Sun Style Tai Chi ChUan
The Sun Style is the most recent of the five major tai chi styles. Sun Lutang's book "A Study of Tàijíquán" containing his eponymous style was published in 1921, he had began learning tai chi in his fifties after a lifetime in martial arts, already a renowned master of both Xingyiquan and Baguazhang. Born Sun Fu Quan, in 1861, and later given the name Lutang, His book was the first written about Tai Chi.> In 1914 Sun sought out Hao Wei Zhen who he knew to be a famous martial artist who was visiting Beijing where, at the time, Sun lived, although at that stage he knew nothing of Hao's Tai Chi. While in Beijing Hao had apparently taken ill, Sun took him to his house and taken care of him, and in return for his kindness taught Sun his Tai Chi which he had learnt off Li Yi Yu, a nephew of Wu Yu Xiang. Today Wu Yu Xiang's style is known as the Wu style but sometimes also Wu/Hao Style in recognition of Hao influence, and to differentiate it the from style of Wu Chuan You. Wu had studied both with Yang Lu Chan and Chen Ching Ping, learning from Chen his "small frame" style and from Yang the "Old frame".
The Sun Style of Tai Chi is characterised compact movements and closing steps, the hands are periodically opened and closed in a moment of readjustment. The nimble movements in some ways reflect Sun's long experiences with Xingyiquan and Baguazhang. Whilst the imagery and structure of form is undoubtedly tai chi, many of the postures have distinct flavorings from Xingyiquan (mind form boxing) and Baguazhang (Eight Trigrams Palms). Unlike Yang Chengfu's form and other modern standard which are modified to emphasize the health promoting aspects, Sun's small framed fast form is played more for the practice of combat applications. It is by chance that style has health benefits for the elderly, where the compact movements exercise joints without the strain of bigger postures.