_ Li Shaochiang, who was also named Li Lutse, but was known in the West as Rose Li, had a background in Chinese Internal Martial Arts that was completely unique. She was mostly known for being one of the key individuals that introduced Chinese Internal Martial Arts - in particular the much rarer Ba Gua and Xing Yi - into the West. She was taught by Deng-Yunfeng (1873-1941), one of the most eminent teachers in the 'Golden Age' of Chinese martial arts. Brought up within the environment of both a traditional Chinese classical education and the recipient of the best Western education available at the time in Beijing, she was an absolute, but exceptionally modest, giant in the world of Chinese Internal Martial Arts. Robert Smith in his 1999 book Martial Musings says of her that she was 'the best female internal boxer I had ever met'.
Rose Li was born in Beijing in approximately 1914. Her father's family was Han Chinese and her father a minor member of the Han royal family. Her mother's family originated in Manchuria - the family name being Yu. Rose's father was employed as a civil servant during the Ching Dynasty and was for a time responsible for the Chinese coal industry.
Rose was an only child, her previous siblings having died in infancy. Her parents gave her a boy's name in the hope that this would strengthen her. But event that would change Rose Li's life was contracting TB. As an only child, and with money being no barrier where life or death of a infant was concerned, her father employed the best internal boxer available in Beijing to teach and specially to strengthen her breath: Deng Yunfeng. From the age of eight, and for the next fifteen years, Deng came to her house three times a week to give Rose personal tuition. She also regularly attended Deng's school at the Temple of the Fire God near the Coal Hill, North of the Forbidden City. She learned from Deng the full panoply of Chinese Internal Martial Arts: Xing Yi, Ba Gua and Tai Ji, but Xing Yi was always her first love. Rose's cultural education was also typical for a boy at the time. She was tutored in calligraphy and Confucian classics: no needlework practice for the young Shaochiang.
As she grew older, and as part of her 'modern' education she became increasingly involved in Christianity and with Western Christian missionaries. After obtaining an MA in Ethnology from Furen University in Beijing in 1947 she left China with the help of the American Church Mission. One of the extraordinary sights is of her passport at the time: Sister Rebecca Louise, the Xing Yi boxer, complete with nun's wimple.
Whilst in the USA Rose began to teach Chinese Internal Martial Arts. After some time in San Francisco, New York and Hawaii she taught Chinese language and culture, first at Ann Arbor University, Michigan, and finally in the Department of Oriental Studies at Durham University in England. In 1975 she began to set up Internal Chinese Martial Arts classes both in Durham and subsequently in Manchester and London. In 1986 she moved permanently to London where the School was based. She ran her main school in King's Cross for a number of years when until failing heath meant that she could no longer teach open access classes. Rose Li, after being looked after by her devoted full-time carer, Sonia Khan, eventually passed away in 2001.