Li Jinglin

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Li Jinglin
Li Jinglin.jpg
Born 1885
Zaoqiang County, Hebei, China
Died 1931 (aged 45–46)
Other names Li Fangchen
"China's First Sword"
"God of the Sword"
Nationality Chinese
Style Yang-style taijiquan
Wudang Sword
Li Jinglin

Li Jinglin, also known as Li Fangchen[1] (1885 – 1931) was a deputy inspector-general and later army general for the Fengtian clique[2] 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.[3] A renowned swordsman, he was known as "China's First Sword."

Military and administrative career[edit]

In 1924, during the Second Zhili–Fengtian War, Li was commanding the Fengtian Second Army[4] 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."[5] In November his troops occupied Tianjin,[6] where they picked up half of Wang Chengbin's forces,[7] and under his command a "repressive and predatory" regime was established—especially noted is the extent to which the local merchants were extorted.[8] 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.[9] Like many other warlords who ruled Tianjin, Li also was a member of the Green Gang.[10] From December 1924 to December 1925, he was the administrator of Hebei province.[11]

Martial arts[edit]

One of Li's nicknames is "Magic Sword".[12] 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."[13] 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.[14] His sword techniques were an amalgamate of the ancient Taoist and the newer Baguazhang styles.[15]

After his military career, he opened a martial arts center in Nanjing,[16] and became vice-president of the National Martial Arts Academy,[17] also known as Central Hall for National Martial Arts (Zhongyang Guoshuguan),[18] 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.[19]


  1. ^ Chen 3.
  2. ^ Waldrun 95.
  3. ^ Chen 3.
  4. ^ Waldron 95.
  5. ^ Waldron 101-102.
  6. ^ Chevrier 165.
  7. ^ Waldron 214.
  8. ^ Chevrier 166.
  9. ^ Cornebise 38.
  10. ^ Hershatter 128.
  11. ^ Lin 30.
  12. ^ Allen 50; Lin 27.
  13. ^ Lin 31.
  14. ^ Lin 27.
  15. ^ Vercammen 126.
  16. ^ Chen 3.
  17. ^ Sun 31.
  18. ^ Vercammen 125.
  19. ^ Vercammen 125.