Li Ying was born in Beijing China in 1974. In 1979, her father introduced her to gymnastics at the Beijing 'Shi Sha Hai' sports complex at the age of 5. The Shi Sha Hai sports complex was the same home to the Beijing Wushu team. At the young age of 5, she remembers the training was so difficult that she would often run home and her father would have to catch her. During that arduous period in her life, she was able to watch some of the wushu training. Impressed by the wushu athletes movements, she secretly brewed a passion for martial arts due to her lack of interest in gymnastics. She had asked her father about training in wushu, but he was stern to her to develop her gymnastic achievements. Eventually her gymnastics coach caught on to this and told her father that Li Ying's flexibility wasn't strong enough for gymnastics but her flexibility, speed, and jumping ability would be perfect for wushu.
Her family had never been involved in wushu in anyway, but Li Ying would soon be learning traditions and family styles that did. One in particular was Yin Pai Baguazhang or Yin Family 8 diagram palm. Baguazhang, an internal martial art, is base on the Taoist I-Ching philosophy and the theory of change. Baguazhang incorporates and demands great flexibility for the circular, twining, whipping, and coiling body techniques perfect for this wushu rising star. Today Li Ying firmly believes in the internal arts for health, self defense, and well being. She states, "24 and 42 taijiquan, and baguazhang are very nice and suitable for preserving the bodies health. When I an older I will continue to practice because I enjoy them a lot, I will never stop doing wushu.
Li Ying also learned the traditional Fanziquan or Continuously Attacking Boxing. Fanziquan is characterized by quick hand work and dodging maneuvers.
Training in wushu was difficult, fun at times, but always with teachers who were very strict. Among them were Wu Bin, Cui Ya Hui and Ju Bao Jun who would teach everything about wushu. This environment proved helpful in her ability to reach high grades in various examinations. Passing these examinations qualified her to become a member of the Beijing wushu team.
The schedule as a team member was that of training from 6 am to 9:30 pm with breaks only for lunch and dinner. Sundays were off except for upcoming tournaments. Because of this schedule however, Li Ying was able to learn Changquan (Long fist), Nanquan (Southern fist) , Taijiquan (Grand Ultimate fist). For competition and performance she focused more on nanquan. Some of the weapons she was able to master were straight sword, cudgel, spear, 3 sectional staff, 9 sectional whip, double straight swords and double broadswords. By 1988, Li Ying was an Olympic class wushu athlete and National champion in changquan, broadsword and cudgel. She was touring the world with the Beijing wushu team performing in countries like Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia, Macau, USA, Kuwait, and Taiwan.
In 1997 she was teaching a childrens' team in Beijing. In 4 years time at every tournament they competed the children would bring back at least 4 gold medals. Later Li Ying would be qualified as a level 1 judge in china, meaning that she could judge at any tournament in the country.
In 1987, Li Ying met Sifu Clarence Burris III, an international business and immigration lawyer with a passion for training in wushu. Sifu Burris annually takes trips to Beijing China and he brings teams of students for special training at the Shi Sha Hai sports complex. Li Ying and fellow student and champion Li Jing became great friends with Sifu Burris. Li Jing immigrated to the USA and settled in Berkeley California. She enjoys conducting seminars at Sifu Burris' school,the Chinese Martial Arts Institiute (CMAI) in Fairfax Virginia. Li Ying has also immigrated, as of 2003 and she assumed the role of Head wushu coach at CMAI. Her goals are to help enhance the level of wushu at CMAI and the east coast. She also intends to continue her own personal training and remain active in the U.S. competition circuit.
On April 9-11th 2004, the Chinese Martial Arts Institute will host the International Martial Arts Championships (IMAC) in Fairfax Virginia. This will be a non-political event open to all practitioners and will utilize internationally qualified judges. /p> More about Li Ying