan (1894-1976) is featured in photos demonstrating postures from the traditional Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan. Li Yaxuan was a disciple of the famous 3rd generation Yang Family Tai Chi master Yang Cheng Fu.
When he was 20 years old, LI Yaxun was introduced to the art of Tai Chi Chuan by Bo Haitian, a student of Yang Cheng Fu. Within several months training, Bo Haitian saw the dedication of Li Yaxuan and brought him to Yang Cheng Fu to continue his studies. Li Yaxuan followed Yang for over 10 years, practicing long hours everyday.
In 1928 he followed Yang Cheng Fu to the Nanjing Central Martial Arts Institute, but found Yang had already left when Li had arrived. Li Yaxuan stayed in Nanjing for a year, and competed successfully against other martial artists in the many competitions held at the institute.
Li Yaxuan heard word that his master, Yang Cheng Fu, was in Hangzhou. He left Nanjing and travelled to Hangzhou. While there, Li was appointed director of the Hangzhou National Martial Arts Center, and served in this position from 1929 until 1934. In 1935 he returned to the Nanjing Central Martial Arts Institute to teach Tai Chi. Li Yaxuan taught there until the Japanese bombed the city, which is when he relocated to Chengdu, where he taught Tai Chi up until his death in 1976.
Li Yaxuan was personally responsible for thousands of people learning the traditional art of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. His tradition has carried on after his death by his foremost disciple and son-in-law Chen Longxiang, and his daughter Li Mindi, who continue to teach in the city of Chengdu.
Fu Zhongwen was also a disciple, and grand-nephew, of Yang Cheng Fu. He wrote an important book on the practice of the traditional Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan, which was translated into English by Louis Swaim. Click on the image below to see more about this great book!
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