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Thread: Sun Family Taiji

  1. #31
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    Tim Cartmell and his students are surely keeping it alive. I wrote an article on it last year for the Journal of Asian Martial Arts. Check it out on my articles page at www.threeharmonies.com

    It is not as popular here in the west as in China, but it is far from "lost." Unfortunately many whom purport they do "traditional" Sun Taiji, are only doing an empty shell of the "traditional" form. Most are modern wushu derivatives, which I do not get since the Sun form is not that long to begin with. But to each their own.

    I am happy to answer any questions you have if you wish to email me.
    Cheers
    Jake
    three_harmonies@hotmail.com
    www.threeharmonies.blogspot.com
    www.threeharmonies.com
    "Gravity doesn't lie, and the ground never misses."
    Jake Burroughs
    Three Harmonies Chinese Martial Arts Center
    Seattle, WA.
    www.threeharmonies.com
    three_harmonies@hotmail.com
    www.threeharmonies.blogspot.com

  2. #32
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    That is a common statement made - Contemporary form vs. traditional. Many will base there opinion on a statement that Sun Jianyun made about not liking the competition form and how the person that was demonstrating it did not understand Sun Taijiquan.

    Taking each comment with the last first : How many of the new generation who demo forms for video actually DO understand Taijiquan or other styles anyway. This is the old thing of having many people who learn a routine but not the underlying concepts. This is an indictment of the person and the way they learned the set and not anything directed at the set. In fact, when the original video was made for the Sun competition set, the person doing it had not been doing it that long. It was one of those things where an athlete is chosen and then told "Learn this routine, you will be doing it for filming next month..." This is simply how many things are done with new routines - if anyone remembers how much craziness there was back when all of the compulsories were redone for IWuF and how the written sets did NOT represent the same thing as the filmed ones...

    As for the routine itself :
    The competition routine IS shorter. It was designed to fit in a 6 minute competition time frame. However, the main changes were to remove some of the repetitions in sections. There are also some sections that are there but swapped around....meaning in the traditional set, the come in a slightly different order.

    Now, there is NO truth to the idea that this or any of the other forms have to be done in a certain order to "build Qi". Bottom line, there are sections and a section may have ideas in it...but aside from that, they are often composed in a certain order because of aesthetics - as in martial ART.

    The competition routine is roughly if memory serves - 53% right sided and 47% left. Compared to the traditional which was in the mid 60% area right sided...so the competition set is more balanced...and this was mainly achieved by removing extra repetitions from the right side...so, if something was done 3 times right and one left, it was changed to do one and one. Not a big deal.

    The other comment from Sun was that she did not like the jumping kick in the competition routine because it was not that way in her father's set. Hmm...the wording was as close to hers as I can get from memory.

    Now, ANY stepping kick CAN be done as a jumping kick in any form to add difficulty. THAT is why it was made that way. The level of competitor in competition is high so they wanted to add difficulty. However, if you simply do NOT jump, it is the same section as the traditional set....with the mixing around that was done.

    If you learn BOTH of the sets, the differences between the two become less and less important. The concepts for each are - or are intended to be - the same.

    But if you only do the routine and never ask the questions of "What is this for...?" you end up with empty movements - regardless of which set you do.

  3. #33
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    Thanks for that reply GLW, a balanced review of Sun Taiji.

    For me and from what I've seen of the Sun Taiji set (and I've only seen stuff on video and from what Paul Lam has done to it), it doesn't attract me. You can definately see the Xingyi influence in the art but for me I'd rather do Yang or Wu. Sun seems just too "choppy" for me.

    The absolute worst though that I've seen is the Paul Lam sets.

  4. #34
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    My first article for this magazine was on Sun Taiji

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  5. #35
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    Sun definitely requires a bit of familiarity with all 3 of the styles it comes from. However, you do not have to be an expert in each....

    Having said that, there is a distinct difference in the flavor and how you "play" Sun Style from other types of Taijiquan.

    You not only have to get the Huo Bu - quick stepping aspect (Sun is also called - and excuse the bad pinyin spelling Kai He Huo Bu Taijiquan - Open / Close, fast step Taijiquan).

    So, if you come to Sun with no exposure to XingYi or Bagua...only Wu/Hao Taijiquan, the flavor will often escape you.

    If you come with a Yang flavor, it WILL feel choppy...but not by itself. It is just that the approach is different. While a bad analogy, the closest I can come is to say that Yang has a "stately" bearing and approach while Sun is more "playful" (Granted - not really playful because the applications are still there and serious).

    It is more open than Wu/Hao..and also more lively..and moves more.

    Comparing it to Chen, the power is more direct and less emphasis on reeling than on the power similar to XingYi....with some redirection thrown in from Bagua.

  6. #36
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    GLW,

    Well, I'm still open minded about it and am trying to get a better understanding, thanks for your reply.

    I can definately see what you mean about the differences between Yang and Sun. I'm looking at it from an "energy flow" perspective. Yang, and even Wu (not Wu Hao) seems to have more of a flow. Where Sun changes directions often and I get the feel the energy "stops". Perhaps that's why they keep coming back to center and expand and contract Qi with the palms.

    One other thing I have noticed is with Wu, the lao gong is used much more to "open channels". I don't think I've seen this as much in other styles.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by GLW View Post
    That is a common statement made - Contemporary form vs. traditional. Many will base there opinion on a statement that Sun Jianyun made about not liking the competition form and how the person that was demonstrating it did not understand Sun Taijiquan.

