A Tribute to Lu
Overseas Edition of People's Daily - 9 June 2010
December 2009, The Chinese National Wushu Research Institute with the establishment of the International Experts Commission, a special ceremony was held in the Great Hall of People (Beijing) for the 18 selected personalities as a recognition of their exceptional careers and contributions for martial arts.
When it cames to the one we know as "The Yangtze Great Chivalrous Man" Lu Zijian, I did only hear his name and understood that he did not attend personally to this honorific ceremony. I heard later that it was due to some health problems, it was a member of his family who represented him to receive his award .
Just before in Chongqing during the "Conference Chinese National Wushu West Border", top executives of Chinese National Wushu Federation came altogether for a visit to a very ordinary place in Chongqing, Nanan District - Shangxin Road, in a residential area: it was to pay a tribute to the Great master Lu Zijian, considered now very seriously by the Chinese authorities as a "living treasure" in China.
Living in three centuries A close friend of Huo Yuanjia
When members of the local Wushu Federation told me the age of
Zijian I was without any word, completely amazed by this age - 117.
Later I made my own research: Lu was born the 15th October 1893 in
Yichang, Hubei province. He was during the Late Qing Dynasty
of the "Three Great Knights" which include "Jin Men Chivalrous Man" Huo
Yuanjia but also "Guan Dong Chivalrous Man" Du Xinwu. The man who lived
in three centuries gained the reputation of "Most healthy
According to historical documents, Lu Zijian after being initiated in martial arts by his own mother in his very young age, later studied with a top level Wushu expert - from Wudang and Emei lineage but also studied at the Medical School of Hubei province.
In 1911 he was 18 and decided to come to Beijing which leads him to deepen his martial arts studies: in Baguazhang with Master Li Changye and in Xingyiquan with Master Yu Shirong.
In 1920: he won the Gold medal at the Nanjing Yuhuatai Martial Arts Competition at the age of 28.
Later when he was based in Chongqing, the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jie Shi) the Chinese military and political leader who was leading the Kuomintang (KMT) appointed him as one-star General for his outstanding contribution during resistance against invading Japanese troops but also to coordinate his personal bodyguards.
Due to the unfair market controlled by Japanese Cargo companies, the Chairman of Mingsheng People Cargo Company, the only Chinese operating at that time in the YangTze River, decided to hire Lu Zijian in his escort team. Not long after Lu succeed in preserving the rights of his companies as well as citizens using its services. Its was during this period that Lu had to face three death duels against several top Japanese Budokas. Among of them, the most famous was the Famous Hideo Mitsui. Both opponents signed an agreement for a death duel held in the military school in Yichang. This duel ended with Hideo Mitsui vomiting blood in front of Lu Zijian who was especially defending the honor of Chinese citizen against the reputation spread by Japanese propaganda of 'sick men of east Asia".
In 1979, Lu returned to Chongqing from Xinjiang province. accepted as member of Chongqing CPPCC. During this time of reform Lu, at that time, 86, started to participate again to several National Wushu Competitions.
In 2002 , at 93, Lu will participate to the Huan Zai Xuzhou Sichuan National Competition, at this occasion he will be awarded 9th Duan Chinese Wushu ranking, the highest ranking in Chinese Wushu and as the first personality to receive it. He opened later the "Yuzhou Zijian Martial Arts Academy" and the "Lu Zijian Orthopedic Clinic". He published later several articles and books including: "Wudang Taiyi Palm & Weapons" but also the "Bagua Hunyuan Yangsheng Gong" gaining the reputation of "Contemporary Zhang San Feng" (referring to Zhang San Feng, legendary creator of Taijiquan).
High level of mastery in martial arts. Accomplishment in Healing & Health preservationFrom my own perspective, Lu Zijian even after 100 had still a good mastery of martial skills which makes his case even more amazing.
The Grand daughter of Lu Zijian, Lu Shunhua told us that just before an accident in September 2009, his grand father was still practicing martial arts the morning, meditation the afternoon, Chinese painting and visit to friends.
In 1998, during the Tortoise and Snake cultural exposition hosted in Wuhan, the 105-year-old. Lu Zijian performed Sword demonstration: taolu after taolu along with a bright spirit and never exhausted. Later when he was 115, as to test his martial skills , a young and strong wushu practitioner pushed him with all his power but Lu resisted as a solid rock without moving one inch.
Lu has an open mind, chivalric but has always maintained a disciplined life with well balanced dietetics. He uses to say: " I have very simple habits: "Have breakfast in the morning until sensation of fullness, have a good lunch at noon and a light dinner." Sleeping early and waking early to first exercise the body. Then practice Baguazhang. Everyday he needs to practice between one to two hours of meditation. After having trained internal exercises for more than 100 years, Lu has refined over decades his own Healing method, enjoying until now the fruits of his incessant training efforts. About his longevity, Lu precices the following: "Move your Qi, nurture your health and cultivate your nature. Training martial arts will make your four members more agile. Combining harmoniously moving and non-moving is the only correct method to reach a long life.
These last decades Lu Zijian has been treating patients with Chinese medicine and in the same time establishing his martial arts academy in order to transmit the Wudang lineage of Taoist martial arts. We can consider that Lu Zijian has formed between 50 to 60 000 students, then from generation to generation, reaching up to the fifth generation of martial artists, the final total number of wushu adepts transmitting his art has now reached is now quite hard to evaluate. These recent years Lu Shunhua his grand daughter is taking care of the "Yuzhou Zijian Martial Arts Academy" and the "Lu Zijian Orthopedic Clinic". She won many martial arts competitions and she is clearly the successor selected by Lu Zijian to continue to transmit and develop his arts.
After a severe injury Still keeping a hale and hearty spiritAt the end of last year Lu was well recovering and at his age this is almost unbelievable. At 117 years old, how can he recover so fast after a such severe falling injury: Lu attributed his fast recovering to his deep internal strength which he has been cultivating since his earliest years. Lu Shunhua is giving more details about the incident:
" Last year in September, my grand father while taking the stairs for the First floor, inadvertently missed his step and rolled down to the Ground floor. After the different wounds that he had, including those on his head, we were very worried. Just before the incident he mentioned several times that he felt his legs like becoming slack but we did not realize that diabetes would the real cause of it. Moreover he had never accepted any help preferring to continue living independently. We had deep regrets about not having detected it early, but again it is his internal strength that may have save him from this leading cause of Injury deaths (falling) for senior citizens.
Not far before such falling wounds would not have much affected my grand father. For example, a few years ago while repairing their house, Lu Zijian felt from a window on the second floor, one of his legs got caught by a small tree which makes him rebound on the ground with just some minor wounds.
But it was rather the small tree which was finally broken. All workers were amazed by this scene."
She added also:
"My Grand father is quite well recovering, his consumption of food and his mental are much better and he is starting even to have again a small amount of activity. His thinking and speech are still very clear. "
During our visit Mr. Lu Zijian's mental was effectively still very good, he received us with his "smiling" white beard.
He was very happy to receive us and was particularly pleased by the wishes of fast recovery, good health and longevity that we transmitted in the name of the Chinese Wushu Association.
We wish all the best to this living example of courage and determination.