Sun Style Taijiquan
Sun style taijiquan is one of the most widely practised schools of taijiquan in China and internationally. Its development history in relation to other styles of taijiquan and internal martial arts, particularly Xing-yo Quan and Bagua Zhang, gets mentioned in many books, videos and featured articles etc.
However, there has been little known in the west about its distinct characteristics, routine structure, until in 1994 professor Li Deyin demonstrated the traditional form during a seminar. And for the first time ever in Britain taijiquan enthusiasts had the opportunity to spectate the unique art performed by Sun Lu Tang ís (founder of Sun Style Taijiquan) direct lineage student, professor Le Deyin. In fact, many students were amazed at what they sawí as the seminar organiser recalled the demonstration.
Sun style taijiquan is characterised by quick, nimble movement, good co-ordination between the opening and closing of the hands, rigorous method of performance, graceful bearing. It gained its popularity because it has less complicated movements (no jumping), effective healing result and pleasant to watch.
To practise Sun style taijiquan, there are four forms students can learn, namely sun style short form (38 posture), sun style competition form (73 posture), sun style long form (97 posture) and San Cai Jian (sun style sword form). Among these, only the competition form and the long form have been introduced into this country so far, and the other two are yet to be known.
Sun style short form is compiled entirely based on the traditional routine and designed for those who are new to the style. It gives a good flavour of the original art yet it can be learned and performed in a short period of time. This short form is a foundation and will pave the way for one to study further afield with Sun style taijiquan. From professor Liís over 35 years of teaching experience, he feels people who are interested in advanced training in Sun style taijiquan will have little difficulties with the short form as a stepping stone.
Sun style sword form, San Cai Jian, is a very important part of sun style taiji, and it has been around for as long as sun style traditional hand form. What makes this sword form unique and interesting is that it is divided into two parts and these two parts have matching martial applications i.e., attack and defend, and therefore can form a duo practise like Tui Shou (pushing hands). It means that one will develop a deeper appreciation for method of sword technique and use of mind and body. The form fully reflects and utilises the sword as a lethal weapon which is unusual in most of other taiji weapon routines. Because of this special feature, this sword form is suitable for those who have good few training experiences.
Author: Faye Li Yip
Deyin Taijiquan Institute (GB) is one of the main organisations outside China promoting Sun style taiji with considerable background and expert knowledge. Chief instructor Faye Yip started her wushu training from a very young age and under her father professor Li Deyin ís coach, she has won numerous wushu and taijiquan medals in competitions at Beijing, China. She has been teaching in England during the last seven years as well as assisting her fatherís annual seminar tour to the UK.
Images: Faye Li Yip and Ronnie Robinson