    Taking each comment with the last first : How many of the new generation who demo forms for video actually DO understand Taijiquan or other styles anyway. This is the old thing of having many people who learn a routine but not the underlying concepts. This is an indictment of the person and the way they learned the set and not anything directed at the set. In fact, when the original video was made for the Sun competition set, the person doing it had not been doing it that long. It was one of those things where an athlete is chosen and then told "Learn this routine, you will be doing it for filming next month..." This is simply how many things are done with new routines - if anyone remembers how much craziness there was back when all of the compulsories were redone for IWuF and how the written sets did NOT represent the same thing as the filmed ones...

    As for the routine itself :
    The competition routine IS shorter. It was designed to fit in a 6 minute competition time frame. However, the main changes were to remove some of the repetitions in sections. There are also some sections that are there but swapped around....meaning in the traditional set, the come in a slightly different order.

    Now, there is NO truth to the idea that this or any of the other forms have to be done in a certain order to "build Qi". Bottom line, there are sections and a section may have ideas in it...but aside from that, they are often composed in a certain order because of aesthetics - as in martial ART.

    The competition routine is roughly if memory serves - 53% right sided and 47% left. Compared to the traditional which was in the mid 60% area right sided...so the competition set is more balanced...and this was mainly achieved by removing extra repetitions from the right side...so, if something was done 3 times right and one left, it was changed to do one and one. Not a big deal.

    The other comment from Sun was that she did not like the jumping kick in the competition routine because it was not that way in her father's set. Hmm...the wording was as close to hers as I can get from memory.

    Now, ANY stepping kick CAN be done as a jumping kick in any form to add difficulty. THAT is why it was made that way. The level of competitor in competition is high so they wanted to add difficulty. However, if you simply do NOT jump, it is the same section as the traditional set....with the mixing around that was done.

    If you learn BOTH of the sets, the differences between the two become less and less important. The concepts for each are - or are intended to be - the same.

    But if you only do the routine and never ask the questions of "What is this for...?" you end up with empty movements - regardless of which set you do.
    Even though I learned both, I prefer the wushutaijiquan version of Sun but I purposely leave out the jumping because it is not part of the routine. I just raise the knee and extend the lower leg.
    Playing the form is just playing the form if one has never learnt any martial basics so I think that is a major problem today. The performance stuff is OK, I guess.
    There is no need to learn xingyi or baqua but remember that Sun is as it is from xingyi (root art of Sun Lutang) and his baquazhang exposure.

    Sanshou/shuaijiao/qinna as a root art can surely serve as jibengong/shenfa elementary practice basic for the performance Sun style! SInce the form itself in 'empty', training the jiebngong/shenfa makes it come alive.

  8. #38
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    I tend to do the same. Especially the older I get...jumping kicks in your 50's just don't seem to look that good anyway....

    I agree you don't need to 'learn' Bagua or Xingyi...but you do need to be familiar with them... enough to know the basic approaches such as the linearity of Xingyi with its follow step...the stance work, the coiling body that is typical of Bagua...so when you hit those places, you can recognize them. The moves in Sun are similar but not as extreme as the art they came from.

    I had a classmate who was into Xingyi...and when he did Sun, it was TOO MUCH Xingyi to the detriment of the other ideas and flavors of the routine.

    At the same time, I had another classmate who did Bagua, Xingyi, and a couple of Taijiquan systems as well as Chaquan...and his Sun was very very good and had all of the concepts in abundance.

  9. #39
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    At the Symposium in Nashville Grand Master Sun Yongtian taught the 16 Posture form of Sun Style to hundreds of people.
    He wasn't "lost" at all.
    I was in the class, though. To be honest, I could not get a good feel for the Sun style.
    Entirely my own fault, there was just something about it that threw me and I could not seem to pick it up.
    My training partner LOVED it though and he is practicing the form every day.
    I know, it's only the short form, but it's all we down here in KY have of the Sun style.
    No, we do not know a lot of apps for this but we can put at least the Tai Chi Chuan principles in place. We may botch up the Xingyi and Bagua principles, but we'll do the best we can.
    Fortunately, a Sun stylist from a very good school just moved into our area. He is quite good and his former teacher recommends him highly, so we may just learn some of this form yet!


    Anyway...
    Just wanted to let the original poster of the thread know that the Sun style is alive and well under Grand Master Sun's tutelage.

    Bob

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMK View Post
    Hello ,
    Anyone know who is promoting Sun Family Taiji? This style is almost lost.
    There's Sifu kwong Wing Lam in Sunnyvalle.

    http://www.wle.com

    SY

  11. #41
    Thanks Jake and Sunyang .

  12. #42
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    Sun Style Taijiquan Small Frame



    Master Zhu Zhihua demonstrates Sun Style Small Frame Taijiquan. To learn more read "The Sun & the Swastika: Sun Style Taijiquan Small Frame" by By Xiao Yijing with Gigi Oh and Gene Ching featured in the Fall 2018 issue.

    THREADS
    FALL 2018
    Sun Family Taiji
    Gene Ching
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  13. #43
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    Fall 2018

    The Sun and the Swastika: Sun Style Taijiquan Small Frame
    By Xiao Yijing with Gigi Oh and Gene Ching

    FALL 2018

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #44
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    Madame Sun Jianyun demonstrates Sun Style Taijiquan in 1978

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #45
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    Our latest sweepstakes. Enter to Win!

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