Sun Style Mini System

DSCN0576After a long time researching and developing the Sun Style System, I have developed a mini system meant to introduce people to the Sun Style giving them a flavour of the arts involved but also keeping it simple and effective using the traditional methods and exercises.

Based on the 13 Step form developed by Sun Jian Yun, it introduces the practitioner to the basic movements of Sun Style Taiji with the emphasis on moving slowly with intent. The form can be performed multiple times or in multiple directions. Once mastery of the form is achieved the San Ti posture and Pi Quan are introduced along with the walking step of Bagua. After proficiency is attained then the single palm change is taught.

The last thing to be taught is a shortened version of the Taiji Sword. Obviously this method can be aimed at beginners, but also to improvers or for someone who just wants to experience all the elements involved in training the Sun Style. But without the time it takes in learning the 97 Step Form, all the Xing Yi and Bagua plus sword. This training is available still for those that want to follow that route and we will be offering certification, for those wanting to become instructors or affiliate groups.

This is not a detailed breakdown of what will be taught just a basic overview of what we will be offering, for further information please contact me.

Taiji Stick and Ruler 2

stick and rulerI thought seeing as I have already mentioned the benefits of this exercise it might be good to give the dimensions and also the differences between the stick and ruler.

Taji Stick
This is measured from your closed fist to your elbow this will give you the correct size for you, the ends are rounded smoothly and the diameter is the circumference from your middle finger to your thumb, it looks like a large rolling pin.

Taiji Ruler
This is about 1/3 metre long and has a ball in the middle with the two arms tapering to the end where there is a circle, shaped into a dome that will cover the centre of the hand.

Within the theory of Taiji Stick and Ruler, the stick pertains to Yang and the ruler pertains to Yin. When practicing, both hands must stay in contact with the syick or ruler and the fact that you have something to touch helps with visualising in moving the energy. You can make a connection with the eyes and movements and the Dan Tian. For those of us that practice the Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji this is normal as it is the way we practice the form also, guided externally connected internally.

http://www.charlestauber.com/sticksandrulers/index.html for image

Hunyuan Taiji Stick and Ruler

Though not unique to just Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji, the stick and ruler techniques are rare and within the Hunyuan system GM Feng Zhiqiang refined what he had learned from Master Hu Yaozhen and Master Chen Fake to give us a unique blend of techniques, these techniques encompass spiral energy Qi Gong and also twisting strength for joint locks and immobilisations.

Use of the stick and ruler can improve your health quickly as it puts a different focus on your practice and can be of benefit to people of all ages and skill levels. In particular it can help greatly with the moving of energy along the Du Meridians of the back, these places are the most difficult to pass to complete the large heavenly circuit of energy.

What should I do?

Zhu and chenWhen you don’t have as much time as you would like what is the best exercise to do?
I am relating this to Martial arts and not specific to all but certainly to the arts I am proficient in.

Sun Style Martial Arts

The Taiji form takes between 7-12 minutes to perform it can take longer of course so this is a good thing to practise as it has everything inside, my teacher related to me though that when you only have time to do one thing it should be Pi Quan, as it is everywhere in the Sun Style.

Krabi Krabong

The mother skills are the most important things here and if not a lot of time the martial dances are essential to hone your technique.

Eskrima

familiarity with weapons is essential but that can be achieved by doing Ammara, with any weapon not just sticks.

Muay Boraan

The essential things are the basic footwork and doing combinations, making the transitions smoothly, making sure you have good co ordination between hands and feet, shadow boxing essential here.

Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji

Without a doubt the 24 step form contains all you need to improve with daily practise, this can do done in anything from 7-20 minutes depending on your time available, also the 12 step qigong is another thing you could supplement or just do stand alone if time limited.

Obviously there are a lot of exercises that will give you reward for the effort to do them, Master Feng Zhiqiang advocated standing in Wuji for 45 minutes a day, as well as doing form and qigong but in this modern world we don’t always have the luxury of training 7-8 hrs a day, we can practise before work or after, get up early, practise during lunch there are so many ways to get your training but you must enjoy it, the daily grind is the most important thing.

