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Li Yishe (1832-1892) His name at birth was Jinglun but he was later also known as Yishe. He was born in West Street Guangfu city, Yongnian County, Hebei province. He was appointed to be Zhuren, an official rank, during Qing Dynasty. His family was noble and highly educated. His father’s name was Shixin while his mother’s maiden name was Wu. He was the eldest among four brothers. He loved studying as well as practicing martial arts since he was young. Wu Yuxiang, his uncle, was an expert in Taichi but he never taught anyone else except Yishe, his nephew, whom he taught fully and passed on to him his total knowledge for more than 20 years. He had also spent the rest of his life in studying and practicing enthusiastically. Every moment was spent thinking about Taichi postures. Whenever ideas popped up in his mind, he would note them on pieces of paper immediately and attached them onto stone poles and analyzed them seriously. When he found out some flaws in the ideas, he would pull the paper down and correct them and put them back onto the stone poles. He kept doing this until he was certain that they were absolutely correct. Therefore, his excellent martial art skills didn't happen by accident, but were the result of his devotion in practicing for his whole life.
His writings were the five words, the secret of unleashing, the secret of practicing internal force and sparing, the preface of Taichi boxing, and the Theory of false-true-disperse-combine.
In his old age, he rewrote the martial art theory of Wang Zongyue, the writer of internal martial arts book, and that of Wu Yuxiang and made three copies by handwriting. He kept one copy and gave the other two copies to his younger brother, Li Qixuan, and Hao Weizhen. These three books were often referred to as the Three Old Books which most Taichi practitioners consider as the eternal ultimate book of Taichi boxing. It made Li Yishe famous all over the world.
In the fall of 1892, Li Yishe's mother passed away. He was in utmost sorrow and finally fell sick and died on 8th November of the same year.
Li Yishe had very few students such as Hao Weizhen (1849-1920) and Ge Fulai and two sons of Li Yishe named Baolian and Baorang. Only Hao Oeizheng had been taught completely and was well known all over the world.