Zaoqiang County, Hebei, China
|Died||1931 (aged 45–46)|
|Other names||Li Fangchen
"China's First Sword"
"God of the Sword"
Li Jinglin, also known as Li Fangchen (1885 – 1931) was a deputy inspector-general and later army general for the Fengtian clique during the Chinese warlord era. He hailed from Zaoqiang County, Hebei province, China. After his military career was over, he settled in Nanjing, and in 1927 moved to Shanghai. A renowned swordsman, he was known as "China's First Sword."
Military and administrative career
In 1924, during the Second Zhili–Fengtian War, Li was commanding the Fengtian Second Army which aided Zhang Zongchang in his decisive victory at Longku; the engagement has been termed "probably the single most important engagement in Zhili's defeat." In November his troops occupied Tianjin, where they picked up half of Wang Chengbin's forces, and under his command a "repressive and predatory" regime was established—especially noted is the extent to which the local merchants were extorted. The United States 15th Infantry Regiment, whose mission was to keep the Peking-Mukden Railway open, was based in Tianjin, and small skirmishes occurred between US troops and Li's troops. Like many other warlords who ruled Tianjin, Li also was a member of the Green Gang. From December 1924 to December 1925, he was the administrator of Hebei province.
"Jinglin," meaning "magic sword," was one of Li's nicknames. A general in the Chinese army, Li displayed great skill as a swordfighter and great interest in martial arts, especially Wudang chuan. Li was nicknamed "China's First Sword" and "God of the Sword." Li was an expert of many varying sword techniques, then later learned Wudang Sword from Sung Wei-I, a renowned swordsman who also taught Fu Chen Sung. His sword techniques were an amalgamate of the ancient Taoist and the newer Baguazhang styles.
After his military career, he opened a martial arts center in Nanjing, and became vice-president of the National Martial Arts Academy, also known as Central Hall for National Martial Arts (Zhongyang Guoshuguan), and now called the Central Guoshu Institute. On his initiative, a Yang-style t'ai chi ch'uan was formalized, with Yang Chengfu as the most important of the contributors.
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