Sun Taiji Jian

Originally this form was called San Cai Jian and was a Northern Kung Fu weapon form that is taught mainly in the Ching Wu gymnasiums.

As in most of all he learned Sun Lu Tang adopted this form and incorporated the movements that are within the Sun Shi Taiji to invent a unique form of movements designed both to be graceful and practical. The Sun Shi Taiji Jian is a difficult set of movements to learn as it involves the practitioner changing height and weight distribution constantly and unlike other Taiji Jian forms is not done in a slow motion fashion, but performed as any other Kung Fu movements.

It is important when practising this form to keep the movements long and to make the sword do the work, this is a difficult thing to master as there is a tendency to use force but this is not the way of the Jian, brute force is more suited to the use of the Dao!!

This sword form is a culmination of all Sun Lu Tangs knowledge incorporating the skills of Xing Yi and Bagua, with the grace and relaxation of Sun Shi Taiji

Below is a list of movements of the Sun Shi Taiji Jian form as taught by us.

The Sun Style Taiji Jian (孙式太极剑)
1. qi-shi(起式) open movements
2. bai-he -liang -chi(白鹤亮翅)white crane spreads its wings
3. shuang-long-chu-shui (双龙出水)twin dragons escape the water
4. yao-zi-fan-shen(鹞子翻身)Hawk turns its body
5. dan-ju-ding(单举鼎)push up the left hand
6. xian-ren-zhi-lu(仙人指路)immortal points the way
7. qing-long-fan-shou(青龙返首) dragon turns its head
8. tai-gong-diao-yu(太公钓鱼)old man goes fishing
9. qing-long-tai-tou(青龙抬头)dragon raises its head
10. dan-ju-ding(单举鼎)push up the left hand
11. qing-long-xian-zhao(青龙献爪)dragon shows its claws
12. feng-huang-dian-tou(凤凰点头)phoenix nods its head
13. tian-bian-sao-yue(天边扫月)sweep the moon at the edge of heaven
14. meng-hu-jie-lu(猛虎截路)fierce tiger blocks the road
15. qing-long-suo-wei(青龙缩尾)dragon draws back its tail
16. he-hu-chu-dong(黑虎出洞)tiger comes out of its cave
17. ping-sha-luo-yan(平沙落雁)goose on flat sand
18. qing-long-chu-shui(青龙出水)dragon enters the sea
19. huai-zhong-bao-yue(怀中抱月)embrace the moon
20. gu-yan-chu-qun(孤雁出群)the orphaned goose excels
21. yao-zi-shu-shen(鹞子束身)hawk tightens its body
22. hong-yan-song-shu(鸿雁送书)goose delivers the book
23. qing-ting-dian-shui(蜻蜓点水) skimming the water
24. hui-tou-wang-yue(回头望月)turn the head to look at the moon
25. bai-shi(败式)eight defeating styles
26. miao-shou-bei-zhan(妙手背斩)the wonderful hand cuts back
27. da-peng-zhan-chi(大鹏展翅)the mythical bird spreads its wings
28. meng-hu-jie-lu(猛虎截路)the brave fighter blocks the way
29. tui-chuang-wang-yue(推窗望月)push the window to see the moon
30. shun-shi-liao-wan(顺势撩腕)take advantage of the opportunity and pull up the wrist
31. qing-ting-dian-shui(蜻蜓点水)skimming the water
32. mo-pan-jian(磨盘剑)grinding the sword
33. pian-bang(片膀)cut arm to pieces
34. liao-wan(撩腕)pulls up the wrist
35. qing-long-suo-wei(青龙缩尾)black dragon shrinks the tail
36. hei-hu-chu-dong(黑虎出洞)black tiger leaves its cave
37. huai-zhong-bao-yue(怀中抱月)hug to the bosom
38. yao-zi-fan-shen(鹞子翻身)hawk turns its body
39. dan-ju-ding(单举鼎)push up the left hand
40. ji-bu-he-hu-chu-dong(跻步黑虎出洞)black tiger leaps from the cave
41. chou-liang-huan-zhu(抽梁换柱)substitution
42. wai-jie-jian(外截剑)sword limited to the outside
43. huai-zhong-bao-yue(怀中抱月)hug to the bosom
44. bai-she-fu-cao(白蛇伏草)white snake in the grass
45. ye-cha-tan-hai(夜叉探海)the demon searches the sea
46. feng-hou-gua-yin封侯挂印)confer nobility on the lord
47. yao-zi-shu-shen(鹞子束身)hawk exercises restraint
48. hong-yan-song-shu(鸿雁送书)goose delivers the book
49. wu-long-jiao-zhu(乌龙搅柱)crow stirs the column
50. qing-long-suo-wei(青龙缩尾)black dragon shrinks the tail
51. ji-bu-hei-hu-chu-dong(跻步黑虎出洞)black tiger leaps from the cave
52. li-jie-jian(里截剑)sword limited to the outside
53. yao-zi-shu-shen(鹞子束身)hawk exercises restraint
54. hong-yan-song-shu(鸿雁送书)goose delivers the book
55. qing-ting-dian-shui(蜻蜓点水)skimming the water
56. mo-pan-jian(磨盘剑)grinding the sword
57. yao-zi-ru-lin(鹞子入林)hawk enters the forest
58. huai-zhong-bao-yue(怀中抱月)hug to the bosom
59. pian-bang-liao-wan(片膀撩腕)cut the arm and pull up the wrist
60. cha-hua-gai-ding(插花盖顶)arrange the flowers to cover the top
61. yao-zi-fan-shen(鹞子翻身)hawk turns its body
62. shou-shi(收式)put in order

