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Lu Baochun is a master of Bajiquan, both Chen and Yang Taijiquan as well as several other forms of Chinese martial arts. Lu is the founder of Baji Ry (Baji Association), operating out of Helsinki, Finland. Having trained under several renowned 20th century masters, Lu and his students have been influential in promoting Bajiquan across Northern Europe since 2001.
呂寶春 (Traditional Chinese) or 吕宝春 (Simplified Chinese).
Lu was born in 1956 to a martial arts family. He began training in Shaolinquan at a very young age, initially under the instruction of his father, before being introduced to several other masters at the age of eight years old.
As a teenager, living in Beijing, he began to train in Bajiquan under the tutelage of Zhang XuChu. Convinced by the practicality of the style, he worked hard to develop a high level of skill in the style training alongside his martial brother Chen Xiang among others. It is during this particularly tumultous period in Beijing that Lü developed his prowess as a fighter. During this time he competed and was successful in a number of provintial and national level martial arts tournaments and acted as the gatekeeper for his teachers, taking on combat challenges for them.
It was not long after this, in 1984, that Lu would go on to encounter Feng ZhiQiang, a prominent master of Taijiquan, who had learned Chen style Taijiquan under Chen FaKe, another famous 20th century proponent of the art. They were both teaching at a martial arts school and Feng, impressed by Lu's skills, invited him to become one of his first 10 students. Under Feng, Lu's first formal master, he learned many different forms of martial arts: xingyi, tantui, longxingquan, wuqingquan, chaquan, baguazhang, piquazhang, bajiquan and the Li-style of taijiquan. During this time he learned to apply the more combative aspects of the style by accepting challenges on behalf of Feng.
Later in life, Lu would go on to meet Han LongQuan, son of the legendary Han HuiQuin, the master to whom he attributes his deep understanding of Bajiquan's power. He became an indoor disciple of Han's in 1980.
In 1986, Lu encountered Wei ShuRen, another reknowned Taijiquan practitioner, during a Taiji festival. Ten years later, Wei sought out Lu and, in 1996, began to teach him Yang style Taijiquan, introducing Lu to the more medative side of the art.
Move to Finland & Baji Association
Lu moved to Helsinki, Finland around 2001 where he formed Baji Association with his initial batch of Finnish students.
While initially focused primarily on the tuition of Bajiquan, Lu has since refocused on incorporating more of both Chen and Yang style Taijiquan. He currently spends his time teaching in and around Finland, and regularly visits other locations in Europe to run workshops and courses in the various martial arts that he teaches. He has been known to teach in Sweden, France, England and Italy.
In 2017, Baji Association began touring and offering workshops around Europe with greater frequency and in a wider number of countries.
Lu is known to place a great importance on training fighting skill and making use of sparring to polish it. Edward Hines quotes him as saying that “friends are better than a teacher, and fighting is better than friends”, implying that fighting is "it’s through fighting that you develop fighting skill, and generally you can go harder with peers than teachers, and harder with enemies/strangers/rivals than with peers." He is known to be outspoken about the necessity of practitioners of Chinese Martial Arts to not just talk but also fight, commenting on the Xu XiaoDong fights that they were a positive thing for the CMA world.
“There is a time for talking but there should be a balance between talking and really fighting. We can and should talk about techniques, ideas, styles but you should be able to support it. Many people stay “inside” talking about how they are the best but refuse to open their doors and open their minds." 
Lu's bajiquan is a combination of Han and Huo systems, and draws influence from his Chen style taijiquan too.
Lu's system of bajiquan is based on a few forms with each one putting more emphasis on either power or technique and following a progression from each other.He suggests that his students not use “stupid power” (maximal effort and contraction) and instead use less effort but more feeling, thus allowing the feeling to guide to the use of power.
Lü is proficient in both Chen and Yang styles of Taijiquan, having learned from two different masters.
Chen style taijiquan
Chen Fake - Feng ZhiQiang - Lü Baochun
Yang style taijiquan
Wei ShuRen - Lü Baochun
Li ZiMing - Zhang XuChu - Lü Baochun
(Dragon Form) Li RuiDong - Zhang XuChu - Lü Baochun
Awards and recognition
- Lu was the challenge taker for several prominant martial artists during his studies with them
- Lu was featured in the article "Kiinan Krav Maga" ("The Krav Maga of China") in issue 8 of the Finnish martial arts magazine FightSport.