HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SUN STYLE TAIJIQUAN
Of the various well known styles of Taijiquan, Sun Style is the latest. Please note that "Sun" here is pronounced like "Soon", and not like "sun", our nearest star that gives us life, as pronounced by English speaking people, nor like "son", your male offspring if you have joyfully produced another human being.
Sun Style Taijiquan was invented by Sun Lu Tang in the early 20th century in his later years. He was already an expert in Baguazhang and Xingyiquan before he learned Taijiquan from Hao Wei Zhen, a third-generation master of the Wu Yu Xiang Style, who spread Wu Style Taijiquan especially in South China, and hence Wu Style is sometimes called Hao Style. Hence, Sun Style Taijiquan contains much of Wu Style, especially its short stance.
When I first saw Sun Style Taijiquan I was not impressed with its combat application. Because of my kungfu background, I could still see combat application in this style, but at that time I found other Taijiquan styles more combat effective. I had no doubt that many people, including many Sun Style practitioners, would have no idea how Sun Style Taijiquan could be used for fighting.
This was, of course, no slight on kungfu practitioners. I was only being honest with my opinion. Most kungfu practitioners could not use their kungfu for combat. If they had to fight, they would use Kick-Boxing or fight wildly.
But there are not even patterns in Sun Style Taijiquan that practitioners could use to fight like Kick-Boxers or fight wildly. I knew that Sun Lu Tang, the founder of this style, was a good fighter even before he learned Taijiquan. According to his daughter, Sun Jian Yun, a second-generation master of the Sun Style, Sun Lu Tang mainly practiced Taijiquan in his later years.
I also knew that many masters hid their secrets in the open. Combat applications were purposely distorted, and sometimes made flowery to hide their effectiveness. I recalled that Sun Lu Tang was an expert in Baguazhang and Xingyiquan, and that Sun Style Taijiquan incorporated the best of the three fighting arts.
This thought gave me an "aha" experience. I suddenly realized the effective combat applications hidden in the seemingly dance-like patterns. To me, then, many of the Sun Style techniques, which looked simple, were more effective than many similar Taijiquan techniques of other styles. These Sun Style techniques enable exponents, if they know how, to hit their opponents as soon as their opponents made a move, as in Xingyiquan, or hit them at the back, as in Baguazhang.
To make these techniques understandable to our Shaolin Wahnam members, I have modified some patterns in the set, but keeping the same routine as created by Sun Lu Tang. In this way I hope to realize two objectives. Our Shaolin Wahnam members will be able to decipher the effective combat application of Sun Style Taijiquan, and have a lot of fun doing it, while the secrets will still be hidden in the open to most other people, which I believe was the intention of Sun Lu Tang while creating this set.
Wong Kiew Kit
8th January 2016
Sun Style Taijiquan in Pictures
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