Sun Style Taiji

There are many different styles of Tai Chi, some of which can aid a healthy lifestyle, some followers believe it can cure health problems of modern living, helping to de-stress the rigours of daily life, but Sun Style Tai Chi does all that and much more.

Developed by the famous Chinese Martial Artist Sun Lu Tang, this style incorporates all three of China’s most famous internal martial arts training: Tai Chi, Xing Yi (pronounced: shing-yee) and Bagua Zhang (pronounced baa-gooaa jzhang). Sun Lu Tang was a scholar boxer and an innovator of martial arts. He was able to synthesise these different elements into a complete set of movements that incorporate health as well as martial benefits, but do not detract from the original systems but standardise their basic similarities.

Sun Style Tai Chi uses the stepping and agility from Xing Yi and Bagua with the relaxed body of Tai Chi. It has the practicality of using the whole body in a relaxed way to keep the joints and muscles moving without the strain of holding postures. It uses alignments from Xing Yi to make sure that the knees do not suffer and that energy is allowed to flow and aid in good health.

Because use of the following step is used in the Sun Style Tai Chi form, it is very practical when we come to use the style, but it is also good for balance and coordination. The form can be adapted for many disabilities and this makes the Sun Style more accessible and enjoyable to a wider range of people young and old, It has particularly been shown to help with arthritis in that the gentle movements and correct alignments can help to strengthen the muscles, tendons and joints over a period of time and so help the sufferer deal with this debilitating disease.

Sun Style Tai Chi is the youngest of the five styles recognised by the Chinese government, but it is also a rare style to find and a jewel within the crown of Chinese martial arts. It is unique in its training and form and, through the lineage of my teacher Lei Shi Tai, I have been fortunate to have access to a pure and little changed form from when his grandfather learned directly from Sun Lu Tang in the 1920s. My teacher describes it beautifully, I think, when he says Sun Style Tai Chi is “like the water that runs or clouds that slip on a windy day”.

Anyone interested in finding out further information can visit our website www.sunshitaiji.com or contact me directly sunstylebob @gmail.com
I am available for workshops in all aspects of Sun Style Tai Chi and related arts and corporate training can also be arranged.

Sun Style Martial Arts

Sun Style Martial Arts are unique both in the principles of practice and in developing the various powers needed to utilise the art. Because Sun Style is made up from the three main internal arts of Taiji, Xing Yi and Bagua it can be said to constantly evolve depending on the practitioners skill level, it is practiced in many ways by different people across the world and though they may not practice in the same way as myself I give them all respect and would gladly share my own experiences with them. What I would like to present with this article is an introduction to the Sun Style Martial Arts as practiced by myself as taught to me by Lei Shi Tai.

Background

Master Lei Shi Tai has been practicing Sun Style Martial arts since he was 5 years old and he is now over 60 years old, his only teacher was his Grandfather Master Lei Shi Mo who was a disciple of Sun Lu Tang and was a valued friend and adviser of the Sun Family, in fact Master Lei Shi Mo was a babysitter for Sun Jian Yun and was held in high regard by Sun Lu Tang for his quick mind and stubborn nature. When Lei Shi Mo first went to Sun Lu Tang he weighed 130kg and so Sun would only teach him the San Ti Posture, day by day Lei Shi Mo continued with this practice and soon his weight began to normalise and he was able to learn all Sun Lu Tang had to teach. Master Lei Shi Tai first began his study of Sun Style with Xing Yi, then after 7 years he began to learn Bagua. At the age of 15 he started to learn Taiji, this was a very good time for Master Lei to learn as he had an opportunity to observe many Sun Style practitioners who would visit his grandfathers house to discuss the theory and especially the practical aspects of the art through Tui Shou (Push Hands).

