Lu Sheng Li has studied traditional Chinese martial arts from ten years of age. He
first studied Chinese wrestling with well-known master Han Ying and later studied
Baiyuan (White Ape) Tong Bei Quan with famous master Li Shusen. Finally, he
became an indoor disciple under Wang Pei Sheng’s number one disciple, Luo Shu
Huan, studying Tai Ji Quan, Ba Gua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan and some other styles.
To further his training, LSH sent him to WPS’ home for direct intensive training where
he practiced very hard and developed his fighting skill to a high level. For many years,
LSL has regularly started training from five o’clock in the morning for about three hours
outdoors in whatever weather or season. For LSL, as for other serious practitioners,
hard practice is supplemented by rigorous analysis and research, always seeking to
perfect one’s skill. For example, while first learning Liu (Dekuan) Style Bagua with
WPS, LSL went to WPS’s home twice a week. In each two or three hour long private
class, he may have learned just one skill, asking WPS to explain every small
movement in detail and trying to feel it again and again. Even this was not good
enough for him, feeling also the need to practice hard and try out his skill with others.
LSL would test everything during his practice and fighting and then check his feeling
with WPS again. Currently, he enjoys a good reputation among Beijing martial artists
for his practical knowledge and skill.
Zhang Yun, grand Master Wang Peisheng and Lu Shengli
in San Francisco, 1993
LSL has been actively teaching martial arts for more than fifteen years at the Beijing
Information Technology Institute, and for the Beijing Wu Style Tai Ji Quan Association
and the Yin Cheng Gong Fa Association. As an assistant of WPS, he has helped
organize and teach classes and seminars for many years, including assisting WPS in
training many foreign visiting martial arts practitioners. In 1993, when WPS visited the
United States to teach a week long workshop at A Taste of China in Virginia, he
chose LSL from among his many students to accompany him as his teaching
When people study internal martial arts, a common problem is that internal fighting
skill is difficult to master. Many people who practice internal martial arts for a long
time find that when they try to use their techniques, either they cannot use them
effectively or they apply them just like external gongfu. In order to help people to solve
this problem, WPS’ system of martial arts, Yin Cheng Gong Fa offers a good training
method: Neijia Quan Jiji Jingyao Shiliu Shi (The Essence Of Internal Gongfu
Combative Techniques - Sixteen Postures Form), a summary of high level training
and fighting experience. The Sixteen Postures Neijia Fighting Form was created by
Lu Sheng Li under the direction of Wang Pei Sheng.
Master Lu Shuhuan, Grand Master Wang, Zhang Yun and
Lu Shengli in Beijing, 1984
LSL has studied internal martial arts from WPS and LSH for more than thirty years,
practicing very hard and developing practical and effective fighting skills. From his
personal experience, LSL has chosen about thirty single techniques from various
internal gongfu (kungfu) styles and created this form in order to help people who are
already proficient in basic gongfu to study and master actual fighting skills quickly.
Everything in the form is based on internal gongfu: Tai Ji Quan, Ba Gua Zhang, and
Xing Yi Quan; and also some useful skills from Tong Bei Quan, Ba Ji Quan, etc. are
included. The goal is to combine the best features of these styles to offer a more
efficient method for training of fighting skill. Essentially, these features are the Zhan
(stick), Hua (dissolve), Jie (borrow), and Kong (empty) attributes of Taiji; the
changing and footwork of Bagua; the powerful and stable internal force from Xingyi;
and the quick and hard movement of Tongbei and Baji. LSL’s form attempts to
combine and mix these skills together in order to make it easier to learn to fight
using internal martial arts skills.
Grand Master Wang and Lu Shengli demonstrated Taiji
push hands in ATOC, 1993
In the study of internal gongfu, one may experience many beneficial feelings.