Hunyuan Taiji

The Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji derives from the Chen style Feng Ziqiang learned from Chen Fake and coupled with the Qigong and Xin Yi Liu He from Hu Yaozhen it makes a very interesting and complete system.

Training starts and for most people ends with learning the 24 step form which is beneficial for health but has martial applications contained within, this along with the 24 Qigong is enough for most people and certainly when I learned in Beijing the majority of people were happy just to practise these everyday and got tremendous health benefits from the practise.

Originally I came to Hunyuan to learn the Qigong for a herniated disc and when I started I was still taking medication for the pain and inflammation after 3 days of practise the pain went and I no longer needed to take the medication, mind over matter I hear you cry maybe, the postures certainly helped open up my back so there was not as much compression and it strengthened the area that needed it around the core of my waist, hips, legs and lower back. I then went on to study the 24 step form which again I have found to be beneficial in keeping the core muscles in good condition. It has taken a few years for me to emulate my teachers postures and get my stances low enough to feel more benefit from the style, but extreme stances are not stressed in Hunyuan and no stamping is done. The idea is to cultivate our inner strength by concentrating on the movements and how they correspond to the Dan Tian, in moving in circles. My teacher told me to keep the movements big and not be tempted to shorten them even when applying them as this would inhibit the flow of energy and slow development.

I have gone on to learn the 38 Pao Chui form and find this a great form to really relax and try to let the power flow. The Fa Jing aspect again is not stressed as the late GM said. If not done correctly you could injure yourself long term. Even if done after many years of training it should be done sparingly with more concentration on internal development than showing outward force.

I will be returning to the UK in 2014 and anyone wishing to learn the Hunyuan Taiji please get in touch.

Unfinished Business

I am 52 years old and been doing Martial Arts, most of that time but I still feel like I have unfinished business another thing to learn a style to try, I watch boxing and think yeah I should go back to it get myself back into boxing shape, just to show that I can? My training with Chu Sifu was about getting rid of ego training in an art to keep that art alive and to be part of a culture and to learn skills that are no longer taught. When I went to Krishna it was like an epiphany in a lot of ways what he was doing and showing sort of made the jigsaw whole for me, it made my Kung Fu better by opening my mind to different concepts and ideas. After illness I started Taiji but not just a mainstream style I wanted to train in a little known and rarer style, so went to Sun Style Taiji and in Dave Martin found a great guy with no ego who just wanted to do the best he could in promoting his chosen style. I am not sure where this blog is going as I write it I just need to get some thoughts down as to why after all this years I still feel I have something to prove to myself? Is it ego? is it vanity to be known as one of the best? or is it just the way I am made? I lost my dad when I was 12 years old and maybe not being able to prove to anyone that I was good at anything, academic has driven me on as I really feel within Martial Arts I have found what I was born to do, I have trained with some of the best guys in the world within their chosen arts and continue to do so when opportunity arises, as I sit here typing I think well I could train the old stuff pick up the sticks again, push myself to new heights physically and mentally, but I don’t want my mind writing cheques my body cant cash, to me that would be detrimental to my development, I think where I am I am meant to be, training in what I should be for my health and well being, I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone who cares to read this but would appreciate any thoughts you have, I have stopped at many crossroads along my Martial path, stumbled and fell many times, been kicked and punched without a blow being thrown, I suppose I have answered my own question, do I have unfinished business?yes, with myself

Rolling back the years

This year 2013 sees some of my students reaching the milestone of 10 years of practise, some of them are no longer my students in a formal sense but the road they travel was first shown to them by me and so to the following people I hope you are still practising or teaching but the gift you were given can’t be quantified in money as no amount of that will give you good health so I hope you use the skills well
Ian Platt
Annemarie Parker
Dave Polshaw
Stewart Polshaw
Martin Brady
I wish you all good health and happiness
May the light of the Lord Buddha shine on you and be with you always