Before his grandfather passed away he instructed Lei Shi Tai to keep practicing and to follow Sun Jian Yun as she had been made head of the family and been given the responsibility of passing on Sun Style. At this time Master Lei related to me that he was very lucky to have such a teacher to follow as Sun Jian Yun.

Master Lei also had a very good friend called Liu Shu Lin who was a disciple of Sun Cun Zhou, this enabled him to get further skills by observing and learning how these two masters from the Sun family practiced the arts with very subtle differences. This coupled with his Grandfathers knowledge from Sun Lu Tang gave Lei Shi Tai a very unique and thorough knowledge.

I first started to learn Sun Style Taiji in 1999 from David Martin who had traveled to China over a number of years and became a disciple of Sun Jian Yun. From Dave I learned the Sun Style Taiji long form and the Taiji Sword form, his wife Su Ying was also a Sun Style practitioner and it was through them that I met Lei Shi Tai. I practiced with Lei Shi Tai in Beijing, France and the UK and he taught me Sun Style Xing Yi, Taiji and Bagua

Xing Yi

San Ti is the first posture to be learned and a thorough understanding is needed as it is in all the Sun Style, though it may be hidden at first glance, it is the most important basic.

Next the 5 Elements are learned with particular emphasis given to Pi Quan. The Xing Yi lineage I learned was directly from Guo Yun Shen to Sun Lu Tang to Lei Shi Mo to Lei Shi Tai to myself and so differs slightly from other forms of Xing Yi, that is not to say it is better just different.

Bagua

Basic walking is first learned in a straight line and then a circle, after that the single palm change and the double palm change are taught.

Taiji

Sun Style Taiji has a variety of forms but the 97 Step Traditional form is the one that gives the most benefit health wise.

All the above coupled with some push hands training will give a good understanding of how to use Sun Style in a practical situation. Obviously there is more to learning these arts than what I have included but it is also important to have a good teacher as a guide and to help you through the various stages of development.

History of Chui Siu Woon

Chu Siu Woon

Chiu Siu Woon was born in Tibet in 1923, his father worked as an artisan repairing the temples, his early exposure was to the practice of Virgin Hei Gung which can only be learned before puberty, and I personally feel this practice has helped maintain his good health and vigor as a basis for what he later learned.

When his father passed away the young Chiu his mother and sister took the body on a pilgrimage through India and back to China to Kwantung province.

Unfortunately Chiu’s mother and sister became opium addicts and gambled away what money they had, this forced him to find a job cleaning. He was asked to work for a local doctor cleaning and keeping the house. The doctor observed the young man and eventually asked him if he would like to learn medicine and Kung Fu, the doctors name was Go Lo Tin and he taught the young Chiu medicine, bone setting and Kung Fu. The name of the style was ‘Chu Gar Siu Lam Hung Kuen’. The name means ‘Chu Family Red Fist’ and is different to the other styles of Hung Kuen. It was predominantly a village boxing art, the history of the style is that a temple was dedicated by Chu Hung Mo an emperor, the practice of Kung Fu was done at this temple and in deference to the emperor the style was called Chu Gar, the red fist comes from the red door the graduates passed when leaving the temple.

When Chiu had learned all he could from Go Lo Tin he was sent to his masters brother Go Tin Yat, to learn Chu Gar Kuen a style purely for fighting and used to counter the long arm styles. The cultural revolution was starting and so Chiu was sent by his teachers to Hong Kong to preserve what they had taught him. He never saw or heard from them again. After traveling to India and Australia Chiu eventually settled down in Manchester, England and began to teach a small group, one of the first westerners was John Farrell and John is now Dai Si Hing (big elder brother) and has been for many years.

Bob began his training with Chiu Sifu in 1981 and is a Si Hing of the style second only to John Farrell, Bob underwent 5 years of daily training to learn the Chu Gar Kuen. He believes he is the only one to have done this training in its totality and though others have learned some they have not had the same training over a sustained period.

Chiu Sifu said Go Lo Tin was a lay priest and had been at the Shaolin Temple, he had left to pursue a worldly existence and help people.

History Of Chu Gar Kuen

Chu Gar Kuen is a short-range style of Kung-Fu that emanates from the Toisan district of Kwantung province, Southern China. It is said to have originated to combat the long-range styles of the Shaolin Temple. However, the authors of this article determine that this information is more than likely to be too literal a translation from the original Chinese as related to them by Master Chu. It is more probable that revolutionary factions who were trying to overthrow the Ming dynasty and restore the Ching devised this style. In the early 19th century when Chu Gar Kuen was conceived, the Shaolin Temple monks were active resistance fighters and taught lay disciples their Kung-Fu to help the resistance effort.

