Li Shu Wen


(1864–1934)

Li Shu Wen was born in 1864 in Cangzhou, Hebei. He became a martial arts master extraordinaire and earned himself the nickname "God of Spear Li".

He taught many army commanders and generals and his last great student was our Great-grandmaster, Liu Yun Qiao. Liu’s grandfather was the Imperial Governor of Cang County. When Liu was small his father hired martial teachers just to improve his health. The final teacher hired was Li Shu Wen who lived in the family compound with only Liu as his special student. After training for ten years together they then traveled throughout China gaining experience for Liu through challenge matches.

Li Shu Wen is said to have stopped every fight after the first blow, killing or injuring his opponent every time. His most famous quote is:
"I do not know what it's like to hit a man twice."

A proficienado of bajiquan, he is said to have reunited the styles of baji and pigua, which were once taught together and then split apart.

Li Shuwen's students included Huo Dian Ge (bodyguard to Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China), Li Chenwu (bodyguard to Mao Zedong), and Liu Yun Qiao (instructor of the bodyguards of Chiang Kai Shek). This is why baji is known as the bodyguard style.

Master Li died in 1934. "He was known for his impassioned dedication to his art. Every chance he got he practiced his favorite weapon, the Great Spear." That's why to this day, our lineage still retains the unusual practice of this weapon.

Now, Master Li's grave site in a narrow cemetery in China is full of clutter and in disrepair. Our Master Su has pledged to rectify this problem and is currently collecting funds to renovate the site. Master Yang has agreed to contribute and Master Su says that "Wu Tang - Ohio" will appear as a donor on the new marker. Any gift given for this charitable purpose would be greatly appreciated.