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Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching Passes Away at 97: A Lifetime Dedicated to Martial Arts

GM Li, Mao-Ching

It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching (李茂清) on July 6th, 2024. A revered teacher, devoted husband, beloved father, and cherished friend, his absence will be deeply felt by all who knew him. As a lifelong practitioner and teacher of Chinese martial arts, Grandmaster Li's mastery of Taijiquan, Shaolin Long Fist, and other styles inspired countless students worldwide. His legacy of wisdom, dedication, and unwavering spirit will continue to guide and uplift generations to come.

Born in China in 1927, Grandmaster Li began his martial arts training at a young age, dedicating his life to the study and practice of various styles, including Taijiquan, Shaolin Long Fist, and others. His unwavering commitment to excellence led him to achieve the highest levels of mastery, earning him the title of Grandmaster, a distinction reserved for the most accomplished martial artists.

Throughout his long and illustrious career, Grandmaster Li taught countless students worldwide, sharing his vast knowledge and experience with passion and dedication. His unique teaching style, which emphasized the importance of both physical and mental discipline, inspired countless individuals to pursue their own martial arts journeys. Among his students was Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, the founder of the renowned Yang's Martial Arts Association (YMAA), who continued Grandmaster Li's legacy by spreading Chinese martial arts across the globe.

Beyond his martial arts accomplishments, Grandmaster Li was known for his warm personality, kind heart, and unwavering spirit. He touched the lives of many people, both inside and outside the martial arts community, leaving a lasting impression on all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Grandmaster Li's legacy will continue to live on through the countless students he taught and inspired, as well as through the many organizations he founded and supported. His contributions to the world of Chinese martial arts are immeasurable, and his memory will be cherished by all who knew him.

A memorial service will be held to celebrate Grandmaster Li's life and legacy, details of which will be announced soon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Grandmaster Li Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Chinese martial arts and preserving his teachings for future generations.

Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching's passing marks the end of an era in the world of Chinese martial arts. His life and legacy will continue to inspire and guide martial artists for generations to come.

Dr. Yang’s Announcement

Although I feel very saddened to learn of Master Li’s passing on July 6th (Taiwan Time), I am also grateful that he lived such a long and experienced life that has influenced so many other people. From I was 19 years old, I began my Long Fist training from Master Li until when I was 27, when I came to the United States for my Ph.D. studies (in 1973). The lessons he taught me were not just of Long Fist martial arts but also on how to be a righteous, trustful, and good person. In one way, he was my strict teacher, in another, he was also a loving and kind father.

I have had many memories with him since I was 19 until now, age 78. Many of them were of the tough training with him when I was young. However, the most precious memories were of traveling together to China, Italy, Poland, Hungry, France, and South Africa. Whenever I visited him in Taiwan, these traveling experiences were one of the topics we enjoyed talking about. Normally, he would also prepare the best Oolong tea during these hours-long gatherings.

He gave all these good memories not only to myself, but also to all the YMAA students who were fortunate to meet him. I invited him to the USA two times to meet YMAA students and give them corrections. He was so happy to meet the students and was received with the utmost respect.

The most painful visit was during November of just last year (2023) when I, my classmates, and my students Jonathan and Michelle went to see him. He was already in bad condition and lost the ability to walk. He continually brought up distressing memories from his youth when he was drafted to the war against the Japanese and the Communists. He was very emotional. After we visited him, we also went to see my Taijiquan teacher, Master Kao, Tao. I just cannot believe that these two meetings were the last visits with them. Master Kao passed away this January and now Master Li is gone.

I feel saddened, but also grateful. Their lives are worthy of celebration. I feel very fortunate that I had three treasured martial arts masters who directed my life on the right path.

Life is short. We must appreciate it and enjoy it.

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

July 7th, 2024


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