However in real fighting people are unable to pick up the correct feelings quickly. It is
easy to find people who have practiced internal gongfu for many years but cannot
use internal principles in their fighting. LSL devised this form to address the difficulty
in applying internal principles to real fighting and adopted the traditional idea that "to
master one technique is better than knowing a thousand incompletely." Under WPS’
direction, LSL did a lot research in creating this form. Everything he has chosen is
simple but useful. If one already has some basic gongfu skills of the internal styles,
this form may help him to really understand actual fighting principles and let him
utilize some skills quickly.
There are more than thirty single techniques include in sixteen postures, seeking to
combine simplicity and ease of use with high and deep principles. The outer form is
easy to master by beginners, yet it is primarily designed for middle level
practitioners to understand and master internal fighting principles and skills. Each of
the skills includes not only outside movements but also internal practice. After a long
time of hard practice, people should get more internal feeling from external practice,
and finally forget the technical movements and everything becomes natural. How to
apply internal principles in fighting is a common problem for many people who
practice internal gongfu many years. This form just offers some useful examples to
open people’s minds.
Figure 1
The following pages illustrate the skill "Bawang Shakes the Armor" from LSL’s
Sixteen Posture Neijia Fighting Form adapted from his forthcoming book which is
currently being translated into English.
"Bawang Shakes the Armor"
Figure 2
Bawang means "despot king" and was the special title of General Xiang Yu who
was one of the biggest heroes in Chinese history. General Xiang was a big and
strong man. He had very good martial arts skill and was very brave. He and others
fought long and hard and finally overthrew the Qin Dynasty. His fighting prowess
made him feared by many, so he was called Bawang. When you practice this skill,
you should imagine that you are Bawang and your opponent is just your armor. The
first half part of the skill is just like taking off one’s armor. The movement should be
gentle and the key point is that the direction of internal force should change
smoothly. The second half part of the skill is just like shaking the armor; the
movement should be quick and sudden.
If your opponent wants to hit your face or grip your chest with his right hand, step
leftward with your left foot, so that you move away slightly from the front of your
opponent. At the same time raise your right wrist to meet your opponent’s right wrist
(Figure 1).
Figure 3
From the point of contact, if you feel your opponent still coming in, turn over your
wrist to grip his wrist and pull down your opponent. At the same time your weight
should be shifted to your left leg, moving your right foot close to your left foot and use
the toes to touch the ground (Figure 2). Imagine that your left leg and right arm are
integrated, so that the pulling force will be quick and powerful from the whole body
without tightening your arm, causing your opponent’s heels to lift up slightly and
make him lean forward.
Change your right hand movement from pulling down to raising up, causing your
opponent’s center of gravity to rise up, his heels to leave the ground and losing his
balance. Shift your weight to the right leg. Step forward with your left foot in front of
your opponent’s left foot. At the same time, keep raising your right hand up while
holding your opponent’s wrist and passing it over your head. With your step, your
body should squat down slightly and move forward quickly (Figure 3). Be careful,
unless you control the opponent’s balance by gripping his wrist and shaking his root,
he may counter by dropping down and moving back, thwarting the next movement. If
this happens, some variations can be done. If you feel his pull-back force is big, you
should turn your body left and do a Heng - horizontal movement pushing or striking.
Figure 4
If you feel the opponent losing his balance, turn your body back, so that your
opponent is behind your back. Shift your weight to the left leg and move your right leg
back to touch your opponent’s leg, causing him to stumble. Sink your body down to
form a left side bow stance (Figure 4).
Figure 5
Keep gripping your opponent’s right wrist with your right hand and pulling forward
and down toward your left toes. At the same time, use your left hand to also grip your
opponent’s right wrist and help the right hand to pull your opponent down (Figure 5).
Both hands grip your opponent’s wrist and pull from your right shoulder to your left
toes in a circular arcing movement, causing your opponent to stumble over your right
leg and fall down (Figure 6). This technique is called "to shake a suit of armor,"
where the opponent is the armor. Your arms and legs have to be closely coordinated
in the last movement. The whole movement should be smooth, and a powerful and
sudden force, like a quick shake, should be generated automatically at the end. You
should imagine you are much stronger and powerful than the opponent.
Figure 6
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