Shaolin Kung-Fu, however, was intricate and took a long time to master and so there was a need to develop a style that was quicker to learn, less intricate, but equally effective. It is also noteworthy that the new style was named after Emperor Chu Hung Mo who financed the building of the Fukien Shaolin Temple and became a shaven headed monk himself. This fact alone seems to quell the notion that the style was in some way opposed to Shaolin.

Though we are not sure of the exact origin or the originators of this style it is nonetheless an effective form of self-defense. Stripped of non-essential techniques, Chu Gar Kuen is designed to inflict maximum damage to an opponent with minimum effort.

Master Chu Shiu Woon is the current Grandmaster of Chu Gar Kuen and was originally sent to learn the style by his Siu Lum Hung Kuen teacher, Sifu Go Lo Tin. His new teacher was the brother of his master, and was named Go Tin Yat. Chu Shiu Woon soon found that Go Tin Yat was a hard task master and suffered greatly in learning this style, as development of the anatomical weapons is stressed, particularly the fung nan kuen (phoenix-eye fist ) .

In later years, the Cultural Revolution began and Chu Shiu Woon was urged to flee to Hong Kong to escape persecution. During the Cultural Revolution many great masters were put to death and since leaving for Hong Kong Chu Shiu Woon has never heard from his two beloved masters. The Fighting System Chu Gar Kuen consists of the following elements, which make up the style:
Empty Hands: fung nan kuen (phoenix-eye fist), tit sar jeong (iron sand palm), cum na sao (seizing hand), kiu sao (bridge arm).

Weapons: gow jit gwan (nine sections pole), dan dao (single knife). Weapons contain no forms, only single techniques, two-man drills and applications.

Internal Training: tit bo salm (iron shirt).

Wooden Dummy Training: A single pile wooden dummy with no arms or leg is used to sharpen skills and toughen anatomical weapons.

Forms: There are 3 empty hand forms, which cover short, medium and long bridge techniques.

Training the Anatomical Weapons

Anatomical weapons are toughened in a variety of ways, mostly against the wooden dummy or sandbag and may employ techniques such as striking, rubbing, grinding, hooking, and pushing. Also used are weighted devices using pulley wheels to strengthen the bridge arm and grabbing, etc. The most unusual method employs a silk sash suspended from the ceiling, which the practitioner grabs and pulls whilst striking with alternate phoenix-eye fists. This drill stresses “inch force” training.

All the methods employed do some degree of damage to each area worked and after each training session it is essential to apply herbal medicine to promote healing

Strange tales

Over the years at Master Chu’s I saw many strange things and though some people are sceptical, I was there and saw them with my own eyes.

The first thing was that the incense sticks that were left after they had burnt. They used to burn from the underneath and turn to ash. I asked Sifu one day why this was and he said “Because he was so busy treating people for nothing, he was too busy to clean the temple so he asked Kwan Kung to help and so Kwan Kung cleaned the incense sticks”. It was said matter-of-factly, as if an everyday occurrence for him though difficult for me to believe but I can offer no other explanation.

Another time a friend of Sifu’s came to the school, she was interested in the temple and Sifu explained what Kwan Kung did. She did not believe him so he said he would ask Kwan Kung to show himself to her. We went into Sifu’s office and waited, a few seconds later we heard a scream and the friend ran into the office and explained she had been looking at the statue of Kwan Kung when it opened its eyes and looked at her she became scared and ran away. Needless to say she did not come back and Sifu and I laughed about it.

One day Sifu was teaching me to transmit energy to an inanimate object and I could not get it, he disappeared for a few moments and came back with an envelope. He gave me the envelope and had me stand at the wall opposite him about twenty feet away, then he started to focus his palm at the envelope first starting at about six feet then making his way back toward the opposite wall to me the envelope was getting hot and by the time he got to the other wall I could not hold it! Sifu laughed took the envelope from me ripped it open and poured out sand onto the floor nothing else just sand, then he walked away laughing.

Chu Gar Hung Kuen

I had learned many empty hand forms and also about 6 weapon forms when Chu Sifu started to teach me some Chu Gar Gwun, this was called Gow Jit Gwun and it first involved part filling a gallon container with water attaching it to the end of the pole then performing  ten movements whilst in low horse stance using just one breath.
You gradually added more water to the container and it took about six months to fill it to 3/4 full, this training was extremely difficult but the benefits were enormous as I developed a lot of power in the short and medium range, Chu Sifu explained to me that there were three stages, I was doing level 1, level 2 would be hitting a 6″ nail in the wall in one hit! The last level was sensitivity moving around a wooden dummy striking at but not breaking eggs.
Unfortunately I never got past level 2 as other things took precedent in training and Sifu would always say there was time later to learn it.