Sun Taijiquan Long Form
Qigong & Fundamentals
This foundational class is the gateway to the taijiquan universe. Essential concepts, theories and principles are discussed in depth. Students begin to explore their body, breath, mind and qi circulation with many different qigong and warm-up exercises, plus meditation.
Specific to Sun style taijiquan, students are introduced to the basic characteristics of hand movements and the different types of footwork.
Students begin learning the traditional Long Form of Sun taijiquan, the only form that Sun Lutang created. The class is separated into smaller groups or individuals, and each student will be taught at his or her own pace. Once the entire form is memorized, then begins the lifelong process of refinement and deeper internal energy.
Sun style taijiquan is one of the five major styles of taijiquan -- the other four being Chen style, Yang style, Wu style and Wu (Hao) style -- and is the youngest of the five. It was developed by grandmaster Sun Lutang (1861-1932), who incorporated the other two Chinese internal arts of baguazhang and xingyiquan into his taijiquan. Sun style, Wu style and Wu (Hao) style are considered to be "small frame" taijiquan -- that is, the arm movements are small, the steps are short and the stances are upright. This is in contrast to Chen style and Yang style, which contain big arm movements, long steps, and deep stances.
Sun taijiquan is unique in that it has no traditional bow stance (front foot weighted 60-70%, rear foot weighted 30-40%). Instead, it has a follow-through step which brings the rear foot close to the front foot, toes touching the floor with no weight. One benefit of this is that transitions between postures place very little strain on the knees compared to other styles of taijiquan. Because of this, and because of Sun style's aforementioned small frame characteristics, I consider it to be the ideal taijiquan style for the elderly and the physically impaired. Sun taijiquan is also instantly recognizable by its signature Open/Close Hands (Kai/He Shou) posture, which appears 13 times in the form. In fact, Sun style is sometimes nicknamed "Kai He Taijiquan."
Sun taijiquan is comprised of a single Long Form and a single Straight Sword Form. However, it is also part of the larger Sun Lutang system, which includes the other two Chinese internal arts of baguazhang and xingyiquan.