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Sun Lu Tang Learns Taijiquan

Sun Lu Tang was already a highly skilled and relatively famous martial artist by the time he learnt Taijiquan. Hao Wei Chen was visiting Beijing and being unfamiliar with the territory was not able to meet up with his friends who lived there. Having no other alternative, Hao had checked into an inn and subsequently fell ill. Not something very unusual for those of us who have travelled to unfamiliar regions.

In any case, Sun Lu Tang came to hear about it and went to visit him. Hao Wei Chen already had a reputation of being a highly accomplished martial artist and Sun was in the habit of visiting highly accomplished martial artists to make their acquantance and to exchange knowledge. Sun went to visit him to make his acquantance, having heard that he was a great master but did not know at the time that the art practiced by Hao was Taijiquan. When he found Hao sick in bed, he took care of him and even got a doctor to treat him. Hao eventually recovered from his illness and was very grateful to Sun for looking after him. It must have been hard being ill and alone in a very big city full of strangers.

In gratitude, Hao taught Sun Taijiquan, Wu Yu Xiang style Taijiquan to be exact. Hao himself had studied personally under Wu Yu Xiang's nephew Li I Yu and was a native of Yung Nien where Yang Lu Chan, Wu Yu Xiang and Li I Yu lived. Sun, being already highly skilled, learnt the art from Hao and became accomplished in it. He was now a master of the three internal martial arts.

Sun Lu Tang Develops His Own Style

Sun Lu Tang had studied and mastered the three internal styles. He continued to study them and to research into their theories, refining them and constantly improving his art.

Later, Sun would crystalise his teaching, experience and methods into his own style of Taijiquan. It was primarily based on Hao's Wu Yu Xiang style Taijiquan. That he chose Taijiquan as his final art expressing the essence of his art is indicative. He is supposed to have incorporated the rapid foot work of Pa Kua with the leg and waist methods of Hsing-I with the soft body of Wu Yu Xiang's Taijiquan. In actual terms of the form, it retains many characteristics of the form Hao taught him as well as the sequence of postures.

The postures themselves have not changed all that much, retaining the original applications and still resemble very much the Wu Yu Xiang style as taught by the Hao family. What is evident is that the stepping is more active and smaller, the hand techniques differ only marginally and some Hsing-I characteristics are evident.

In his later years, he preferred to teach Taijiquan rather than Pa Kua or Hsing-I. He was very capable in his application of his Taijiquan and Sun Lu Tang, the great Pa Kua and Hsing-I master, was also now acknowledged as a great Taijiquan master.

Sun was not selfish with his art and wrote several books on them to share them with martial artist everywhere. These books remain important references for the serious martial artist and some contain valuable photographs of Sun's form in the three internal martial arts.

Sun Taijiquan Today

With Sun Jian Yun's presence made available, the Sun style Taijiquan practitioners around the world have access to the direct transmission of Sun Lu Tang via his daughter who was privy to many of the private aspects of his life and art. The popularity of Sun Taijiquan has grown because of that and through continuing efforts of the teachers of this style of Taijiquan is being spread to every corner of the world.

The Taijiquan community throughout the world continues to regard Sun Taijiquan as an authentic expression of the internal arts and one of the major styles of the art. Sun Lu Tang's martial art and spirit continues to bring health, morals and martial skills to all those who practice the system.



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