Although largely unknown outside of China, SUN STYLE is one of the four Tai Chi styles authorized for competition in the Asian games (the other three being Yang, Chen, and Wu). Developed by the famous grandmaster Sun Lu Tang (1861 - 1933), it is also the most modern of all recognized Tai Chi styles. Best known for incorporating elements derived from Xing I and Ba Gua, two other internal martial arts systems, Sun style Tai Chi represents a marriage of past and present, resulting in a system of movement appropriate for people of all ages.
Anyone who has a basic familiarity with Tai Chi systems will immediately recognize the unique character of Sun style. Sun's daughter, Sun Jian Yun, characterizes Sun style Tai Chi as employing the stepping methods of BA Gua, the leg and waist methods of Xing Yi, and the softness of Tai Chi. Sun style Tai Chi is immediately recognizable as being different from other styles. Stances are upright and natural, with the feet normally being no wider than shoulder width. Movements are short and compact, and each hand technique is accompanied by a corresponding stepping action. Sun style is also characterized by its unique "open-close" hand movement. This movement helps to concentrate chi in the dan tien (the area of the abdomen just below the navel), the front of the torso, and especially in the palms of the hands for delivery of short, deadly strikes.
Sun Lu Tang always said that one should not study martial arts to fight. Instead, he urged students to practice in order to improve their health. Nevertheless, Suns' martial art was forged in the crucible of combat, for he lived in a time where challenges were regularly issued and accepted, and one's survival depended upon one's ability to employ what one practiced. Despite its martial roots, however, it is imminently appropriate for people in all walks of life. Its natural, simple stances make it an ideal exercise system for those who desire a low-impact exercise system, even the elderly. For younger, more athletic individuals, it provides a fascinating approach to self-defense.
At the Wing Lam Kung Fu School, the Tai Chi Curriculum includes:
- Ku Style/Yang Form
- Tai Yu Straight Sword Form
- Sun Style Hand Form
- Sun Style Straight Sword Form
- Push Hands
© 2013 Robert Daniels. All rights reserved.